Keg pressure gauge for checking carbonation?

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mongoose33

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I've been having some foaming problems w/ a keg and I think it may be overcarbonated. Thinking there's an issue w/ the regulator.

Anyway, one way to check is to check the pressure in the keg. If I can connect a QD to a gauge, I've got it!

Below are the parts I have--went to Menards today to see if I could find parts to connect the two, and no go. I found a connection to the gauge with a barb, and I can connect a barb to the QD and then use tubing to connect both, but I want something more elegant and more permanent.

Is there a part that will connect these two? I have searched but haven't had any luck.

kegpressuregauge.jpg

OK, I decided to do the easy way, thought not in my mind the most elegant way:

kegpressuregauge2.jpg
 

bionut

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I think your best bet is a piece of tubing between the gauge and the disconect. Won't need a permanent conection because you will only check the pressure, not keep in on all the time.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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I think your best bet is a piece of tubing between the gauge and the disconect. Won't need a permanent conection because you will only check the pressure, not keep in on all the time.
But then he'll have a limp gauge...and nobody wants that...And if it start dripping forget it
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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OK, I decided to use the tubing--if you look in the first post I now include a pic of what I did.

Overcarbing is not, apparently, the cause of my problem of foaming. I replaced the liquid out QD on the worst keg, seems to have helped. Letting it all cool down so I can test some more.
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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You need something like 1/4" MFL (female) to 1/4" NPT female connector. Assuming your gauge is 1/4" female. Or just buy a spunding valve and you have a pressure relief option too:

Like this one:
http://www.homebrewing.org/Adjustab...y_a8L8Zmz_qaEBOLXT8RFASMptjVB99dHcaAlsc8P8HAQ

I'd thought about buying a spunding valve, just didn't have a compelling reason yet to do it. Yeah, like I need an excuse. :)

I could also buy a pressure gauge/valve, but the problem of properly serving my beer was creating a seriously urgent issue. Thus I wanted something I could use to eliminate one explanation, i.e., overcarbing.

I have something else going on--I keep getting bubbles in my lines, and I don't know why. The new gauge says on lines with bubbles I'm currently at about 5psi, which should not do that. Color me confused, but I'm moving toward a solution. I think.
 

55x11

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I'd thought about buying a spunding valve, just didn't have a compelling reason yet to do it. Yeah, like I need an excuse. :)

I could also buy a pressure gauge/valve, but the problem of properly serving my beer was creating a seriously urgent issue. Thus I wanted something I could use to eliminate one explanation, i.e., overcarbing.

I have something else going on--I keep getting bubbles in my lines, and I don't know why. The new gauge says on lines with bubbles I'm currently at about 5psi, which should not do that. Color me confused, but I'm moving toward a solution. I think.

If you want to avoid overcarbing, the spunding valve is more useful than just the gauge pressuremeasuring device you are trying to built. I have both spunding valve and a gauge to measure pressure that I built myself, and spunding valve is much more useful

If you plan on doing any natural carbonation like I do, for $25 spunding valve is pretty essential in my opinion.

Bubbles in the line indicate you have a leak somewhere for air to get in. Check your taps, your hose clamps etc.
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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If you want to avoid overcarbing, the spunding valve is more useful than just the gauge pressuremeasuring device you are trying to built. I have both spunding valve and a gauge to measure pressure that I built myself, and spunding valve is much more useful

If you plan on doing any natural carbonation like I do, for $25 spunding valve is pretty essential in my opinion.

Bubbles in the line indicate you have a leak somewhere for air to get in. Check your taps, your hose clamps etc.

Air, or CO2? If there were a leak for air to get in, I'd think the beer, or the CO2, would leak out.

What am I missing here?
 

55x11

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Air, or CO2? If there were a leak for air to get in, I'd think the beer, or the CO2, would leak out.

What am I missing here?

if you have bubbles in your beer-out lines, it's most likely air. Unless poppet itself is leaking, in which case you may get some CO2 from headspace into the line. I would check disconnects, faucets/taps and especially hose connections (hose clamps).
 

k1ngl1ves

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if you have bubbles in your beer-out lines, it's most likely air. Unless poppet itself is leaking, in which case you may get some CO2 from headspace into the line. I would check disconnects, faucets/taps and especially hose connections (hose clamps).

