first keg not carbing

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william_shakes_beer

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Put my first keg on 10# co2 for 2 weeks. Drew my first pint with flow control at about 80% open. Got lots of head that disappated quickly. The resulting beer was mostly flat. The beer itself was measured at about 40F. I have the keezer set at 35F based on a probe at the bottom of the keezer to prevent freezing.

I upped the pressure to 15# and wil try it again in another week. Is my experince usual? I have no desire to rush the carb process, would prefer to set and forget, but I was expecting *something* after 2 weeks at 10#.

Can carbing take longer if there is less than adequate head space?
 

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Put my first keg on 10# co2 for 2 weeks. Drew my first pint with flow control at about 80% open. Got lots of head that disappated quickly. The resulting beer was mostly flat. The beer itself was measured at about 40F. I have the keezer set at 35F based on a probe at the bottom of the keezer to prevent freezing.

I upped the pressure to 15# and wil try it again in another week. Is my experince usual? I have no desire to rush the carb process, would prefer to set and forget, but I was expecting *something* after 2 weeks at 10#.

Can carbing take longer if there is less than adequate head space?
The thing that drew my attention was "lots of head"- that's where the c02 went. I've never used flow control faucets, but my experience is that when there is a ton of foam/head, the beer is seemingly flat due to the c02 breaking out of solution and creating the foam.

What happens if the faucet is fully open (no flow control)?
 
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william_shakes_beer

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I have drawn only a few glases. Flow control reduced to a trickle, I get little to no head and a beer that is not yet carbonated. I have not yet tried it full open. Will give it a try this evening and report. I guess my real qustion is, should I have a noticible level of carb on 10# after two weeks? I'm trying to define in my own mind what is normal.
 

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I guess my real qustion is, should I have a noticible level of carb on 10# after two weeks?
Yes, depending on the temperature. At the temperatures you described (40° F), there should be noticeable carbonation.

A couple of things:

Temperature: I keep my keezers at 2° C (36° F) and just let the probe dangle loose in the air, roughly halfway between the bottom and the top of the freezer. Temperature has a big impact on the solubility of CO2 in beer.

Flow Control: I'm not familiar with whatever "flow control" system you're describing. I just have regular Perlick taps and the little plastic picnic taps. But it's important to always fully open them all the way while pouring, as a partial opening creates turbulence that dislodges CO2 out of solution, causing the beer to go flat faster.

Pressure: Technically, it depends on the style, but personally, I carbonate all my beers to the same level. I like to leave my regulator set to between 12-14 psi. I like the carbonation I get at such a level. It's a little high for most styles, but it's what I like.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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Flow Control: I'm not familiar with whatever "flow control" system you're describing. I just have regular Perlick taps and the little plastic picnic taps. But it's important to always fully open them all the way while pouring, as a partial opening creates turbulence that dislodges CO2 out of solution, causing the beer to go flat faster.
http://www.perlick.com/bar-beverage...apping-hardwarecomponents/beer-faucets/650ss/

Yes, I always open them fully, pouring down the side of the glass. My last 3 or 4 batches of bottled beer wwere overcarbed due to extended in the bottle time, so this is quite a change for me.

Do you usually serve at 15# or reduce pressure when serving? I have left my pressure at 10# for serving, haven't tried serving at 15# yet.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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I chose them because a lot of the threads posted here seemed to center around excessive foaming. I know that partially opening the tap is a no-no, and thought being able to adjust for head might be a good thing. Besides, It makes the taps look techie :)
 
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william_shakes_beer

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update: Friday will be 3 weeks on co2. 2 weeks at 10#, 1 week at 15#. drew another pint a moment ago. Flow control to full open position. little to no foam, slight carb that leaves quickly, slight carb remains on the tongue. Definitely better but still not yhere. Is it possible that my carb is going slowly because of inadequate head space? there was about 5.5-6 gallons In the 5 gallon corny.
 

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That shouldn't effect carbing time as the surface area would be very similar if not the same, which is one of the factors alongside pressure and temperature.

If you are still pouring at 40° then you should be fully carbed at 15 psi.

What I would do (and we might not have the same equipment) is drop the pressure on the regulator, turn it right off. Then shake the keg quite vigorously (this is gonna stir up crap that has settled so some may argue not to do this) and if the pressure drops below 15 psi on the gauge then the beer has not finished absorbing CO2. If the pressure remains constant then the problem lies on the serving side (beer line or taps).

