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Old 01-14-2009, 03:34 AM   #1
MOSFET
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Jan 2009
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Forgive me if this has been discussed before, but I found two ways to answer these questions:

1. Does my keg have a slow leak?
2. How much does the pressure drop when I chill it?

Option 1, connect a 0-15psi gauge, dirt cheap on ebay, to a tube and corny connector with two hose clamps like this:

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Option 2, drill and tap a hole for the gauge like this:

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:07 AM   #2
Bokonon
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2 more options. The same thing, one ready to roll the other you need to put together. This has the added benefit of being able to release pressure.

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KegPressTester

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:15 AM   #3
Trenchant
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Regina, Saskatchewan
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Only problem with drilling the guage in the lid is you won't be able to take the lid out now. I can't see it clearing the lid anymore after adding a guage in there.

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
MOSFET
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trenchant View Post
Only problem with drilling the guage in the lid is you won't be able to take the lid out now. I can't see it clearing the lid anymore after adding a guage in there.
I made sure I would be able to remove the lid before I drilled the hole. It removes. The gauge is only 1.5" diameter.

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
Bobby_M
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Leaks are well detected with a bit of starsan sprayed on the top when pressurized. Pressure is directly proportional to temperature so that just takes a little bit of math (or consult the carbonation charts). I'm not saying your method is wrong, but I'm also pretty sure I'm not going to rush to put a gauge on all my kegs when the regulator gauges work well for me. In addition, there's a chance of fouling that gauge with beer.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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You also risk fouling the next beer with a gauge that you can't really sanitize.
One thing to consider is your liquid is also going to absorb co2 as it carbonates. Especially when the temp drops. If you are checking for pressure leaks, you should do it with an empty keg.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:36 PM   #7
MOSFET
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Jan 2009
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Quote:
Leaks are well detected with a bit of starsan sprayed on the top when pressurized. Pressure is directly proportional to temperature so that just takes a little bit of math (or consult the carbonation charts). I'm not saying your method is wrong, but I'm also pretty sure I'm not going to rush to put a gauge on all my kegs when the regulator gauges work well for me. In addition, there's a chance of fouling that gauge with beer.
More variables than just temperature at work here. How much carbonation present and how much airspace, etc. The motivation is that for various reasons you can lose positive pressure on a keg, and too often I dispense and the keg sucks air. I'm not in the habit of connecting a regulator and tank to every keg every time I dispense because it's not necessary. So all I have to do is give a quick look at a gauge to know if there's positive pressure. It's especially important to me if I have kegs aging at room temperature.

And barring an earthquake I don't expect to get liquid near the lid, and fermented beer is at low risk for infection. But the points made about gumming up the gauge or potentially fouling beer are still valid.

Quote:
One thing to consider is your liquid is also going to absorb co2 as it carbonates. Especially when the temp drops. If you are checking for pressure leaks, you should do it with an empty keg.
This is one of the very reasons I want to see evidence of positive pressure after it's chilled and carbonated. I don't want to suck air when I dispense. And a leak-proof dry keg won't tell me if there's a leak when filled if one of the springs gets stuck or if the gasket isn't seated.

Quote:
2 more options. The same thing, one ready to roll the other you need to put together. This has the added benefit of being able to release pressure.
Thanks for the links. Both methods I describe don't interfere with the pressure release mechanism already on the keg top.

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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I can see where you're coming from now but realize that for most of us, we keep our kegs attached to gas from the moment we tap them until the keg kicks.

The idea of checking for positive pressure confuses me. When would you have negative pressure?
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:09 PM   #9
madewithchicken
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I wonder if you can use a tire pressure gauge in the same way that is illustrated in the first pic. I have a gauge like this ready to go.


**Edit**
I thought i should mention that for me this about getting the pressure set right. my back up regulator is slightly broken. the low pressure gauge is broke and i am never sure how much pressure i am using. Not as much of a problem as it sounds. you can kind of guess what the pressure is by the way it pours.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
MOSFET
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Quote:
I can see where you're coming from now but realize that for most of us, we keep our kegs attached to gas from the moment we tap them until the keg kicks.
Yeah I used to do that, with tees and multiple kegs, but I end up saving gas by closing the main CO2 valve until needed because with tees and multiple kegs there are so many places for a potential leak and it only takes one to slowly drain your tank. I'm a gas miser I guess. Or maybe I've just been unlucky with leaks. I find the most common sources are hose clamps and gooey beer dried up in the keg output causing the spring to close incompletely.

Quote:
The idea of checking for positive pressure confuses me. When would you have negative pressure?
When the pressure of the outside of the tank is greater than that of the inside. For example, if you have a good seal at room temp and little or no pressure, then chill it. I guess I should say I want to avoid negative or equal pressure. Either case may cause suck-back.

Quote:
I wonder if you can use a tire pressure gauge in the same way that is illustrated in the first pic. I have a gauge like this ready to go.
I'll bet that would work.

 
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