Corny Keg Questions

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tokerlund

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Ok I have a series of issues and I think I am beginning to over think them. Please help.

I got a Corny keg 18 months ago and began to keg.

#1) The thing never held pressure and so I went through 6-8 5lb tanks in the first 6 months. I replaces seals, pressure relief and even popits. Finally I felt I had it fixed, but to be safe, I regularly turn my gas off when not using it. Any advice. . . wait there is more

#2) When I was young and dumb, I took the posts apart to clean everything. I put the posts back on the wrong way and, not knowing there was any difference I forced the gas on the pour and the pour on the gas. Soon after I realized my mistake, but ever since, the ball lock attachments have gone on hard for that keg. I even bought new popits, and new attachments, no use. I wanted to replace my posts, but the LHBS guy said I was crazy, that they would never 'wear out' even with being forced on.

#3) A few times in the last few beers I have had problems when I get to the end of the keg. The dip tube gets clogged up with turb and hops that I wasn't able to strain out when racking. I have recently stopped using a secondary fermenter, could this be the problem.

#4) I ordered replacement popits online, they were very 'springy' and I had trouble pouring and getting my attachments on. I brought them into the LHBS and he had never seen any so rigid before. He did sell me replacements that have worked ok. . . but, one of them (in the dip tube) gets stuck up in the post. So when I take it apart, I have to wedge it our with a screwdriver. I have also noticed that another one is leaking my charged water when I disconnect my tapper.

I am thinking about getting replacement posts for my 'damaged' keg and then getting all new popits for both of them. This is a relatively small investment, but I wanted to hear thoughts, 'I've been there' or advice. I love kegging, but it seems like each and every keg of brew i run into more problems.
 

Chattan

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Have you done the leak test? Spray soapy water or starsan on all the connections to see where the leak is coming from? It produces bubbles.
 

thadius856

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Wow. Lets give this a try...

#1) The thing never held pressure and so I went through 6-8 5lb tanks in the first 6 months. I replaces seals, pressure relief and even popits. Finally I felt I had it fixed, but to be safe, I regularly turn my gas off when not using it. Any advice. . . wait there is more
Are you seating the lid with ~30 PSI?

#2) When I was young and dumb, I took the posts apart to clean everything. I put the posts back on the wrong way and, not knowing there was any difference I forced the gas on the pour and the pour on the gas. Soon after I realized my mistake, but ever since, the ball lock attachments have gone on hard for that keg. I even bought new popits, and new attachments, no use. I wanted to replace my posts, but the LHBS guy said I was crazy, that they would never 'wear out' even with being forced on.
It's possible you damaged the QD's, but it'd be pretty darn hard to do. Inspect the post o-rings and lube. There's also replaceable o-rings in the QD's. Check and lube them as well.

#3) A few times in the last few beers I have had problems when I get to the end of the keg. The dip tube gets clogged up with turb and hops that I wasn't able to strain out when racking. I have recently stopped using a secondary fermenter, could this be the problem.
You're doing a poor job of siphoning. Review basic siphoning technique -- see Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies videos. Cold crashing and/or gelatin can't hurt, but won't compensate for bad form. Even skipping a secondary, you shouldn't have any appreciable amount of hop break or trub in your kegs.

#4) I ordered replacement popits online, they were very 'springy' and I had trouble pouring and getting my attachments on. I brought them into the LHBS and he had never seen any so rigid before. He did sell me replacements that have worked ok. . . but, one of them (in the dip tube) gets stuck up in the post. So when I take it apart, I have to wedge it our with a screwdriver. I have also noticed that another one is leaking my charged water when I disconnect my tapper.
If they're the universal coiled spring type, clip one ring off. Otherwise, you have the wrong poppets. Poppets getting stuck in the dip tube is a normal thing as posts and poppets wear over time. There's nothing to be worried about.

I am thinking about getting replacement posts for my 'damaged' keg and then getting all new popits for both of them. This is a relatively small investment, but I wanted to hear thoughts, 'I've been there' or advice. I love kegging, but it seems like each and every keg of brew i run into more problems.
Replacement posts sounds like a waste of money.

As for poppets, I recommend the universal coil type mentioned above. Link:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-p...w-kegs-10-pack-poppet-cornelius-/321037666321
 
OP
T

tokerlund

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Thanks a lot guys. I am going to try a fresh set of popits. I normally set my kegs at 30psi and I have done the soapy water test, and found no bubbles. My question is could I have leaks from my picnic tapper? My compression fittings might need to be replaced?

I had sediment this time around because it was a wheat beer. It was very cloudy (just right) the first week or so, but it cleared completly. When I went to pump out the last half gallon, it was very cloudy. It tasted sooooo gooood.