First thing I would do though, is to pull a couple of pints.
Does the carbonation remain constant?
Does the temp of beer going into the glass change?

Also what length and internal diameter of beer line are you using?
 
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william_shakes_beer

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Beer lines are polyethylene, 10' long x 0.5" OD (thick wall) Beer temp is 46 in the glass. A moment ago I just pulled 2 glasses in quick succession. First was flat as before. Second was more lively. Both had a reasonable head. I think part of the issue is the beer in the lines going flat in the first glass.

Turned the regulator all the way down. The pressure reading went to zero (before I did anything with the keg) took the keg out and shook it. No sounds. turned the regulator back up to 15PSI, rolled the keg back and forth on the floor. No sounds. From you post, it sounds like the keg is carbed and I have a serving side issue. If I turn serving pressure down to 5 PSI, will co2 come out of suspension due to the keg pressure alone? I'm thinking perhaps 15 PSI is too high for serving and the co2 is coming out of suspension in the glass.
 

ol-hazza

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Beer lines are polyethylene, 10' long x 0.5" OD (thick wall) Beer temp is 46 in the glass. A moment ago I just pulled 2 glasses in quick succession. First was flat as before. Second was more lively. Both had a reasonable head. I think part of the issue is the beer in the lines going flat in the first glass.

Turned the regulator all the way down. The pressure reading went to zero (before I did anything with the keg) took the keg out and shook it. No sounds. turned the regulator back up to 15PSI, rolled the keg back and forth on the floor. No sounds. From you post, it sounds like the keg is carbed and I have a serving side issue. If I turn serving pressure down to 5 PSI, will co2 come out of suspension due to the keg pressure alone? I'm thinking perhaps 15 PSI is too high for serving and the co2 is coming out of suspension in the glass.
Sounds to me like the beer in your lines is warmer than that in your keg, which lowers the carbonation for your initial pour (lines hold a surprising amount of beer).

Also we must have different style regulators, mine will continue to read the keg pressure when it has been turned off, so apologies for sending you astray on that one.

Back to the lines being warmer, I would set up a fan to blow cold air up the tower or around the taps depending on your set up, this should help solve the problem.

If the pressure is too high for serving then it is better to use a longer beer line, as the extra resistance will counter the pressure in the keg for serving purposes but allow the carbonation to remain the same. As a note when talking about beer line we use the ID not the OD.
 

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Your making the whole process too hard. Im not advocating shake carbing tho it has and will continue to be done. I set my kegs at 30 psi for 24 hours. Let them sit for half a day more and pour the residue from the bottom with out additonal gas on the keg. When the keg pours poorly. I add the gas back at 8 psi and pour till im happy. I do place all my kegs in my keezer to sit long before i need them so they are more clear when i carb. I use perlicks and 5 foot 3/16 x 7/16 lines. Happy Pouring.
 

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Beer lines are polyethylene, 10' long x 0.5" OD (thick wall) Beer temp is 46 in the glass. A moment ago I just pulled 2 glasses in quick succession. First was flat as before. Second was more lively. Both had a reasonable head. I think part of the issue is the beer in the lines going flat in the first glass.

... If I turn serving pressure down to 5 PSI, will co2 come out of suspension due to the keg pressure alone? I'm thinking perhaps 15 PSI is too high for serving and the co2 is coming out of suspension in the glass.
For proper line length determination, the important factors are serving pressure, line internal diameter (OD means nothing), tap height above keg center, and coefficient of friction of the line material. You want the flow friction to drop the pressure at the tap outlet to almost 0, otherwise you get excess foam. Typical line lengths for good performance are 1 ft/psi of 3/16" ID vinyl tubing. You can find more information (and the best calculator available) here. I think I have read that polyethylene tubing has a lower coefficient of friction than vinyl, so would need longer lengths with the same ID and serving pressure. If it takes you about 10 seconds to pour a pint with the tap wide open, then your line lengths are about right. If you pour is significantly faster than that, then your lines are too short, and you will likely have foaming problems. If your pours are foamy, you are losing carbonation to the foam.

Lowering the pressure for serving will often mitigate foamy pour problems, but be sure to turn the pressure back up after serving, or you will lose carbonation over time.

Brew on :mug:
 

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Dang. Had a snide remark about letting it age at least 2 hours, but then @yooper chimed in with her typically brilliant insight. Way to go Lorena, now the noob has confidence.

