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BM-23 Stock Tower Cooler Questions

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  • #46
    Hopworks DOA is a "Strong Ale":

    16* Plato
    55 IBU
    7.0 % alcohol

    I picked it up at the brewery and it was filled NOV 17th, so it was pretty fresh.

    I only think overcarbonation because releasing carbonation has helped with the off taste, but at most I didn't have the PSI at 13 for more then 48 hours. I did turn off the CO2, and release pressure from the keg and let it sit overnight. The next morning it tasted a little flat, but the off taste was gone from what I could tell. I haven't tried it since I turned back on to 10.5ish PSI and will see how it tastes tonight. By then it will have sat with the CO2 back on for about 1.5 days.

    I guess if there is still a problem I will have to find a place to test my tank and maybe replace the coupler.

    As far as trying a "Big Brewery", hopworks is a pretty large brewery, and I have had several kegs from them in the past (Corny fills) that were good until they were empty.
    Last edited by whiplash willy; 12-01-2014, 01:55 PM.


    • #47
      whiplash willy,
      Most beers can take a bit more PSI than v/v, it is allowable to apply 2-3 PSI for push, say if you applied 18-20 PSI for an extended period of time, then maybe, but by your posts you didn't go above 15 PSI with temperature in low 40's (at warmest), which is within range of PSI which won't overcarb beer.
      You seem to have this problem for 2 years, again you have to look at things as what was the same and what was different, if you did have same CO2 tank with nearly every keg causing off taste?, was there a keg that tasted fine all the way through? was it a standard sankey keg? was it a corny keg? was the off taste on a corny keg? was it yours or theirs? was all off taste from same brewery?
      You have to take this problem on logically and not just say "it was over-carbonation, I'll just lower PSI". This is problem which as persisted for a long time and I don't think is a cleaning issue or over-carbonation, it might be a problem with areas you can't clean (pressure relief valve on coupler, regulator or CO2 tank).
      I don't want to sound like a jackass, but is Hopworks Brewery as big as Budweiser, Miller, Coors?, when I say big I mean big, the biggest microbrewery is Sam Adams and I wouldn't even consider them a big brewery. I have never had problem with Budweiser, just saying throw a 1/6 of one of the above and see if you have off taste, if not then it isn't gear, most likely either you corny or their cleaning of kegs (depending on which kegs was off taste).
      To me it sounds like the pressure relief valve (or anything touching gas), if you vent and shake, vent and shake, then adding CO2 after a few hours it has less off taste, then after more time off taste is more prevalent, then area exposed to CO2 on coupler might be causing the off taste, this means pressure relief valve, keg seal or gas check valve. Try and smell the gas hose leading from regulator, if any hint of beer smell, replace hose.
      Looked over your posts and are you saying all the cornys you got from the brewery were fine (I am assuming that these kegs were standard cornys and not converted Sankeys) and all the pony kegs had a funny off taste?
      Last edited by KillianBoy; 12-02-2014, 02:20 AM.


      • #48
        I agree that it doesn't seem like I overcarbd the keg, it is just weird that a process for fixing overcarbd kegs,
        improves my kegs taste. After letting it sit overnight with the CO2 off, and released pressure, and then turning on
        the CO2 @ 10.5 PSI for a day, the Off-taste has been significantly reduced. It is mostly just noticed now as an after taste. I am glad it is reduced, but I want it gone, and I want to figure out the cause so I don't run into this in the future.

        KB, I get your point about the Big Brewerys, I just can't get myself to buy a keg of anything from a big domestic
        brewery. I don't think you are sounding like a jackass at all. I do appreciate your continued help and input for me
        on this.

        On my Past Kegs, starting about 4 years ago, I had about 4 kegs on my old Sanyo converted mini fridge. I could only fit Corny Kegs and 1/6 barrels, which is ultimately why I upgraded to the BM-23. I had 2 regular cornys of Hopworks beer, and 1 regular corny of Laurelwood. I also had 1 keg in a sankey 1/6th barrel from Portland Brewery. It has been so long ago that I really don't remember much other then I initially had off taste issues with the Laurlwood Corney, until I got it properly balanced. All of the others were fine all the way through. One of the hopworks one did have a off taste issue that due to crud buildup in the Shank, which is why I got a SS one this time around.

