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Regulator Problems?

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SwAMi75

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I still haven't got this kegging thing down. Among other little problems, now my regulator won't cooperate with me.

I can crank it up with no problem. I can run it up to 20lbs or so for pressurizing and rinsing the lines, but when I run it down, I can't get it below about 13lbs.

I had been serving at about 10-11lbs, but now I run it down to the point where the screw feels like it's going to come out, and still can't get it below 13lbs.

Am I doing something wrong here? I don't think the guage is off, because the beer seems to be flowing faster than at 10lbs.

Any ideas?
 

vtfan99

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The screw sets the pressure released to the keg. If you have set it at 20psi previously, the keg will be at the pressure. If you "back out" the screw, you are trying to release less pressure to the keg but the keg is still at 20 psi, so 12 psi will not result in more pressure to the keg. Does that make sense.

Basically, vent the keg until the gauge reflects the screw setting.
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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That's what I thought, but what about pressurizing a keg? I've read you need to run it up to about 15lbs to seal it up. Doesn't make sense to me to do that, then bleed the pressure back off of it for serving.
 

vtfan99

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You do need to hit with some good pressure to seal, but a "shot" will do...no need to leave on that high for any particular duration. Meaning, set it at about 20 psi +...pressurize for maybe 5 seconds. This will seal the lid. Now unscrew the screw a bit. Shaking the keg will absorb some of that CO2 and you should then notice the regulator "adjusting" the set pressure. If the regulator is still set too high, then repeat the process.

To make things easier (since this could be a pain in the butt), when I seal a keg the regulator is already set at about 12 psi (from serving pressure for the previous keg). So, I hook it up to the new keg with it set at 12 psi. Then I "pay attention" (for lack of a better phrase) to how many turns it takes on the screw to get to 30 psi. Once the pressure is equalized at 30 psi, I back the screw out the approximate amount to get back to 12 psi (the regulator doesn't correctly read this but its an estimate). Then I park the keg for several hours in the fridge. I'll check it from time to time to see if the pressure has dropped to where I want it. If it doesnt drop down to 12 psi within a few hours I'll back the screw off some and wait some more.

There may be a much better way, but this has worked for me.
 

bikebryan

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vtfan99 said:
You do need to hit with some good pressure to seal, but a "shot" will do...no need to leave on that high for any particular duration. Meaning, set it at about 20 psi +...pressurize for maybe 5 seconds. This will seal the lid. Now unscrew the screw a bit. Shaking the keg will absorb some of that CO2 and you should then notice the regulator "adjusting" the set pressure. If the regulator is still set too high, then repeat the process.

To make things easier (since this could be a pain in the butt), when I seal a keg the regulator is already set at about 12 psi (from serving pressure for the previous keg). So, I hook it up to the new keg with it set at 12 psi. Then I "pay attention" (for lack of a better phrase) to how many turns it takes on the screw to get to 30 psi. Once the pressure is equalized at 30 psi, I back the screw out the approximate amount to get back to 12 psi (the regulator doesn't correctly read this but its an estimate). Then I park the keg for several hours in the fridge. I'll check it from time to time to see if the pressure has dropped to where I want it. If it doesnt drop down to 12 psi within a few hours I'll back the screw off some and wait some more.

There may be a much better way, but this has worked for me.
Why even bother running your pressure up to 30 PSI? I'm a strong proponent of the "set it and forget it" kegging method. Use the tables to figure what PSI you need to get your desired volumes of CO2 into your beer at the serving temp - the fizz factor you want - then adjust your regulator to that pressure, hook up the lines and pressurize your keg. 11 to 12 PSI is very common for many varieties. Sure it takes longer, but you get precise control that you don't get with the overpressure and shake like hell, then bleed method.
 

vtfan99

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bikebryan said:
Why even bother running your pressure up to 30 PSI? I'm a strong proponent of the "set it and forget it" kegging method. Use the tables to figure what PSI you need to get your desired volumes of CO2 into your beer at the serving temp - the fizz factor you want - then adjust your regulator to that pressure, hook up the lines and pressurize your keg. 11 to 12 PSI is very common for many varieties. Sure it takes longer, but you get precise control that you don't get with the overpressure and shake like hell, then bleed method.
I run it up to 30 psi to "hit it" with a good amount of pressure to ensure a solid seal on the keg lid. After that, I immediately back it down to 12 psi and "set it and forget it". Personally I hate the shaking thing for force carbing. Its entirely too much work and I've never gotten it to work anyway. I find the week required to "set it and forget it" forces me to let it condition some more. Didn't mean to cause confusion about hitting it with 30 psi. Its just to seal.
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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bikebryan said:
Why even bother running your pressure up to 30 PSI? I'm a strong proponent of the "set it and forget it" kegging method. Use the tables to figure what PSI you need to get your desired volumes of CO2 into your beer at the serving temp - the fizz factor you want - then adjust your regulator to that pressure, hook up the lines and pressurize your keg. 11 to 12 PSI is very common for many varieties. Sure it takes longer, but you get precise control that you don't get with the overpressure and shake like hell, then bleed method.
Well, there's a place for both methods. I generally like to use your method, but if I need (or just really want) to get one carbed up quick, I'll go with what vtfan recommends.

I was just having a blonde moment re: bleeding the pressure back off after pressurizing. :D

Here's a question, though....how much pressure is actually needed to seal up your keg? I've got 15lbs stuck in my head, but I'm not sure if that's right.
 

bikebryan

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vtfan99 said:
I run it up to 30 psi to "hit it" with a good amount of pressure to ensure a solid seal on the keg lid. After that, I immediately back it down to 12 psi and "set it and forget it". Personally I hate the shaking thing for force carbing. Its entirely too much work and I've never gotten it to work anyway. I find the week required to "set it and forget it" forces me to let it condition some more. Didn't mean to cause confusion about hitting it with 30 psi. Its just to seal.
I've never had to run the pressure up to seal my cornies. After I rack into one, I seal the lid, hook up the CO2 line, open up the bleed valve and then open up the CO2 line, letting it run for about 30 seconds to purge room air from the Keg.

Then I just close the bleed valve and let the keg equalize at my serving pressure (usually about 11.5 to 12 PSI) and the lids always have sealed just fine.
 

FenderSteve

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Time to resurrect this thread!

I just kegged my first beer last night and had some issues. I'm having trouble getting a good seal. I had not heard of giving the keg a 'shot' of CO2 to help seal the lid. So I did not do it. But it sounds like a great idea. I will definitely keep this in mind.

But, my leak is coming from the relief valve on the keg lid. It's not a massive leak, but it isn't shy about letting the CO2 go.

Anyone have this problem ever? Or frequently? Should I use some keg lube and hope that will fix it or buy a new relief valve at the LHBS?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 
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