no head on beer and little carbonation

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dutchb

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Hi Guys,

Im drinking our 2nd batch on our AG system we built. It was the Terrapin Rye Pa clone (teenage mutant ninja turtles clone that was posted on the HBT site). I started force carbonation @ 28psi in my kegerator 5 days ago - I tasted it today to find pretty much little head and minimal carbonation. The aroma is great and the finish seems a bit more bitter than I expected, but nothing out of line.

Could I have done something in the brewing process to prevent a head on the beer?

Im thinking about switching the beer out to a different keg since this is one that I have not used yet and may have a possible leak. I've put some soap around the main seal on the corny keg and didnt come across a leak.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Yooper

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Hi Guys,

Im drinking our 2nd batch on our AG system we built. It was the Terrapin Rye Pa clone (teenage mutant ninja turtles clone that was posted on the HBT site). I started force carbonation @ 28psi in my kegerator 5 days ago - I tasted it today to find pretty much little head and minimal carbonation. The aroma is great and the finish seems a bit more bitter than I expected, but nothing out of line.

Could I have done something in the brewing process to prevent a head on the beer?

Im thinking about switching the beer out to a different keg since this is one that I have not used yet and may have a possible leak. I've put some soap around the main seal on the corny keg and didnt come across a leak.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
At 28 psi, it should be significantly overcarbed by now. If it seems flat, perhaps the lines are too short, the psi is too high, and the co2 is getting knocked out of suspension on the way to the glass.

What happens if you purge the keg and turn it down to a more normal pressure? My system is 12 psi at 40 degrees with 10' serving lines at each tap.
 
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dutchb

dutchb

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I have it at 10psi right now, and my lines from the keg to the tap are probably 3'. Probably 4.5' to the co2 tank. - I've had a number of beers on tap with these same lines and haven't had any problems - could this just be a more problematic beer for this scenario of lines?
 

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I have it at 10psi right now, and my lines from the keg to the tap are probably 3'. Probably 4.5' to the co2 tank. - I've had a number of beers on tap with these same lines and haven't had any problems - could this just be a more problematic beer for this scenario of lines?
The length of the gas lines doesn't matter- but the beer lines do. If it has previously at 28 psi, I think it's overcarbed. You could try pulling the pressure relief valve (and keep it off of the gas) until it settles down.
 
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dutchb

dutchb

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How long should I let it sit in the keg for with no co2?
 

Yooper

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How long should I let it sit in the keg for with no co2?
It depends. If it's overcarbed, just pulling the pressure relief valve over a couple of days might fix it, depending on how overcarbed it is. If it was shaken at 28 psi, for example, it might be very overcarbed but if it sat only a day or two at 28 psi, it might not be too bad.
 
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dutchb

dutchb

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Yeah I didn't shake it, so probably 28psi for approximately 5 days now.
 

Yooper

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Yeah I didn't shake it, so probably 28psi for approximately 5 days now.
That's pretty overcarbed! I'd just turn off the gas, and keep pulling the pressure relief valve often.

I'd also recommend 8 foot beer lines (serving) at a minimum to reduce foaming. I just went to 10' lines.
 

duboman

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Just read this thread and then saw a new one in general techniques about a process to quickly solve this problem, I'd copy it but my phone app won't let me

I don't keg but it sounded like it would quickly solve this dilemma and was pretty cool
 
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dutchb

dutchb

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Good to know, looks like ill shut the gas off right now and buy longer lines tomorrow.
Could someone explain the short serving lines to me though - I guess I'm not following it 100% yet.
 
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dutchb

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Is it possible to ruin a beer by over carbonating it?
 

oakbarn

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I do not understand the answers. If the brew seems flat and no head, I would say undercarbed. Overcarbed beer can foam and foam. If the problem is that is seems undercarbonated, I would say you lack head space in the keg. Some brew pubs have lines that run a long way so you have to have serving pressure up. I have had problems when my keg is too full.
 

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I do not understand the answers. If the brew seems flat and no head, I would say undercarbed. Overcarbed beer can foam and foam. If the problem is that is seems undercarbonated, I would say you lack head space in the keg. Some brew pubs have lines that run a long way so you have to have serving pressure up. I have had problems when my keg is too full.
I know it seems counterintuitive! But what happens in overcarbonated beer is that the co2 is knocked out of suspension on the way to the glass, so you get some foam, and seemingly flat beer. A long run is different- it uses 1/4" beer line with a higher pressure. But a shorter run uses 3/16" tubing with less resistance, so it needs about 8-10' at about 10-13 psi at fridge temperatures to be foam-free.

Head space in the keg has no bearing- I have a keg right now that is 80% empty. but I can still pour a pint until it's gone! I can also pour a pint from my full kegs.
 
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dutchb

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Yooper, I'm getting flat beer with absolutely no foam. You think the short lines would still be the cause?
 

brian74

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I think I experienced what Yooper was talking about. I carbed up a beer at 30 psi for 3 days (I have 5' of 3/16 serving lines). The beer seemed under carbed last night but I accidently left the regulator at serving pressure when I went to bed (my plan was to crank it back up to 30 for a couple more days). After reading this thread, I pulled a sample and the beer has more carbonation. I'm not sure what to do now.
 

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I think I experienced what Yooper was talking about. I carbed up a beer at 30 psi for 3 days (I have 5' of 3/16 serving lines). The beer seemed under carbed last night but I accidently left the regulator at serving pressure when I went to bed (my plan was to crank it back up to 30 for a couple more days). After reading this thread, I pulled a sample and the beer has more carbonation. I'm not sure what to do now.
I'd keep at at 12 psi in the fridge, and that should fix it. Overcarbonation is a bugger, because you pour seemingly flat beer and it's hard to believe it's overcarbed. But trust me, if you would have simply started with 12 psi from the beginning, the beer would be better than keeping it at 30 psi. I know I'm inpatient, but usually the time saving with playing with the regulator is being able to drink the beer maybe 3 days faster, but usually it's overcarbed/undercarbed in a cycle that takes longer than three days to fix!
 

brian74

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I'll keep it at 12 psi but of course dial it down when serving since my lines are 5'. 10' lines are on arder.
 
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dutchb

dutchb

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Well to follow up on this, I've since moved it to another keg and left it at 15psi and headed out of town for a few days to attend the Glenn falls, NY brewfest! Came home tonight to a fully carbonated beer and the taste completely changed for the better.
Bad keg!
New seal kit coming up for that one. I still have the short serving lines which explains the excessive foam, but ill take that for now as opposed to flat beer.
Thanks for all the info guys, much appreciated!
 
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