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BlowTie spunding valve help needed, please

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ILMSTMF

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I purchased the kit from the great folks at Williams Brewing. Valve with integrated gauge, FFL to DuoTight, EvaBarrier joiner tube, and gas QD all included. I haven't used a spunding valve before. I assembled it and I wanted to test it out for functionality and leaks. I went through various tests using water in the FV with CO2 from tank. Skipping details, here is the latest leak test that I have been most successful with but am also having problems with.

• tighten dial on BlowTie to keep it closed
• connect a QD from keezer's primary manifold the BlowTie QD with a double jumper post. QD > DJP > QD
• set regulator pressure to 20psi
• BlowTie gauge reads 20, great.
• turn off gas source, carefully remove the manifold QD and DJP from the BlowTie QD. The vale is now set to 20 psi and my expectation is that the valve assembly, isolated from any pressure source, should "hold" that pressure in the line. Am I wrong?

Why ask? I left the assembly alone in the cold keezer for several hours and the gauge needle is slowly dropping. Is this normal? Or do I have a leak in the assembly? Thanks in advance!
 

burtom

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Most likely a gas leak in the vessel. If you have liquid in the vessel.then it could be carbonating thus reducing the gas pressure.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Most likely a gas leak in the vessel. If you have liquid in the vessel.then it could be carbonating thus reducing the gas pressure.
Thanks @burtom Those tests, I omitted from the thread. They were short and without conclusive results.
The method I described in the original post involves pressurizing the BlowTie then removing it entirely from any vessel. It's simply been "charged" to 20 psi then removed from that pressure source. All that remains is the BlowTie, DuoTight connector, EvaBarrier joiner, and gas QD. Set that way, the gauge is slowly dropping its reading. Is this normal / is this a good leak test? Thanks!
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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If im reading what you wrote correctly, the pressure is dropping because the temperature of the device is dropping.
Hadn't thought of that! Thanks @NTBeer !
The next test will involve same steps and taking the BlowTie out of the keezer. Room temp rest to see if the pressure drops.
 

RePete

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Thanks for getting this figured out. I ordered one this week, and am anxious to try it.
 

Gruel

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I'm not sure I 100% understand your setup, but if your measurement volume is very small then even a relatively small leak (in mbar liter per hour, or whatever units you prefer) will result in a noticeable pressure drop. A loss that's not even visible after a week relative to five gallons will be 19,000 times as large and very noticeable after an hour if your enclosed volume is only 1 cubic centimeter.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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If you have liquid in the vessel.then it could be carbonating thus reducing the gas pressure.
Another thing is happening: The water is becoming carbonated! It's absorbing the CO2 in the headspace.
My friends, in the testing I did with water in the FV, I only allowed a few minutes per test, at best. The gauge kept dropping, quickly. The reason I didn't mention these tests is because I felt they weren't noteworthy since I didn't give those tests much attention / patience.

With that said, again, the assembly is "charged" and detached from a vessel. When I do the next pressure test this same way, I will do so at room temperature per @NTBeer's insight.

Thanks for getting this figured out. I ordered one this week, and am anxious to try it.
Not out of the woods yet! And, quite frankly, this testing deserves an attentive method that involves water in a pressurized FV. That'll be tomorrow. Speaking of which...

I'm not sure I 100% understand your setup, but if your measurement volume is very small then even a relatively small leak (in mbar liter per hour, or whatever units you prefer) will result in a noticeable pressure drop.
@Gruel What do you suggest for the volume into FV for my test? Holds a bit over 7 gallons. Actually, anybody really, how would you perform the testing of this valve? Thanks!
 

Gruel

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I would hook up an empty keg, and check whether I can see any pressure drop after an hour or a day. Since you probably won't see anything, I would stop worrying at that point.

