This is the story of a hissy fitting and how I managed to roll through three bottles of CO2
before getting to the root of the problem. Some time last fall I picked up a pre-assembled gas distribution hub from a shop in Austin. Only recently did it actually get pressed into service and find a home in our keezer.
At first there was only a single line connected to a freshly kegged batch of beer and the regulator indicated that a replacement gas bottle would soon be needed. Three days later when the pressure reading was zero, I thought nothing of it and fa-la-la-ed to the homebrew store to exchange the tank.
Eventually four kegs were connected to the hub. One of them had just been transferred to a keg and I knew that I’d have to check on its progress in about a week. Fast forward a week and I peered at a gauge that again was reading zero. Hmmm, thirsty keg of homebrew being force carbonated? Maybe, but I was suspicious.
Off to the homebrew store. I needed to swap out a CO2 bottle for work anyway.
Instead of doing to smart thing and checking all of the fittings for leak – it WAS pre-assembled after all, I hooked up the fresh bottle. Bad move on my part. Three days later, it too was empty.
At this point the little light bulb over my head clicked on to full bright. I unplugged everything from the keezer and tossed it into a tub of soapy water.
When I cracked the gas valve open it looked like a Navy sub was doing an emergency blow. There were streams of bubbles every where.
I grabbed a wrench and tightened the connection between the ball lock gas fitting and the tubing swivel another quarter turn and put the rig back into the soap. None of the ball locks were leaking gas. All of the leaks were from the preassembled, crimped fittings. Well, so much for fancy crimped hose clamps.
Off to the homebrew store for some low tech, twist the screw ring clamps. After replacing all four of the leaky clamps another bubble test yielded calm, still, bubble free water!