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Help me carb this beer. Bunker's Ale

Having had a problem with my first kegging experience not being able to carb with CO2, (and I followed instructions that said to set the regulator at 10-12 psi which I did for a couple of weeks, but I never had any carbonation, just foamy and flat beer despite shaking the keg as some instructions say)I chose to carb my second kegging attempt with natural carbonation. I used 2.5 oz of priming sugar and let it condition at room temps for 15 days. Added the CO2 at 2-4 psi and poured a couple of half foamy, but flat beers. A few days later I poured my third beer, no foam but very little carb, same as the first two.The beer has been in the fridge since after the 15th day of natural carbing. I cranked the CO2 up to 12 and hope that it will absorb it. Some advice please. Can I boost this up some more to get a decent carb. The beer is a new recipe and very good. I’m a pretty decent brewer so I’m not a complete moron, lol but so far kegging is giving me more problems than All Grain brewing ever did.

What is the length of your beer line? What is the ID of the line?

Are you fully opening the tap or partially opening it.

With keg #1 (and now keg #2) when you pull the pressure release, are you getting a lot of co2 out? If not, there is something strange. If so, there is something stranger.

I have had excellent results with 7-10 days of 10-12 psi “set and forget” carbonation.

It sounds like the beer may be carbonated but it is all coming out of solution during dispensing. There can be several causes to this, like Nighthawk mentioned a line that is too short or too big a diameter can cause the beer to come out extremely quickly and dissipate all its foam (just like shaking up a soda - it fizzes a lot and tastes flat). You can try pulling the pressure relief and pour with just 3 psi - if the beer tastes carbonated then you know your line is too short or too big (should be 3/16" diameter, length varies depending on setup but 7-10’ should be enough for for 12 psi). Warm beer lines will also cause foam to egress, are the lines refrigerated adequately? The foam would decrease on subsequent pours if this was the case.

There are other causes like bad-oring seals on the beverage side but let’s make sure your dispensing setup is adequate before getting into all that.

Also worth noting that I have had beers that took forever to carb with the set it and forget it method (10 days later it was only kinda carbed). Hooking up gas to the beverage post (with a beverage QD!) seems to help this issue for me in my limited sample size.

You also have to have enough headspace in the keg.

Won’t carb if you fill it to the top.

The last beer pour was not foamy at all so I don’t think I’m losing CO2 that way. The tubing is 1/4 i.d x 3/8 o.d. clear plastic pvc tubing and is refrigerated. It’s about 5 r 6 foot and looped. If I use the CO2 through the beer line, at what psi and for how long to achieve carbonation this way?

This is the problem. For short runs like a kegerator you need 7-10’ of 3/16" tubing. 1/4" tubing has way less restriction and you would need 25’ or more to have an equivalent restriction of the 3/16". The beer is pouring too quickly and knocking out all the CO2 in solution, making the beer pour with a huge head and have no bubbles left. Get some 3/16" and try that. :cheers:

If you want to push CO2 through the beverage post, you use the same carbonation level as you would normally. It’s just a way to diffuse directly into the beer rather than having to go through the surface tension at the top of the beer. I don’t know how much of a barrier this really is, but it seems to help.

By George I think the tubing did the trick! Bought some at the hardware store (I will buy food grade later and replace) and that beer is totally carbed. Thanks fellows!

Unless you purchased some funky stuff, it’s food grade. No need to buy some more.

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