Long version:
If you are intent on measuring your leak rate, then you are already on the right path, since the smaller the volume the more sensitive the test. You just need to determine the volume. You could vary the line length (I think you have a length of beer line as part of your volume, from a quick disconnect to the spunding valve?), and compute the volume change from the inner diameter and the length of the piece you added. So, say you see a 5 psi drop in one hour with a short line, and half that (2.5 psi) if you add 1 foot of 4mm ID evabarrier line. Your difference in volume is 300mm * pi *(2mm)^2 = 3.8 cubic centimeters, and assuming your leak is not the eva line, you are losing 1/3 bar * 0.0038 liter per hour = 1.27 mbar liter per hour, or less than half a pint (CO2, not beer...) per week at atmospheric pressure.

The problem with leaks is that they might get bigger. That being said, I'm not sure what a good leak rate to shoot for is for a beer setup. (At work we were shooting for better than 10^-8 mbar liter per second, funny enough also with CO2, but that's clearly overkill here.)

Oh yes, and temperature needs to be constant, or you need to correct for it.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I would hook up an empty keg, and check whether I can see any pressure drop after an hour or a day. Since you probably won't see anything, I would stop worrying at that point.
That's my next plan then. Thanks!

Oh yes, and temperature needs to be constant, or you need to correct for it.
Not a problem. Kegs, including empties, are stored in keezer.

Your difference in volume is 300mm * pi *(2mm)^2 = 3.8 cubic centimeters, and assuming your leak is not the eva line, you are losing 1/3 bar * 0.0038 liter per hour = 1.27 mbar liter per hour
I'm over here like...

But thank you for educating others who do have a brain for this!
 

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Easiest way to check for leaks when not attached to vessel is to submerge all connection points (While under pressure) in water and watch for bubbles. Thats how I tested my gas run. first submerged my manifold And confirmed no bubbles from any connections (even the tiniest little bubble forming will indicate a leak). Then fully submerged the qds at the end of the manifolds and checked them too (found I had to do a bit of various tightening with these to get rid of some tiny tiny leaks). I would suggest doing this with your qd-spunding setup to identify any possible leaks.
 

NTexBrewer

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I have a BlowTie spunding valve.

just charged it to 12psi since that is what my serving pressure is. See if mine holds pressure. I did notice that when closing my valve it feels closed, but you can actually turn it a few more turns before it finally does not allow any more turning.
 
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ILMSTMF

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It is reading 11psi now.
Do you suspect a leak? Or do you think the device can’t hold pressure without a pressure vessel attached ?
Thank you!

Update - my device, pressurized to 18 psi, has dropped to 14 psi at room temperature over the course of 12 hours. So, a much slower leak of pressure from my other tests but a leak, nonetheless. Really just trying to figure out if this is normal or, better yet, a proper test AT ALL.
Empty keg test next.
 

RePete

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Mine just came in the mail. I'm just going to try it. I don't have an empty keg, so I'm just going to put It on this keg I haven't cold crashed yet, and see what happens. I think the beer is done fermenting, but it might have a little life left. I put it in the keg last night, and put some CO2 on it.
 

NTexBrewer

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Do you suspect a leak? Or do you think the device can’t hold pressure without a pressure vessel attached ?
Thank you!

Update - my device, pressurized to 18 psi, has dropped to 14 psi at room temperature over the course of 12 hours. So, a much slower leak of pressure from my other tests but a leak, nonetheless. Really just trying to figure out if this is normal or, better yet, a proper test AT ALL.
Empty keg test next.
I’m not sure. Just don’t know if this is normal or if it had constant pressure it would be fine.
 

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The reading on mine has dropped from 10 to 8psi. I am guessing that the beer is absorbing CO2 in the keg. I put some CO2 on the beer befor hooking up the valve. The FG reading was 1.012, so it may be done fermenting.
 

jwa120

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As Elric stated, I would submerge my connections under water with the valve under pressure to check for leaks.

I have the blow tie without the integrated gauge and haven't had any issues. I've seen reviews of the new valve with the built on gauges leaking around the gauge.

