Rising PSI on keg

I just started kegging and I will be doing the “set and forget” method. Today I transfer a beer in the keg (it was more than done at 1.004, too much perhaps), and set the PSI for 12. I come back in 15 minutes and the regulator is showing 20 psi. I pull the relief valve, the psi drops back down to 12. For several hours now, it keeps rising to about 20psi every 15-20 minutes.

I travel quite often for work and had planned to leave the kegs for 1 to 2 weeks at a time with the presumption that they would be fine sitting at 12 psi. Now I am concerned that I be gone for a couple weeks and come home to a disaster.

Things I have tried and checked; leak tested the regulator and tank, turned off the co2 and made sure that the beer was not creating the pressure do to ongoing fermentation.

Thoughts? Is this normal? will the PSI drop as the CO2 is absorbed into the beer? Or do i have a pressure cooker building?

Thanks in advance!

It sounds like you may have some bacteria in the beer which is causing it to continue to ferment and build pressure. I have had this happen before when I was lazy with my cleaning process.

Could it be a leaky regulator. Set it for 5 and see if it creeps. I’m not sure Bactria would work that fast.

Could be something stuck in the diaphragm of the regulator. You can often fix this by disconnecting the gas hose you have on the outlet side of the regulator (so gas can flow freely) and sending a few short high PSI bursts of gas through the regulator to dislodge whatever’s in there. It’s worked for me in the past when my regulator started doing the same thing.

I agree that it could be a diaphragm issue. Give the Pressure Relieve Valve (PRV) a few sharp tugs, it’ll blast out some CO2. That sometimes does a good job of dislodging debris. If it still creeps after that, it might be smart to disassemble the regulator if you are feeling handy, to manually inspect the diaphragm.

If your regulator is new, and it’s been acting like this from the start, then it’s possible it’s under warranty. Regulators are usually assembled by putting the diaphragm in by hand, then putting the face on with power tools or similar force/speed. You can imagine that if the edge of it gets caught, then it can get torn up. I’ve seen that from the cheapest of regulators, to the highest end of Micromatic, Cornelius, Taprite, ETC.

As temperature goes down, PSI reading goes up. Is it possible when you open fridge door…

Probably not your problem from what you said, but something to look at if you can’t figure it out.

I think this is still a good thought…that LOW FG/SG is a clue to infection often.

…unless of course it is a saison or a beer that is supposed to be very dry. you didn’t mention what the beer was or the expected FG.

If that is the case, then what gforce and co. said with the keg mechanics