Mini Keg - Not holding pressure?

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gerald8_kop

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Hey guys

A few weeks ago I bought a Dark Farm 5L mini keg as below but the pressure is dropping no matter what I try. Now I'm completely new to kegging of any kind but really don't think it's user error.

Black 5L Mini Keg with Premium Disconnect DOUBLE WALLED Keg - Dark Farm

When asking Gareth before purchasing how it connects to a Soda Stream he just said that I get an adaptor with the keg so happy days. Turns out I need more than that so I have purchased these additionals and set it up as such within my fridge:

Gas Line

Barb Adaptor

20201125_142452.jpg


The pressure was dropping like a stone (15psi to 5psi overnight) and still ever so slightly when I removed the disconnect.

So on Monday I took it all apart and reassembled whilst applying a liberal amount of vaseline to everything (disconnect, keg spear thread, John Guest, regulator M8 barb, the hose itself which I had to boil for twenty minutes to fit, and soda stream adaptor) before setting to 15psi again. It fell to 14psi within about 45 minutes, but then only dropped 0.5 psi on Tuesday and another 0.5 psi today.

For fear of going mad, can somebody please confirm that this suggests a leak and isn't normal, or whether it's typical of force carbonation? FWIW there has been beer inside for almost two weeks (I initially had to wait a week after being advised to get the wrong regulator fitting) and have sprayed everything with starsan but am seeing no bubbles and hearing no hissing though I guess that would be unsurprising for a small leak. The pressure also drops rightly or wrongly if I shake the keg and I've tried all of the fittings both tight and slightly overtightened without difference.

Any thoughts? Would be greatly appreciated as it's exasperating and I was hoping to get another batch of good stuff in it by now!
 
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Pavros

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I would contact Gareth at Dark Farm - he is really helpful and there is also a useful page on their website on force carbonating with their kegs.

Although I have 4 of the DF kegs, i don't force carbonate or use a soda stream attachment so I haven't seen any drop in pressure like you have described
 

gerald8_kop

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Why not talk direct to Dark Farm.
I have been doing. Been emailing him since having placed the order for multiple reasons (mostly with quick responses) as it has been a difficult buying experience and more recently whatsapped him with my issues/photos but he hasn't managed to resolve it. The closest I've come to fixing things - with vaseline - was my own idea and having twice asked him to ring me he says it isn't something that can be sorted via phone.

I know he is in high standing on here and also seems a really nice guy but I'm getting nowhere since having handed over 200 quid about 6 weeks ago. Thus I wondered if any forum members have experienced similar.
 

gerald8_kop

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I would contact Gareth at Dark Farm - he is really helpful and there is also a useful page on their website on force carbonating with their kegs.
Yeah I've combed his website and watched his - plus other people's - youtube videos 🙂
 

terrym

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I have been doing. Been emailing him since having placed the order for multiple reasons (mostly with responses) as it has been a difficult buying experience and more recently whatsapped him with my issues/photos but he hasn't managed to resolve it. The closest I've come to fixing things - with vaseline - was my own idea and having twice asked him to ring me he says it isn't something that can be sorted via phone.

I know he is in high standing on here and also seems a really nice guy but I'm getting nowhere since having handed over 200 quid about 6 weeks ago. Thus I wondered if any forum members have experienced similar.
Then you have my sympathy if you have been unable to resolve your problems.
Sorry I cant help.
asad1
Just seen your edit. He won't ring me.
Perhaps @Chippy_Tea can provoke a response wink...
 

Pavros

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Sorry - I added to my post while you were replying.

It may be that the pressure drops as co2 is absorbed by the beer but as I don't force carb, I don't know. I really only use my kegs as a 'big bottle'. I batch prime and keg some and bottle the rest. Then leave for a couple of weeks and use the gas to serve. As the regulator is switched off unless I'm serving, I won't see any pressure drop.

Another point to consider is whether your mini regulator is working properly
 

gerald8_kop

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Yeah that's what I wondered - whether the drop was just standard for force carbing - but if so then Gareth didn't say as much. I queried with a couple of guys in my local homebrew group but they thought it more likely a leak. I thought it would have carbed by now as I have been trying to maintain 15psi for almost a week.