Just kidding, @william_shakes_beer do everything she says and you'll be golden.

When do we get to go sea lion baiting again yoop?
 
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william_shakes_beer

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1. I don't have a tower I have a 2x6 collar with the taps punched through it. The beer lines are neatly coiled in the top of the keg. I will try slipping the coil between the kegs to get them lower (and cooler) to see if that helps. If not, I will add a pancake fan connected to the freezer controller to stir the air. I have noted a suprising amount of stratification from the top to the bottom of the freezer. I will also drop the temp controller sensor in a bottle of water to see if gets the product colder without freezing. Setting the temp controller at 35F with a +/- 3F swing was getting me puckered, but the alcohol chart tells me that 5% ABV beer freezes at 29, not 32 so have a little wiggle room.

2. Yes, I know the usual specification for beer lines is ID not OD. However, all my beer lines are presently "otherwise engaged" and I can only get the calipers around the OD. further research has revealed that the ID is sized to fit a 1/4" barb.

3. Thanks for the clarification that dropping the keg pressure will indeed allow co2 to come out of suspension. (Kinda like removing the cap from a bottle of carbonated beer. duhhh.)

4. Doug, your link provides a great discussion on balancing a keg system, but I see no button to calculate the initial hose length. Is this an online claculator, or are manual calculations expected?
 

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Dang. Had a snide remark about letting it age at least 2 hours, but then @yooper chimed in with her typically brilliant insight. Way to go Lorena, now the noob has confidence.

Just kidding, @william_shakes_beer do everything she says and you'll be golden.

When do we get to go sea lion baiting again yoop?
Wasn't that a blast?!?!

1. I don't have a tower I have a 2x6 collar with the taps punched through it. The beer lines are neatly coiled in the top of the keg. I will try slipping the coil between the kegs to get them lower (and cooler) to see if that helps. If not, I will add a pancake fan connected to the freezer controller to stir the air. I have noted a suprising amount of stratification from the top to the bottom of the freezer. I will also drop the temp controller sensor in a bottle of water to see if gets the product colder without freezing. Setting the temp controller at 35F with a +/- 3F swing was getting me puckered, but the alcohol chart tells me that 5% ABV beer freezes at 29, not 32 so have a little wiggle room.

2. Yes, I know the usual specification for beer lines is ID not OD. However, all my beer lines are presently "otherwise engaged" and I can only get the calipers around the OD. further research has revealed that the ID is sized to fit a 1/4" barb.

3. Thanks for the clarification that dropping the keg pressure will indeed allow co2 to come out of suspension. (Kinda like removing the cap from a bottle of carbonated beer. duhhh.)
1. That is definitely cold- but the temperature stratification would be an issue. That could be the problem.

2. Lots of line would fit a 1/4" barb- so that doesn't mean it is 3/16". My beer line (and most others) are stamped with the ID and OD. Maybe just take a look? Is it beer line or "other" line? Where did you get it?

3. Yep, try to keep a stable temperature and pressure, as variations in either can cause issues.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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1. No idea what the " blast" is about, I assume it's an inside joke for the cool kids. :confused:

2. I'll look for a stamp this evening. I got it from the LHBS. I took my freezer to the LHBS, Grabbed a friendly sales associate, told him what I wanted and he started reaching for the shelves. I was less concerned about size per se than about ensuring all the components eorked together.The hose rack at the store is just spools. No mention of manufacturer. I also have a question in to them as to whether its vinyl or polyproplene. Went to the calculators and was suprised that at 15 PSI, if it's vinyl the lines need to be 20' long!!! the hose spec I quoted was based on the receiving ball lock fitting. All their ball lock hose barb fittings are 1/4".
 

doug293cz

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4. Doug, your link provides a great discussion on balancing a keg system, but I see no button to calculate the initial hose length. Is this an online claculator, or are manual calculations expected?
No button needed. Just fill in the first 5 input boxes. Hit tab after filling in a box, and the length automagically updates (as long as you have javascript enabled for his site.)

