Lots of head, flat beer - First force Carbonation..

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2LiveBrew18

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Pumped the beer on 30psi and shook it. Bled it out a little after 12 hours, then bled it again with no beer spilling out. Hooked up the picnic tap, opened it up and foam came shooting out with a little bit of beer on the bottom as it settled. The beer itself had no bubbles, but a ton of head. It's now sitting at about 22 PSI with the co2 attached and being shook every now and them. What do I do now? Bleed it, crank it down, be more patient till we get it down to what I hope is a serving pressure of 12psi? I have no idea what I'm doing, and don't want to ruin this amazing beer - this IPA tastes and smells amazing, it just needs bubbles!!
 

mredge73

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What Temperature?
The lower the temperature the better when trying to force carb; especially the way you are trying to do it.
 

MalFet

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It's because it's all head that there's no carbonation. The carbonation is coming out of solution all at one go when you pour. It sounds like the beer hasn't fully stabilized yet. Bring it down to your target carbonation pressure and give it a few more days.
 

belmontbrew

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Just give it time. The CO2 has to diffuse from the top of your keg (where the gas is) to the bottom (where the beer comes out). The foam is due, I think, to the speed at which the beer is getting pushed out. The lack of carbonation is due to the same thing that causes most homebrew problems: not enough time. Give it a week and it will start to level out.

The secret lesson no one teaches you is that kegged beer needs a week to 10 days before it reaches optimum serving conditions. "tap and serve" is just a Hollywood lie perpetuated by those slick Washington types at the AHA...
 
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2LiveBrew18

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Got it - makes sense.. Now that it is sitting at 22psi, do I bleed it at all or just turn down the pressure to 12 and let it do it's thing.

Also, the temperature sucks - it's in a fridge out in a garage in Florida - I put a cup of water in the fridge for a day and took the temp, it was at 41 degrees.. But I think the beer temp was around 50 when it came out.
 

MalFet

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Got it - makes sense.. Now that it is sitting at 22psi, do I bleed it at all or just turn down the pressure to 12 and let it do it's thing.

Also, the temperature sucks - it's in a fridge out in a garage in Florida - I put a cup of water in the fridge for a day and took the temp, it was at 41 degrees.. But I think the beer temp was around 50 when it came out.

The surest thing to do would be to drop it down to 12 PSI and to leave it there for a week. Burst carbing with a big bump at the beginning can be effective, but you have to be careful that you don't overcarb. That's harder to fix.
 
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2LiveBrew18

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Ya I probably screwed it up by over carbonating.. I'll drop it to 12 tomorrow and hope it survives.
 

MalFet

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Ya I probably screwed it up by over carbonating.. I'll drop it to 12 tomorrow and hope it survives.

It'll be fine. At worst, you'll have to bleed the thing to get the carb down a bit. Give the CO2 a couple days to stabilize, then pour yourself a pint. Make sure you do it right: drop the pressure down to 3-4 psi ahead of time, have a good long tap line, make sure the beer's nice and cold. If the pressure is low, give it more time. If it's high, you'll have to bleed it a few times. If it's good, you're good to go!

Good luck! :mug:
 
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2LiveBrew18

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Again this is my first keg so walk me through it.. My keg is at my friends house, sitting at 22psi. Should I just set it to 12 before I go to work and leave it (and for how long?). Or should I bleed it at all? And if so, when should I bleed?
 

MalFet

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Again this is my first keg so walk me through it.. My keg is at my friends house, sitting at 22psi. Should I just set it to 12 before I go to work and leave it (and for how long?). Or should I bleed it at all? And if so, when should I bleed?

Burst carbing, which is what you've tried to do here, is an "advanced technique". The safest thing to do would be to purge the keg and drop the regulator down to 12 psi. Leave it completely alone for a couple of days. Keep it as cold as you can, and in a few days pull a pint to see how it tastes. If it is over or under carbed then, you can adjust from there.

Don't worry, though. It'll hit the carb level you want if you give it time.
 

Bobby_M

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That beer was overcarbed at "30psi and shook it" and then it sat for some time at 22psi? Now it's really really overcarbed. How overcarbed you ask? The only way to know for sure is to hook a pressure gauge to a gas disconnect and stick it on the keg. Leave it alone for 20 minutes and read the pressure.
 

JuanMoore

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What he said ^^^

You need to disconnect the gas ASAP, and then bleed the pressure off of the keg multiple times a day until the carbonation comes back down (probably several days). Then you can put it back on the gas at serving pressure.

Meh. Burst carbing is a lot closer to "a rookie mistake" than "advanced technique" ;)

Cheers!

Ha! Agreed.
 

daveb123

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Carbon dioxide co2 solubility in water is largely dependent on two factors...PRESSURE!!!...and TEMPERATURE!!!....combine a low temp with a high pressure and your problems will be solved.....using high pressure at high temp WILL result in all foam....decrease the temps and give a few days and all should be ok...it takes time for the co2 to dissolve in the water and form carbonic acid...if its not fully dissolved then all that happens when you open that valve is a rush of bubbles and foam!...the gas just instantly expands like shaving foam!...when the temps are reduced and the co2 is in solution when you release the beer it is still cooled and dissolved and releases itself SLOWLY rather than in a rush!...

