Keg headspace

So my last all grain recipe seemed to go just right (knock on wood) and I ended up with enough beer to actually FILL the keg.

To the top.

I didn’t realize how close it was to painting my garage floor because of the leftover starsan foam snake crawling out over the posts.

So I put this question out to the beer vets: How much head space is necessary to force carb a keg if you are not going to leave it on the CO2? I cranked my regulator up to 30 psi and shook (inverted, reverted really, when it is full it seems hard to get any inertia to move things around in there when it is all the same density) for a few minutes. I’ll likely do it again tomorrow, but wont put it on tap for a week or two when my two kegs on tap are kicked. My concern is that if I over carb it, when I pull the PR valve to bleed, I’ll get a bath. Anyone else out there accidentally fill right to the tippy top?

As long as the surface area is the full diameter, it should take the same amount of time as usual. If the volume of beer is up into the dome top, it will be slower.

I’ve heard that if the beer is above your CO2 in tube, it won’t carb.

I’d think it would carb faster since you are forcing CO2 through solution and not relying on the pressure in the headspace to break the surface attention and be absorbed. If it’s above the diptube, it will allow beer to get into the gas tube, or manifold, or regulator.

I’d think it would carb faster since you are forcing CO2 through solution and not relying on the pressure in the headspace to break the surface attention and be absorbed. If it’s above the diptube, it will allow beer to get into the gas tube, or manifold, or regulator.[/quote]

So it seems that I should definitely not repeat this stunt, and risk infecting my next batch in this keg until a complete dis-assembly and cleaning. I guess all I can do is pour a glass or three to bring the level down and RDWHAHB.

If you are shaking to force carb, the fuller the keg the longer it takes for carb.

Be careful with the really full keg. If the gas in dip tube is down in the beer, there is a really good chance that you will end up with beer in your gas lines when connect it to the gas.

[quote=“Brewbeer22”]If you are shaking to force carb, the fuller the keg the longer it takes for carb.

Be careful with the really full keg. If the gas in dip tube is down in the beer, there is a really good chance that you will end up with beer in your gas lines when connect it to the gas.[/quote]

Bummer. That is most certainly gonna happen here. I gues I will have to get one of those check valves for my setup with the new hose. I always purge hot oxyclean and then starsan through both dip tubes when I clean a keg but this news still makes me nervous.

Check valves are a great idea. I’ve heard they can also prevent crossover of flavors with multiple kegs.
If you do shake, make sure to disconnect first.

Checkvalves are usefull. But just pulling the relief valve before hooking it back up to the gas will prevent it too.

+1 on beer in your gas lines. I’ve done this twice and never again. At least it was my external misc. co2 line… Still a pain to clean out.