I... uh... what? :confused:


Or his lines are warm and the gas escapes from the beer, creating bubbles in the line. Can happen when the beer is overcarbed too.

If he had a leak somewhere, he'd be losing co2... which it appears he is not.

The only leak I can think of that wouldn't drain your co2 (or would drain it very slowly) would be the gasket for the down tube on the liquid side. It would definitely cause bubbles in the beer line, and would still be inside the sealed system... so no loss of co2.

:mug:
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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I thought about the lines being warm too, but I can't figure out how that would be--they're inside the keezer and should be 40 degrees or less. I have set point set at 36 degrees, with a 3 degree differential (i.e., keezer goes on at 39 degrees).

I'm going to go take a pic and post it, showing the bubbles. When I first had the keezer set up I had an overcarb problem which resulted in foaming. Finally got that figured out and life was good. Then I had a leak from a QD (same one as the major foaming right no), from my not tightening down the MFL connection properly. (my bad). I replaced that QD this afternoon and it seems better.

I had it all dialed in before the leak, now not so much. I turned down the pressure so as to see if that was the problem, seemed to help. But 3 of 4 kegs have bubbles--which kind of argues for there being an issue with connections.
 

day_trippr

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[...]I turned down the pressure so as to see if that was the problem, seemed to help. But 3 of 4 kegs have bubbles--which kind of argues for there being an issue with connections.

What are the odds 3 of 4 kegs each have the same theoretical connection defect? Seems like a stretch.
I suggest the common symptoms point to a common cause.

Do you have a small fan keeping the air stirred up in your keezer?

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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if you have bubbles in your beer-out lines, it's most likely air. Unless poppet itself is leaking, in which case you may get some CO2 from headspace into the line. I would check disconnects, faucets/taps and especially hose connections (hose clamps).

A poppet isn't even necessary on either post to have everything work just fine (with the disconnects in place of course).
Otoh, a plugged poppet or one that isn't fully opening can cause foaming during the pour, but it's not going to cause bubbles to form in an idle beer line.

And "air" ingress is highly unlikely on a dispensing system where everything is under pressure...

Cheers!
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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If you don't have a fan in there, the top of your keezer will definitely be warmer... especially without insulation on the collar like you have.

Insulation and a fan are on the list, but before the leak, everything poured just fine....so it doesn't seem like it should be the main cause.
 

55x11

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A poppet isn't even necessary on either post to have everything work just fine (with the disconnects in place of course).
Otoh, a plugged poppet or one that isn't fully opening can cause foaming during the pour, but it's not going to cause bubbles to form in an idle beer line.

And "air" ingress is highly unlikely on a dispensing system where everything is under pressure...

Cheers!

I meant - if the post is not screwed on tight, you may be slowly leaking CO2 from headspace of the keg into the serving line.

Actually it's more likely the beer just outgasses CO2 in the line as the beer in the lines are usually warmer than the beer.

You are probably correct, very unlikely to get air into the lines while they are under 10-12 psi of pressure and filled with beer.
 

paulshe

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I had what sounds like a very similar problem. It was not foaming but air bubbles. I had gone down the over-carb path then checked that and figured that was not it. It turned out to be the post. I have a pile of kegs all used, all pin lock. Never realized that the posts are different from the different brands (how i never read this is beyond me). This was also the cause of losing a good 5 lbs of C02.

The threads are close enough that with the correct gasket/washer on the tip tube it will seal and be fine, most of the time. I found that the post was in fact causing air into the line and resulting in bubbles. You might try moving the posts around and see if the problem stays with one post. Also, insure your gasket on the post is good. Good luck. For me this ruined a day of pouring but luckily i had 3 other kegs tapped and working.
 

day_trippr

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There's no doubt that a poor seal between the threaded Out riser, the dip tube flange and the Out post can allow CO2 (not "air") to escape from the keg head space into the beer line.

But, again, the OP has 3 of 4 kegs exhibiting issues, and unless there's a pathological mishandling of the keg fittings involved, that's asking a lot from the "odds"...

Cheers!
 

