Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Disaster at FHB

I had a minor disaster in the keggerator. It happened shortly after I had put on a new keg of English IPA.

Some time before I had disassembled the beer line to clean it out, and as I discovered later, I hadn't completed the re-assembly. I had failed to put a hose clamp on the barb coming off the back of the faucet shank. The parts were all acquired at different times, and while some of the barbs don't need a clamp, this one did.

I was alerted to the problem by Diane, whose hearing is better than mine. She noticed a hissing sound when she comes upstairs after watching some TV. It took me a while to shut down the CO2 and figure out what I was looking at. The inside of the freezer is white, the head on the puddle of beer at the bottom of the freezer was kinda white... and frothy? The new keg is empty? NNNOOOooo!!!!

As nearly as I can figure, the events that transpired were:
  1. I put the keg on tap, get a short taste of the somewhat warm, non-carbonated beer. Yep, I've got the right thing hooked up.
  2. The CO2 begins to carbonate the beer, but also begins to force the beer out of the line on the shank just behind the tap handle.
  3. The keggerator, which is a converted chest freezer, slowly fills with the leaking semi-carbonated beer.
  4. After the keg is drained, the CO2 bottle also starts to evacuate, producing a hissing sound.
I guess the good news is that the freezer is water-tight so I don't have to shop-vac the beer out of the dining-room carpet?

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