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no beer in first time tapping

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  • no beer in first time tapping

    hello all,

    well, i got a kegerator for christmas and its been sitting in my parents basement until i get an apartment large enough to warrant one. while we are here, my dad and i found a 1/6th barrel keg of dragons milk at a local liquor store (quite a find). i did a little research, set the CO2 pressure to about 11 psi (judging off Force Carbonation Chart - and one of the threads on here, that is what i determined to be the proper psi) set everything up and...nothing. i think in the 30 minutes-an hour that its been sitting there, we got one drop out of it. what could i be doing wrong?

    i double checked everything, the little plastic ball ive read about that causes so many problems is there and moves freely, the CO2 lines arent hissing or letting out any pressure... still no beer. something that was somewhat interesting was that the release valve on the coupler makes almost no noise when released. ive changed hundreds of kegs while working as a bartender and have never seen this problem. im at a total loss...

    edit: im starting to get a slight trickle, but nothing more than a few drops at a time
    Last edited by wzahner; 05-20-2015, 09:01 PM.

  • #2
    PLEASE don't take this the wrong way but it has happened before :
    Did you fill CO2?
    Did you hook up right? (beer from top CO2 from side)
    Did you make sure the beer line isn't against the cold plate?

    If above done and correct, pull on the pressure release valve on the coupler, you should hear a steady hiss for as long as it is open, if hiss then slowly stops, you need gas and you have a leak. You won't hear a hiss (normally), to find leak you need to use liquid soap.
    To help us help you can you post brand and model of kegerator, modifications made, pictures of the inside unit and inside tower would help.
    Freely moving check may not mean it works properly, best to remove (depending on brand/model)


    • #3

      yea i got a brand new CO2 canister today from airgas. i dont have any way of checking how full it is but i trust them and it seems to be full.

      the coupler is hooked up properly, ill get some pictures of it soon (as soon as im done responding)

      the beer line isnt touching the cold plate.

      im starting to hear a slight hiss from the coupler release valve. ill check all the lines here in a sec after i upload pictures. the line is slowly filling with beer, but man is it slow. the model is a danby basic kegerator ( Danby Keg Cooler DKC5811BSL - USA ) that i got from costco. ill take some pics now and upload them asap

      thank you


      • #4
        sorry about the double post, but here are the pics. the little ball seems to have stopped moving... how would i go about removing it? again this is the first kegs i have tapped with this set up and dont think it could be dirty

        (after pulling on the tap)
        (before pulling on the tap)

        here are some more, the ball is moving again though.

        let me know if there is anything else youd like to see

        from more research, ive found that perhaps it is a bad regulator/gauge? any thoughts? considering this is my first time i bet i probably did something totally idiotic, just not sure what...

        FINAL EDIT:

        got it working, the gas gauge doesnt work at a all apparently. set it to 30 psi and get perfect pours. will look into replacing it ASAP, for now im going to enjoy the beer. thank you Killian for your help
        Last edited by wzahner; 05-20-2015, 10:33 PM.


        • #5
          I'd back off regulator and set to 12-14 PSI, I think your beer line was too close to cold plate and froze beer in line, happened to me, just coil on top of keg neatly and set as I said and wait till tomorrow night and see, don't open the door.


          • #6
            ill try it but i have read in other threads that the gauge doesnt always work with these kegerators. i get a constant hissing from the coupler's release valve now and get good pours, even if the first pour is usually a little foamy (which i chalk up to the keg being a bit too warm right now; will test again tomorrow). ill let you know what happens tomorrow, good night and thanks again


            • #7
              Look, man, you want to blame the regulator, fine, replace regulator, from my experience (look at my history), a bad regulator is to blame for say 1-5 % of problems, I'd say 2% is the norm.
              By your pictures I can see the beer line comes down then up BEHIND keg, Danbys are not spacious, could be beer line is compressed by keg against back (happened to me), too close to cold plate, I don't know but BY MY EXPERIENCE, most likely not the regulator (out of the things the Danby is blamed for it isn't the regulator). Just reset the regulator to 12-14 PSI, make sure beer line isn't obstructed or close to cold plate (coiled neatly on keg) and see. Even at 1/3 of PSI (by your posts), you should get some flow (not drops). Frozen beer will stop flow, period, low PSI will not cause drops of beer (super low might).
              It won't do any harm to try for 24-48 hours to see.
              Looking through all your pictures I'd say beer flow was obstructed by keg or frozen.
              Last edited by KillianBoy; 05-21-2015, 01:25 AM.


              • #8
                I tend to think Killian's right. This is symptomatic of freezing more so than a bad reg.

                You say you fixed it @ 30 psi what is the temp of that pint of beer you pulled?

                What is the T-stat setting?