I will also try new o-rings on the posts and avoid the $20 to replace them. I mean at $20 I might as well get a new keg. . . right?

I appreciate the help. I feel dumb that kegging is giving me so many troubles, but I guess you live and you learn.
 

ibpick

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Dude. Don't be so hard on yourself. I had the same issue going through a couple bottles of CO2 quickly. I bought some food grade keg lube to seal the lid and that did the trick.
 

TrickyDick

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I have a few empty cylinders too, one I think was empty when I got it, and the others were due to air leaks in my new keg system. Grrr. It happens.


When you replace the post o rings, get color coded o rings, with one color for beer one for gas, to help you remember which is which.

TD
 

thadius856

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I buy silicone for gas (red, matches my gas lines) and buna-n for liquid (black for beer).

Indeed helps trying to change kegs quickly in low light.
 

TrickyDick

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thadius856 said:
I buy silicone for gas (red, matches my gas lines) and buna-n for liquid (black for beer).

Indeed helps trying to change kegs quickly in low light.
Hmm. I wasn't aware there were different materials used for these o rings
 

63belair

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You can also pressurize the keg and then submerge it (in your bathtub, a plastic tub, etc) and watch for bubbles coming off the keg.
 

TrickyDick

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How easy is it to disassemble the keg posts and dip tubes? I imagine I need a ball lock socket to remove them or is this a standard socket size? Is there a sticky or other pictorial step by step guide that anyone knows of?
Ordering new seals and oRings! Thanks!

TD
 

thadius856

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How easy is it to disassemble the keg posts and dip tubes? I imagine I need a ball lock socket to remove them or is this a standard socket size? Is there a sticky or other pictorial step by step guide that anyone knows of?
Ordering new seals and oRings! Thanks!

TD
Easier than you think.

To remove the posts, you'll need to identify the post size. Most are 7/8", but some are 11/16". Many will be 12-point. So you need to buy both 7/8" and 11/16" deep-well 12-point sockets ($$$), or just pick one of these up:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00942165000P?sid=I0084400010000100600

The dip tubes lift out by hand once the posts are removed. It should be very simple once you can put hands on it.

As far as guides go, try these:





Note, the last one shows a pin lock.
 
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TrickyDick

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thadius856 said:
Easier than you think.

To remove the posts, you'll need to identify the post size. Most are 7/8", but some are 11/16". Many will be 12-point. So you need to buy both 7/8" and 11/16" deep-well 12-point sockets ($$$), or just pick one of these up:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00942165000P?sid=I0084400010000100600

The dip tubes lift out by hand once the posts are removed. It should be very simple once you can put hands on it.

As far as guides go, try these:

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFmFbAWLmrY

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBZJxyhE6ic

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_XQugKwoCA

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewQNkjA3sEM

Note, the last one shows a pin lock.
Wow! Thanks! "My dad is a TV repairman and has the ultimate set of tools." I think I should be able to find some sockets that will work. I have some 12 points but not us if they're deep well or not.

Surprises me about the dip tubes. While I am at it, I should probably swap the poppets out eh? There are a ton of different poppets available. Is there a preferred style?

I'll check out the videos when I get my new seals by mail order. I'm wondering how much crud I'm going to find inside once I disassemble the posts.
Looking for a gas tube with a diffusion stone and long stem. Can't seem to find a source. I thought Williams brewing had them at one point.

TD
 

thadius856

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No problem. If you swap the poppets, just buy universal ones. They're cheaper, easier to find, and can be cut down a ring if you find them too stiff. Your LHBS probably sells singles, but these are a much better deal if you own more than 2 or 3 kegs.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-p...w-kegs-10-pack-poppet-cornelius-/321037666321

For reference, KegWorks sells them for $4.50 + S/H. That link is to 10 for $25, shipping included. They come surprisingly fast from Canadia.

I doubt you'll find much junk in the posts. Usually the liquid dip tube is the dirty part, as it tends to suck up a pile of yeast on the last pour that then dries in there. A good soak in a percarbonate cleaner while still in the keg helps, as does a dip tube brush.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/liquid-tube-brush.html

Edit: I had $6 in eBay Bucks saved up, so I just pulled the trigger on another 10-pack at $19.
 

LuckyBeagleBrewing

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Also another thing I always check now is the pressure relief valve. I learned my lesson the hard way on that one. I have a 50lb tank that went dry because of a faulty relief. The easiest way I have found is fill a 5 gallon bucket a little over half full and add star san, pressurize the tank and hold the top underwater. If you see constant bubbles you have a leak and when you turn it upright you will see where.
 
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