I know the old valve can be fully submerged in water, I don't know about the new one with the gauge. I would place the entire assemble while it under pressure under water to look for leaks. The push fit connections can be finicky, so be sure to check them.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I have the blow tie without the integrated gauge and haven't had any issues. I've seen reviews of the new valve with the built on gauges leaking around the gauge.
That's what I'm concerned about. 1) That very issue and 2) submerging it - I don't want to submerge the gauge.
I'll keep fiddling with it.
 

Gruel

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Adding partially filled kegs (with liquids that can absorb CO2) to the equation just makes things more complicated.
If you are asking a yes/no question (do I observe a leak?), and your gauge drops, you have the answer.
The bubble method is similar, and it is very sensitive, since you are observing the tiny volume of gas that actually leaks out. It's just that sometimes submerging a whole setup can become a bit tricky.

If you observe any leak, and your question becomes 'How big is the leak, and should I worry?', you need to know both the volume and the pressure drop (and the temperature change, if any). Estimating the volume is not that hard; either attach a really big known volume like a keg, so that the unknown volume of your gauge, line, quick disconnect etc. becomes a negligible addition (and accept the fact that the pressure drop might become too small to measure, in which case you still have the answer to your 'should I worry?' question), or make two measurements with two small but unknown volumes that have a known volume difference, like an added known length of beer or gas line with known cross section.
 

brew703

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I have the older version without the integrated gauge. No issues.
As mentioned, close the valve completely then attach your gas line and submerge in water to check for leaks. Probably only need a couple psi to see bubbles. Make sure the tubing is all the way in on the duotights.
Take an empty keg and pressurize it to 10-20 psi. Let it sit for 5 min to stabilize then remove your gas line and add the spunding valve. Should hold pressure if there are no leaks.
I've left mine for days with no drop in pressure. Currently using it to pressure ferment and it's been steady for a week.
 

TenaCJed

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I have the old version and have not had any issues.

I just got the new version and the new inline regulators as well. I have the new blowtie sitting on an empty keg with 10 PSI, will let you know how it goes!
 
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I have the older version without the integrated gauge. No issues.
I have the old version and have not had any issues.

I just got the new version and the new inline regulators as well. I have the new blowtie sitting on an empty keg with 10 PSI, will let you know how it goes!
Beginning to wonder if I should have got that old version...
Yes, @TenaCJed , please let us know how that turns out, thanks!
 

TenaCJed

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Did two tests, one with valve set to a point well above the 10 PSI in the keg and one with the valve completely closed. Both cases all pressure was lost in the keg.
So it looks like the new one with the gauge has a leaking issue!
 

brew703

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Did two tests, one with valve set to a point well above the 10 PSI in the keg and one with the valve completely closed. Both cases all pressure was lost in the keg.
So it looks like the new one with the gauge has a leaking issue!
You need to determine where the leak is. If it's from the gauge then that would be an issue. Could be coming from the tubing not set right in the fittings.
Did you submerge in water with gas connected? If not do that. If there are no leaks then your keg is leaking. Did you check the keg seals?
 

TenaCJed

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I have had the keg sitting on pressure for over a week and tested with the old gauge, no change.
Like others have stated, do not want to submerge gauge as I do not know if that will cause an issue.
I have had duotight fittings for a while and I know to ensure the tubing is in tight, takes more pressure than you would think if you are not familiar with them.
 

TenaCJed

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I just sent an e-mail asking to Williams Brewing where I purchased from to see if the entire item with the gauge can be submerged in water to determine where the leak is coming from.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I just sent an e-mail asking to Williams Brewing where I purchased from to see if the entire item with the gauge can be submerged in water to determine where the leak is coming from.
Thank you for the update and for inquiring with the merchant. They've been pretty great with support; I trust they'll point you in the right direction.
 

Elric

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I just got mine on Monday. Did a couple tests and there was a small leak. Did a submerge test (kept the gauge above water, twisted and turned to make sure all other points were tested), found a couple very tiny leaks that reseating the evabarrier fixed and it has been holding 7.5psi on a 200ml empty bottle for more than 12 hours now, so I'd say I have it fixed. Looking forward to trying it with my next brew!
 

