First Time Kegging

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Hi Guys,

Ive been lurking this forum for a while, and I now have a question i really need to ask. I just bought myself a couple kegs and regulator etc. I put the beer into the kegs and then the fridge overnight. Tonight i tried the following method to force carbonate, lets say all i got was ice cream beer :) What do i need to do to rectify this situation?

Here is the method i followed:

Hook up the gas, purge the keg a bit thru the relief valve then crank the pressure on the regulator all the way round to 450KPA.

Get on your haunches as if you were throwing a medicine ball and VIOLENTLY shake the keg backwards and forwards about 80 to 100 times. Some pople roll the keg either way is good!

Turn the gas OFF, leave the line hooked up and continue shaking until the pressure guage reads about 90 to 100KPA.

Pour yourself a beer!

Any thoughts guys?? (I really want to be drinking beer from my own tap)

sounds overgassed to me. prop the relief valve open overnight and try pouring a beer in the morning. Also you need to be careful of your beer line length and diameter to get it matched to your desired pouring pressure.

I rock (not as vigorously as you :)) 50 times at 350kpa and that usually gets me fairly happy.

good luck
MMMmmm ice cream beer.

Rob you are on the way - use the force, use the force

Everything is working against you the first time you try to keg. 100kPa could just about blast birdshit off a car. Also, if you just left if for 12 hours or so you might find the pressure drops to a pooftenth of buggerall.

o The head space is tiny in a full keg - small changes in beer volume have large impact on headspace pressure.

o Give it a bit of time to reach equilibrium.

o The serving tube drops pressure in the pour. If it is too short and/or too fat you get the old wet and wild trick.

o Is the beer down to the temperature you expect?

Also check out brewiki: kegging and carbonation
A couple quick tips which i do is,
Fill the keg as full as possible and only leave around less than 500ml of space left.
Rock it back and forwards for a few hundred times very gently.
Works for me every time, if the kegs are not as full then i often get what you have got with yours.

So next time try a more gentle approach and make sure theres not too much space left in the keg.
i fill the keg up fully then pour out half a pint.

Cheers Jayse
Thanks guys,

I have released a lot of pressure from the valve. I went out to the fridge not long ago and there was almost no pressure left in there - well certainly not the forceful woosh that came out the first time i vented the relief valve.

So what should i do now? Test it in the morning?

When i serve the beer should i have any pressure being pumped in from the reg - or just use the pressure that is in the keg?

thanks for all the advice so far - this place rocks - almost as much as my keg tonight hehe
All roads lead to same carbonation ...

I am speculating that the CO2 has dissolved now and it is probably under carbonated.

Give it some more juice, say 100kPa and see what it is down to in morning. After 2 or 3 nights of that you will find the pressure will hold. You can speed it up by overpressuring and optionally shaking.

Kegging beer for the first time is a bit like trying to give a 200kg gorilla a swing while you are blind folded. You will eventually get the hang of it but probably get the odd whack in the head on the way.
If you have overgassed a lot you will probably need to leave the rv open for a few hours or over night as the pressure you released was only the head pressure in the keg. The dissolved CO2 will take some time to come out.

Alternatively you can give it a little shake to get the gas to come out and then burp again ... repeat as needed.

First keg I did I overgassed and left overnight (8hrs or so) with the RV wedged open. Closed it in the morning and then put pouring pressur eon that night and the carbonation was much better. If it is too low you can always force more in.

If your pouring pressure is say 100kpa (pretty standard) then see how fast the beer is coming out the tap. If it is rocketing out then your beer line is likely too short and you will have no chance of pouring a good beer. You should be getting a nice steady slow flow of beer, if thats the case your beer line is likely an ok length.

hope that helps.
Well JasonY, you were spot on.

It is obviously well and truly over carbonated. This morning i tried to pour a beer with less than 100Kpa and it was still almost all ice cream. So I have taken your advice and wedged open the relief valve for the rest of the day.

What is a good recommended length of beer line. Mine appears to be about 1 meter of beva line - is this enough?
i use 5m of 4mm beer connected to each tap with a pouring presure of 70kpa....

i force carbonate at 250-300kpa by rocking it for 5mins.
then disconect the gas line and put back in the fridge.
yep I have 5m of some kinda line (clear crap), not sure what diameter but its probably the same as gmk's. If your id is much smaller then you can use a shorter length as the pressure drop per meter is greater.

If you slowly wind up your pouring pressure from 0 to 100kpa you should find at what poin tthe beer is coming out at a reasonable rate (not very fast is what you want). If this pressure is really low then your beer line is too short.
OK cool.

I will give it a go this afternoon after the pressure has all vented.

Thanks for all the help.

I also have another keg which i would like to carbonate. Would it be best to force carbonate it using the methods described here, or shouldi just hook up the gas and let it take its time?
Well i just gave it a go then, i think there are still some gremlins in the system.

I had the relief valve open all day, so there was no pressure in the keg when i got home.

I hooked the gas up and turned it on to 5psi. (this is what the hbs guy told me to pour at). Well it was still very much an ice cream.

I have read that sometimes you need more pressure for a better pour, so i incremented the pressure without much luck. I vented the gas and tried again at 5psi and was able to eventually get half ice cream half beer.

Should the beer line stay filled with beer once you have started pouring, ie once you have poured and the tap is back in the stop position, should there be beer in the line all the way back to the keg (mine doesnt do this)?

Also, should you be able to see the bubbles in the beer line?

hmmm Im struggling here....

I have just give the keg a shake and released some more pressure and will do this a few more times cause i think its still over carbonated.

Any help or thoughts would be welcomed...

Other factors apart from overcarbonation and line length/diameter can cause foaming. Some beers are foamier than others. You could have kinks or internal obstructions in your lines, posts, poppets, tap.
I usually get a small amount of bubbles in the beer line which I put down to the line being a bit warmer than the keg causing the gas flashes out of solution.

The time I over gassed a keg I had a lot of gas in the line, if you increase the pressure then the gas will be forced to stay in solution however when you try and pour it will come out like a jet engine and you end up with foam ....

Hard to diagnose but if you suspect you have overcarbonated then I would leave it open even longer ... worst case you end up with flat beer but then you can just recarbonate.

Personally I go to 350kpa and rock (keg is standing and 1 rock = forward + backward) about 50 times. After that turn of gas and rock like crazy until pressure seems to settle out. Leave a couple of hours and burp any excess pressure, put 100kpa or so pouring pressure on and start drinking. Everyone does it different however.
I badly over gassed a keg sometime ago , I suspect it was similar to what tynian is experencing now

I left the relief value open for a few days but could never get it to pour correctly , I don't think there is to much you can do if it is over gassed to this extent except pour into a jug and let it settle.

Put it down to a learning curve tynian , you'll have heaps more , mostly good ones I hope

Batz :ph34r:
Good News,

Looks like it is getting better. I did a bit more rocking and pressure relieving, and it is now pouring much better - not perfect, but certainly better.

Im only pouring at a very low psi though. I dont mind as it is mostly beer now instead of mostly foam :)

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