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Finally, A Keg Setup

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crackers

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FINALLY,
i found a fridge to my liking and picked it up last nite.
350L fridge capable of holding 4 kegs, and a freezer on top for the hops.

i already have 2 kegs, reg, lines, and a tap.

picking up a gas cylinder from boc in the morning
(i'll source a different method later, its a boc/air liquide monopoly here in tassie)

now some of you may recally my incident with the coolant lines in the freezer i was going to use,

so, my questions are

what is the best way of installing the system and kegging the beer.
thinking of putting the tap thru the door, where do most of you run the gas line into the fridge.

if possible i would like to try it sunday (have a beer in a cube at the moment)
any sugestions to have the beer ready in 24hrs?

cheers
crackers
 

JasonY

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Put your cube in the fridge now so it is nice and cold to gas.

I have the tap thru the front of the fridge and the gas through the side. Just be careful you don't go drilling holes through any wires or fridge tubing etc. Where you put the taps usually has a lot to do with where it will be parked and what is the most accessable.

Be warned beer evapourates faster from kegs. :)
 

Doc

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I too have my taps on the front of the fridge. Just have to line up where you put them through the door for the internal door shelves. Also I have two taps when I first put the system in. I spaced them so I had room for a third in the middle (ah capacity planning). Now three years on I'm adding the third. I'm glad I planned for it so it won't look stupid. It will all be symmetrical.
I also put them as high as I could to keep out of the way of little hands :D

The gas lines come in through the side of the fride as I have the gas bottle down the side of the fridge. I didn't have any problems with wiring or cooling cools as all my cooling coil thingys are in the top of the fridge (mine is a fridge only job).

Beers,
Doc
 

Justin

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Crackers, great to hear, instead of risking hitting a coolant line again you could cut a very small section out of the corner of the door seal, just enough to sneak your gas line through. That way you run no risk of hitting a coolant line again. 5mm BEVA tubing is cheap and the length of your gas line makes no difference to serving or carbonation so just run it the long way around.

FWIW, I'd mount the taps in the front also. No coolant lines in the door and I think they look great in this location. Guess it depends if the taps are going to hang out in the way of people walking by.

To serve beer quick. Chill your cube and the keg, then transfer into your sterilized keg and hit the gas. I only turn the pressure up to about 20psi and shake, shake, shake. After a while I will turn the pressure back down to about 100kPa (my serving pressure) and keep shaking until I can hear no more gas going in (I turn my gas bottle off while shaking, that way you can see and hear the gas going in. When the pressure on the reg drops, open the bottle valve again, close, shake again). I do this until no more gas goes in. Only takes about 5-10 mins.

Now the beers already cold. Sit back grab a glass and pour yourself a pint. Enjoy. Carbonation might not be 100% perfect but it will be pretty close. Now just leave your keg at 100kPa with the gas on and the system will settle itself down.

Damn I want a pint now.

JD
 

crackers

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thanks for you comments guys,

jasony
i reliase beer evaporation will increase
but these wont be any tell-tale bottle lying around :rolleyes:

doc
already into forward planning
going to eventually mount 4 taps, one for each keg
so the first is going to look pretty silly until i get the second.
like wise the third will look silly until i balance it up with a fourth.

justin
thanks, looks like if i get into it early enough tomorrow morning
i could have a pint from it tomorrow night.
i'll clean the keg and refridgerate the beer in the keg overnite.
nice and cold for gassing tomorrow at lunch :D

cheers guys
i'll have one for each bit of advice i get :chug:
(girlfriend's on night shift) so keep it coming in.

crackers
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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Dont forget to burp the keg, that is letting out the air in the keg simply by releasing the pressure valve until some beer squirts out with the unwanted air, we only want co2 in there. I also keep fresh kegs at 40 psi for about 48hrs before backing off to 16 psi for pouring. fwiw, I am using boc cellamix 55 which gives a nice creamy head, try it.
 

Hoops

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Crackers

I also have my taps mounted on the door with no problems. My gas goes in the side but be careful if you do this, as you know. I used a small drill and just peirced the sheet metal, then got a scribe/wire and stuck it in the hole and felt around for any gas lines, then drilled through.
1 bad thing about kegs - no empty bottles to keep track of how many you've had!
Welcome to the wonderful world of kegging

Hoops
 

crackers

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well were do i start.
i think this is the first time that everything went perfectly.
did just as you suggested justin,
and had a beer by 2'o'clock. :D

now for my next question

i have two kegs, only one attached at the moment.
the problem with the second keg is that although all the seals look in great condition,
the lid doesnt 'clamp' down tightly & when turned upside down
the cleaning solution dripps out.
is there anything i can do to the 'clamping spring' for a tighter fit
or will the lid seal under gas pressure?

cheers
 

Justin

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Yep, your right when you ask if it will seal under pressure. 99% of the time the lid will seal when it's got some pressure behind it. I also find that sometimes I need to spin the lid 180 degrees, and then I get a good seal. Don't know why but it works most of the time.

