Author Topic: Keg temperature  (Read 842 times)

Offline dddivis

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Keg temperature
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:10:16 PM »
I kegged  beer for the first time yesterday - five gallons of ale in a corny keg. The beer was about 65 degrees. After getting the beer in the keg I set it outside for a few hours to cool. The temp outside was about 20 degrees. Then I put it in my fridge (about 34 degrees) where it sat over night - about 13 hours now. I have an infrared thermometer that seems to be pretty reliable. It shows the temp of the wall of the fridge at 34 (confirmed by another thermometer in there) and the freezer wall at 0. It is showing me that the keg is at about 60 degrees. Also, the CO2 tank, which has been in the fridge with the keg, is 60. Both the keg and CO2 tank feel cold to me. I don't know what to think of that. Does an infrared thermometer freak out measuring aluminum? There is no way the keg is that warm. Just for grins I used the same thermometer to measure the temp of an aluminum can of beer in my other fridge that has been at 34 degrees all weekend and it said it was 50. It read the bottle next to it at 40. I'm supposed to know the temp of the beer in the keg so I can determine the pressure of the CO2 applied to the beer. How am I supposed to get the temp of the beer? Do I have to draw a sample and measure that? There must be a better way....
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 04:16:48 PM by dddivis »

Offline kramerog

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Re: Keg temperature
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 04:51:10 PM »
I am speculating that you're fridge is simply slow to cool.  Rather than blowing cold air from the freezer, it sounds like the fridge walls are cooled. 

The best way to figure out what is going on is to take a sample.

Offline rob_f

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Re: Keg temperature
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 07:46:51 PM »
Infrared thermometers work best on flat black, worst on shiney.  I wouldn't believe the 60 degree readings.
Rob Farrell

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Re: Keg temperature
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 09:31:14 PM »
Stick-on liquid crystal thermometers are a good choice on kegs.  The thin metal is going to match the temperature of the contents as it can't hold much heat of its own.
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Offline James K

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Re: Keg temperature
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 07:59:41 AM »
I feel like if your keg is cold to touch the insides are also cold.  I have never used a infrared thermometer but if your keg is in the fridge for two days it should be cold unless the fridge is broken.

Is your fridge on a temp controller? Mine is and the cooling elements are on the roof and 3 walls, higher up than where the kegs sit.  The bottom of my fridge is warmer than the top. And parts of those elements are about 2 feet away from the tops of kegs. I make sure my temp probe is closer to the bottom of the fridge than where the default probe was.

For me once I put something in the keg I just start carbing the beer. The keg will find equilibrium after a few days anyways. Depending how fast I need the keg carbed I leave my co2 tank between 20-30psi. I also have a manifold for other kegs though, at times I will lower psi to pour properly if necessary. I also use the liquid crystal strips for verification.
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Offline SpokaneDon

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Re: Keg temperature
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 02:36:10 PM »
Here's a tip from a HVAC expert (my neighbor) about infrared thermometers.  He says to add strips of tape (like painter's masking tape) to all the surfaces you want to measure for temperature, and "shoot" the tape strips when checking temperature. This way you're getting apples to apples temperature readings. This should eliminate errors in temperature readings when measuring the temperature of different surfaces (like refrigerator walls and stainless kegs). 
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