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Thread: Keg parts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    57

    Keg parts

    Just got the dreaded "flat keg' phone call from one of my accounts. Looks like we might have some leaking kegs....

    1. Is there a quick testing method for filled kegs that does not involve a carb tester, as that would take beer out of a keg for sale

    2. Link to a good keg rebuilding tutorial

    3. Link to a cost effective supplier for keg parts. Google didn't help much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    3
    I find these somewhat regularly. After filling, the keg is upright and I'll rinse the top with water, leaving it full of water for a minute before blowing it dry with an air gun. Generally you can see the bubbles coming up in the water from a leaky stem. If you're going real quick you may miss a slow leak, but this catches most of them.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    Just got the dreaded "flat keg' phone call from one of my accounts. Looks like we might have some leaking kegs....

    1. Is there a quick testing method for filled kegs that does not involve a carb tester, as that would take beer out of a keg for sale

    2. Link to a good keg rebuilding tutorial

    3. Link to a cost effective supplier for keg parts. Google didn't help much.
    Please see my PM
    Steve Bradt
    Regional Sales Manager
    Eastern United States and Canada
    sbradt@micro-matic.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by UkuleleJoe View Post
    I find these somewhat regularly. After filling, the keg is upright and I'll rinse the top with water, leaving it full of water for a minute before blowing it dry with an air gun. Generally you can see the bubbles coming up in the water from a leaky stem. If you're going real quick you may miss a slow leak, but this catches most of them.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    Don't know why I didnt think of that! Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    607
    We get these calls from time to time as well. It hasn't been a keg yet, almost always it is they are out of gas. You can get a taprite tester, and don't worry about the lost beer in testing. You can figure out the issue pretty easily by checking their system, if it is good, then you are going to take the keg back anyways to test at the brewery. If the keg is flat, you probably arent going to sell it to anyone else, so its a loss as it is. As a general rule, I do not go straight to carbonation testing at a customers, I will figure out what their line pressures need to be for the beer, and then check out their draught system settings. If I do not find any issues, then I will remove the coupler and inspect the keg seal. If I don't see any problems there, then I will replace the keg and do further testing at the brewery. Examples of problems we have seen that werent the keg:
    1. Using beer gas on a direct draw system @ 10 psi, will not keep the beer carbonated.
    2. Out of nitrogen on a blended gas system
    3. Out of CO2 on a blended gas system
    4. Too low of line pressure.

    As I said, it has never been a keg issue in the 5 years we have been selling beer, valves have a 10 year life expectancy if treated well. I also find it useful to talk to the other employees a little to find out if maybe they ran out of gas and changed the bottle after it was too late. Sometimes the bar manager who calls doesn't know or doesn't want to admit that they forgot to change the tanks over.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,828
    If your filling procedure is effective--filling on pressure--and your beer is carbonated to your goal--you need a measuring device like a Zahm and Nagel to know this--then the only place where carbonation and pressure can be lost from a keg is out the top. If your valve isn't leaking--as per the test above--then it's a problem at the user end.

    Aside from the problems mentioned above, keg head (tap or coupler) seals wear much faster than keg valve seals, and can easily result in the beer going flat. Most taverns/pubs/bars don't realize that their keg heads require maintenance. Hopefully, the distro will do this maintenance, but that doesn't always happen.

    As mentioned above, the user-end problems are most common. We had an account that returned several kegs a month. Testing the beer (perceptive test) showed that it was, indeed, flat as a pool table. On speaking with the bar owner, it was his set-up, which I tried to explain was so badly designed (pushing with straight nitro for 50') and run (cleaned every few months) I was surprised they ever delivered good beer. We no longer have that account, and glad of it.

    I wish we were still small enough to be able to go out and sample draught pours from all our accounts. I've had horrible pours from a few local pubs, due to poor system design, poor maintenance, and poor line cleaning. One bad glass of our beer can lose us a new customer forever, as they tend to assume it's the brewery, not the bar.

    For parts and tools for keg valve maintenance, contact your keg supplier.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    57
    Last night we pulled small samples from all kegs in this batch in our cold room. Most kegs were fine, but we identified 4 that were sub-par carbonation.

    We do have a taprite carb tester and use it before kegging to make sure.

    We also went to the location in question, and sure enough, the beer was as flat as my first girlfriend.

    Now the question is what do I do with the kegs in my cold room.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post

    Now the question is what do I do with the kegs in my cold room.
    Howdy Mad Scientist,
    You could carbonate each keg in the cold room using a sanke coupler and a CO2 source. I used to do this with root beer kegs in series: gas down into the keg spear, tubing connecting the side sanke port and then into the next keg spear. The last keg in series would have the side port blocked so the entire “keg centipede” would hold pressure. I would usually hold them at around 20-25 psi for a few days, then check the carbonation. Before you do all of this, make sure you are aware of your kegs pressure rating (~60psi) and use quality fittings and tubing. I’m a fan of braided tubing for strength.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

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