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Old 10-28-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default Keg Foaming, 5k feet altitude gain...

I live at about 800 elevation. I took a keg of properly carbed Centennial Blonde from the keezer to a mountain lodge for a work party.

It was foam city. Couldn't get the keg to dispense anything but thick, creamy foam. Finally decanted into a large teapot and waited for the foam to dissipate, then served the beer from the teapot.

I've been pondering this problem as I have to take another keg to the same location for another work party this weekend.

It dawned on my today that going from 800 feet, to 5500 feet probably has something to do with the foam problem.

But I'm stumped about how to fix this.

Any suggestions on a fix?

Thanks.



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Old 10-29-2009, 12:00 AM   #2
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i'm guessing a lot has to do with it getting shaken during transport.
in which case you can release some pressure ever couple days without putting it on gas. The greater amount of air space, the less times you'll have to do it.

think of it this way...
you release the CO2 pressuring the beer. The CO2 in the beer takes a while do create a balance with the now lower pressure volume of space above it.
when it balances out, you'll have less CO2 in the beer.

I doubt it's an elevation issue otherwise bottles would foam like heck as well and brewers would issue special high altitude batches.

I've brought some from 5280 to 9600 quite often. never a keg yet...



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Old 10-29-2009, 02:48 AM   #3
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I'm sure you're on the right track. The road to the lodge is mostly dirt. It's VERY rough. Like putting the keg on a paint shaker. The keg will only have about four hours to stabilize before being tapped.

The last keg that I took up was just a little over half full, this keg is almost full to the top. I hope it makes a difference.

Your point about commercial beers not over foaming was something that I thought about too.

Thanks.

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Old 10-29-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Force carb it when you get there..

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:23 PM   #5
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The atmospheric pressure difference due to the elevation gain isn't enough to significantly affect the balance of the system.

It could also be that the length of your serving line it too short, the beer was warmer than when it was carbonated or you were serving at too high of a pressure.

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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When you say you tried everything, does that include using a serving pressure of about 3-5psi? I transport 2 3gal kegs all the time, and serve almost immediately. The lines are ketp cold and I server at 3 psi.

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Silly question... But is it possible the lines were reversed? You'll get nothing but a monster foam ball that way..

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Old 10-29-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
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I think the key here is to get the beer extremely cold when you arrive and let the beer settle down before serving. Also, make yourself an extra long serving line. I think the ambient pressure drop for 5000 higher elevation is close to 1.5 psi so it should theoretically affect the line balance.

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
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The picnic tap was stored in the cooler with the keg. It's the same 3/16"x6' tap that I use at home. The keg was kept iced in a Coleman Extreme cooler but I just used the extra ice from the ice maker. My keezer's Ranco control is set at 38 degrees.

I didn't adjust the keg pressure from the keezer to the lodge, until it went total foam, then I started dumping pressure. That didn't work.

It was about freezing out, and was spitting snow so I didn't get a big temperature bump.

The kegs are pinlock, so no chance to get the lines reversed. I'm going to really ice down the next keg to see if I can get the temps down a little more. Also this next keg is almost full.

It's a sad thing when you roll out your homebrew and the quality goes into the crapper due to foam.

I've transported and served kegs before, and not had problems, but this road to the lodge is something from the Himalaya Mountains.

I'm going to try and give the keg a couple of more hours to settle down and play nice.

Thanks!

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Old 10-29-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Force carb it when you get there..
That would do the trick... and you could drink it in moments (moments being maybe 10 min)


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