55x11

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I... uh... what? :confused:


Or his lines are warm and the gas escapes from the beer, creating bubbles in the line. Can happen when the beer is overcarbed too.

If he had a leak somewhere, he'd be losing co2... which it appears he is not.

The only leak I can think of that wouldn't drain your co2 (or would drain it very slowly) would be the gasket for the down tube on the liquid side. It would definitely cause bubbles in the beer line, and would still be inside the sealed system... so no loss of co2.

:mug:

I admit I was probably wrong in saying air is getting in - I was thinking about a different arrangement of tubing - I had installed a valve on the beer line that was reversed - the line was getting air in, and it was because of the leak on the tube connection because the hose clamp was too loose, once I tightened it, it disappeared.

If the kegs hold pressure, it is CO2 coming out somehow.

In normal arrangement, I agree it is probably just beer gassing out (same thing as what happens in a glass of beer, CO2 escapes if the tube is warmer than the beer as is often the case, forming bubbles).

The beer doesn't even have to be overcarbed, the lines just have to be warmer than the beer in the keg, CO2 will escape the liquid. The line that appears not to have CO2 bubbles is either colder for some reason or was recently used.

If it is a leak, I would suspect the leak is on the tap side.

Gasket problems on the down tube on the liquid side is equivalent to post not being screwed in tight, which is what I mentioned in my first post, definitely something to check.
 

ViciousFishes

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I have had this problem recently. In my case, the flange on the liquid-out dip tube had separated from the tube. Morebeer sent me a new dip tube for mt Torpedo keg, which fixed the issue. Unfortunately, these kegs seem to be prone to the issue as it's happened 3 times now
 
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mongoose33

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I appreciate all the ideas and problem-solving. You all would be welcome in my class (I teach research methodology and causality, among other things), as examples of how people use that methodology and understanding of causality to solve problems.

What's funny is that while I teach in a specific subject area, this way of thinking about solving problems is useful everywhere. Don't know if homebrewing attracts people who think this way or if it creates such an understanding, but either way homebrewers are experts at isolating causal factors.

I've been thinking hard about this problem, and there is one element here that continues to pound at me: this problem surfaced after I cleaned out the keezer. I pulled every QD from every keg, cleaned up the keezer, then put the kegs back in and reinstalled the QDs. I did *not* clean them, though I sprayed both QDs and the keg posts w/ Star-San before I reconnected.

As day_trippr notes, "But, again, the OP has 3 of 4 kegs exhibiting issues, and unless there's a pathological mishandling of the keg fittings involved, that's asking a lot from the "odds"..."


That suggests something related to my removing the kegs and cleaning the keezer. I think he's right--this is too much to have happen at once just by random chance.

Tonite I am going to clean the keg lines and I plan to take apart the QDs, make sure they're clean, re-lube the poppet valves in the QDs, and put it all back together. That should eliminate one alternative explanation for the foaming. If that doesn't work, I'll turn my attention to the posts in the kegs. That's actually easier, but since it won't hurt to clean the lines (and taps), I'll try that first.
 
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mongoose33

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Here's an update--and there will be probably one or two more.

Monday night I cleaned the lines. Hooked everything up again, but no change at that point.

Yesterday I put a small fan inside the keezer to recirculate air. Last night two things were better: fewer bubbles in the lines, and I could draw a beer with less foaming.

Not quite there yet, but it's better. Busy tonite and tomorrow nite, so not sure when I can go to the next step, but I'll check again. One possibility is to aim the fan at the faucet shanks to ensure the faucets are as cold as possible.
 

kh54s10

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As to the original gauge setup. IMO, that will only tell you the pressure in the keg. It will not tell you much that is useful about the carbonation level in the beer.

Those bubbles, IMO are just co2 that wouldn't stay in solution. They should just "burp" when you open the faucet. If you are getting foaming, again IMO, the problem lies elsewhere.

Beer line length? Too much "serving" pressure?

I over carbonated a keg. It took a week of purging the excess pressure every time I went by to lose the extra pressure. It eventually went pretty close to flat, I put it on serving pressure and a couple of days later it was perfect.
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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As to the original gauge setup. IMO, that will only tell you the pressure in the keg. It will not tell you much that is useful about the carbonation level in the beer.

