Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Beer Won't Carbonate

I have a keg of Vienna Lager that will not fully carbonate for the life of me.

I’ve force carbed hundreds of kegs with no problems in the past. This keg has been connected at 30psi for 5 days, and is still only partially carbonated - About the level of a cask ale, or somewhere between 1 and 2 volumes. My tank is full, my regulator works, and another keg carbbed up just fine two days before putting this one on the gas.

I’m at a loss. Anyone have any ideas?

Give it a shake. I have had issues before where oil (from hops or vanilla beans etc) formed a layer on top of the beer and prevented the CO2 from entering solution.

Thanks, Greg - Glad to know I’m not totally crazy. That thought crossed my mind, but with it being fully lagered and sedimented, I’d hoped to not disturb all my patience :slight_smile: Maybe I’ll push it to a new keg and shake it up with no worries.

I had a friend who said he had some problems keg carbonating before. I guess he read somewhere that the beer should not be above the tube that pushes CO2 into the keg for some reason or another. Also, he tried to carb outside of the freezer for some reason and the warmer beer doesn’t carb up as nicely as cold beer.

Also, now that I think about it had a vanilla bean porter that didn’t carb forever so maybe the shaking will help.

I have had that problem a few times too and fixed it by doing as Greg said. Another thing to check is that you are not losing CO2 on the keg o-ring or poppet. That makes it tough to carb and you may not know it until all your CO2 is nearly gone.

Thanks, guys.

Strangely enough, I popped the lid off and dipped a sanitized tasting glass in the beer - It’s wildly carbonated! Like it would be after 5 days at 30psi. It must be degassing or something on its way to the tap? More troubleshooting to follow, I suppose. I did have to replace the out post on that particular keg, and it’s different than the stock post that came with the keg. Something after market from Northern.

How long are the lines you are using?

+1 I had a keg that was leaking from the gas post. Replaced the poppet, no change. Bought a new post, didn’t fit. Bought the universal poppet from NB, installed yesterday, still holding pressure. :smiley:

Could it be that you just weren’t fully clearing the lines when you poured your previous samples? If it was coming out on the way to the tap you would have a glass full of foam. If your pour looks reasonable, then it’s got to be old beer in the lines. Try pouring enough to clear the lines/dip tube, then pouring your taster into a separate glass.

I’m really quite stumped about what was happening. I always discard a few ounces to clear the tap lines, that wasn’t it.

I ended up pushing the beer to another sanitized keg (out post to out post) and having to let the beer degas a bit. It was definitely carbonated, and it served from that keg with no problems.

I observed that while it was being pushed to the new keg, the new keg occasionally “gurgled” big bubbles of co2, which I’ve never heard before. It’s always been a very quiet and consistent process. I inspected the source keg, and everything seemed A-OK to the naked eye.

I’m not really sure there’s a definitive answer, but I appreciate all of your input. If I ever find the cause, I’ll be sure to report back.

Sounds like you might have a leak on the out post, or perhaps a bad oring on the dip tube, so the air is getting out of the post without going into the beer.

Seems likely if it is staying with the keg. But I don’t understand why this doesn’t have a huge amount of foaming to go with it. You can’t just release a bunch of gas from solution without it foaming up like crazy.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com