Beginner Questions: Huber 5L Mini-Kegs

Been brewing since last Christmas and have made 4 or 5 batches of fairly tasty brown ale, and thanks to this board, have managed it without killing any of my guests. So that part is OK.

My local dealer caries (but does not personally use) the 5L Huber-type stainless mini-kegs
which I bought into. These use CO2 cartridges the size of your thumb. Now I have questions he can’t answer, so I need some more help. The included documentation was sparse. Maybe some of you have some hints.

• He recommended 1.5 tablespoons of carbonating sugar per mini-keg. The first keg was flat; the second was nothing but foam. The only thing I can think of is that I mistakenly placed a double load of sugar in one and none in the other. I’m a fairly careful guy and I doubt this.

• How high do you set the CO2 pressure? There’s no gauge. Do you set it so that the beer just barely flows out, or go ahead and pour the pressure on? Can you set it too high? Do you get foam if you set it too high?

• Are most people using a new CO2 cartridge with each new tapping? On my “foamy” keg, I turned the gas OFF and inserted the tapper into the new keg. Beer shot out the manual tap at the bottom, which had not been previously been opened. I still haven’t figured that one out.

• If you pull the tap/ spindle/ head out of one keg, is it OK to insert it directly into the next keg from the same batch? Does i need to be cleaned or sanitized? How often do these type taps need cleaning?

Just to make it clear. From the same 6 gal batch, I bottled about five 12oz bottles using some carbonation drops left over from my Cooper kit. These bottles were excellent, with no issues. So I’m fairly certain it’s my treatment of the mini-keg.

Any suggestions VERY welcome. :smiley:

I used to have mini kegs a long time ago. So my knowlege may be a little blurry at this point…

There is a good chance you double dosed one keg. No real reason for the major variation - EXCEPT - if the flat keg had a slight leak at the bung (which I have had.)

A new keg will tend to be a little foamy with the first few pours, but should calm down as you pour a few pints.

I have found that carbing a keg a little bit less than you would bottles can help a bit, but you do still want it to be within range.

As far as the gas goes, it was always a bit of a mystery to me. I always got my best results by pouring the beer on it’s own preasure. If the flow began to slow down, I would give it a shot of the gas to get it back on track. If the beer poured well enough on it’s own, I would usually give it a little shot of the gas at the end, then turn it off.

This was probably not how the system was designed, but it always worked for me, without pouring buckets of foam. I actually found the system to pour extremely creamy pints when in ballance - almost like english beer out of a new cask.

The “creamy pours” is what I’ve experienced on my first keg.

That’s what I’m after, brother. :wink:

Thanks for your comments.