Perhaps I misunderstand this. My thinking was that if I let the keg alone for, say, 24 hours, not on the gas, then checked w/ the gauge it would give me an idea of the carbonation in the beer. The headspace and beer would have equalized and thus I'd be able to tell if I were overcarbed.

Those bubbles, IMO are just co2 that wouldn't stay in solution. They should just "burp" when you open the faucet. If you are getting foaming, again IMO, the problem lies elsewhere.

Beer line length? Too much "serving" pressure?

Yeah, that's the line of investigation I'm on. I have some of them on 3/16" line that's 10 feet long. That should be more than enough resistance, so that's probably not it.

I over carbonated a keg. It took a week of purging the excess pressure every time I went by to lose the extra pressure. It eventually went pretty close to flat, I put it on serving pressure and a couple of days later it was perfect.

When I first started I had the same issue. Foaming was a result of overcarbing. What has me buffaloed is that everything worked well before I cleaned out the keezer, then 3 of the 4 went to hell. I'd thought maybe I bumped something (turns out no), or had the serving lines in a different position in the keezer (warmer position perhaps), but no to that either.

I didn't change the temp--it's an Inkbird which is how I know--so that shouldn't be an issue either.

The search continues....
 

kh54s10

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Perhaps I misunderstand this. My thinking was that if I let the keg alone for, say, 24 hours, not on the gas, then checked w/ the gauge it would give me an idea of the carbonation in the beer. The headspace and beer would have equalized and thus I'd be able to tell if I were overcarbed.

I would think that if you pressurized a keg to 30 lbs to force carbonate, then put the pressure gauge/disconnect fitting on it it would read 30 lbs......

The pressure, unless I am mistaken, I am no physicist, would be the same whether most of the co2 is in the headspace or it is absorbed into solution.
 
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mongoose33

mongoose33

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I would think that if you pressurized a keg to 30 lbs to force carbonate, then put the pressure gauge/disconnect fitting on it it would read 30 lbs......

The pressure, unless I am mistaken, I am no physicist, would be the same whether most of the co2 is in the headspace or it is absorbed into solution.

If I checked immediately after removing the CO2 with which I was force carbing, I'd expect to see 30 lbs too.

But given time to equalize, where the headspace pressure was equivalent to what was in solution, I'd have a read (I think) on whether I might be overcarbed or not.

If the beer was up to, say, 22 psi, I'd wait maybe...what, six hours?...for the pressure in the headspace and the beer to equalize, then I'd have a reading on the carbonation.
 
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mongoose33

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A bit of an update.

In a startling moment of clarity, I decided that on one keg I should replace the QD leading to a faucet w/ a picnic tap. Guess what? Foam gone. There's something wrong w/ the QD, don't know what, but there's something weird going on there.

I may need to pull everything and inspect carefully as well as give everything a good cleaning. I cleaned lines earlier this week, so I'd have hoped that wouldn't have been an issue, but it clearly is.

I sure don't know how I went from having four taps dispensing tasty beer with minimal foam to the mess it is now, but maybe I just need to rebuild the system.
 
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mongoose33

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Did you ever resolve this?

Not with anything I can archive here as advice which would help someone else solve it.

This has been a big mystery to me. I cleaned taps at the end of March again, and once again, I suddenly had foaming out of one tap that I hadn't just 60 minutes before. That's a version of Biermuncher's Black Pearl Porter, and it's the same one I had issues with earlier.

Now, here's something that complicates things and which I suspect may have something to do with it.

My original version of the BPP was brewed last summer; I decided to bottle a dozen of them to age, and when I opened one at the end of March just prior to my daughter's wedding (why I bottled them), guess what? Gushers! Every bottle was infected. I know that because the FG of the beer when finished was 1.020 (predicted given the nonfermentables in it), but the gravity of the bottled brew was, IIRC 1.010. Something had fermented the nonfermentables!

I still have the second iteration of BPP on tap, and it tastes pretty good. I haven't checked it for infection and it's pouring ok--but I had the same issue with it foaming when I cleaned lines at the end of March as I did last year. But it settled down. I can't for the life of me figure out why cleaning lines would cause it to suddenly start foaming.

So....the mystery continues.
 
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