TenaCJed

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Received word from Williams Brewing, they stated it should be fine to submerge the gauge and also stated that if it does not work after submerging that they would replace it. They also stated that if the gauge does leak to pull it out and put some keg lube on the o-ring for the gauge.

So knowing that I moved on to testing. Had a leak with the duotight fitting on the MFL gas ball lock connector, I had to tighten that with a wrench tighter then any other duotight fitting I have had done previous. I have had several of these fittings crack on me over time that were no where close to as tightened down as this one required, so I have no idea how long that fitting is going to last!
After the fitting was no longer leaking I was able to determine that there was a leak at the gauge as well. Popped the gauge off and added keg lube. Once everything was back together I ran the test again and no leaks!

I have had the valve on a verified good keg for 24 hours and no change in PSI.


Now for the other bad thing, the gauge accuracy on my unit seems to be poor. It is the standard blowtie gauge, something like 23 PSI max.

I had my regulator set to 18 psi (taprite) and the blowtie read about 15 PSI after tapping it a couple of times. I have noticed that since I used the new blowtie to modify my PSI to each of my kegs that it has been a much foamier pour, and now I know why! The original blowtie with separate gauge (all duotight) reads almost perfectly, and that gauge went up to 40 PSI.

I will put in another request from Williams for replacement, see if they can just send the gauge and not an entire assembly.


I still also have to test the new inline regulators, but it seems I have a small slow leak somewhere in one (or more) of those as well. I so wanted to love these, but so far my experience with duotight has not been great.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Thanks for the update!

I so wanted to love these, but so far my experience with duotight has not been great.
I can't say I had high expectations for the technology (for lack of a better term). I'll probably repeat the same tests that you've performed now that we are assured it's safe to submerge the gauge. When I get time, I'll do that and report back.
 

TenaCJed

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Thanks for the update!



I can't say I had high expectations for the technology (for lack of a better term). I'll probably repeat the same tests that you've performed now that we are assured it's safe to submerge the gauge. When I get time, I'll do that and report back.
I had the original iteration as well and have had 4 of the inline regulators break at the raised area that you screw adjust the pressure. I had two break, then both replacements broke. That lead me to believe that they do not like to be left almost wide open as the one's that broke were for my sours running a higher PSI that was close to the PSI of the regulator. The two that run at normal ale (12PSI) had no issues. Not knowing how the new inline regulators with gauge will operate, I have the regulator set higher so that I can close the valve down some and hopefully will not have that entire pressure change area pop off!

I also have had several of the MFL connecting duotight fittings crack after a couple of months as well. These did not have large amounts of pressure, no big curves right after the fitting, just normal line pressure.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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That all sounds awful, yuck. Difficult to call yours an isolated incident with all of those failures.

Glad to say that I have very few DuoTight parts in the mix. Perhaps I should consider different solution if the failure rate is as high as you've experienced. :-/
 

TenaCJed

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Well, I am hoping the inline regulators have been fixed, it is a slightly different style compared to the original. I am also hopeful that the fittings are better. I have not given up yet!
 

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Which in-line regulators are you referring to, the one like the blow tie with the integrated gauge? If so I'm sure you have a good idea where the leak may be.

I have the older styled one, which I pretty happy with.
 

TenaCJed

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i have updated to the new one's with gauge. I have 4 of them, so I will have to take each one apart to test for a leak at the gauge. I had a total of 4 of the older style that broke at the part that you change the pressure. The entire part that comes up broke off!
 

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I'm surprised they broke where they did. I found them finicky at low psi, and I dislike that they used 1/4 tubing which made them problematic to integrate with with 5/16 Eva tubing. The old ones, I believe we're originally for RO water systems which is why they used 1/4 inch tubing.

I hope everything gets sorted.
 

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I've got one of these plastic duotight blowtie spunding valves that I haven't started messing with yet. It does look pretty cheap. You don't get much for $30. I ordered a spundit, should be here Friday and maybe I can give them both a shakedown this weekend. Definitely on the right track with a diaphragm PRV though.
 
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