Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Getting frustrated and need some help
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
dood56
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Default Getting frustrated and need some help

Alright, so I have now ruined to complete batches of beer and looking for some help before I ruin a third. I posted several weeks ago that my kegs weren't carbing. Well, I left town and just got back to work on my problems. Here is what I did. I pulled the CO2 lines off the kegs and put them in water. Saw a leak coming out of one of them where the line connects to the disconnect. I tightend that down, end of that leak. Next, I placed my O ring in hot water and then pulled up on on the lid of the keg as I shot it with CO2. I purged out the O2 with the CO2 and then took off the quick disconnect. I laid the keg on its side and rolled it around. Saw no beer leaking out so I think I have good seals now. The one batch of beer I ruined because I think I missed something in the sanitation process. However, I want to carb it to try and isolate any additional problems. The second batch is starting to get an off flavor, but I think that is because it has been almost two months since I kegged it and it has not carbed. If there are ANY other things I should try, please let me know. I am about to put batch three into secondary, and I want to avoid any repeats. I have invested a lot of money and time into this, so please, please help me enjoy some homebrew! I appreciate any assistance you guys can offer.


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Old 01-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #2
JonK331
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I'm not sure why your beer isn't carbing. What pressure are you keeping your kegs at? If I have to, I can carb a beer in a matter of just a few hours. I'm not sure why you are having trouble. Have you tried turning up the pressure to ~30psi and shaking the kegs? You'll be able to hear the gas going into the beer. Try this method, you should be able to carb your beer so that you can drink some tonight. There are several threads on here about the subject. If you don't have leaks and your beer is cold, you shouldn't have issues with carbonation. Also, it doesn't make sense for off flavors to develop after two months of cold conditioning unless you have some infection. I used to have some trouble with that as well. I used to leave some peices of equipment assembled during sanitation, such as leaving the hose attached to the racking cain. Now I take everything apart before sanitizing. I also switched from using Iodophur to Star San. I have not had problems since. Additionally, if I were you I would stop using a secondary until you get your problems worked out. THere is potential for contamination during the transfer. Many people think that using a secondary is not necessary anyway, including commercial brewers.


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Old 01-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
I'm not sure why your beer isn't carbing. What pressure are you keeping your kegs at? If I have to, I can carb a beer in a matter of just a few hours. I'm not sure why you are having trouble. Have you tried turning up the pressure to ~30psi and shaking the kegs? You'll be able to hear the gas going into the beer. Try this method, you should be able to carb your beer so that you can drink some tonight. There are several threads on here about the subject. If you don't have leaks and your beer is cold, you shouldn't have issues with carbonation. Also, it doesn't make sense for off flavors to develop after two months of cold conditioning unless you have some infection. I used to have some trouble with that as well. I used to leave some peices of equipment assembled during sanitation, such as leaving the hose attached to the racking cain. Now I take everything apart before sanitizing. I also switched from using Iodophur to Star San. I have not had problems since. Additionally, if I were you I would stop using a secondary until you get your problems worked out. THere is potential for contamination during the transfer. Many people think that using a secondary is not necessary anyway, including commercial brewers.
I am aware of the method to force carbing and I may go ahead and do so since the beer has been aged. I did santize the kegs with Iodophur so that may be the problem. I will pick up some Star San prior to kegging my next batch. I appreciate the help. Does it sound like I have the leak taken care of at least?
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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If you are getting off-flavors, Iodophor is not your problem unless you aren't using it in the correct amounts. Just running off and buying Star San won't cure anything. Both are excellent sanitizers. And I agree, beer shouldn't spoil in the keg, even if all the CO2 leaks out. Most times, off-flavors are usually a sanitation or process issue.

Describe the off-flavor and we might be able to better isolate the possible problem.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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It's hard to tell from here. If you had your keg at ~10 psi for two months there's no reason it wouldn't carb. Do you have a gauge that tells you the pressure inside the keg? If not, that might be a worthwhile purchase since you are having problems. Iodophur should work correctly if used in the right concentration for the right duration. I like Starsan because it requires less contact time. I also fill kegs with a PBW solution to get any grime out prior to sanitizing.

Contrary to what some might say, there is nothing wrong with force carbing as long as you let the beer settle afterwards. If you're not adding priming sugar, you are force carbing anyway. It's just taking a lot longer. I feel your frustration man, I've been through periods like that as well. Good luck!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rhoobarb View Post
If you are getting off-flavors, Iodophor is not your problem unless you aren't using it in the correct amounts. Just running off and buying Star San won't cure anything. Both are excellent sanitizers. And I agree, beer shouldn't spoil in the keg, even if all the CO2 leaks out. Most times, off-flavors are usually a sanitation or process issue.

