Setting up a King Keg

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by PenhowBrewer, Mar 21, 2019.

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  1. Mar 21, 2019 #1

    PenhowBrewer

    PenhowBrewer

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    SWMBO bought me a king keg top tap for my birthday.
    Being a compulsive bodger, I just had to fit a schrader valve and a pressure gauge as seen on this forum and elsewhere on the web.
    I also swapped the standard tap for a sparkler.

    I got some tips here about the type of fitting to use for the pressure gauge and learned about BSPT, BSPP and NPT threads - something I had never even heard of before! Also finding suitable washers was far from straightforward.

    Having the schrader fitted is a great way to test a barrel before you put a brew in it, pumping up to 6psi and liberally spreading washing up liquid solution around all the new joins.

    But, overall, what a faff it’s all been - the barrel kept loosing pressure overnight or a day or so, and have stripped out all my fittings and tightened up and Vaselined etc. etc.etc., I finally put some washing up liquid solution INTO the schrader valve opening, and it started doing a West Ham fan impression (Forever Blowing Bubbles, for the non footie afficianados)

    So I replaced the schrader (fortunately I had bought a pack of 2) and then on the next test it took almost a week to lose pressure. After further continued application of washing up solution, I have now tracked it down to the S30 valve safety rubber ....the S30 valve being about the ONLY thing which I haven’t added or changed (aaaaagggggghhhhh )

    Having looked at a few YouTube vids etc., I have ordered a set of replacement rubbers for the S30, as it looks like they can lose their elasticity “on the shelf”, so to speak.......so that’s ANOTHER wait until I can test the barrel again.

    So far, this has been more of a light engineering project than a home brew start up :laugh8:

    So, I would heartily recommend anyone setting up a new barrel to fit a schrader and get a cheap bicycle pump from Halfords and test everything before you put a brew in it.

    I would also really appreciate any tips/tricks/ experiences of s30 valve setup & maintenance from you guys on the forum

    Happy brewing (and light engineering)
     
    kelper likes this.
  2. Mar 21, 2019 #2

    keat64

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    Good luck fitting the new rubbers.
    When you see them, the first thing you'll think is that they sent you the wrong ones.
     
  3. Mar 21, 2019 #3

    Graz

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    About to go through pretty much the exact process described above with one of mine before transferring my next brew to it. Got three King Kegs and none of them hold pressure. Got a new lid with Schrader valve + seal and new rubbers for the valves which I'm going to fit before testing.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2019 #4

    lush

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  5. Mar 21, 2019 #5

    Chippy_Tea

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  6. Mar 22, 2019 #6

    Graz

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    Really hating these kegs now! Set about testing mine last night, put the lid on, pumped it up a bit - hiss.

    Coming from the valve but only at about 5 psi so possibly not the pressure relief. Suspect the washer that seals it onto the lid. Tighten it up a bit and start again.

    Pumping for ages now but the pressures not coming up, check it, oh not holding air at all. Start again, dismantle valve, make sure washer is well seated, hand tight and the half a turn with the spanner.

    Pump up again - hiss, try tightening a little while it's hissing, hissing reduces, another 1/4 turn maybe, hissing increases - argghh.

    Start again, this time get it to around 8psi before it starts to hiss. Could be the pressure relief this time so that's where I left it. Forgot to check this morning to see if it was still pressured.

    What I've also realised that I hate is the new style Hambleton Bard stainless steel S30 valves. Hard to get the the right level of tightness without the rubber washer starting to come out from under it. Also because of the metal collar over the pressure relief rubber you have now clue if it's leaking from there or the valve to lid interface. Think I preferred the old brass valves but unfortunately lobbed my old ones out a long time back.

    In the past I have tried putting a bit of sealant on the valve washer on my old lids (Fernox LSX) but I'm not sure that worked, the problem is the sealant provides lubrication to the washer until such time as it has cured so trying to tighten it up means the the washer is even more keen to escape from the underside of the valve. Might try some Plumbers Mait instead as it's a bit more tacky.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2019 #7

    Graz

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    Another update, time was against me as I had a brew waiting to go into one of my King Kegs. Got a new one of the old style brass valves, fitted into my new Balliihoo lid and it tightens up nicely. Good start. Pump up the keg, starts hissing and it's coming out of the gas in bit of the valve. Upon further inspection the rubber on the inlet isn't very well seated, sort that out and away we go again. Got up to 10 psi on the bike pump and the verified with another gauge on the Schrader valve. No audible leaks, spray a bit of Starsan over it all, few bubbles from the pressure relief rubber but that's kind of expected as they're supposed to crack around this sort of pressure. Okay everywhere else though.

    Put the beer and priming sugar in it and now it's priming. Will test in a few days but I'm really hoping it's sorted. Time will tell...
     
  8. Mar 27, 2019 #8

    kelper

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    My keg is leaking very slightly and I suspect the inlet seal. but I am adding a gas bulb every two days and the grog is OK. I will certainly test it with a bicycle pump next time! I have the square 'O'-rings too. And some food grade grease. At least the cap seal can't escape.
     
  9. Mar 28, 2019 #9

    CeeGee

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    One of my King Kegs is conditioning in garage, though took a few attempts to get it gas tight.

    My second has a balihoo cap and I’ll be bike pump testing it before my next brew goes into it. Would rather solve my problems BEFORE the brew goes in this time around!

    Rather hilariously, I’d probably have tested it with a bulb until I read about the bike punp. Seems so logical NOW...
     
  10. Mar 29, 2019 #10

    PenhowBrewer

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    UPDATE.......

    So, I got some new rubbers, and as keat64 said, they looked a bit small!
    With some needle nose pliers, the top off a ballpoint pen, lots of swearing and a good degree of patience, I managed to get them on.

    The good news is that the barrel has held at about 6psi for 24 hrs now...hoorayyyy
    upload_2019-3-29_16-25-35.jpeg


    It definitely needs the barrel spanner to get a good seal. I have used ptfe tape around the threds and given it a good tighten up.
    I’m going to sand the rim down a bit as well, a suggested above, and I think I should be ready.

    I racked my merlot off yesterday, so my FV is now filled with my first beer kit, and my barrel is ready & waiting.
     

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