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01861a033
 
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2LiveBrew18

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So what do I do now? Earlier I purged it all the way down, and then put it to 12 and left it while I went to work. So now what should I do, unhook it - leave it - purge it fully- lightly bleed it.. TEACH ME!
 

MalFet

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2LiveBrew18 said:
So what do I do now? Earlier I purged it all the way down, and then put it to 12 and left it while I went to work. So now what should I do, unhook it - leave it - purge it fully- lightly bleed it.. TEACH ME!

I'd pull a sample now to check the carb level. Hook up a tap with a good couple feet of hose and lower the pressure to 3-4psi. Bleed the keg and pull a sample. If its over carbed, you'll need to leave it off gas for a while while you continuously bleed to excess gas off.
 

ArcaneXor

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The problem doesn't necessarily seem wrong carbonation, but too much serving pressure and/or too short a beer line. First, make sure your beer line is long enough - there are calculators out there, but usually 8 feet of 3/16" line is a solid, all-purpose length. If it's much shorter than that, you'll always have foaming problems. Disconnect the gas, vent the excess, let it sit overnight, and try again - that should allow you to better gauge how carbonated the beer really is.

There is nothing wrong with burst carbonating if you know how to do it properly.
 
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2LiveBrew18

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Ya I got one of these standard picnic lines that came with the keg - can I get a longer hose, take the current one apart and, install it all on the longer one? Do I need any special tools to do this?
 

mciaio

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I would suggest this, you need to pour a pint and taste it now. Is it carbed right? If it is, set your regulator at 12 and don't touch anything. If it's too little, set your regulator at 12 and don't touch anything. Keep the keg COLD! Let it sit a week and try again.

If it's over carbed, disconnect the gas line and leave it off. Vent the keg with the pressure release. Go back the next day, pull a sample. Is it still overcarbed? Vent again, wait a day and pull another sample. Do this until you have the right carb amount. Set your regulator at 12 and re-connect your gas line at this time.

I wouldn't worry about tap line length at this point. You need to get the gas right first. I suspect your beer was warm and the gas didn't have time to disolve into the liquid. Do what I said and give it time. Keep it cold. Gas disolves easier when it's cold. It will also stay in the beer better when it's cold.

Report back with your findings.
 

graduate

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My method for force carbonate is set regulator to 30 psi for 36 hours then vent, set to serving pressure. My system serving pressure is 6-8 lbs. This is done in the fridge. Works perfect everytime.
 

Baldy_Beer_Brewery

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Something else you can do to get rid of some of the excess co2 is shake the keg a bit and then vent to let the gas out of the beer. This is pretty much the opposite of force carbing and just as scientific (wild ass guess more or less).

Patience and set and forget works best IMHO.
 

radial67

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Guys,

Im having a similar problem except mine is a case of I have a perfect level of head but its made up of SUPERFINE bubbles and there are NO BUBBLES in solution.

i have not over carbed the beer and it pours perferctly

I understand the need for nucleation sites but in my case my beer is super clear at room temps and slightly colder, but at serving temp I have a chill haze..... so is it possible that the proteins and haze are causing nano-sized bubbles that I cant see (as opposed to carbing plain water which as none and getting seltzer sized bubbles) and causing a really creamy head (id rather not have the creamy head cos it gives my beer the texture of milk)

Im tossing up whether to filter the next batch to make the beer more clear at serving temps.

Thoughts from the carbing jedi are appreciated.
 

i4ourgot

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sorry but if my beer is foamy and flat does this mean that I need to release pressure to get the foam to die down than maybe it will pour right, because it is blasting the beer out in a gush where all the co2 disapears.
 

day_trippr

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^^ Perhaps the O-ring around the flange of the Out dip tube (the long one) is missing or defective. Either one happens more frequently than one might think. The result is CO2 in the keg head space takes a short cut right into the beer flow inside the Out post, with predictable results.

Along with prodigious foam, a classic symptom is "spitting" out of the faucet spout.

If you're getting that symptom I'd remove the gas and beer QDs to that keg, depressurize it (use the manual PRV or push in on the gas poppet), remove the Out post, pull the dip tube and inspect the O-ring right under the tube flange, and go from there.

'Course, you might just have an over-carbed brew...

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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I don't see a problem tagging a new issue to a relevant topic...

Cheers!
 

shantycellars

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Our 5 gallon keg of Cooper's draught is sitting in a 47 degree Kegerator @ 30 psi for the last four days. It has a nice tight 2" head that dissipates down to 1/4 " over sitting... but it taste flat. Trying some of the methods posted here now with no avail. Last resort is to purge and reset the gas to 12 psi for another 5 days. Time will tell ~
Thanks for the info.
 
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