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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 02:40:37 PM

Title: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 02:40:37 PM
I started to use the 1gallon mini kegs(not a commercial one).  No dents or any problems.  I kegged in the first week of december and one exploded 2 days ago while siting in a temp constant closet.  I followed the recommended priming sugar amounts, so I don't think that was the issue.  Could it have been the 1 lb of carapils used for a 5 gallon batch?

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/28/bynesa3e.jpg)
Title: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Stevie on January 28, 2014, 02:47:22 PM
Carapils would not cause that. My guess would be the beer wasn't done, or an infection. An infection could keep munching away on the dextrins from the Carapils. Could also be a bad keg.

Whatever happened, that sucks
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Jimmy K on January 28, 2014, 03:04:35 PM
My first thought was Damn, kegs are rated to 125psi! But those mini kegs may not rate that high. And a keg failing at 125psi will probably cause property damage.
 
The pound of carapils alone didn't cause this. Infection, unfinished beer, or bad keg like Steve said. Did you check gravity before kegging?
 
Damn!
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2014, 03:18:22 PM
Damn ! Can you post a pick of the top ? Who is the manufacturer?  Glad your ok! That is not cool. Good reminder to make sure you know where the gravity is before you seal it up.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 28, 2014, 04:06:05 PM
I know there are differing opinions on this site regarding decreasing the amount of priming sugar required for the same level of carbonation in a larger vessel.

It is my experience with mini-kegs that you want to use a reduced amount of priming sugar than you would use for bottles.  I never had one explode, but I have had them punch out into football shaped kegs.

Though I do have to agree that explosion would indicate that the beer was not finished or it was infected.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2014, 05:39:47 PM
So, what the he!! is going on with the "relief" valve on these exploding kegs? Does the beer make them stick? If the kegs are failing at a lower pressure than the relief is rated to that seems to speak to some really shoddy craftsmanship. Or am I missing something here? That happened once.
Title: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 05:46:26 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/29/y2unajyv.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/29/ehenyqug.jpg)

They are made in Germany.  I had two kegged and the other didnt explode....yet!  So I will attempt consuming it.  It was in a closet on the floor. When It exploded, it took out 2 glass 1 liter bottles of my xmas brew.  Quite the mess.  It made a thump/ping noise that made me jump since it sounded like a mortar round being shot off. 

The gravity was 1.06 at start and 1.018 when I kegged it.  I did a 2 stage fermentation first at 4 days second at 12 days, there seemed no more activity when I kegged. 

If it was an infection, what are the tell tale signs...(other than an exploded keg!)?
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 28, 2014, 05:47:28 PM
So, what the he!! is going on with the "relief" valve on these exploding kegs? Does the beer make them stick? If the kegs are failing at a lower pressure than the relief is rated to that seems to speak to some really shoddy craftsmanship. Or am I missing something here? That happened once.

There is no relief valve on mini-kegs.

Also, I'm starting to think that maybe the priming sugar was not mixed well.  How did you add the sugar and it what amounts?

The other kegs should dent out if they over carb.  Hopefully they don't explode.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Stevie on January 28, 2014, 05:49:23 PM
So, what the he!! is going on with the "relief" valve on these exploding kegs? Does the beer make them stick? If the kegs are failing at a lower pressure than the relief is rated to that seems to speak to some really shoddy craftsmanship. Or am I missing something here? That happened once.

I don't know if they have a PRV. Maybe the rubber bung should be forced out before a failure?

I looked on HBT and found this from 2006. Fourth post down notes a failure at the seam. Same as the OP.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/party-star-mini-kegs-15379/
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2014, 05:51:07 PM
Ah, now I see. 
Gotta say that just seems like rolling the dice to use those with priming sugar. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Jimmy K on January 28, 2014, 05:54:16 PM
Pinski, there is no relief valve, just a bung. I don't think these are meant to hold nearly the kind of pressure a corny keg is. It failed around the crimped seal. Basically, it's a 1 gallon beer can.
 
The gravity was 1.06 at start and 1.018 when I kegged it.  I did a 2 stage fermentation first at 4 days second at 12 days, there seemed no more activity when I kegged. 

If it was an infection, what are the tell tale signs...(other than an exploded keg!)?

