Author Topic: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg  (Read 665 times)

Offline egrmventura

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Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« on: July 31, 2015, 03:24:16 PM »
Hey guys,
So I switched to keggerator last year and it's been awesome. But my current batch of pale ale is going weird. I loaded the keg, pressurized to 20psi (to seal the top hatch) shook it 2 min, then had it pressured at 30psi for about 5 days. I cut off the co2 on day 3 and let it sit. when I hooked up the tap on day 6, it was fierce pressure  so I bled some gas. Once the pressure was down, it was purely head with almost no carbonation. Now, over a week later, I had it hooked up at 10 psi feed from the tank, and I see it was building to 30 psi pressure in the regulator. I checked and the tank was only pussing 10 psi.

This problem has been for now almost 3 weeks. Any body have an idea of the cause? Or a method where I could recarb it properly? Cheers.

PS, I've always been looking for a better guideline on the process for carbing the kegs, controlling the ppm, and even measuring the ppm. If anybody has a good link, I would appreciate that.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 03:30:43 PM »
That long at 30 PSI has overcarbed the beer. You released pressure from the head space, but the beer had plenty of CO2 that came back out, causing the pressure rise. You need to bleed of CO2 repeatedly until it calms down.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 03:34:32 PM »
+1.  This link has a pressure temp chart that will help you fine tune your carbing based on the style of beer you brewed - it's still the best way to accurately carb a keg. Good luck.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php
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Offline egrmventura

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 04:32:52 PM »
Thank you HoosierBrew and hopfendundmalz. That table is boss! But now one thing that has never been explained to me well: How long do you leave it hooked to the tank with that much pressure?

If using the faster methods (30psi at 36F), do I just hook it for a day and let it rest without CO2 pumping?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2015, 04:37:06 PM »
Thank you HoosierBrew and hopfendundmalz. That table is boss! But now one thing that has never been explained to me well: How long do you leave it hooked to the tank with that much pressure?

If using the faster methods (30psi at 36F), do I just hook it for a day and let it rest without CO2 pumping?

Using the chart , I leave the keg connected at the set pressure- the beer will only carbonate until it reaches equilibrium with the pressure set on the regulator. At a week it'll be partly/mostly carbed, at two weeks fully carbed. After two weeks it'll have reached equilibrium, so no further carbing. No worries.

EDIT - After fully carbed, if the regulator pressure is a higher pressure than you get a good pour at, you can back the pressure off until you get done pouring. Just be sure to set the regulator back to your carbing pressure at the end of the day to preserve the right carbing level.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 04:41:17 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline Stevie

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Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 04:37:25 PM »
You leave it until it is done. I'd say about 2 weeks is perfect for lazy carbonation.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 04:39:12 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline egrmventura

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 04:39:07 PM »
Do you guys keep that pressure for the taps too?


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Offline Stevie

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 04:40:17 PM »

Do you guys keep that pressure for the taps too?


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Yup. Changing the pressure will change the level of carbonation, over time at least.

Offline jtoots

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 06:41:53 PM »
If using the faster methods (30psi at 36F), do I just hook it for a day and let it rest without CO2 pumping?

I go with 2-3 days at a higher pressure, then dial down to serving pressure and I'm usually good to go.

Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 06:48:56 PM »
Also, once you have reached Steve's lazy carbonation level and still experience excessive head when dispensing, you need to lengthen your lines.  I have 10 plus feet of line for 10 to 12 psi.  I like a nice easy pour down the side of the glass.  If I don't get the head I want then I pour more aggressive, down the middle.  I find it to be very simple just to carb the keg at serving psi and forget it.  It always works out. 
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Offline toby

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 07:37:15 PM »
I'm a big believer in set and forget.  The only time I use fast carb methods (rockabye at high pressure) is for festivals when I'm under a time crunch.  Another possibility that nobody seems to have mentioned is that you may be experiencing a restriction/partial blockage either in your diptube or post.  This can cause all the CO2 to basically foam out of solution at once leaving you with a tremendous amount of foam, but flat beer otherwise.  It's similar to how the tiny pits in a Mentos will be nucleation points for CO2 in soda causing a rapid escape of the carbonation all at once.

The determining factor will be if you take the beer off gas and vent it every so often for a day or two.  If you continue to have pressure released, you overcarbed.  If you stop getting a response (or a rapidly declining response) after a few vents, you probably have a diptube/post restriction.

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 08:18:37 PM »
PS, I've always been looking for a better guideline on the process for carbing the kegs, controlling the ppm, and even measuring the ppm. If anybody has a good link, I would appreciate that.

I hook up the cold keg at serving pressure, lie it on its side, and rock it back and forth as often as I can for the rest of the day (4-6 hours). Move it to the kegerator to let it settle out for a day or two, then start drinking. No risk of over carbonation, but also no need to wait a couple weeks.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Massive Head, Minimal Carbonation in Keg
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 10:50:33 PM »
Also, once you have reached Steve's lazy carbonation level and still experience excessive head when dispensing, you need to lengthen your lines.  I have 10 plus feet of line for 10 to 12 psi.  I like a nice easy pour down the side of the glass.  If I don't get the head I want then I pour more aggressive, down the middle.  I find it to be very simple just to carb the keg at serving psi and forget it.  It always works out.
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