Author Topic: First kegging attempt, Explosion  (Read 2639 times)

Offline vinnieb

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First kegging attempt, Explosion
« on: January 28, 2014, 07:40:37 AM »
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?


Online Steve in TX

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First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 07:47:22 AM »
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

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 08:04:35 AM »
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!
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Offline Pinski

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 08:18:22 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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 09:06:05 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Pinski

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 10:39:47 AM »
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.
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Offline vinnieb

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First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 10:46:26 AM »


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!)?

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 10:47:28 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online Steve in TX

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 10:49:23 AM »
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/

Offline Pinski

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 10:51:07 AM »
Ah, now I see. 
Gotta say that just seems like rolling the dice to use those with priming sugar. 
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 10:54:16 AM »
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. 
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 10:56:36 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline vinnieb

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 11:33:09 AM »
I tapped the "good" one and its so far, just foam.  I have no co2 cartridge in it, And it hasn't been shaken.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline jroth420

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Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 11:43:33 AM »
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!