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Old 01-27-2010, 12:14 PM   #1
Wind River
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Default Nooby question about CO2 pressure

I'm a new convert to kegging and this is the first time I've ever worked with CO2...so bear with me...I've searched for threads on this and haven't really seen this issue.

I racked the beer I cold crashed into my keg and started force carbing like the owner of my local HB shop suggested. I turned the gas on to 30psi and shook the hell out of the keg, put the keg into the fridge for 24 hrs. Next day, I purged the gas out of the keg and started the process over again. Next day I purged the gas out and tried to set the regulator to 12psi. Easy enough to do...but I hear no gas coming out. I turn the regulator to 20psi and it's flowing again...set to 12psi...no gas (at least as far as I can hear).

After pouring glass after glass of nothing but foam down the drain, I believe I'm through with force carbing...I have attached the gas line to the keg and am leaving the gas on (temp around 40 degrees). Still...I see the gauge at 12psi but I'm not hearing any gas coming out and don't know what's happening.

Since I'm getting gas coming out at 20psi, could there be something wrong with the regulator? As I said, I am completely new to this CO2 thing and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I really want to believe that kegging is easier than bottling..but, so far, nothing but frustration.


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Old 01-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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How long and what size is your beer line? You need at least 6' and prob more of 3/16" ID line (I'd start at 10' and then cut it back if needed).

If you just want a beer without all the foam you should be able to vent most of the pressure out of the keg and pour at low pressure. It wastes CO2 gas but I get the feeling you'd just like to get a good pour at this point. If your beer line is too short (or too large ID) then you're gonna have to serve at low pressure until you get more beer line. The restriction in the beer line is what counters your serving pressure. The higher the serving pressure the more beer line you need (or smaller OD, whatever gets you more restriction) to prevent foaming.

When you force carb your beer it will equalize at a certain pressure (eventually it will equalize at whatever pressure you set the regulator to). So if your beer has equalized at say 12 psi @ 40 degrees, then the reg won't flow unless it's set at >12 psi (or you pour a pint in which case the gas replaces the liquid you just removed). Now, you said you vented the keg so you should get flow at 12 psi until the keg reaches 12 psi. If not then I'm not sure why.

Even with kegging you need to have some patience. I don't really care for the 'set the reg to 30 psi and shake the keg' routine. I just set the reg to serving pressure (~12 psi) and wait 3 weeks, longer if possible (it takes a full 18 days or so to equalize). If you want to speed up the carb process, that 30 psi process works but I would just try to speed it up a little, don't try to carb a keg in a day or two, imo of course. It's possible you over-carbed the beer but I can't say for sure. If you did over carb it then you'll have to vent the keg every 8 hours or so until it comes down (there are other ways but this is the easiest I know of, you can also gently agitate the keg after you vent it each time).

Once you get a system down it will be easier than bottling, I promise.


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Old 01-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Thanks SpanishCastleAle,

I think I will use your carbing method next brew. I was in a hurry to try out my system...and also to try out my beer. I'll try venting the keg over time to see if it evens out.

I was definitely concerned with no gas flow at 12psi (serving pressure) but your explanation made sense.

Looking forward to a balanced system.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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I did the same thing with the first beer I kegged, like you said, at the suggestion of the owner of the LHBS. They said that shaking is the only way to do it, or the beer would be flat. Well, I ended up overcarbing the beer... I was pissed. The even dumber part is they always warn me about advice I get on the internet... Needless to say I don't go there much anymore, only if I am in a jam.
Now I always set my regulator between 12-14 psi and in 10-14 days the beer is perfect! It does get better with more time, but with only 2 kegs, who can wait!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #5
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I force carb at 30 PSI with the cornie in the fridge I don't shake just leave it alone for 5 days.

I like highly carbonated beer like DuVel. So some of my beer are "over carbonated" on purpose.

To dispense I pull the pressure relief valve and drop the pressure. Then pour a little if it foams I drop it some more and continue that process until I get the pour I want.

Another secret is to open the tap all the way don't try to slow the pour using the tap that just makes more foam
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind River View Post
Thanks SpanishCastleAle,

I think I will use your carbing method next brew. I was in a hurry to try out my system...and also to try out my beer. I'll try venting the keg over time to see if it evens out.

I was definitely concerned with no gas flow at 12psi (serving pressure) but your explanation made sense.

Looking forward to a balanced system.
I didn't explicitly say it but when you're venting the keg every 8 hours or so to reduce the carbonation, do it with the gas OFF. You want the beer in the keg to offgas extra CO2 (which you will be venting every 8 hours) until it's at the right level. Gently agitating the keg after you vent it just speeds up the off gassing (just like shaking the keg helped carbing earlier). But make sure it really is overcarbed before you do this.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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I also do 30PSI with no shaking. I go for 2-3 days at that pressure then drop to 10-15PSI depending on style. After the stint at 30PSI, the beer is usually not carbed quite right but it's close enough for an additional day or so at 10-12PSI to carry it home.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses! I always come to this forum for any beer question I have and am usually able to search the threads to find what I need.

I knew I would get helpful answers...and also feel better about kegging now...lol... many thanks for helping a confused kegger out!
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:32 PM   #9
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i only set and shake when i really really need a beer... and if that happens its just poor timing on my part. I've had ups and downs with a quick force carb where i think its just easier (and better for the taste of the beer) if you just let it sit for 2-3 weeks on serving pressure. By forcing myself to do that, i'm not serving green beer to people


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