problems with gas

Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:59 am

I'm having some probs getting the gas right in my beers. After listening to all the Brewstrong info I like the idea of slowly bringing the beer up to the right pressure over a week rather than force carbonating and possibly over shooting the mark. So far I've tried connecting, dialling up to 14psi and leaving on only to find the pressure has raced away to 30 psi after half an hour. I then tried dialling the pressure up to 14psi with it disconnected and then connecting to the keg but it dropped to about 12. Will this slowly creep up to 14? I did leave it on to find out but managed to lose a whole bottle of gas over the week through a slow leak somewhere. Once I manage to seal the leak should I be leaving the gas connected and turned on for the whole week or do you just give it a burst every day at the desired pressure and turn it off again?

I'm also not sure about the one way valve. I get that its there to stop beer going back up into the reg but how do you get a pressure reading from the keg if the gas can't flow back up the line? Not a prob if I slowly carbonate to the right level but if force carbonating how can you tell if the pressures too high?

Last one; everything I read about balancing systems says something like 6' of 3/16 line for 14 psi 4C/32F. I find I need more like at least 9' and the homebrew guy in WA suggested 12' Could this be a cheap tap issue causing excessive frothing? All my beers so far (Belgian Dubbel, IPA, Hefe, Stout) are at least half head if I use only 6' of line. It's a direct draw (taps on front of a fridge with no head height).
MRbrew
 
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Re: problems with gas

Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:06 am

What temperature is your kegerator? In a normal range (34-38degF), you are around or over 3.0 volumes of CO2. This is really high for some of the styles you listed.

As for the line length, it depends on the pressure drop (psi/foot) for the beverage line you've got. 6' should be good for 3 volumes (I have my golden stong on tap at 14psi @38degF with 3/16" SuperFlex line).

I always force carb at the desired pressure over a week or so and leave the gas on the beer as long as it is carbing and serving.

As for getting a pressure, I will usually vent off some pressure and the bleeder at the valve and dial the pressure back up until it equalizes. You can hear when the gas no longer enters the keg.

Hope that helps.
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Re: problems with gas

Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:26 pm

Here's a carbonation chart for you:

http://ebrew.com/primarynews/ct_carbonation_chart.htm

High carbonation like hefe's and wits (and Am. Light Lager) should be about 3 - 3.2 volumes.
Medium carbonation like APA should be around 2.3-2.5
Low carbonation like English Bitters should be down around 1.8 to 2

HTH-
-B'Dawg
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Re: problems with gas

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:00 pm

MRbrew wrote:I'm also not sure about the one way valve.

I used to use one, one if the John Guest fittings, but got rid of it. I felt like it resulted in a lag and difference between pressures (i.e. It'd have to go higher above the target psi to get the valve to open, but once open it would pressurise three legs at this higher level). Just be careful if you ever connect to beer out.

MRbrew wrote:Last one; everything I read about balancing systems says something like 6' of 3/16 line for 14 psi 4C/32F. I find I need more like at least 9' and the homebrew guy in WA suggested 12' Could this be a cheap tap issue causing excessive frothing? All my beers so far (Belgian Dubbel, IPA, Hefe, Stout) are at least half head if I use only 6' of line. It's a direct draw (taps on front of a fridge with no head height).


I have the same configuration - my beer line is typically 3-4m with the Valpar (5mm) beer line. So I'd trend towards those longer beer line lengths. Maybe beer brewed in Oz is keen to get in the glass, so we need longer beer line to slow it down a bit?

Cheers,
Billy

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