Root Beer will not carbonate

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bigringking

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I mixed up my 3rd batch of Gnome Root Beer extract last weekend, cooled it off, gently rolled the keg on my lap for 5 mins as I put 30PSI CO2 to it, then put it in the kegerator at 4*C for the last 5 days. It is dead flat after checking it yesterday and then today. I push the root beer at 30PSI through 30' of 3/16" beer line to a picnic tap. I know there is gas in the keg, I know the root beer is not frozen on top preventing gas getting to the liquid. I don't think that I'm loosing gas through the liquid line but I do have a pretty new 20# CO2 bottle that I recently hooked up. So it could possibly be leaking out into the kegerator (10 CF Chest freezer) and just hasn't run out yet.

In case the recipe has anything to do with it, it is (2.5 gallon batch):

2 fl oz Gnome extract
1.5# white sugar
.5# brown sugar
5 fl oz honey
1T vanilla
2.0 oz (weight) maltodextrine
1 gal water to 130*F
Cool, top up with 1.5G cold water
Carbonate.

Any thoughts on what may be wrong? My previous two batches carbonated up just fine - if even a little too bubbly. Recipe was mostly the same other than changing the water quantity from exactly 2.5 to 2.75, and upping the maltodextrine to 2.0 oz by weight on this last one. All the other ingredients were from the same source container (sugars, honey, etc).

Thanks,
Bigringking
 

dawn_kiebawls

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It sounds like a gas leak to me. Spray everything down with starsan and look for bubbles around keg lids/posts, QD connections to tubing, regulator, make sure the regulator was properly torqued onto the bottle.

Thanks for the recipe, by the way! My one and only rootbeer batch was not good. How would you say this one tastes compared to like a Bargs or A&W?
 
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It used to take FOREVER for my rootbeer to carbonate. But if you do the following, it'll carbonate really quickly:
  • Get it cold (close to freezing)
  • Remove keg and gas cylindar from kegorator, hook up gas, and lay the keg on it's side. Keep the gas IN post at the top of the keg.
  • Rock the crap out of the keg, trying to keep the gas post mostly at the top. You should be able to hear gas moving into the keg. Keep it up for as long as you have the patience for. I used to do if for 10 minutes (listen to a podcast or watch tv).
That would almost instantly get mine carbed up.
 
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bigringking

bigringking

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It sounds like a gas leak to me. Spray everything down with starsan and look for bubbles around keg lids/posts, QD connections to tubing, regulator, make sure the regulator was properly torqued onto the bottle.

Thanks for the recipe, by the way! My one and only rootbeer batch was not good. How would you say this one tastes compared to like a Bargs or A&W?
I'll check out the leak possibility. On one hand I hope it's not a leak but on the other hand if I knew - that would be better than not knowing.
As for the taste - I'm no aficionado - I was going for something like Sprecher which a friend of mine likes. I'll say this - it is pretty sweet. I'll keep messing around with the sugar amounts and types. OH CRAP! I just remembered that I forgot 1T of vanilla! Thanks for reminding me.

Oh, one more question! do you have a 5 gallon keg filled to the top? Or something else?
I have a 3 gallon pin lock. I purged the head space before setting the pressure at 30.

It used to take FOREVER for my rootbeer to carbonate. But if you do the following, it'll carbonate really quickly:
  • Get it cold (close to freezing)
  • Remove keg and gas cylindar from kegorator, hook up gas, and lay the keg on it's side. Keep the gas IN post at the top of the keg.
  • Rock the crap out of the keg, trying to keep the gas post mostly at the top. You should be able to hear gas moving into the keg. Keep it up for as long as you have the patience for. I used to do if for 10 minutes (listen to a podcast or watch tv).
That would almost instantly get mine carbed up.
I've done my beer using these three steps and had really good success. I actually started off the root beer this way too - I rocked it for 5 mins before losing patience, and knowing I had a full week before I planned on sharing it - plenty of time to carbonate it.
[narrator:] it was not plenty of time

Hopefully I'll figure something out and post back to report.

Thanks all for the input!
 

Mtrhdltd

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All my soda takes longer than that to carbonate, but I'm a patience kind of guy. I dont rock the keg for any longer than it takes to mix the syrup into suspension. 2 weeks for a 5 gallon keg, a couple days less for my 2.5 gallon. I have also learned that too little headspace or not enough purging will almost prevent carbonation from happening.
 
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