1.060 to 1.018 is only 70% attenuation. That's a bit low depending on style and possibly wasn't finished - though it probably was stuck. Never transfer to secondary after 4 days as you're removing the beer from the yeast that is supposed to ferment it. Let it ferment in primary until it's done and settled. The beer will attenuate better and yeast will clean up some off-flavors too. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 28, 2014, 05:56:36 PM
Maybe the rubber bung should be forced out before a failure?

The pressure actually seals the bung tighter.  The center of the bung is wider at the base (inside the keg) and so the pressure seals it more tightly against the rubber grommet part of the bung.

Ah, now I see. 
Gotta say that just seems like rolling the dice to use those with priming sugar. 

I've rigged up schrader valves to allow for forced carbonation on these kegs.  If I prime them, I use carb tabs and go with a lower number than the directions would call for.

I don't use them so much these days but it's a nice size to give to someone which is mainly what I'll do.  Keg some up and give them as gifts.  I also built some taps for these back when I was using them frequently.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 06:33:09 PM
I tapped the "good" one and its so far, just foam.  I have no co2 cartridge in it, And it hasn't been shaken.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 28, 2014, 06:36:02 PM
Is it just two?  If there are others, I would open the tap and release some pressure if I were you.

You could probably turn them upside down, open the tap and release pressure without losing too much beer.  But if it's pushing foam it may be 6 of one, half a dozen of the other as far as what you lose.

If any of it was bottled, I'd look at protecting those, too.  Or popping them open to release pressure and recapping.  Anything is better than exploding glass, except maybe exploding kegs.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: jroth420 on January 28, 2014, 06:43:33 PM
I agree with the previous poster. 4 days in primary is awfully quick and 1.018 is not usually anywhere near completion unless you're doing something like a mead and you're trying to finish it sweet. That's just a lot of residual sugar left in the beer. I think all that happened was that the beer finished doing it's thing in the keg and created the ultimate "bottle bomb" in your closet. Sorry that happened to you, but it sounds like you were maybe a little impatient with this one. Don't trust your airlock for knowing that your beer is done fermenting. Trust your hydrometer. Cheers!
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 06:48:50 PM
Thanks all for the help.  Seems the common issue here is attenuation.  I'll be chalking this 5 gallon batch up to a loss. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: dkfick on January 28, 2014, 06:48:58 PM
I can only imagine the mess that it created... I've had the lid blow off a bucket before in my living room when I first started brewing... DIPA... Covered my wall, ceiling, and TV with hop and trub... That was at much lower pressure than I'm sure your keg exploded at.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 28, 2014, 07:43:27 PM
Well, it ran through the floor boards(hardwood floors) and into the basement of my condo.  Covered everything in the closet and shattered two 1 liter bottle full of beer. It also cracked the wall moulding that it was against.  Took about 2 hours to clean up.  I don't cry over spilled milk, but spilt beer.....its a very sad day indeed.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Slowbrew on January 28, 2014, 10:11:45 PM
I agree with jroth and the others who are suggesting your beer wasn't done yet and the priming sugar pushed it over the top.  Everything I brew in 1.06x range drops to 1.010 or 1.009 after 12 to 14 days (typically).

I've had one or two mini-kegs bulge out on me due to over priming.  I got to the point I would only use 1/3 as much priming sugar for the mini-kegs as I used for bottles.  I sold all my mini-kegs, taps and such when I started using 5 gal Cornelius kegs.

I'd get going on the next brew and give it a few more days to finish.  Live and learn.   ;D

Paul
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Jeff M on January 29, 2014, 02:05:26 AM
If i remember correctly those kegs arnt rated for more then 2 volumes of co2.  The specific directions are something like 1-2 tablespoons of sugar per keg for sufficient carbing according to their restrictions.

Sucks that it blew.  hope you and everyone in your family are ok!

Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: euge on January 29, 2014, 02:42:22 PM
Nah 1.018 isn't too high for a beer to be done. Depends on the recipe and yeast of course.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Pinski on January 29, 2014, 03:01:45 PM
Nah 1.018 isn't too high for a beer to be done. Depends on the recipe and yeast of course.
True, but racking the beer off the cake after four days and assuming 1.018 is truly FG certainly isn't best practice.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: duboman on January 29, 2014, 03:21:21 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but from the picture those look like the mini kegs you can buy that already have carbonated beer in them when you get them.

If so I'm thinking they are not designed to withstand the pressure created when naturally carbonating a beer, only for beer that has already been carbonated.

