A leak in my keg

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by sooners3210, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. sooners3210

    sooners3210 Aspirant (239) Jun 15, 2006 Texas

    I think my keg has a leak in it. I kegged it two weeks ago, the first time I let it sit for a few days at 10 psi, I wasn't in a hurry so I thought I would just let it carbonate the easy way. After a few days went buy I went to see how it was doing and I noticed that my 4 pound tank was completely empty, so I went back to my LHBS and had him refill the tank. I got 2 pounds of gas in my five pound tank, my LHBS is having issues with the tanks of gas he is getting. I hooked up the tank back to the keg, after I tightened all my hoses and connectors, thinking that was the problem at the time. Everything seemed fine for a few days, I went outside tonight to get a pint and once again I had no gas, my tank was empty. I pulled up on the release valve on my keg to see if there was any pressure/gas still in the keg and nothing, so I think that confirms my thought that my keg is the problem and not the tank of gas. Since I do not have a layer of gas over my beer right now should I worry about my beer taking on off flavors? What are my options now, can I take apart the keg and try to find the leak with beer in it? Should I transfer the beer into one of my other kegs, can I even do that after the beer has been carbonated? Thanks in advance.

  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (721) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    You should still have a blanket of CO2 on your keg (CO2 is heavier than air). As far as the leak...track it down with some soap or Starsan...and check with at least 40#s as leaks may not reveal themselves at lower pressures. Check not only the keg, but all fittings clear back to your regulator. It's a process of elimination.

    I had a problem awhile ago when I popped a relief by accident and it did not reseat properly. I've also had a slow leak on my regulator...check everything.
    inchrisin likes this.
  3. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (524) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    For me, the big gasket in the lid often doesn't seal well. If I see this I up the pressure to 30-40psi to push it firmly into place and vent after a minute or two. This usually does it. As Krusty says, the problem can be anywhere between the tank and the keg. IMO, it's usually the keg though.
  4. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,175) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    As everyone else says, spray everything and crank the PSIs. This is the reason I use the shaking carbonation method & only top up with gas once a day.
  5. samtallica

    samtallica Initiate (108) Jul 22, 2010 North Carolina

    Had this problem recently and it can be a pain in the ass. Went through probably 3 5lbs tanks, replaced a bunch of parts and all my o-rings before I finally got sick of trying to track it down and just replaced my regulator and tubing. Pretty sure my regulator was leaking but I'm still not 100% sure. I would find a leak, fix the problem, then find another one. Extremely frustrating.
  6. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2006 Michigan

    Do you have the nylon gasket in place between the tank and the regulator? Working in resturants, this is the number one cause of co2 loss in our draft systems. It falls out when some bussboy changes the tank and rolls under a shelf and he thinks "I only make minimum wage, I'm not crawling under there to get that. Fuck it"

    Also, if it turns out to be the keg seals, I've never had a leak that hasn't been fixed with a little keg lube on the o-rings. Just find it with star-san + high pressure and lube up the offending seal.
  7. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    It's faaaaar better (and easier, IMO) to fix the leaks than do this bandaid 'fix'. Even without a leak, you're going to have persistently under carbed beer doing this.

    To the OP: crank up the pressure. Many leaks will audibly hiss. Also, keg lube is a must. You'd be amazed at how easily leaks are eliminated with this simple step.
  8. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,175) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Agreed, but while I don't have any leaks (or haven't had one evidenced since the last time I lost a tank) I am still nervous about losing a full tank so I do this...
  9. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    If you have a leak, you're going to use up a tank quickly just recarbing the beer that went flat as a result. Not to mention the frustration of drinking flat beer in the meantime. If you don't have a leak, you're wasting effort and subjecting your equipment to unnecessary wear and tear. Check for leaks, fix any you find, and put your mind to rest.
  10. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    What do you mean by "...top up with gas once a day?"

    OP: This can be very frustrating. I've learned that high pressure, shaking in the beginning, and star san checks within the first 20 min are crucial. I alsu use a rubber o ring to seat the regulator to the CO2 tank, along with PFTE tape. Everything MUST be tight or you're out $20 of CO2, and or 5 gal of beer if it's on the dispensing side.

    Oh, and don't go easy on the keg lube.
  11. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,175) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Even it is sealed fine, I turn the gas on for a minute after any pints are poured that day. If I have a slow leak, it refills it I figure, but it's a habit I now have that I'm not changing.
  12. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'm assuming you turn your gas OFF every day too. :slight_smile: I'll be the last to throw a stone for CDO habits.
  13. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Clearly, you've found something that works for you. My take on it is that, if you know there are no leaks, then it's completely unnecessary, and there's a potential downside for the beer. If you're not sure if there's a leak, then your time would be better spent finding and fixing it rather than fiddling with valves in an effort to mask it. This seems to me like borderline OCD.
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