17 Replies to “Learning Experience

    • Last week tripped a safety valve by naively over pressurizing the system. This week seems like a slow leak somewhere so will have to over every connector, valve and gauge with some soapy water with the system slightly over-pressurized to see if I can find and fix it. Upshot is two tank refills in as many weeks. Annoying but apparently common when first working with a kegerator.

    • James the weird thing this week, versus the safety valve episode last week, is that the system held pressure all week and was just low, not totally exhausted, this morning. Trying to remember if I moved things around in the fridge last night which might have jostled a poor connect and triggered a leak. Any advice or suggestions, like proper care of seals and o-rings, would be vastly appreciated.

    • The high pressure valve on the primary read empty. Primary was set for 12psi, secondary for one at 8psi (to carb a porter) and the other set at about 10psi (carb pressure for a barley wine, should have reduced that to serving pressure but still learning.) A couple of pulls on the PRV on the primary confirmed that while there was still some pressure in the system, it wasn’t very much. Pulling the CO2 tank out, it definitely felt empty. The kegs still have some pressure and I disconnected the gas lines to help preserve what pressure they do have until I get the fresh tank fill later today.

    • The barley wine is fully carbed, the porter isn’t fully but I could tell it was on its way. So is more about the high pressure valve reading and confirming with the PRV than any concerns over the beers.

    • Ah, an empty tank. You def have a slow leak (even slow ones can just rip through your tank). I can send you an email with some “best practices”, but it sounds like you knocked something loose. Still a problem, in my view, because your system should be able to take some jostling since the life of a homebrewer is filled with perpetual fiddling around with equipment. For me the suspect would be where the disconnects meet the keg. Those seals always feel the most precarious, IMHO. Also a tough one to fix on 3 kegs full of beer. I’d throw a fresh tank on and monitor it over the weekend. If all is well then look for the culprit after you’ve finished the kegs.

    • Yeah, I have a dual secondary inside the fridge that is just sort of propped up. I will definitely try to figure out the best way to secure that so it is both out of the way when moving kegs around but so I can still adjust the settings as needed for each of the two kegs. The kegerator kit came with a T-fitting which I replaced with the secondary so I could dial different pressures into each keg for carbing. I didn’t cut the hoses when I pulled them off the barbs of the T-fitting, so that is another possible culprit in my mind but should be testable with some soapy water. I appreciate what you are saying about the ball locks, they definitely seem finicky compared to the tight seal of a sankey (my system can do both.)

      I won’t be able to fully go over the system until Sunday so will have a natural test period tonight and tomorrow night to see what is what. I can disconnect the gas lines from the ball locks during that time to see if pressure still drops, hence identifying the secondary before I do a soap test.

      I am just trying to see this as part of the normal process of learning a new system and not get super frustrated. Aside from these two episodes, I have been very happy with the switch to kegging. So much easier and really like the results.

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