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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * February 23, 2004 * Beer backing up into my CO2 line < Previous Next >

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Steve Anderson (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was doing the quick carbonation shortcut of hooking my keg up to the CO2 tank and rocking it back and forth when I notice there was beer in my line going from the CO2 tank the the keg. I thought there was some sort of design safeguard against that happening. Am I wrong about the safeguard, or is there just something wrong with my connection or the QD on my line?
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.228)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, there is supposed to be a check valve at the LP outlet of the regulator. It's usually incorporated into the valve between the CO2 line and the regulator. Two ways to keep the beer out of your regulator is to either drape the CO2 line over your shoulder while force carbonating so it's higher than the keg. Beer can't run up-hill. Or, you could put the CO2 bottle on the table next to the keg, so it's higher.
 

Joe Sandlin (66.207.81.26)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

QD's do not have a check valve built into them. It is essential to the well being of your regulator to get a check valve installed into each line ASAP. Another danger that check valves prevent is from pressure differentials moving beer from one keg to another. Your cream ale can end up with a little stout in it if you don't pay attention....
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.228)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

double post. I hate when that happens.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.11.144)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve...I believe this to be the exact reason for my recent disgustingly bad beer. There was some gross growth in the c02 connector probably due to beer in there from force carbing. I will now force carb with the C02 disconnected or do my usual practice of slow carbing with 10psi constantly hooked up in fridge
 

Steve Anderson (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Apparently, ales are not really beers.
 

Steve Anderson (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 06:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

oops, i posted to the wrong thread
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.191)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I keep my Co2 bottle on an enclosed shelf about 4 feet off the ground. I have no check valve in my line and have never experienced trouble with this. I force carb with an extra line coming off of my manifold on the outside of the fridge, so if this ever happens, it would be pretty simple to remove the line and sanitize. Just try to keep your keg lower than the bottle, works for me.
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Other than the above mentioned items, you didn't happen to put the gas line on the beer out post by chance? You can tell by the bubbling inside the keg if you do. Never done it but I've read here about it happening.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The situation Vance describes can occur if you disassemble the keg for cleaning and then reassemble it incorrectly by attaching the long dip tube to the gas-in post rather than the beer-out post. The consequences are less serious if you have a check valve installed at the regulator or distribution manifold, which is one more reason why check valves are a good investment.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.6.185)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what is happening here is when force (rocking) carbing beer gets into the "in" connecter via the short tube while rocking back and forth. When pressure in keg and line are equal beer can easily flow into the C02 line, and it does
 

Steve Anderson (216.37.68.121)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have disassembled and cleaned my gas in hose. From now on I will do as BBB suggests and disconnect the tank when I start rocking the keg. I hate to think of ruining a keg beause I want to cut a few minutes out of the carbonating phase.
Even if I had a check valve just north of the QD, it seems that I would still risk spreading nasties since they could grow on the QD itself. I move the gas line from keg to keg to maintain pressure for dispensing, so I continue to risk some infection. I have considered getting a manifold in the past. This may be the best reason to do so now. I think I may at least get a T to split up the gas line.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 11:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have sometimes wondered why an improved gas-in quick disconnect could not be designed with a built-in check valve.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.113.126)
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 12:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

another great idea on the HBD. Remember the guy in Halifax that designed his own CPBF for Grolsch bottles? Ingenious.
I have never been worried about infections and such until my recent episode.
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, is your keg laying down when you force carb? I always do mine standing and always with the gas on @ 30psi so I've never experianced what you're describing. Spray a little StarSan into the gas fitting when moving it between kegs.
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 03:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Randy, you really should consider getting a check valve installed. And for ALL you others out there that tee off your CO2 lines AFTER the regulator without using a manifold or check valve for EACH GAS LINE, it is only a matter of time before you have problems. Here is one example of why:

I had a tee in my gas line after the regulator, and even had a check valve on the output of the regulator. However, that could not prevent gas pressure differentials from flowing between kegs. My normal force carb practice is to pop on of the gas lines on the new keg, and raise the pressure to 40psi, let it sit for a day or two in the fridge, and if I need to serve any brew in between, pop the line off the new keg, allowing the ball lock to close off and the keg popit closes off, lower the pressure, and put the line back on one of my serving kegs and bleed off CO2 through the purge valve until CO2 is flowing at serving pressure again.

So, one day, after I had put 40psi onto a newly filled keg to force carb it 2 days before, and it was out of the system (not hooked up), I went to hook it up to my gas line to prepare to serve it. Well, the other line was hooked up to another keg already in service and at around 8psi. I popped the second gas line on the new keg before purging the gas. The keg was full enough to allow the short tube on the gas side to pick up beer and 40psi of beer back flowed into my whole gas line and into the other keg. Sure my regulator was safe (thankfully), but it made a mess of my gas lines and cross contaminated my two beers. Had to break down all my gas ball locks and clean them, the CO2 lines and wipe down posts.

Now, I have a serving manifold from B3 with each gas line having a dedicated check valve and on/off valve. It seems like a lot of money to spend on 4 gas supply lines ($47), but once I got it installed in my new 4 keg serving fridge, it REALLY allowed me to clean up my CO2 lines and it works like a dream. I wouldn't think of NOT having it now.

Regards,

-Jeff
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CO2 gas serving manifold
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shutoff valves with integrated check valves were only about $10 each the last time I checked. That's not a large investment for each line.
 

Belly Buster Bob (131.137.245.200)
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 02:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

regardless of how many check valves, when you lay a keg on its side with a gas in connector installed, beer can still get into the connector. I now have clear gas lines so I can see any transfer.
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 05:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't lay a keg on its side with gas connected. That is at least what I have found. Fine to force 40lbs of CO2 into it, remove the gas line and then lay it down and roll it/shake it. But it is bad ju-ju to lay it down with the gas connected. Good way to get your gas lines dirty.

I think that some of the clear silicon tubing is suppose to be semi-permeable to CO2, so watch out, BBB (at least I read that somewhere).

-Jeff
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 07:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As long as the gas is turned on, and the regulator outlet is above (i.e., higher in elevation) the gas-in connect on the keg, I can't see what's wrong with laying a keg on its side with the gas connected. I do it all the time with no problems.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with chumley here..that's exactly the way I do it and no problems.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.85.219)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I did it like that for what seems like forever and then last week?? I had the infection that was located in my gas in connector. I'm convinced it got there due to force carbing. I never want to go through the absolute horror and trauma and physical pain and anguish and dread and utter depression of finding bad beer. I'm a convert. You shoulda seen this crud.
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BBB, does that mean you don't take your gas connectors off and clean them once in a while?
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.104.77)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

honestly...before my recent tragic event, I really didn't think it was possible for anything to be in the gas in connector. Real hard lesson, pouring beer down the drain is a traumatic experience that I never want to go through again.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>pouring beer down the drain is a traumatic experience that I never want to go through again.

Yet there are scores of knuckleheads out there who take a whiff of green beer, or see something unusual in their green beer, and promptly dump it without waiting or even tasting it. One of them seems to post here at least once a week. Go figure.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.114.113)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I bet I tasted this crap 15 times before I would admit to myself that it was gone. Denial is pathetic
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know the feeling, BBB. I have about 30 two-year old bottles of spruce ale in my basement. The problem is, I picked the new growth of Douglas Fir when I thought I was picking the new growth of Englemann Spruce (I am not a botanist).

Every three month or so, I open a bottle, pour a glass, and take a sip. "Still tastes like turpentine," I think as I pour the remainder down the drain.

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