1 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:23 PM

Hello!

So I took the plunge and got myself a series 4 kegerator with 2 taps.
I have 2 corny kegs and a co2 bottle.

I put the unit together in an hour or two and I have a few questions and have failed miserably at carbing my keg.

First, I didn't realize beer lines were so important. I got given 3 meter beer lines when I bought the keg. I have no idea if this is to long or too short??

I tried to force carb my keg with a tutorial on YouTube. However, that failed miserably as it appears the gas manifold has a leak on one of the outputs. I'm getting some soapy bubbles where the hose connects.

So I tried the other outlet which seems to be fine, I force carbed the beer and now when I'm pouring I am getting half a glass of foam with large bubbles, then it settles and the beer is flat.

I really have no idea what I am doing… I really didn't think it would be this hard.

2 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:57 PM

Hey Ryano

I won't comment on the fast carb method as it isn't the method I use. (I just connect my gas at 12 PSI in the fridge at 8 degrees and let it sit for a minimum of 2 weeks before the first pour).

As for a glass of foam and then flat beer. Either you have over carbonated the keg, your beer lines are too short or your regulator is set too high. If you bought the kegerator brand new and haven't cut the lines the their length will be OK for around 12PSI serving pressure.

Therefore I'd check your serving pressure. If this is OK then you need to watch another YouTube to discover how to reduce the carbonation level in you keg.

Good Luck

Scottie
Valley Brew

3 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:59 PM

Regarding the leak, is it where you connected the tube? If so, reconnect it and ensure it is tight.

3 metres of beer line is fine.

With regards to the foaming, check the temperature and the reg pressure. Perhaps degas the keg somewhat and then just set and forget. Force carbing can be difficult to get right but if you set up the keg at the right pressure and leave it for a few days then it will be fine. Perhaps do this for the first few kegs until you get comfortable with it.

4 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:39 PM

Thanks guys, I think I have done something wrong when I force carbed.

I might try the set and forget method. Let the beer age aswell.

My fridge is set to about 4 degrees, would I be OK to set to about 12 and wait a week or two?

I have seen people set to 30 PSI for 24 hours and that seems to do the trick?

Cheers

5 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 5:21 PM

I get varied results with fast force carbing, I usually try it and then end up setting the regulator to serving pressure and wait a week or 2. The 2nd week the beer is carbed perfectly.

6 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:03 PM

Hey Ryano

At 4 degrees I'd be inclined to drop to 10 PSI as this will still give about 2.3 vols of CO2. 12 PSI will give you 2.47 volumes, which is still OK but more fizz than mine.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley Brew

7 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:27 PM

How much does gas cost per litre of beer?

8 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:38 PM

Marvin:

How much does gas cost per litre of beer?


Never worked it out but I'd say negligible. More $$$$ than table sugar cheaper than Carbonation drops.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley Brew

9 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:21 AM

Your serving pressure will depend on how carbonated you like the beer and the temperature it is being stored at. You can leave it on 12PSI if you like, 2.5 volumes is pretty standard for most beers. I like mine a little fizzier, so I have it at 10PSI but my fridge is set to -1C, the beer itself probably sits about 0C or so. In this weather, by the time it gets in the glass the beer temp is around 4-5C due to the warm beer in the line inside the font, and the warm glass. So it sounds way freezing cold, but in reality it works well.

I'm assuming by force carbonating* you're referring to one of those methods where you shake the crap out of the keg and supposedly carbonate the beer in 2 hours. Some people have mastered this, but I had the same issues as you have had, foamy pours etc. because the beer ended up overcarbonated or wasn't left to settle for long enough or whatever. I decided to not bother with it again. It was too much of a pain in the arse.

When I have had overcarbonated beer though, I have still been able to pour a good glass without foam everywhere. What I did was to completely bleed all pressure from the keg, then give it a half second squirt of gas - just enough to push the beer out the tap. It would pour slowly but it wasn't foamy and I'd get a decent glass. Just did this for a little while until it reduced the carbonation enough, then put it back on normal serving pressure and it was fine.

