Misadventures in nitro kegging, a cautionary tale - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Misadventures in nitro kegging, a cautionary tale
Cool Brewing Giveaway - Supporting Membership Drive & Discount

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-20-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
klemms0045
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Arlington, TX
Posts: 17



About three weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and invested in a nitro setup, went out and bought a keg of Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro and life was good, amazing in fact. Had zero problems with pours, had the most satisfying cascade effect every time.

Then... today happened. Went to pour a delicious milk stout and got nothing but beer gas and foam. After mentally counting the number of beers I'd been having nightly and coming up blank, I opened the kegerator and saw this most horrible sight.

Over 10 gallons of delicious milk stout had leaked out and was now sitting at the bottom of my keezer

After a mini nervous breakdown and checking everything I could think of, I found the reason. Opened the top of the beer tower and all my insulation was soaking wet and moldy. Entire keg leaked out where the beer line was connected to the shank assembly. I had clamped every other connection in the keezer, never occurred to me to check the shank. 4+ years in this keezer serving beers at 10-12 psi and the hose barbs were enough. Apparently nitro served around 40 psi was enough for a small leak that drained the keg over the course of 3 weeks. One heck of an expensive lesson learned Fixed now though



 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
45_70sharps
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Raymond, Washington
Posts: 1,802
Liked 172 Times on 141 Posts


Man that sucks!

I kind of know the feeling of opening the freezer and seeing all your beer in the bottom.

A little over a week ago I went out of town and exchanged my CO2 bottle, got home late but went ahead and hooked it up and cranked it up to about 45 PSI or so. The keg had gone flat from the prior tank being run till empty and in essence sitting at atmosphere pressure for about a week.
I had every intention of letting the keg sit at 45 PSI for maybe 20 minutes, then shutting off the gas and leaving it till the next day.
Like I said it was late so I fell asleep and forgot about it. The next day I looked in the freezer and I had not only forgotten to turn the gas off, but I had a picnic tap hooked up to a full corny of Black Butte.
You guessed it. Picnic taps aren't made for holding 45 PSI so the keg was full of that awesome beer! Out of my favorite beer and out of a full bottle of CO2!
Life sucked.


__________________
Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
sok454
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
chatham, il
Posts: 743
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts


Dang man... my brother would be freaking out... Glad you got it fixed.

What does s LH Milk Stout run for a keg? Where do you get it?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
DrunkleJon
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DrunkleJon's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2011
Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 8,097
Liked 2499 Times on 1761 Posts


I am very sorry for your loss. Shed a tear there looking at that picture.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 04:50 PM   #5
klemms0045
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Arlington, TX
Posts: 17


After last night I feel your pain sharps (insanely jealous if you own a shiloh), black butte is quickly becoming one of my favs. The kicker was knowing it took 3 weeks to leak out and I never saw it coming...I also lost about half of my bottle of beer gas and the cooling fan for that tower. Apparently beer and fans don't mix, who knew?

Sok454 - LH Milk Stout runs me $160 for a 1/2 barrel. Supposed to have another keg of it coming in by thanksgiving My lhbs also sells beer and brings in kegs for customers for $10 over cost, so I just get price lists from the major beer distributors in the area and have my lhbs call it in.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
klemms0045
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Arlington, TX
Posts: 17


Thanks Drunkle. I'll be holding a moment of silence for her later this evening. She was a damn fine intro beer to the world of nitro

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
zachattack
Recipes 
 
Mar 2012
, MA
Posts: 2,752
Liked 296 Times on 249 Posts


Left hand is awesome, I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for posting. When you say you fix it, did you just tighten the hose clamp? Replace it with an Oetiker?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
klemms0045
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Arlington, TX
Posts: 17


There were no hose clamps on the shank assembly. Came from the factory without clamps and when I built the keezer 4 years ago I never thought to clamp those hose fittings. With regular pressure beers the barbs were more than enough to hold everything in place. Nitro beers at 40 psi, not so much, lesson learned and clamps installed now.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
45_70sharps
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Raymond, Washington
Posts: 1,802
Liked 172 Times on 141 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by klemms0045 View Post
After last night I feel your pain sharps (insanely jealous if you own a shiloh), black butte is quickly becoming one of my favs. The kicker was knowing it took 3 weeks to leak out and I never saw it coming...I also lost about half of my bottle of beer gas and the cooling fan for that tower. Apparently beer and fans don't mix, who knew?

Sok454 - LH Milk Stout runs me $160 for a 1/2 barrel. Supposed to have another keg of it coming in by thanksgiving My lhbs also sells beer and brings in kegs for customers for $10 over cost, so I just get price lists from the major beer distributors in the area and have my lhbs call it in.
The expensive and very very sad lessons we learn. I'm sure I would have had the same problem if it were me. Natural to assume that it would be fine since it always has been.
I think I'll be looking at clamps on my barbed connectors after reading this.

I don't own a shiloh brand sharps yet. I get to play with a 50-140 Shiloh and a 45-120 C-Sharps from time to time, but I own an italian one. I'm playing the bidding game online whenever I see a promising one come along. I'm going to get an 1859 or 1863 paper cartridge Shiloh or Pedersoli next. Looking for 54 caliber. Well that or another original 1860's trapdoor next. I don't have a 50-70 trapdoor. Love them old guns and old style guns!
__________________
Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,943
Liked 491 Times on 427 Posts


I would recommend changing from those worm clamps to Oetiker clamps. Worm clamps do not clamp all the way around (not a full 360 degree hold/clamp) where Oetiker clamps DO. Keg Connection has them, and the crimping tool, at a good rate (the clamps are less than worm clamps too). To remove, you can either use the tool again, or some tin snips. Tin snips make short work of cutting the clamps off (it's how I do it).

I was using worm clamps, until they started failing/leaking on me. Plus, it's not easy to get them to really clamp down on all the hoses. More often than not they would slip as you would wrench them down (the worm part). Plus, the extra clamp that's left exposed on the worm clamps will cut you like there's no tomorrow. Unlike Oetiker clamps.

Just my $0.10 worth...


__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

klemms0045 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nitro Stout Kegging, Beer Line Lengths? KingBrianI Bottling/Kegging 7 09-28-2013 05:49 AM
Misadventures in Kegging belmontbrew Bottling/Kegging 7 11-17-2011 04:21 PM
Nitro Kegging Haputanlas Bottling/Kegging 7 02-25-2010 04:04 PM
Kegerator misadventures glockentalk Kegerators & Keezers 2 07-07-2009 03:00 PM
misadventures in homebrewing mrzud Bottling/Kegging 4 02-14-2006 03:33 AM


Forum Jump