Describe the off-flavor and we might be able to better isolate the possible problem.
The off flavor is like a plastic taste. Had a friend try and it and it was really bad. It has been getting progressively stronger. He said it was god awful. I used the Iodophor per the directions, but I must have not got everything since I turned bad pretty quickly.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
It's hard to tell from here. If you had your keg at ~10 psi for two months there's no reason it wouldn't carb. Do you have a gauge that tells you the pressure inside the keg? If not, that might be a worthwhile purchase since you are having problems. Iodophur should work correctly if used in the right concentration for the right duration. I like Starsan because it requires less contact time. I also fill kegs with a PBW solution to get any grime out prior to sanitizing.

Contrary to what some might say, there is nothing wrong with force carbing as long as you let the beer settle afterwards. If you're not adding priming sugar, you are force carbing anyway. It's just taking a lot longer. I feel your frustration man, I've been through periods like that as well. Good luck!
I do not have a gauge to tell me the pressure in the keg. Where could I get something like that. I just know what psi I have going through the regulator.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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Plastic, medicinal, and band aid like flavors and aromas can be caused by a few things, but the most common cause of these flavors, particularly if they appear relatively early, is the presence of chlorephenolics in the beer. This is caused by a chemical reaction of chlorine molecules with the wort.

Are you filtering your brewing water or using bottled drinking water to brew with? Are you using filtered water to mix your sanitizer? Keep in mind chlorine contamination can come not just from your brewing water, but from any water that comes in contact with your beer during the entirety of the process. If the water is coming straight from your tap, it does not have to taste profoundly "chlorine" to have sufficient levels of chlorine to react and cause that nasty plastic flavor.

The other primary cause of the plastic / medicinal flavor is a bacterial or wild yeast infection. However, I doubt this is your problem because you would likely be seeing other signs of the infection, such as excessive foaming.

Are your kegs holding pressure? You don't necessarily need to have a keg that leaks beer in order for the keg to be leaky. Try pushing CO2 into the keg, set about 10 psi, until the CO2 stops on its own (should only be a few seconds for a full cornie). Disconnect the CO2 and leave the beer alone for 2 hours or so. Come back and pull the release valve on the top of the keg. If you don't shake the keg, a few hours isn't enough for the beer to absorb all of the CO2. If you don't hear a CO2 hiss through the relief valve, your keg is liquid tight but isn't holding CO2 pressure and the CO2 may be hissing out before your beer has a chance to absorb it and carbonate.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KellyK View Post
Plastic, medicinal, and band aid like flavors and aromas can be caused by a few things, but the most common cause of these flavors, particularly if they appear relatively early, is the presence of chlorephenolics in the beer. This is caused by a chemical reaction of chlorine molecules with the wort.

Are you filtering your brewing water or using bottled drinking water to brew with? Are you using filtered water to mix your sanitizer? Keep in mind chlorine contamination can come not just from your brewing water, but from any water that comes in contact with your beer during the entirety of the process. If the water is coming straight from your tap, it does not have to taste profoundly "chlorine" to have sufficient levels of chlorine to react and cause that nasty plastic flavor.

The other primary cause of the plastic / medicinal flavor is a bacterial or wild yeast infection. However, I doubt this is your problem because you would likely be seeing other signs of the infection, such as excessive foaming.

Are your kegs holding pressure? You don't necessarily need to have a keg that leaks beer in order for the keg to be leaky. Try pushing CO2 into the keg, set about 10 psi, until the CO2 stops on its own (should only be a few seconds for a full cornie). Disconnect the CO2 and leave the beer alone for 2 hours or so. Come back and pull the release valve on the top of the keg. If you don't shake the keg, a few hours isn't enough for the beer to absorb all of the CO2. If you don't hear a CO2 hiss through the relief valve, your keg is liquid tight but isn't holding CO2 pressure and the CO2 may be hissing out before your beer has a chance to absorb it and carbonate.
I am not filtering my water. However, I have not had a problem with this in the pass. I am unclear as to why this one batch decided to go this route. It smelled and tasted fine prior to me putting it in the keg. That is why I thought it was a sanitation issue. The kegs I received where shipped under pressure. As far as I know, this should be a clear indication that the keg can hold pressure. If not, I will try your method to test the keg.


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