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Old 08-07-2012, 01:11 AM   #1
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Default Keg carbonation trouble

So I started kegging not too long ago and am having trouble getting my beer carbonated. My temperature is at 35 degrees and my regulator is set at 12-13 psi. My beer comes out all head with no carb in solution. Do I need longer lines ? Any other ideas what else could be causing the flatness?

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #2
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This probably belongs in the kegging/bottling forum, but,

How long are your liquid lines?

How did you carb your beer?

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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Beer lines should be at least 5 feet long to avoid excess foam. Also, if you're using a tower system, unless the tower is well insulated, the CO2 will be released from liquid as the temperature rises. My first pour of the day is always foamy for that reason.

And how long has youre beer been carbing? If you just set the regulator to 12 psi and dont shake the keg, it will take around a week to carb the beer. Now, if you set your PSI to around 20 and shake the hll out of the keg for a good 20 minutes or so, you will have fully carb'd beer in a couple days once the foam settles. Just dont forget to releive the pressure in the keg before hooking up your gas lines at serving PSI otherwise beer could blow back into your regulator and ruin it.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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I have just the opposite problem.. I get little/no foam and no bubbles in the glass. I've had my beer in the fridge for over a month at 15 psi. Heck, I've even put some in a PET with a Carbonator.. shook it and let the foam die down and recapped. Still no foam/bubbles. I can get foam but no bubbles if I run the pressure up higher.

Beer at 40* using 6' 3/16" lines

Maybe I got some bad CO2.. and it's been in the cylinder for about 8 yrs.. but, CO2 should not go bad. I'll have to keep tinkering and continue bottle carbing most brews I guess.

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HbgBill View Post
I have just the opposite problem.. I get little/no foam and no bubbles in the glass. I've had my beer in the fridge for over a month at 15 psi. Heck, I've even put some in a PET with a Carbonator.. shook it and let the foam die down and recapped. Still no foam/bubbles. I can get foam but no bubbles if I run the pressure up higher.

Beer at 40* using 6' 3/16" lines

Maybe I got some bad CO2.. and it's been in the cylinder for about 8 yrs.. but, CO2 should not go bad. I'll have to keep tinkering and continue bottle carbing most brews I guess.
I have a 10 or 12 foot 3/16" beer line with a picnic faucet in the minifridge, and i find that the first half pint or so is flat just from sitting in the beer line, that's my guess anyway.

But yes, co2 does not go bad. It either sits there being co2 or gets munched by a plant. And there are no plants in your co2 tank. There are very few gasses that go into their liquid state at the same temperature as co2, so there is little chance that it is contaminated, either.

The co2 I've been using is from a 20lb aluminum tank that i bought for $10, including 9 pounds of co2 and a crappy regulator. The newest hydro stamp i can find on it is 1993. Works fine.

Maybe they gave you argon by accident or something?
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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I put 25 psi in my kegs and shake for around thirty minutes then I set them at 12 psi for two weeks in the kegerator. My lines are probably just too short they are around 4 feet. I guess the tower could be causing it as well.

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Old 08-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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25psi for 30 minutes of shaking could be overcarbed, no?

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimpanogosSlim
25psi for 30 minutes could be overcarbed, no?
Followed by 2 weeks at 12 too. That alone is enough to carb. Choose one or the other, not both.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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Followed by 2 weeks at 12 too. That alone is enough to carb. Choose one or the other, not both.
But having it at 12 psi in the kegerator won't overcarb it- it'll just maintain the level once it's carbed. But shaking at 25 psi would overcarb it.

I think the real issue is not that the beer is overcarbed, or at least not very much. I think the system isn't balanced.

For 35 degrees, 10 psi is about right. I have 10' lines with all of my taps now- and it pours great.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Heres a nice carbonation chart

I'm not sure why, but when I shake the keg at the correct PSI & Temp setting (per the chart) My beers always seem to come out under carbonated. But if I leave the keg on for 2ish weeks at the correct PSI & Temp setting it comes out fine.

I find that a PSI of 20ish works best (IMHO) for my beers and carb preference (if using the shake method).

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