2. I'll look for a stamp this evening. I got it from the LHBS. I took my freezer to the LHBS, Grabbed a friendly sales associate, told him what I wanted and he started reaching for the shelves. I was less concerned about size per se than about ensuring all the components eorked together.The hose rack at the store is just spools. No mention of manufacturer. I also have a question in to them as to whether its vinyl or polyproplene. Went to the calculators and was suprised that at 15 PSI, if it's vinyl the lines need to be 20' long!!! the hose spec I quoted was based on the receiving ball lock fitting. All their ball lock hose barb fittings are 1/4".
What calculator gave you a 20' length for 15 psi? I tried Mike's (the one I linked), and for 3/16" lines it wants 12.8 ft, and for 1/4" lines it wants 50.8 ft :eek:

Brew on :mug:
 
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william_shakes_beer

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No button needed. Just fill in the first 5 input boxes. Hit tab after filling in a box, and the length automagically updates (as long as you have javascript enabled for his site.)



What calculator gave you a 20' length for 15 psi? I tried Mike's (the one I linked), and for 3/16" lines it wants 12.8 ft, and for 1/4" lines it wants 50.8 ft :eek:

Brew on :mug:
oooh, tab accepts the input. I'm posting from trhe office, so java script may be enabled or not. I was entering values and nothing was changing. I'll try it again after my next frosty draft.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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You need to change those to 3/16". 1/4" should almost never be used in a home serving situation. They are appropriate only for very long beer line runs.

Brew on :mug:
Based on my understanding of the issues at hand, I am going to change the liquid lines from 1/4" to 3/16". Each end is terminated in a 1/4" hose barb which is quite snuggly fitted to my 1/4" bev lines. Will the 3/16" bev lines *usually* fit a 1/4" barb, or do I need to replace the hose barbs as well?
 

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Based on my understanding of the issues at hand, I am going to change the liquid lines from 1/4" to 3/16". Each end is terminated in a 1/4" hose barb which is quite snuggly fitted to my 1/4" bev lines. Will the 3/16" bev lines *usually* fit a 1/4" barb, or do I need to replace the hose barbs as well?
3/16" PVC beverage line will fit on the 1/4" barbs. Helps to dip the end of the line in boiling water for several seconds to soften it before pushing over the barb.

Brew on :mug:
 
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william_shakes_beer

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I guess that's why the LHBS only stocks 1/4" barbs on their ball lock fittings. Off the the store to yell at the "keg expert" that set me up!!!
 

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I guess that's why the LHBS only stocks 1/4" barbs on their ball lock fittings. Off the the store to yell at the "keg expert" that set me up!!!
While you're there- get at least 12' of line per tap no matter what your expert says. Trust me.

I haven't dealt with flow control faucets, but I think the mechanics and physics of the set up still can benefit from longer line.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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Certainly will get better. Even with flow control set down to a trickle, on the 1/4" lines I was still loosing most of the carb. Smaller diameter lines should allow me to ease up on the FC and get more adjustment at higher rates. I should have waited until the end of the day instead of dashing out immediately after posting to get tubing. I assume if I splice additional length with a double barb I will add turbulance and negate the benefit of the addition. Yes?
 

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Certainly will get better. Even with flow control set down to a trickle, on the 1/4" lines I was still loosing most of the carb. Smaller diameter lines should allow me to ease up on the FC and get more adjustment at higher rates. I should have waited until the end of the day instead of dashing out immediately after posting to get tubing. I assume if I splice additional length with a double barb I will add turbulance and negate the benefit of the addition. Yes?
Right. Splicing will cause turbulance, so you don't want that.
 
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william_shakes_beer

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Update: Went home last night, swapped out my 10' x 1/4" lines for 10' x 3/16. I changed the shank barbs but had to keep the 1/4" ball lock barbs because the LHBS only stocks 1/4". Dipped the tubing ends in boiling water and they slipped right on. Opened the faucet and was supprise by how much the flow was reduced. Opened the flow control from 80% to 50%, and got a pint with decent head, a good flow rate and carbonation on my tongue!!!!!

On reflection, I think at least part of the issue was my own perception. Up until now I have been drinking bottle conditioned beer in the cellar for minimum 4 weeks, most likely 8 or 12. I have had issues with overcarbonation (12oz bottle producing 6oz beer and 16OZ foam). Also, the things I have done to this keg ( shake, pressures up and down, etc) are quite obscene. I'm going to leave it right where it is, run 2 or 3 kegs through and then adjust as required. Thanks for all your inputs.
 

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I am going to start using a kegging system (Draft Brewer Flex Keg System).

So glad I read this thread. I am relatively sure I would have learned "the hard way" without it.
 
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