Nowt's ever easy :laugh8:
 

Pavros

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The large drops are likely to be a leak of some sort but the 0.5 drop per day could be due to temperature fluctuations, perhaps? So you may have sorted it by dismantling and using Vaseline.
 

gerald8_kop

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The large drops are likely to be a leak of some sort but the 0.5 drop per day could be due to temperature fluctuations, perhaps? So you may have sorted it by dismantling and using Vaseline.
It's in the fridge though. And I should have mentioned that the 0.5 drop is whilst keeping the regulator on (ie, once 15psi is was reached I didn't touch it again). Will try it now turning the regulator off at 15 psi to see if the drop is consistent or increased.

The ideal would be to pass it over to one of the homebrew club guys but of course Covid has other ideas!
 

gerald8_kop

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So I set the pressure to 15psi and turned the regulator dial to the off position.

Slightly over five hours later it is down to 11psi.

I guess that is fairly conclusive unless anyone with experience of force carbing can dive in?

TIA
 

MMBF

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I have had issues with my sodastream set ups when used with mini kegs leaking before. I now put the whole lot in a bath or big bucket of water to identify any leaks if I think there is a loss of gas. When I have had leaks it’s always been around the regulator and hose or the PRV on my regulators.
Submerging the regulator in water may cause regulator issues, but mine have never had ill effects after submerging them. Must have done this at least six times over the last twelve months.
I do force carb in my mini kegs, but do not do it very often anymore as I have had several that become over carbed.
I now use a Fermzilla all rounder to ferment and carbonate, and then transfer to mini kegs or cornies when done. But that requires a large CO2 cylinder and regulator. I tried using sodastream bottles for pressure fermenting and closed transferring, but I was going through Sodastream bottles like crazy.
My six mini kegs and two ball lock lids are from Brew Keg Tap and have never had any leaks from them.
Hope that helps. I am no way a authority or expert on this stuff, but this has been my experiences from trial and error.
 

MMBF

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Just a added thought on carbonation. When I force card in kegs I use the data on brewers friend. Force Carbonation Chart - Brewer's Friend
The colder I do it the better and I keep the gas on the keg for the entirety of the carbonation duration. Shaking the keg can speed this up, but as I previously stated when I have done this with a sodastream set up, I went through sodastream gas bottles like crazy.
 
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gerald8_kop

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Brilliant reply MMBF - thanks for your input athumb..

If forced to guess then I would agree to it being on the regulator side rather than the keg itself. Since connecting it to the keg at 15 psi first thing this morning (reg turned off) it hasn't dropped - not sure if that pleases me or confuses things more. Don't much fancy soaking the regulator in water so will just keep the regulator topped up at 15psi best I can and keep an eye on it. I do like the carb chart mind - super useful and going straight into my favourites.
 

BoomSchnitzel

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I've just started force carbing with my dark farm 5l and after setting to 15psi and turning the gas off it drops to about 5psi overnight too. Im just using the cartridges. I put it back up to 15psi and its drops again, not quite as far, overnight. I've done this 3 times now but assumed the drop was just down the the beer absorbing the CO2. How have you geen getting on gerald? Any tips?
 

gerald8_kop

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Hey

Things look much healthier after having reassembled things a couple of times with an even heavier application of vaseline and swapping the SS gas disconnect for a plastic one (don't think the latter was the culprit but I'm yet to change it back).

Got another beer in there now and whilst it drops very slightly (like you I assume due to absorption) it's nothing like a drop of 15 to 5. Literally a couple of psi per 24 hours for the first couple of days/if you give it a shake and then negligible after that.

Get lubed up I guess! Report back and let me know.
 

WaspStar

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I've only just found this thread, so apologies for the resurrection.

I too have a Dark Farm 5L mini keg which will not hold the pressure. I'm using CO2 cartridges and like @gerald8_kop and @BoomSchnitzel, the pressure just drops no matter how many times you try to pressurise it.

I've been in touch with Gareth at Dark Farm a couple of times but haven't managed a solution for this yet (I did email him last week, but haven't had any reply yet), as it definitely had an air leak from the pipe from the co2 to the keg.

Today, I stripped all of the stainless down, cleaned and applied keg grease to all of the seals and joints. I immersed it in water again and I can't see any leaks after pressurising, however, the pressure still drops and as soon as you open the tap to pour, it drops to zero.

I'm really frustrated as this setup wasn't cheap and I've had it for quite a while without it ever working how it's advertised to.

Any ideas and suggestions would be most appreciated!
 

WaspStar

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Cheers @BoomSchnitzel - some good news anyway, after filling my keg last night, I pressured it up, stuck it in the fridge and although it's lost some pressure, it's stayed around 15, so the strip down and keg grease looks to have, hopefully, worked. I'll stick an update on in a few days
 

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