                In the 4th photo the reg was holding pressure if you pull open the release ring valve and hear the noise like you do when you depress your tire steam valve on your car the reg is like 97% okay. It only has a slim 3% chance of being bad.

                Always coil the beer line on top of the keg. never let it droop behind it. As Killian points out proximity to the cold plate will quickly freeze the line and produce the result you just described.


                • #9
                  hey all,

                  first off, thanks for the input. learning more about these finicky machines is priceless. this is my first foray into a home bar and im glad i found somewhere to get help.

                  as for this problem, i tried it again about 20 minutes ago after leaving it overnight at 12 psi. it started out foamy than quickly lost pressure and by the time i filled the pint it was little more than a dribble. for a stout (from my experience at a bar), the initial foam is pretty normal, granted that is a different system than what im using. i took killian's advice and coiled the beer line around the top of the keg and it seems to be fine. this kegerator doesnt get especially cold, however, ill do my absolute best to keep the line from touching the cold plate. i may continue testing the pressure to find the perfect balance but at least im finally getting beer out of the keg.

                  thanks again, and if any of you have any more tips about the best way to handle a beer like this one (dragon's milk), im all ear. im not typically a stout drinker but this one is excellent


                  • #10
                    Eventually you will have to go longer line, look through forum about balance, 12 PSI might be fine but I found a v/v for Dragon's Milk in carbonation thread at 2.52, depending on temperature of the beer might be too high, find the temperature of beer before setting the PSI. OK, @ 38 degrees PSI should be dead on at 12.
                    Rule of thumb is that your first keg is a test keg of Big Brewery beer.
                    So, is the beer leaking at the connection between coupler and keg? How does the beer flow from faucet @12 PSI (fast, slow, white, beer color)?
                    The reasoning behind coiling beer line, is to make sure 1) it isn't lying against anything and 2) it isn't being obstructed by keg or anything else, by being on keg you can keep an eye on it and rule out anything effecting beer line. Not just lying against the cold plate. Also make sure the gas check is working properly (between coupler and gas line), if nothing stops the slowing of flow, try remove the check ball in coupler on beer side.
                    Last edited by KillianBoy; 05-21-2015, 02:37 PM.


                    • #11

                      i have since raised the temperature and have found that around 20 psi (according to the gauge) is the perfect psi for this beer, and my dad agrees, as he has had this beer many more times than i have.

                      there is no leakage at the coupler, and at 12 psi: the first half second or so is very fast, then a second or so of straight foam, then very, very slow but somewhat consistent beer. at 20 psi, the same thing happens but with a slightly higher rate of flow after the initial speed and foam. how would i check if the gas line is working between the coupler and gas line? are you talking about the release valve on the coupler, or using soapy water on the connections? it is pouring great right now and id rather not fix what might not be broken but if i could make it more predictable thatd be great.

                      and trust me, if it was my $$ i would have gotten a cheap beer keg for the first go a round but we got a great deal on a hard to find beer so we went for it. and it really is amazing if youve never had it


                      • #12
                        I honestly don't think IMHO, "it is pouring great right now", something funny is happening. Don't know if raising temperature helps or not because I don't have any reference, I need the temperature of the beer to know if raising helps or doesn't (say colder or warmer to be clear).
                        If beer flowed like your kegerator at the bar you worked at, then OK, but I have never heard of beer doing that unless there is a problem.
                        OK, the red arrow is pointing at some leakage at coupler, if this is still happening then leak either at beer line connection or coupler connection.
                        I think the black box shows some sort of breakout, normally too low PSI setting.
                        The white circle is where the gas check valve is, unscrew hex, the check valve is between gas line and coupler, normally a duckbill type, it like a pair of lips if clogged will cause problems.
                        Again beer shouldn't be doing that, to me it seems the gas isn't getting to keg.
                        You have one pressure release on regulator and one on coupler (I think it is facing away from you and opposite side from where you took picture). Pull on release at coupler if hiss that slowly dies, then gas isn't getting to keg, then do the same at regulator, tug and hold, it should hiss constantly, if dies out the tank is empty.

                        For reference if a seller sells a keg at a great price either it is near expiration or someone had the keg and had problems.

                        Can you post if you put a washer between beer line and coupler? Any washer between tank and regulator? When you have coupler off keg, check for damage to keg seal and if your coupler seals are undamaged (picture would help of both).
                        If I had a guess something is obstructing gas getting to keg.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          You're a good man KB. All I hear in my mind is "pull up Goose, pull up" and then quiet.
                          What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines


                          • #14
                            Read your deleted post, I thought the same thing originally but OP uses term "ball", looking closer, I see a exit end of torpedo check valve.
                            Can you remove the valve and show what it looks like?
                            From bottom it should look like ball, top like a stern emoticon (-), if the - at bottom then that is the problem.