Since I still didn't want to wait 2 weeks for it to be properly carbonated (might as well just bottle it huh), I tried out a different method for carbing it fast. This involves putting room temp kegs into the kegerator, and setting the pressure at around 40-45PSI for between 20 and 24 hours. At this point the gas is disconnected and the kegs left to settle for around 6-7 hours, then excess pressure is bled and the gas re-connected at normal serving pressure. At this stage they're usually slightly under carbonated, but by the next day they're perfect. Two days is much better than two weeks in my mind.

*Any carbonating that isn't done using sugar and yeast to ferment it, i.e. done by injecting CO2 from a CO2 cylinder, is force carbonating, whether it takes two hours, two days or two weeks. Even the set and forget method is force carbonation, it's just a slower version of it.

Cheers

Kelsey

10 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:52 AM

Nice one. Thanks for the post Otto.

I might give your method a go, you're right about waiting 2 weeks… might aswell bottle!


11 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:35 AM

Hi Ryano.

If you want a fast carbing method, perhaps give the following a try.

Fast Carbing a Keg

I use this method all the time, & fast carbed a keg using it just yesterday. Was sampling the beer in just over an hour after filling & carbing it.

Coopers DIY also have some info on kegging beer & trouble shooting problems.

Coopers DIY FAQ's: Kegging Beer

I hope that helps.

Cheers & good brewing,

Lusty.

12 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:32 PM

Cheers guys, I think I will give the 48 hour @ 40 - 45 psi method a go.

13 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:08 PM

Ryano:

Nice one. Thanks for the post Otto.

I might give your method a go, you're right about waiting 2 weeks… might aswell bottle!

2 weeks

I keg mine cold (after cold crashing in the FV) and leave mine at 12 psi. I start drinking it after 3-4 days and it is bubbly and does the job but find it properly carbonated after 5-6 days.

14 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:32 PM

Ryano:

Cheers guys, I think I will give the 48 hour @ 40 - 45 psi method a go.

24 hours at that pressure .

Also a point on that method, when you are pumping that pressure into the kegs, don't have the taps connected. I found out the hard way one day when the pressure blew the liquid line off the shank, blew open the kegerator door and made a mess of the whole set up. Luckily it was only lemon lime and bitters cordial and not beer!

Lusty's method will get the same job done in a couple of hours or less, but it seems easier to muck it up and end up with overcarbonated beer than using a slower method.

15 Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:33 PM

haha cheers mate I will make the beers disconnected.

16 Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:57 PM

It's threads like this that keep me dropping in my carbo drops into bottles :P Terrifying! - Although I really want to pour my own beer! - maybe when my beers taste good I will upgrade

17 Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:47 PM

I know what you mean!

But I'll give myself a few kegs to work it out. I'm sure I will get some good levels going.

Plus, cleaning a keg takes 20 minutes, cleaning 25 bottles…..ALOT longer.

18 Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 11:03 AM

Yep, it does take a bit of playing around to get the feel of it and work out your set up to suit your needs but once you do it's smooth sailing from then on. The only things you really need to do are replace the beer lines every so often, swap the CO2 cylinder when it runs out and periodically dismantle and clean the taps.

I did the dismantle and clean of the taps recently on mine after over 2 years of being cleaned in place by running a percarbonate solution through them whenever a keg ran out and was subsequently cleaned. They weren't even dirty. I gave them a soak in perc anyway, but I was quite surprised at how clean they were inside.

19 Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 4:04 PM

When my kegs blow I don't let them sit around for long before cleaning them & the associated beer lines, that way no stubborn crud can build up in them. I run a hot solution using a base of Sodium Metasilicate (Keg Cleaner from TCB) through the keg & beer lines. I then run 4-5 litres of cold water lightly dosed with Starsan through the keg & beer lines to rinse & sanitise.

I still use portable picnic taps on the end of my beerlines, & simply dunk them in a solution of sodium perc overnight (much like the pubs do with their postmix guns) & rinse off the following morning if they start to look like they need a clean.

Creating procedures & methods throughout your brewing processes to minimize the amount of solids you are transferring into your keg to begin with also helps.

Cheers,

Lusty.

Last edited by Beerlust (Friday, February 16, 2018 4:04 PM)