5 gallons of beer.....gone

Anybody else ever have this problem? I went out to my fridge on Saturday to check on the carbonation level on a keg of ESB that I kegged last weekend. I was hoping to pour a nice pint and enjoy while I worked on cleaning out the garage a little since the temperature here in Houston was finally in the 80s and it was good “honey-do” weather.

I opened up the door to go out into the garage and smelled a slight “beery” smell but didnt think much of it since my garage normally smells like beer or wood anyway. I opened up my fridge door and the smell got stronger. I picked up the keg to give it a little swirl and it was stuck to the bottom of the fridge. I noticed as I cracked it loose that it felt awful light. Then I realized with horror that my keg that I just filled last weekend was empty. I had not even poured a single pint from it yet but it was gone. I checked my hoses and connectors and everything and not a hint of a leak. I turned the keg over and there in the black rubber on the bottom was a small blowout hole. It seems that one of the seams inside the bottom portion of the keg sprung a leak and pushed the beer out into the rubber bottom until the pressure caused it to spring a leak spilling my beer all over the inside of my fridge and out the drain hole in the bottom and onto the garage floor.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of this happening before? I pressurized the keg before I filled it to make sure it wasn’t leaking and didn’t see any signs that there was a problem. I guess I need to fill them all up with CO2 and dunk them in the bathtub to make sure I don’t have any slow leaks before I fill them up with beer again.

I had this happen once (though I caught it before the leak caused the rubber part to break). It was caused by a pinhole in the bottom of the keg itself. I discovered the problem when I saw the bottom rubber piece bulging. Luckily, before it had a chance to burst and make a mess. Fortunately in my case I was able to save most of the beer.

The keg in question had been given to me by someone who couldn’t brew any more, and I suspected that this previous owner had been using chlorine to sanitize it.
I found out later that he was leaving the chlorine solution in the thing for days at a time.

This is the first time I have ever had a problem like this. I dont use chlorine to clean or sanitize. I use BLC to clean and I use Iodophor to sanitize. I actually just went thru all of my kegs 2 weeks before this problem and cleaned and sanitized them and replaced all of the O-rings. I just hope I dont have any issues with any of the other kegs going forward. And I guess the next time I keg a batch I will check on it at least once a day and hope that if I do have this problem I can catch it before I lose all of the beer.

That is a real bummer, sorry man.

So, the chlorine ate through the stainless?

In my case, it must have…although mtodd states he doesn’t use chlorine.
I do sometimes, but keep a careful eye on contact time and so, other than the one incident I described, I haven’t had any problems (and I acquired all of my Cornies between 18 & 20 years ago).

The only thing I can figure is that somehow the weld around the bottom of the keg sprung a leak somehow and the beer escaped into the rubber bottom and then the pressure popped a hole in that rubber bottom allowing the beer to run out into the bottom of the fridge. I am just hoping that the rest of my kegs are ok…I have had them all for about 10 yrs and they were used when I bought them so there is no telling how old they actually are.

That sucks. Do you still have a good amount of CO2 left in your cylinder? Hopefully you’re only out of one, not both. Still, that sucks. Just another reason to brew again.

Yeah, kegs leak, it happens. That has never happened to me directly from the keg itself, though… they’ve always been very tight. It’s always been an issue with the keg poppets or connectors.

Surprisingly it did not drain the CO2 tank. And what really surprised me is there was pressure in the keg when I pulled the relief valve on top. Not a lot of pressure but enough that it made a good noise when I pulled the valve. I am tempted to pry the rubber bottom off of the keg and try to find the leak in the stainless just to satisfy my curiosity of what caused this. I have heard of this happening to folks due to leaks in the poppets or problems with the posts not sealing correctly but I had everything tight and leak-proof…allegedly. :slight_smile: