First keg setup....

Assumes carbonation of flat beer is done using a forced or gradual injection of CO2.
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First keg setup....

Post by slash » 2 years ago

I've just got into kegging, I bought a 2nd hand keg setup and I'm sure the previous owner didn't know what he was doing and lied about a few minor things. all that aside I put down 3 quick LME brews to test the setup...and until my grains come....don't want to waste good beer.

but I'm running into some problems that I can't solve yet and would like some advice on where to go next

I have 1x co2 bottle with a micromatic regulator, this plugs into 2x kegs
2 of the kegs have hand taps, one a picnic tap(2m hose) and other a pluto gun(4m hose). both 5mm
both kegs were primed with sugar.

basically I'm getting far to much tap pressure, its like a water gun. So when I turn down the pressure I virtually need it off to get a nice flow of beer.( I burp the keg to release pressure) Currently I have it set to 40 kpa (5.8psi) or less, which according to all the calculators is still well under what it should be. I suspect the regulator is not reading accurately.

basically I would like to keep the kegs under pressure with a low flow rate. beer is quite foamy after a pour and will normally start getting flat towards the end of the drink.
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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

Could you post the Model Number of this regulator?????

It may be a High Pressure - CO2 Primary regulator and have trouble with low volume applications.

see http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-bee ... id-17.html
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Post by slash » 2 years ago

thats what I'm thinking, where do you find model number, the gauges have EN562 on them, and the regulator has 160-207 0371 but I can't seem to find anything on a search for these that would tell me
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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

Sorry Slash, there does not seem to be any reference to what you have.

But, at EBAY....http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MicroMatic-E ... 1351080327
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Post by slash » 2 years ago

Yer I found that one too, I think the regulator might work, might just require a lot of very fine tuning
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Jopsh and slash, I have that regulator so I think the problem here is in line balancing / flow control.

The first point of consideration is the keg pressure. As a ball-park, 13 psi (about 90 kpa) at 5 C (41F) is a good, safe starting point for most keg and style scenarios. So, firstly set your regulator to that and check your fridge temperature. Consider these as 'fixed' numbers that you cannot play with. Whether you serve that beer in a pub or at home, the keg should be at 13 psi.

If you were serving that beer in a pub, the chances are the keg would be in a cellar below you and you would need a much wider beer line (less resistance) to get it pouring nicely upstairs. In our homebrew scenario, we have no "head pressure" and so to stop our beer gushing out, we have to create more resistance. We do this by using a narrow diameter line and a lot of it. (Try blowing through 1 foot of half inch garden hose compared to 10 foot of 5mm internal diameter beer line.)

So, in theory you would google line balancing and come up with the answer of how much line to use in your particular scenario however...

The mechanics of the tap, I think, also make a big difference. Many of you will know that turning some beer taps half on will just result in foam, a bit like squeezing a soft drink (soda drink) out of a syringe. I find many picnic taps a bit like that. (You probably find your pluto gun works a lot better than your picnic as long as you squeeze it on fast.)

Anyway, you have a few choices. One is you can use a lot more beer line so as to slow the flow rate down. Secondly you can buy taps that have in built flow controllers (always do this when buying taps). Thirdly, you can buy inline flow controllers. I have no experience on the third option but they are cheap and I think it would be worth trying at least one of those first. Here is a link. Wow! I thought they were cheap but that is quite expensive. I also don't know if they can be pulled apart for cleaning etc. Another even more expensive controller from that site can be found here. Read this threadfrom AHB for more info on the controllers.

:peace:
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Post by slash » 2 years ago

pistol patch...I always appreciate your input, you need a donation slot on your account.

I've calculated about 70 kpa for pressure, I originally had 2meters of 5mm hose for the pluto tap, so I went and bought 4meters to try slow it down, but I don't think it did that much, Currently I have the stc-1000/keezer set to 1.8 degree, but I believe the beer is still about 5-8 degreee ( work in progress to get that correct too)

next step is too look at the flow controllers, I had a fiddle tonight with the pressure, I've set it lower and the flow rate is better, but I'm not sure if its enough carbonation. I need to leave it for a few days (I'm away for 2 weeks now), so will test it then. I'll let you know how I get on.

anything above above about 10-20 kpa on the gauge causes water pistols. Its all learning and fine tuning, gah
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Post by majorphill » 2 years ago

Slash

I use these. They are expensive for a bit of plastic but are a set and forget option. :sleep: and I've forgotten when I last cleaned them :blush: Short lines are, I find, easier to handle.

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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

slash wrote:I've calculated about 70 kpa for pressure...
Slow down a bit here slash :P. Unless you are brewing low carbonation styles, you really need to be setting your reg at 90 kpa (13psi) and keep your fridge at 5 C (41 F). This will give you about 2.5 volumes of CO2. That is non-negotiable!!!! (I think :think:).

In other words, temperature and pressure control the carbonation level, they should not be used to control the flow rate.

Therefore, resistance is the only thing that can control flow rate. I just found this article which I really like (except for the over-pressure calcs). I haven't seen an article before that mentions the resistance differences between various taps. You'll see from that article that a picnic tap has 2.5 psi less resistance than a standard tap and shank. Interesting :interesting:. I also found another articles that mentioned a variance between the same internal diameter beer lines. Here's it is. Note the correction buried in the article.

...

I'm totally with majorphill on this. Flow controllers beat the hell out of long lines, balancing etc.

;)
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First keg setup....

Post by nosco » 2 years ago

I've never seen the flow controllers before. I'll have to go for the long lines for now. I got a Perlick from Santa but I've been using picnic taps before that. With 3m of 5mm line it worked ok at 12psi at 5c but I was finding I would have to turn the gas off for most of the time or I'd get too much foam. With the Perlick 3m of line worked a little better but I just changed to 5m and dropped the temp to 4c because of the heat atm and now I can leave the gas on and get a good pour. 5m might even be too much but I'll leave it for now. I love kegging :D


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Post by slash » 2 years ago

So I ended up buying a new regulator, big difference so far, I can actually set about 70-90 kpa without getting a water pistol effect now. So there was definitely a problem with the old one. I've had it on for 24 hours now to see if it would settle the foaming but

I still get about %50 of a poor will be foam, yes I'm pouring correctly ! , temperature is about 4 degree, line length 4 meters on the pluto gun, foam settles down a lot faster though, normally gone in a few minutes(to a normal amount)

I seem to get a lot of air/co2 in the lines after it sits for a while, which I believe is a major reason why I'm still getting foam. the line is coiled and I've tried to have it vertical and horizontal.
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First keg setup....

Post by nosco » 2 years ago

I am guessing you keep the tap in the Keezer between pours......


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Post by slash » 2 years ago

yes, the whole tap/co2 and everything is in the keezer
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

slash, are you leaving your CO2 bottle on or are you turning it on or off?

I have no idea why but I used to have a lot of problems keeping things pressurised if I turned my gas bottle on and off. I know it is counter-intuitive but leaving your gas bottle on all the time seems to prevent some leaks and therefore holds everything together.

So, keep your gas bottle on all the time.
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Post by slash » 2 years ago

Gas bottle is left on, and set,

I only had leaks in the beginning and on the mini keg (which is not used at the moment)

I had the guy at the store tell me he sets 250 kpa to pressurise and 20 kpa when he pours....this seems wrong, everything I've read is (bascially) set and forget. I havn't been doing this.

I'm back home again tomorrow, so will re-check again, it might have just needed a few days to settle down after a new /accurate regulator
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Post by Lylo » 2 years ago

I expect you know this but just in case, always pull the trigger/tap handle fully open when pouring, trying to ease the beer pout makes things worse.
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