I made an absolute rookie move when it comes to kegging – let this be your reminder to check your gaskets before tapping! This was a homebrew clone of a commercial beer that I’d had on tap at the time, so in not wanting to have two of the same thing up, I pressurized the keg a bit higher than usual, and set it in the basement. There it would stay until I kicked the commercial 1/6 keg, and thenI’d swap it out. I probably should have sat with it for a few mins after pressuring to make sure all was good, but I just threw it in the fermentation corner until it was time to bring it up.
After two months (no, it didn’t go stale) I kicked it, and it was time to swap it out. Not thinking, and after days of chasing down/waiting on orders for adapters to my homebrew pin lock corny kegs, I hooked it up and walked away letting it chill. I was doing a few runs, and I haven’t really been drinking anything during the week, so it sat for a few night before I went to pour one, only to find that I had no pressure. I swapped out the CO2 tank thinking that maybe since the tank had been on for so long it had just gone empty on me.
I got one pour out that night, and noticed it was a little stale and kind of flat tasting.. I figured I’d let it sit another day and see if maybe it just needed to sit under pressure. The next day I went to pour another and had no pressure again, I checked the gauge on my regulator only to find that my tank was empty again. After some troubleshooting with yet another new CO2 tank I realized that it was thekegs gasket on the gas side that had a bad seal which unfortunately led to the whole keg un-carbing… is the beer recoverable? Maybe, but it also seemed like the keg got heavily oxidized, and just has an off taste to it, so I’m not going to risk it.
I guess that this means I need to get to brewing in the next few weeks to have my taps full for the summer! I found these great little 2.5 Gallon Kegs that I think I’m going to order, so I can split my batches into smaller portions – this will make it easier to swap them out more regularly. Not to mention that these are dark transparent PET Kegs that allow you to see into them and check your level which is a nice added feature to have for the hobby brewer.