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Crowlers going flat quickly - please help!

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  • Crowlers going flat quickly - please help!

    Hello everyone. We're putting our Oktober crowler machine to work overtime theses days since the tap room is closed due to the virus. We are receiving more than one call about the beer being quite flat by the next day. We don't have any co2 issues with the beer at the tap head. Here is our process. Please let me know if you see anything we are doing wrong or could improve upon. The whole following process usually takes less than one minute to complete.

    1. Crowler and lid sanitized (usually in the same type of Sani mixture we use in the 3rd sink of our glass cleaning process - Steramine)
    2. Crowler is rinsed on our glass washer next to the tap head.
    3. Crowler is purged with co2 at a very low psi so as not to create a vortex and reintroduce oxygen
    4. Crowler is filled from the tap head. We do need to tilt the crowler to about 45 degrees to fill, otherwise it gets quite a head and takes 3 or 4 taps to fill
    5. Crowler is insured to have beer all the way to the lip, little or no foam remains.
    6. Lid is floated on top of beer in crowler
    7. Crowler with floating lid is placed on can holder in the Oktober Model 7, splash guard is moved up
    8. This action causes the crowler and lid to seat up onto the upper die and overflow the extra beer in the crowler down into the spill tray while pushing the lid down into the can in proper sealing position.
    9. The seamer is turned on, the initial manual seam is created (left handle) followed immediately by the secondary seam (right handle)
    10. Crowler and lid is properly seamed with no leakage.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Try filling and co2 purge from the bottom using a vinyl tube. It will decrease turbulence and help keep co2 in the beer.
    Use something like this or make your own.
    https://rapidswholesale.com/rapids-b...yABEgKmaPD_BwE

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    • #3
      You say the lid is properly seamed, with no leaks. Have you checked both stages of the seam with a micrometer to make sure the dies are adjusted properly? Set screws can move, and dies can wear. It's possible for CO2 to slowly leak out of a faulty seam that otherwise looks fine and doesn't leak liquid. If you don't have them on hand, your can manufacturer will have specs on proper seam thickness.

      Nothing else in your procedure looks hugely problematic, though I agree that a growler fill tube will help minimize turbulence and preserve carbonation. It would take a lot of turbulence to completely flatten beer going into the crowler, but it's worth a try. Good luck and stay healthy.

      Edit: I know Steramine is safe for use at standard dilution for glassware, metals, and other non-porous materials, but I couldn't find any information on any potential effects on porous materials such as the sealing compound at the edges of the can lids. It's unlikely, but maybe some test runs without the sanitizer could be worth doing.
      Last edited by spetrovits; 03-23-2020, 10:51 AM.

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      • #4
        Foam loss

        Steramine is a Quaternary Ammonium sanitizer. They are all well know for being 'foam negative'

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        • #5
          Originally posted by paul farnsworth View Post
          Steramine is a Quaternary Ammonium sanitizer. They are all well know for being 'foam negative'
          Shoot Paul. That's certainly good to know. Do you have any input on a better solution for crowler sanitizing? Perhaps Star San?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FibsBrewing View Post
            Shoot Paul. That's certainly good to know. Do you have any input on a better solution for crowler sanitizing? Perhaps Star San?
            Star San is not so good either. It reduces surface tension in liquids which is good for surface cleaning but bad for head retention.
            Use Peroxyacetic acid or Chlorine Dioxide sanitizers.
            (You would be well advised to use one of these on all your equipment too. Star San is much less effective than these)

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            • #7
              You need to get fill tubes as mentioned above. We have been using star san, but let the cans drain over several minutes before filling them with no foam/non-foam issues.

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