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Old 01-13-2013, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Carbonation - foamed lines

Hey all,
I have a somewhat extensive problem that has been bugging me for some time now. I have been making soda for over a year in the keg (I only make soda) and I still have the same problem - no carbonation is being absorbed by my soda, it all blasts through the lines.
I use a concentrate that is added to the water at a ratio above 5:1 (water to concentrate) and then carbonated. I've carbed anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks with same result. I am trying to bottle directly from the keg with a blichman beer gun. I have a tried a counter pressure filler, but that did not help. I added 25' of tube between the keg and beer gun, but that did not help. I tried using chilled bottles today, but that did not help.
It may be important to mention that I have never made a full 5 gallons. I test recipes using 1 gallon batches that are carbonated in a 5 gallon keg.
My tubing lines only spurt out foamed soda and I am running out of guesses and variables to test. Any help would result in eternal gratitude!

Thanks,
Kyle

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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What pressure/temperature are you carbonating?

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Pressure has been anywhere from 25 - 40 PSI.
Temperature is above freezing but below 40 degrees F. I carb in a mini fridge with the freezer section removed so it gets quite chilly.

Thanks,
Kyle

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Have you tried carbonating water? Are you shaking as you carbonate, or just leaving it on the gas without touching it?

If you're carbing at 25psi with a finished soda full of sugar, it will be difficult to carbonate. Then dispensing it at the same pressure, you're blasting it out of the lines with such force that you're losing all the carbonation that you had in there in the first place. It would be kind of like shaking a bottle of soda as you pour it into your glass.

Try this: Get the keg chilled to around 34°, hook it up to gas, set it at the pressure you want to carbonate to and then roll it around on the floor rather vigorously for about 20 min. Let it settle for about 5 min, then see what kind of carbonation you have. If it's blasting out of the lines, turn off the gas and slowly release pressure on the keg. If you release about half of the pressure, see how that pours. If you release all of the pressure(which will take a long time at the slow rate you need), open up the keg and see what kind of carbonation you find inside. If that doesn't get you any carbonation, then congratulations, you've found a way to defy the laws of physics.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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You're using 25' of tubing but is it 3/16" ID or is it 1/4"?

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:06 AM   #6
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Bobby M - I am using 3/16th tubing for my long tubing run.

MrFoodScientist - Thanks for the advice. I have tried carbing up at 25-30PSI and then discharge the keg and re-pressuring the keg at 8PSI to serve/bottle but didn't have much luck with that.
Sidenote - I really enjoyed your blog, I keep and eye on it every now and then to see what you're making. Have you ever had any issues with carbonation if your concentrate/syrup is cloud or turbid?

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewconcepts View Post
Bobby M - I am using 3/16th tubing for my long tubing run.

MrFoodScientist - Thanks for the advice. I have tried carbing up at 25-30PSI and then discharge the keg and re-pressuring the keg at 8PSI to serve/bottle but didn't have much luck with that.
Sidenote - I really enjoyed your blog, I keep and eye on it every now and then to see what you're making. Have you ever had any issues with carbonation if your concentrate/syrup is cloud or turbid?
Thanks for the compliments.
I haven't really seen any direct correlation between cloudy syrup and difficulty in carbonation, but it would stand to reason that all those suspended particles are creating nucleation sites where bubbles will form as gas comes out of solution. More nucleation sites means more loss of carbonation when the pressure drops (i.e. serving). So that is a possibility.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:55 PM   #8
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Hey all,
Just a quick update on this thread. After trying the above methods and failing to achieve proper carbonation for two years I am going to abandon my current path.
I am going to try out some recipes that are extract and essential oil based. This is a major bummer, but at least I can start trying some new methods.

Thanks again for the advice guys! I look forward to posting some notes on progress in the near future.

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