Carbonation issues...

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Carbonation issues...

Postby jjpeanasky » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:59 am

Common issues for lack of head/perceived carbonation? I have 3 beers kegged, and all 3 pour with little head or perceived carbonation. They almost taste flat in the glass. There is a bit of a delayed head about 30 seconds after the pour, as the beer warms up, but nothing real exciting.

-Keezer temp is set to 39*F
-CO2 regulator is set to 14PSI
-Beer line is 6ft and served from picnic taps

That should be giving me 2.7 volumes. The 3 beers are all different styles too, an oatmeal stout, octoberfest, and a black wheat pale ale. I've checked for leaks, and I've made sure gas is flowing.

I'm at a loss folks.

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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby daryl » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:04 am

When did you keg them?

How were they initially carbonated?
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby andrewmaixner » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:29 am

You said 3 beers, so I'd infer that you have had them on 14PSI of gas for a long time? Try bumping up to 16psi and check again in a week?

If it's handy, here's a carb calculator that I put together for calculating carb level over time in a keg, based on the actual physics (combined gas laws and equilibrium curves):
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby daryl » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:56 am

If you need information on forced carbonation, here is a really good Topic Thread you should read....it has really helped me resolve most of my carbonation issues.

http://www.crbeernuts.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3102
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby jjpeanasky » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:59 am

Oktoberfest has been on since October, the stout since early December. The dark wheat was put on last week. Typically I leave them on 30 psi for 24 hours, then turn down to serving level. I used https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... ft-system/ for the volume info above.

Andrew, I'll have to take a look when I get home.

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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby daryl » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:17 pm

If I have correctly copied Lee's equation into Excel....

30 psi at 39F..it would take 50 hours to get to 2.74 volumes.

30 psi at 39F for 24 hours would yield 2.17

This assumes your temperature readings are correct (likely they are close) and your pressure readings are correct - and from what I read, it doesn't take too much to have the gas gauges go off.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby Matt F » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:25 pm

Your regulator gauge may be off. I had one that was broken and did not even know it for a while. Beers where too flat. I tried a different gauge and it was fine after that. I say turn up the gas like Andrew said a couple psi per week until it seems right. If that does not help, maybe a slow leak somewhere?
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Saison
Matt Damon in my Mouth
Tree House Julius Clone

Fermenting:
Belgian Dubbel/Sour
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby jjpeanasky » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:49 pm

Sounds like that's the best option. I'll start turning it up a little at a time and see where it goes.

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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby Eric B » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:43 pm

Matt F wrote:Your regulator gauge may be off. I had one that was broken and did not even know it for a while. Beers where too flat. I tried a different gauge and it was fine after that. I say turn up the gas like Andrew said a couple psi per week until it seems right. If that does not help, maybe a slow leak somewhere?


I can second this. Regulator gauges are never perfect unless of course they are nice expensive ones and calibrated. Another issue that I can see is that your keezer temp is set to 39. Have you checked with a thermometer in a freshly poured glass to confirm the temperature? Also.. the question I always ask.. When was the last time you cleaned your lines with a good beer line cleaner? Line neglect can cause poor head retention and formation.
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Low-Life (Cream Ale)
IPeh v3 (American IPA)
West Coast Stout (American Stout)
Green Matter Tasty AF (NE IPA)
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Re: Carbonation issues...

Postby jjpeanasky » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:52 am

Haven't checked beer temp coming out of lines. Beer lines were all cleaned 10ish days ago with caustic solution.

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