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Loss of carbonation

I have this IPA that’s been on tap for a couple weeks. Started out great, nice bitterness, good aroma, good head and lacing, took a while to clear but it’s still got the ss hop basket in it. So it’s cleared really well in the last 2 weeks but gotten progressively flatter. The first one I poured tonight had almost no head but you could see the CO2 rising out of it for the first few seconds in the glass. The third one I poured had only a few bubbles and is very flat. These were 12 oz pours.

It did go through a couple of losses of pressure along the way but for the last couple weeks it’s been on gas and the keg has stayed pressurized.

Can a beer just suddently decide not to hold CO2 any longer?

It’s my usual pale ale grist bill and process. Recipe and notes below.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Rogue IPA
Brewer: Danny Clarke
Asst Brewer:
Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 6.68 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.68 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.060 SG
Estimated Color: 6.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 70.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5 lbs 8.0 oz Vienna Malt (Avangard) (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 50.0 %
5 lbs Briess 2 Row (1.8 SRM) Grain 2 45.5 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.5 %
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 4 15.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [9.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 5 17.3 IBUs
0.65 oz German Magnum [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 29.5 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7 -
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 2.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [9.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 3.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 10 1.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [9.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 11 1.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124 Yeast 12 -
1.00 oz Amarillo [8.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [9.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: BIAB - Danny’s
Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs

Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash in Kettle Add 17.93 qt of water at 161.9 F 152.0 F 60 min
Sparge Add 12.00 qt of water at 195.0 F 168.0 F 10 min

Sparge: If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

mashed in 6 gals had to alter grain bill because not enough 2 row

FR 1.062

easy brew day.

pitched entire 1272 cake from 1/25/17 cent IPA, 62 degrees
2/16 good heavy krauesen early AM
2/18 Had similar fermentation as last one using this yeast. Krauesen started to fall then 3-4 inches light bubbly foam temp 61-63
3/15 purged and kegged, DH’d at room temp, under pressure in bag
3/22 put in lager fridge and on gas
3/26 Chest fridge was full of CO2 and cylinder was low. checked all lines and connections seems ok. appeared to be leaking from lid, pulled bag and replaced with DH with fresh.
5./2 pretty in your face bitterness. Seems clean and palatable. Starting to flear but seems to be losing carbonation.

The CO2 situation ended up being the distributor. Took the center check valve off and taped and replaced to stop leak.

5/12 flat after a couple pints are pulled. Cylinder is at 10psi.

Created with BeerSmith 2 -

First thing I would check would be my regulator. Had a similar thing happen few years back and checked everything lines thinking had a leak. Turned out was my regulator gone bad

Currently having the same issue. Pumping up my psi to “12” to see if it changes anything

I found the leak and fixed it. No more leaking. The keg is pressurized, beer just won’t hold the carbonation.

Yea I bumped it up a lb or 2 to see what happens.

That is truly strange. You would think that if the keg holds the pressure, the beer certainly would hold the CO2.

They are not cheap but having more than one regulator and tank is really handy. Not just to swap out and test if that’s the problem but to force carb one keg and push the beer in your kegorator with another. I also went nuts with an old one I had. Couldn’t find a rebuild kit for it so I broke down and bought a new one. Have three now.

I won’t buy the thought that liquid won’t absorb, and hold carbonation. You have a leak somewhere. This may be excessive, but I’d turn up the regulator as far as it will go, you won’t harm the keg. Then spritz some soapy water on all you fitting, even your pressure relief valve… Thats a bummer this has to do this to you again… Sneezles61

BTW the reg that I had trouble with bubbled up in the back when I sprayed soapy water on it so hit the reg too.

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You could even charge up your keg, disconnect it and leave it set in the kegerator, Add gas every time you pull a pint, at least, if the tap end doesn’t leak also… Then you could rule out that keg. I took on of mine out of the mix… I still have yet to purchase the thicker gasket that was mentioned a few years ago…Sneezles61

I have two setups, double low pressure regs on the 20lb cylinder and a single reg with distributor on the 5 lb cylinder.

Already did all that to find the leaks before. Actually submerged the regs and distributors to find it. leak was in the distributor on the 5 lber.

I find it hard to believe too but it is what it is. There’s no leaking anywhere. see above post about dunking the regs and connection points.

There is CO2 in solution but it does not produce head and bubbles right out of solution once it settles in the glass…it’s truly odd…

OK. Just did a little more investigating…Just pulled a half pint from all four kegs on that cylinder and they’re all like this…very little head on the pour, gas bubbles out very quickly…

I suspect the cylinder is not filled with CO2…they purge the cylinders with air then fill with CO2 correct? Maybe they just purged it and left it? Or filled it with some other gas?

Unfortunately I can’t remember which place filled the cylinder last…either Roberts Oxygen or Fireline…

edit: Looking at my bank transactoins it would appear the last fill was at Roberts in late February…Seems like the issue would have appeared sooner if it’s the gas… I haven’t been drinking much the last couple months…one of these kegs probably hasn’t had a pint pulled off it since that cylinder fill so the gas in there wouldn’t even have been exchanged…though I probably purged it when I put the new tank on to equalize the pressure…

If it was purged with air, wouldn’t you maybe notice your brew being off in flavor? Still, what a bummer… Sneezles61

If you got empty keg fill it with water and try carbing it. If is co2 you will have seltzer water. If it’s just air it won’t turn the water into sparkling water

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I opened one QD by hand snd sniffed. Smelled like CO2…

I don’t know if I myself would be able to smell the difference

So I pulled the cylinder off the regulator and it was definitely almost full. I opened the valve and let some gas escape…it chilled the valve like you’d expect fast escaping CO2 to do…

there was definitely pressure in the line when I took it off…pressure dropped on the high pressure reg when I removed the cylinder…burped the kegs…they all had pressure…the beer in all four kegs is flat…some gas bubbles up when poured then they go completely flat…

Why aren’t my beers carbonated…I’m at a total loss for ideas here…anyone got any ideas?

Do they have carbonation and just lose it quickly? Possible cleaning agent residue left in kegs/glasses? Have you tried increasing pressure to say 16-17 to see if that changes anything, possibly it’s a bad gauge/regulator. You could try force carbonating by shaking your cold keg at 15-20 lbs and see if comes out with head/overcarbonated.

No they HAD carbonation…great head, etc as detailed above but suddenly lost it…I’m now guessing something clogging the gas line? But all gauges read as if there’s pressure to the high pressure and low pressure gauges…

I cranked it up to 30psi and one of the low pressure gauges acted weird…twitching around as if the pressure was inconsistent then leveled out…I’m going to leave it there overnight…may try your idea of shaking one a bit to see what happens…

Seems as if the kegs lost pressure and eventually bled off but there are no leaks anywhere…very odd

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