They remind me of those commercial 'tap-a-kegs' you get at the liquor store.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2014, 03:48:27 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but from the picture those look like the mini kegs you can buy that already have carbonated beer in them when you get them.

If so I'm thinking they are not designed to withstand the pressure created when naturally carbonating a beer, only for beer that has already been carbonated.

They remind me of those commercial 'tap-a-kegs' you get at the liquor store.

that's what it is but a lot of people repurpose them for homebrew. it works okay most of the time.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: euge on January 29, 2014, 05:04:02 PM
Looks like one shouldn't rush their batches if using them though!
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Stevie on January 29, 2014, 05:07:37 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but from the picture those look like the mini kegs you can buy that already have carbonated beer in them when you get them.

If so I'm thinking they are not designed to withstand the pressure created when naturally carbonating a beer, only for beer that has already been carbonated.

They remind me of those commercial 'tap-a-kegs' you get at the liquor store.

Midwest Supplies sells them as kits for the very purpose that the OP was using them.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/mini-keg.html

Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 29, 2014, 05:13:26 PM
Way back in 95 I bought some from Williams.  They were selling a similar kit at that time.  Midwest may be one of the last places still selling them but I've seen them at the LHBS, as well (though that may have been very long ago).
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: dkfick on January 29, 2014, 05:15:35 PM
I know Adventures in Homebrewing still sells them as well
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: bluesman on January 29, 2014, 05:30:00 PM
Thanks all for the help.  Seems the common issue here is attenuation.  I'll be chalking this 5 gallon batch up to a loss.

If not already asked for, could you post your complete recipe details/notes? This might further explain what transpired.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: duboman on January 29, 2014, 05:36:12 PM

Maybe I'm missing something but from the picture those look like the mini kegs you can buy that already have carbonated beer in them when you get them.

If so I'm thinking they are not designed to withstand the pressure created when naturally carbonating a beer, only for beer that has already been carbonated.

They remind me of those commercial 'tap-a-kegs' you get at the liquor store.

Midwest Supplies sells them as kits for the very purpose that the OP was using them.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/mini-keg.html
ok, got it! Although I guess I wouldn't suggest the OP's picture and example then for product marketing;)
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Delo on January 29, 2014, 05:51:49 PM
I didn’t have one explode, but I had an infection that pushed out the top and bottom and shot beer out the seal where the tap is. I liked using them, but I found them hard to clean around where the tap is unless you did it immediately and you have to be careful not to scratch the interior coating. Immediately and careful are not always my friends.

I dont know about all of other brands, but Hofbrauhouse minkegs are the same kegs. They cost about the same as new ones but they are filled with beer.  You just need to remove the vent that is in the bunghole. I got to say bunghole.

Edit for lack of proofreading
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on January 30, 2014, 12:59:24 AM

Thanks all for the help.  Seems the common issue here is attenuation.  I'll be chalking this 5 gallon batch up to a loss.

If not already asked for, could you post your complete recipe details/notes? This might further explain what transpired.

Sure will, once home from work, I'll post it, should be up by Friday.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 30, 2014, 03:17:43 PM
There are more than a few threads around various homebrewing boards where those minikegs blow out, especially after a few uses. I don't think they are designed to be primed at all, which is part of the problem. From people I have talked to who have better luck priming they only carbonate up to 1.5 or so. That's basically just a gravity pour. I don't mind beer that way but not everybody does. If that's not your thing then you might want to find somebody who uses those minikegs and try to sell or trade them out to avoid repeating this problem.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: glenmoorebrewing on January 31, 2014, 06:33:58 PM
Damn!
Never tried mini kegs (less than 5 gal), and only had one bottle bomb so far. Have been at the hobby for 9 months and am wondering what kind of carnage a burst cornie might unleash on the other glass inhabitants of my conditioning room.
Your poor x mas brews, I feel for you brother.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: morticaixavier on January 31, 2014, 06:37:19 PM
Damn!
Never tried mini kegs (less than 5 gal), and only had one bottle bomb so far. Have been at the hobby for 9 months and am wondering what kind of carnage a burst cornie might unleash on the other glass inhabitants of my conditioning room.
Your poor x mas brews, I feel for you brother.

luckily this was not a corny but one of those mini tap-a-draft jobbies converted for homebrew use. a corny explosion is very very scary. they are rated for I think ~150 PSI so when one goes it goes.

