kick starting a none starter

MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
I transferred my brew to a king keg and left it back in October, I have just tried it Dec 24th, and it is still cloudy and no gas pressure, I have fitted a gas canister just to get some brew out to test. Is there a way of kick starting the secondary fermentation as some I put in bottles worked fine so something happened in the barrel (or didn't happen)?

Message from homebrew informed me the sugar might not have dissolved so back on the hot plate :) I bought the festival ipa complete starter kit so should have everything i need i assumed that leaving it in the dining room would be warm enough but aparently not

however with the addition of the co2 cylinder gas, how is the best way of getting the pressure back out to allow it room to ferment its own gas? or will it be able to work while pressurised


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    The cloudiness is a sure sign it s not yet ready and needs longer, the extra warmth for a few days often helps it get going more quickly. There is no need to release the pressure, the beer will create it's own naturally and the valve on the barrel lid will release any excess pressure if needed. It is worth checking the lid is in tightly and it is holding pressure, if the CO2 you injected still has it under pressure then this is confirmation the barrel is all working correctly. The only other thing is to be sure you added the priming sugar to the barrel before sealing, as long as you know you did then this sugar will ferment on the yeast suspended in the brew in the same way it did in the bottles, another few weeks and it will sort itself out, and the flavours will begin to improve as it clears, the Festival kits also mellow in flavour the longer they are kept
  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    I went and rechecked on the barrel today and found no pressure, in fact it began to suck back in, read elsewhere thats not a good thing, so it was leaking. I hope it from the neck and not the tap.
    Tightened the cap further today so lets see if it makes a move now (also gave it a little shake just in case the sugar was on the bottom still, dont see that being a problem since most of the sediment was in suspension still)
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    If it leaking from the tap you will see beer coming out from around it, sucking air back through the tap is it needing to take air in to replace the beer being drawn off, and does point to it needing pressure inside the barrel. If the brew is cloudy though it probably wont be producing much of it's own CO2 just yet, but the extra warmth should help it get going. Tightening the lid is a good idea to be sure it is not letting in air, here are some common points to check too;

  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    I have pressure now, the lid only tightened on about a quarter of a turn more (using the cap spanner), but tightening the lid and switching on the heat pad for an hour twice a day just to boost it seems to have got it going, good pressure in there now, so i shall move it to a cooler spot soon, since it is in to its secondary fermentaion now and has pressure the sediment should start to settle.
    tastebuds are tingling already :)

  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited January 2014
    Excellent, it sounds like it is going well, now the hard bit of waiting for it to carbonate, clear and condition, the longer you leave it the better it will taste
  • MreddsterMreddster Member Posts: 60
    Glad you got it going. I've done that kit and it gets much better with age. I'm talking two months.
  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    well how about that, just started to drink my beer, almost 2 months to the day. I have been testing tasting it weekly it has finally matured enough to drink. it has cleared lovely, crisp flavour. slight after taste ( i wonder if it is the co2 as it is almost a soapy tang) the sparkler on the keg is rubbish, will have to find a better one for my next brew, the addition of air on dispencing is the reason for geting a keg in the first place.
    thinking of something more in the style of a ruby ale next
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Great news the flavours are developing properly, it will continue to improve too, just keep it away from direct sunlight. The taps should offer more control with the sparkler on the end, standard drum taps can just spray it all out, especially the first couple of pints when it can be under quiet a bit of pressure, a very popular ruby is this one which you might consider;

  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    been a while since i posted last i see, the beer did develop quite well, but it was never quite the taste i wanted. in the barrel it came on and had a reasonable maturity in the end -10 months in the barrel when i drank the last of it, so good barrel life :) - , but i guess i am not as much of an ipa fan as i used to be.

    So on to the next brew. i went to go for the peters ruby but it had sold out, so i have selected the muntons gold smugglers special, less hoppy more malty (from the sup i had while decanting) i think this will be much more to my taste
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    The Smugglers is a popular one amongst those who've tried it and has plenty of repeat buyers which is always a good sign, it should really improve when conditioned so let us know what you think
  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    I now seem to have the polar opposite on this new brew
    the smugglers special brewed really well ended up at about 1.012 after about 10 days. I transfered most to a barrel and three bottles to see how it differed between the methods. primed both with muntons enhanser. the bottles didnt last long, but the beer tasted delicious.
    The barrel however is explosive, i cannot seem to get anything but froth from the tap, it literally fills the whole glass with froth ... is there a way to calm the beer down or am i just trying it too soon??, the beer is not quite crystal clear yet, but is is very close. I am assuming it is not overpressurised as i have a gas valve on top which i presume regulates excessive pressure
    any help would be great
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    We're pleased the brew has turned out well, if it is not quite clear yet it may be worth leaving it a little longer so it tastes it's best. Barrels have the safety vent on the lid so should vent any excess pressure if needed, it is quite common for the brew to come out frothy especially if quite well primed with sugar and particularly for the first bit you dispense, this is often due to the amount of pressure as it is poured. The frothing should reduce as the pressure lowers a little as you dispense it, perfecting a technique of adjusting the speed you pour at and the angle of the glass usually helps too. We have heard that some people fit a length of tube onto the tap so it goes down to the bottom of the pint glass which some say helps, although most people just pour it and allow to settle before topping up. It is usually worse at the start of the barrel as it is full and quite pressurised so usually improves. One improvement that has been made is using the 'sparkler taps' that can be fitted to King Kegs, they are more expensive and wont fit standard barrels, but are great for flow control;
  • MortDaWgMortDaWg Member Posts: 10
    ok thanks for the info, i have a sparkler tap fitted already as i bought the starter pack you sell with the king keg. I just could not believe how active the beer was, it hit the bottom of the glass with such vigour, it rebounded right back out of the glass when i first touched the tap.
    being only my second brew in the keg and the first one being almost sedate when pouring, this came as a huge supprise
    I had brought this with the idea of drinking it at christmas but i fear it will not make it that far, i may need to consider getting a second brew on the go soon
    not sure wether to go for the same or try something else from your great range of brews
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    It will calm down and sort itself out in most cases, the initial pressure may be high but as the level lowers this will be reduced. If you are looking for an alternative to brew you might perhaps consider the Festival range;
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