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Old 02-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
Lashey
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Default Problems with the Keg

I have just cracked open my first beer from a keg and I seem to be having problems. At first the beer was flowing far too fast out of the keg, giving a kind of half and half head to beer ratio, so i loosened the cap on the keg. This fixed the head problem, however now the pressure has not built back up as I had expected and it wont come out at all unless I give the barrel a bit of a tip, causing oxidisation.

It might just be a case of over carbonation when I primed the beer, but I thought to ask you all if you had any suggestions. Having done a bit of research I might invest in a pressure cap and try to add the CO2 artificially. Does this sound sensible to anyone? Any help would be much appreciated as I don't want to go ahead and quaff all the beer if it starts to go off.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:22 PM   #2
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You loosened the lid on the keg? What exactly are you talking about?

If your beer is too foamy you just need to make adjustments to serving pressure, beer line length, or you just over carbonated.

Loosening any fittings on the kegs will just allow co2 to escape and your keg will never hold pressure.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
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It sounds like Lashey naturally carbonated the beer in the keg via priming sugar and it came out a little over carbed. By loosening the lid (or pulling the pressure relief valve if you have one) you released that extra pressure, and possibly (depending on how much you loosened the lid) introduced some oxegyn into the keg. The lower head pressure in the keg then caused some of the co2 that was in solution in the liquid beer to come out and fill the air space.

For serving from a keg, you are always going to need some sort of external force to move the beer from the keg to the faucet. Typically this is done by introducing co2 (as you mentioned) to push the beer out. You can also use a 'beer engine' or similar to serve using a 'cask' or 'real ale' strategy (all the stuff 'in single quotes' might be handy to search on if you want more info) in order to serve, but these methods will also introduce o2.

If you just try to serve beer out of a naturally carbonated keg with no way to re-introduce pressure, you're won't get more than a few glasses before it runs out of pressure.

I'd sugest picking up a co2 tank and a cheaper regulator. Once it arrives, you'll want to read up on serving pressure, line balancing, etc.

Edit, you may also want to checkout these sticky posts in the kegging section. There is a lot of good info on how to get started with kegging. It's a bit of a learning curve (it took me a few batches to get my pressures right, etc) but totally worth it.

Best of luck!

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips fall-line. It seemed like it would be easier to use a keg for my first brew but I'm finding there is more and more to learn about.

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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For my keg setup I've found that a serving pressure of 10-14 psi works well. Sometimes I get a bit of pressure build up, but I'll just release the pressure and let my CO2 tank pump the keg back up to the 12psi or whatever I've got it on and then pour a glass.

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lashey View Post
Thanks for the tips fall-line. It seemed like it would be easier to use a keg for my first brew but I'm finding there is more and more to learn about.
You're quite welcome. It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It sounds like all you are missing is that co2 bottle and regulator. Until you get that, you won't get much use out of the keg. Even with the learning curve, I still think kegging is easier and less time consuming than bottling. The initial investment is higher though, so I bottled probably 5 batches when I first started before diving into kegging.
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