Author Topic: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(  (Read 559 times)

Offline Brew2day

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Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« on: May 11, 2018, 08:49:10 PM »
Hey All,

New to brewing and only have equip to to 1-2 gallon batches, mostly one gallon batches.  Bottle priming works fine but moving on to mini-kegs.  I have a couple Weekend Brewer Mini-kegs (5L) with picnic tap and CO2 cartridges (have a regulator too)...so I added 1 Tbsp priming solution to the batch to naturally prime.  Gave it 4 weeks with a pressure release cap and it came out flat.

Am guessing the PRV cap needs to just be flat top cap because maybe it wasn’t a good seal.

1.  Can I carb this batch with cartridges with the picnic tap and regulator?
2.  If so, how?  how much and how long (in fridge, or out?)
3.  Is 1 tbsp priming sugar not enough for 1 to 1.5 gallons?
4. Was this a head spae issue because I had 1 Gal in a 1.5 Gal mini-keg?

After the 4 weeks I cold crashed in the fridge for about 24 hours before checking the carbonation.

Thanks for any help!

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 11:37:59 AM »
Greetings Brew2day - it appears your carbonation issue was the result of not having enough priming sugar.  Without all your exact particulars, roughly speaking, a 1 gallon batch would have used .8oz. of priming sugar.  One tablespoon is only a fraction of that amount.  I’m guessing 2-3 tablespoons of corn sugar would have been closer.  The CO2 in the picnic keg would have only provided enough pressure to move the beer out of the keg and into the glass; not enough for a forced carbonation.

Edit: yes, headspace is critical when carbonating.  The less headspace available, the more the beer will absorbe the carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide, being a gas, will fill the void first.  Once filled, pressure begins to build and the carbon dioxide gets absorbed by the liquid.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 11:44:08 AM by KellerBrauer »
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 01:31:03 PM »
Many, many moons ago when used party keys I believe I used about 1/4 cup priming sugar for 5 gallons.  A 1/4 cup would be 4 Tb so, assuming my memory is correct, 1 Tb would about right for my old brews.

Sealing a party keg shouldn't be too hard.  At least I never ran into problems. A little keg lube can help make things fit easier.

If you try to force carb, which should work, I would do it cold.  Crank up the pressure until you hear gas moving and shake the keg until it stops.  Don't put too much pressure in though.  I had a couple where the seams bulged out after riding in the back of our van.

Good luck!

Paul
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 01:51:27 PM »
Yes.  Assuming you have a valve and a good seal you can force carb mini-kegs.  I've done it many times.

My experience with them has been that you need somewhat less priming sugar - but not as little as you used - than for a bottle-conditioned batch, but we all have different experiences.  It could be that the ones I over-carbed had not really finished fermenting.  It was more than a decade ago, so who knows?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 05:11:42 PM »
While I have never brewed or bottle conditioned a gallon of beer, I do review the recipes in BYO and each recipe calls for 3/4 cup of corn sugar for priming a 5 gallon batch.  Further, every subject mater I’ve read claims (and I agree with) using weight, not volume, to is the correct method to measure priming sugar.  One tablespoon of corn sugar is simply not enough to prime a gallon of beer.  Half gallon, perhaps.  But not a gallon.
All good things come to those who show patients and perseverance while maintaining a positive and progressive attitude. :-)

Offline Brew2day

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 06:44:09 PM »
Lots of good info from yours posts and thanks!

More priming sugar on the next round - will do (and keg lube)

With the current batch that is sitting flat in the fridge, I am going to try to force carb with CO2, but there is a lot of head space since its a gallon in a 1.5 gal container.  Since its just CO2 cartridges I am thinking of setting at 12-15 PSI and putting back in the fridge for the night and checking tomorrow - For a little trial and error test.  I would really like to save this batch if possible.

Any more ideas - I am happy to listen.  Thanks!

 

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 10:55:11 PM »
15 psi won't do anything overnight. I would do 30 for about 48 hours and see what that does.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Brew2day

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 05:54:51 PM »
Ok so 15 psi won’t do anything overnight, but my regulator hits red at 25 and 30 is the last stop on the good ol gauge.

Its been at 15 psi in the fridge since last night, I can dial it up to 20 without hitting red zone on regulator - how long before some good carbing would take place?

Also once the time comes for serving, since its been sitting at a higher PSI and its a picnic tap with no release valve should shut off Co2 and bleed off pressure, then reseal and dial it up to 10 or so to serve....or just dial it down to a lower PSI and open the tap? 

Thanks for the help on this, I am such a noob haha

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 01:29:13 AM »
Sorry for the delay.  I would bleed off some pressure and pour. 

Hope it worked out.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Brew2day

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Re: Mini-Keg - CO2 Cartridges - Picnic Tap - Flat Beer...:(
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 04:21:40 PM »
I left it at 15 PSI for around 3 days - let off pressure - put at around 7-10 PSI to serve a bunch of foam haha.  Dialed it down and let it sit for another day, and the pour was great.

Definitely trial and error but its coming along and thank you for all the help! I’m gettin there  :)