        It has been a few years since my last keg in the Sanyo, and this first keg in the BM23. My faucet, Sankey Coupler, Co2 Tank, and Regulator were left over from my old kegerator. The Faucet and coupler were cleaned before I stored them, and the Regulator/Tank were just stored. Before I put the Faucet and Coupler back into use, they were completely disassembled and cleaned/brushed/sanitized. The coupler's pressure relief valve does have some black spots on the tip of the plunger, but I can't clean that off. I have a new one on order from Micromatic.

        I am trying to find time and a place to check the C02 tank, but it was purchased new from a huge homebrew shop, and never gave me any problems on my last kegs, however it has been sitting a couple years since I used it last. I guess there is really no way to test the regulator, and I am not thrilled about throwing money at a new one just to see if that is my problem, but I guess I will have to if it comes to it.

        If it is something on the CO2 end (like contaminated tank or regulator), I don't understand why it would have tasted perfect the first week, then all of a sudden go bad. If it was a sanitation issue, wouldn't have I initially had the off taste, and shouldn't the multiple cleanings have some impact?

        On a positive side note, since I installed the tower cooler, all of my pours have been great, and my beer temp has bee very stable around 38*F.


        • #49
          whiplash willy,
          You are assuming that the black crud caused the off taste, it has never really caused taste problems with "big brewery" beers like Budweiser, maybe the recipe of the Hopworks and/or Laurelwood might have adverse taste problems when faucet isn't cleaned often, don't know.
          I assume the black crud and 1 Laurelwood that had bad taste was at the end before you stored everything away? Did you refill CO2 just before the black crud or Laurelwood? Did cornys ever have beer backflow back to regulator? (beer or liquid dripping from gas hose and/or regulator)
          If the cornys were the only ones that had the off taste, then most likely not coupler, but always good to have a new coupler.
          I'd look at getting the tank cleaned and hydro-tested, look in yellow pages under compressed or liquid gas, look for the "AirGas" title, they might be more expensive but they will clean and fill with food grade CO2, by doing this it will make sure 100% you have clean gas and go from there.


          • #50
            I finally tracked down the source of the Off-Taste!!!!!

            KB mentioned the pressure relief valve on the coupler awhile back. When disassembling and cleaning my coupler, that is the one thing I never removed because it wouldn't come off. After KB said something about it, I decided to remove it and check it out. It tuned out it had some black dots on the plunger. I tried cleaning/scrubbing the black stuff off, but I couldn't remove them. I ordered a new one from Micromatic, and finally got it on Thursday. I then removed the coupler, disassembled it, and cleaned it, then installed the new pressure relief. While I was at it, I cleaned the faucet, and shank with a beer line brush. I put it back together, and waited a day, then tested out the beer....It tasted fresh! The Off-Taste has been completely removed.

            Here is a close up pic of the pressure relief valve...It is hard to believe those little black dots could have caused all of that off taste!

            Dirty Pressure Relief Close.jpg

            So it was either this pressure relief valve, or something in the shank, but when cleaning the shank, the brush came out clean, so my money is on this valve. I had only used this coupler once several years ago on a 1/6 of Mactarnahan's Amber. I never had a problem with that keg, but when I was done I removed the coupler and cleaned it (assembled) then stored it for a few years. That must have been when that stuff built up on the valve. I must have cleaned the coupler well enough before using it recently, because every other part was clean, except for the valve I never removed to clean.

            Sadly I have gone through probley 2/3s of my keg with an Off-taste. I am glad it is working now and I was able to find the problem. I feel much better about getting another keg once this one is done.

            Thanks everyone for helping me figure this one out! Especially KillianBoy and PointPleasantNJBeerguy!


            Last edited by whiplash willy; 12-06-2014, 10:42 AM.