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Old 07-05-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
HuggerOrange
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Jun 2007
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OK, so I got myself a keg set-up a little while back and brewed a simple Pale Ale with the purpose of it being my first keg beer. The other day I transfered the beer to the keg, purged the oxygen out with CO2 and tested the seals with soapy water. All seemed to be good so I put it in the fridge to chill and yesterday morning hooked up the CO2 tank to carbonate. I set the tank at 30 psi, shook for about 5 minutes, put it back in the fridge and went out for the 4th. I checked on it last night and all seemed to be good. I did notice the tank pressure had dropped from about 850 psi to 650, but figured that was normal. I had actually read that the tank pressure can take sudden jumps so I wasn't wooried. Well this morning I got up figuring by this evening I could sample and see how everything was and saw that the tank pressure was at 0 !!!!! I pulled everything out and checked the seals again, but nothing. I did notice that for some reason the pressure going into the keg had jumped to about 40 psi, and I don't understand why - but would that jump drain the tank? Is the jump because I put the CO2 in the fridge and it cooled, causing some sort of reaction with the gas? I pulled a pint or two off and they're all foam. Is this normal for the frist few pints? It seems like there's still enough pressure in the tank to dispense so I knocked it down to about 10 psi. Where did I go wrong?

BTW I sampled and it's great. I may never go back to bottle conditioning if I can get it right.

 
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:55 PM   #2
jpuf
 
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Seems to me that the drop from 850 to 650 should have tipped you off. The high side guage on a small tank is almost useless, as they tend to go from full to empty in a heartbeat. Just my 2 cents, but I don't put a lot of faith in them. Anyway, good luck

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Old 07-05-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
Bobby_M
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The 850-650 is a normal drop due to temp. Sometimes the secondary side will change pressures with a temp fluctuation because it's based on a spring and diaphram which are temp sensitive. Once its cold and you redial it in, it should stay there.

Here's what I think happened.... Your gas system is tight up to say 15psi, but when the reg got cold and the secondary creeped up to 40psi, something that was marginal before, started leaking. Your reg to tank gasket may have started leaking due to the pressure drop also. Gaskets shrink and get a little harder when cold.

Get your tank filled again, run the secondary at 40psi and soap check all joints again.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
HuggerOrange
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Jun 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
The 850-650 is a normal drop due to temp. Sometimes the secondary side will change pressures with a temp fluctuation because it's based on a spring and diaphram which are temp sensitive. Once its cold and you redial it in, it should stay there.

Here's what I think happened.... Your gas system is tight up to say 15psi, but when the reg got cold and the secondary creeped up to 40psi, something that was marginal before, started leaking. Your reg to tank gasket may have started leaking due to the pressure drop also. Gaskets shrink and get a little harder when cold.

Get your tank filled again, run the secondary at 40psi and soap check all joints again.
Hey Bobby, for what it's worth there had to be a leak either in my connection to the tank or the regulator. I hooked up a party CO2 dispenser with a 16 g catridge and stuck the keg back in the fridge and it held pressure overnight so through process of elimination that rules out the keg as the problem. I think you're right. I'll just have to really check everything over next time. Thanks for the advise.

 
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
BierMuncher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
...Your reg to tank gasket may have started leaking due to the pressure drop also. Gaskets shrink and get a little harder when cold...

Another reason I'm a pro outside-the-chiller CO2 person.

 
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:19 PM   #6
Special Hops
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Jun 2008
Kanatenah
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I had a leaky CO2 system for w while. Not a fast leak like you just mentioned. But I went through a 20 lbs CO2 tank way too fast. I just kept re-tightening all the connections and finally got it all locked down. This last CO2 tank has lasted me 6 months and is still half full.

 
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:27 PM   #7
Hoosierbrewer
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I have a problem with the keg seals on the stems. I just unhook when not in use.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:41 PM   #8
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I had a problem with a faulty regulator... you'll find out pretty quickly once you get your tank refilled. my pressure release valve on the regulator would open if the pressure got past 25-30... just hook it back up and check EVERY connection for leaks.
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