A brewery worker was killed up at red hook a while back when a keg he was cleaning exploded.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on February 01, 2014, 01:57:26 AM
The Recipe was as follows. (It has changed since, but I have not brewed it yet, waiting on mats to arrive)
This was the first attempt at this recipe.  I have since changed out the Munich malt, with Dark malted wheat.

-8lbs Munich Malt
-2lbs Caramunich
-1lb  Cara-Pils
-1oz Hallertauer
-1pkg German Ale, WL #1007

-10Gal Mash Tun(rubbermaid homemade)7.5 Gal kettle (done on gas fired home stove)
-Single Infusion, Full Body, No Mash Out, 168Degree Sparge temp
-Mash PH was 5.4

Fermentation;
-4 days Primary at 68-70 Degrees
-Secondary was about 12 days, same temps

Carbination
-4 (1) Gallon mini Kegs
-I used cone sugar, can't remember the original amount, but it was certainly 1/3'd of what it called for in bottling. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: The Professor on February 01, 2014, 02:24:50 AM
Damn ! Can you post a pick of the top ? Who is the manufacturer?  Glad your ok! That is not cool. Good reminder to make sure you know where the gravity is before you seal it up.

Glad that you weren't in the vicinity when it blew.
Highly doubtful  (but not impossible) that it was a manufacturing defect.
I'd vote for it being either a matter of infection or the beer simply not being really done fermenting.

It's vey  true that homebrewers are quite often simply in too much of a hurry.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: dzlater on February 01, 2014, 11:20:01 AM
Is it possible you added double the sugar to one keg and left the other unprimed?
The other day I was racking 2 fermenters into corny kegs.
I had to prime them because I had no room in the keg fridge.
I had boiled all the priming sugar in one pot so I could add half to each keg.
Filled the kegs sealed them up and put them away to carb up.
Walk back into the kitchen and see half of the priming sugar sitting on the table.
I forgot to prime one of the kegs , but couldn't remember which one.
So I took my best guess and added the rest to one of the kegs.
We shall see in a few weeks if I was correct.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: euge on February 01, 2014, 03:04:52 PM
I think a taste test might have helped.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on February 03, 2014, 06:01:25 PM
A few more questions:

Should I do a secondary or just let it sit in the primary for the entire 30 days?

Is it better not to add any priming sugar and just transfer from carboy to mini-keg?

Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 03, 2014, 06:08:46 PM
I don't use secondaries unless I'm dry hopping or something like that. 30 days in primary is pretty standard for me.

You'll need some priming sugar to get carbonation in the beer.  If you stick with the 1/3 of what you need for bottling, you should be fine (assuming the beer is at a stable final gravity).  Best to weigh the sugar and not measure it by volume.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on February 03, 2014, 09:25:56 PM
Thanks Joe Sr.  Much appreciated. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 03, 2014, 09:37:21 PM
No worries. 

If you want to try force carbing them, there is a long thread on another forum regarding building taps.  IIRC a 1/2 inch hose barb fits perfectly in the rubber bung and you can attach a schraeder valve or even a cornie QD if you get the correct parts.  I made up a bunch of carbonators with schraeder valves.  They work pretty well, but you can get some leaks.  At the end of the day, you don't save much over moving to cornies, though.  Of course, cornies are not getting any cheaper.

Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: vinnieb on February 03, 2014, 10:01:15 PM
The local brewery here offered to sell me used cornies, that need new fittings and gaskets.  I just might get them now and store them away until I am out of my 750sqft condo. 
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 03, 2014, 10:09:25 PM
Gaskets are cheap.  You can buy them by the 100 from McMaster Carr (lid gaskets come in packs of 10).

If you need to replace posts, it gets a bit pricier and you'd want to consider if it's cost effective at that point to pay whatever they are charging.  Poppets are not too bad, but I think posts are about $15 each.
Title: Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
Post by: Jeff M on February 04, 2014, 12:57:34 AM
Gaskets are cheap.  You can buy them by the 100 from McMaster Carr (lid gaskets come in packs of 10).

If you need to replace posts, it gets a bit pricier and you'd want to consider if it's cost effective at that point to pay whatever they are charging.  Poppets are not too bad, but I think posts are about $15 each.

Get universal poppets. 15$ per post sounds high to me but i cant verify since the plac eit hink is cheapest is having web issues.  Shop around:)  Pin lock posts will be cheaper then ball locks because everyone converts the pinlocks to ball locks now ::)