I have also heard of people putting 5c pieces under the feet of the lid to give that extra bit of leverage on the lid to seal. Or if you get really stuck I could send you up some soft lid orings, this may or may not help your problem but it might be worth a shot is all else fails. Try whacking a bit of pressure in there and I bet that works.

Otherwise, great to hear your operational.

JD
 

Doc

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Crackers.
Was the lid o-ring replaced/new when you got the keg ?
If it is old it may be looser/more compressed.

Doc
 

Hoops

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Crackers

I have 6 kegs and have not had this problem before. I would suggest the o-ring on the lid as when they get old they tend to squash a bit flat, but you say they look good so maybe your suspicion is well founded.

1. I would look at the little "legs" on the clamp, they should have a small plastic cover over them, which if missing would put less pressure on the lid?

2. When closed those little "legs" on the clamp should be pretty much vertical - giving the greatest distance therefore the greatest pressure on the lid?

However once there is a bit of pressure in the keg it will push the lid out and should seal fine. I would fill it with water, pressurise and test so as not to waste precious beer incase it still leaks. (The fuller the keg is with water the less gas you will need)

Hoops
 

crackers

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thanks guys

the seals all look fine and not squashed at all.

doc
i brought the whole system off ebay from a australian hbs store.
the lid was loose when i received the kegs.
i asked the question and was assured that it was fine.
mind you this one also had about 2 cups of beer still in it?

hoops
the clamp does not have plastic feet
this could be the problem so i might try justin's 5c trick.

i'll try adding a bit of gas to it tonite and see what happens

i cant believe i waited so long to start kegging
when i got up this morning there was no bottles to be put away :D

cheers
crackers
 

Hoops

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Does your other keg have the little plastic feet?
Sounds like that may be the problem
 

crackers

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hoops
yeah the other keg had plastic feet
but this keg lid is slughtly different

will try tonite and report tomorrow

thanks guys
crackers
 

GMK

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Crackers

On one of my kegs i had a similar proble.
As time goes by, the legs start to spray outwards - thus decreasing the distance the stand up when clamped and there by reducing the sealing presure.
I put the lid legs in the vice and used a pair of pliers to bend them back to 90 degrees.
They now seal fine...
This might help you out...
 

crackers

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well guys,
i added a bit of gas and it sealed the lid,
not real tight, i can still push it down.
i will try with the 5 cent piece tonight, that will probably do it.

cheers
crackers
(still enjoying no bottles laying around)
 

penolabrewer

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Well folks,

All my kegs have loose tops, didn't know the one about the plastic covers, but never had any problems with sealing under pressure as long as the rubber seal is OK.

Cheers
 

crackers

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thanks guys,
the keg did seal tightly under more pressure without the 5 cent piece.

now another question,
my recent brews have been about 20-23L.
when i rack into my keg i have anywhere between 2-5L left.

can i leave this in the cube & top up the keg after comsuming a similar amout?
i dont want to bottle any at the moment.

cheers
crackers
 

Justin

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I just bottle that left over stuff. Not sure about adding it to top up the keg though. Unless you were going to purge all the air/oxygen that was drawn into the cube when transferring to the keg, I wouldn't recommend it. When you transfer you draw in oxygen/air into the cube and that small amount of beer left has a pretty big surface area to volume ratio to diffuse the oxygen into and I would guess it would stale pretty quick. Plus there would probably be issues adding the beer into already carbonated beer, I reckon the aggitation would give you a heap of foam.

Why not go and buy one of those 5, 7 or 8L pressure spray packs from kmart (you know the ones for spraying herbicide etc) and make a small volume keg out of one of those. You can see the details on making one on the craftbrewer website (there are better model spray pack to make it out of IMHO). If you take the soda stream out of the equation it's actually a really easy set up when you have a gas bottle already, wait until you see one and you'll see the possibilities. I've seen them for $9 (5L) and $12(7L) and will be buying one fairly soon to make into a party keg. They are rated up to 40psi, have a pressure relief valve, dip tube etc. I plan on taking out the pump mechanism and just sealing up the hole with a bit of perspex and silicone but you could possibily get away with leaving it.

Just a thought though. Cheers, JD
 

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