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 cch0830 09-24-2012 12:54 AM

air bubbles

I'm a keg noob. I've got a Belgian Pale ale in the keg right now and every pore I'm wasting beer because there is tons of foam. I've noticed a lot of air bubbles in the line. I have it on 5 psi serving pressure.

 FastAndy 09-24-2012 04:59 AM

Assuming you know to open the tap all the way every time your pour it sounds like it could be the lines. There are several calculators out there that can help balance your system.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2011/07/14/keg-line-length-balancing-the-science-of-draft-beer/

Are you force carbing or priming in the keg?

 JuanMoore 09-24-2012 06:50 AM

I'm guessing that the serving pressure is lower than whatever correlates to the carbonation level. The gas is trying to come out of solution because the system's not in equilibrium. How many vol is it carbed to, and what was your process for carbonation?

Here's a handy chart showing the pressure as it relates to carbonation and temperature-

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

It's entirely likely that your lines aren't long enough to provide enough resistance for the correct pressure though. And while those calculators and equations linked above can be handy, realize that they don't take all variables into account, and they also only calculate the shortest length that might work without creating lots of foam. It's usually better to go with longer lines, since they'll compensate for most unaccounted for variables, without any negative side effects.

 cch0830 09-25-2012 06:29 PM

I'll try increasing the pressure. Do you think i could have over carbonated? I carbed at 25 for about a week. There was 4 gallons when i started carbing

 JuanMoore 09-25-2012 07:28 PM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by cch0830 I'll try increasing the pressure. Do you think i could have over carbonated? I carbed at 25 for about a week. There was 4 gallons when i started carbing
At what temp? Unless it was close to room temp, then yes, it's probably severely overcarbed. "Burst" carbing at a higher pressure like that is typically only done for ~24-48 hrs.

Disconnect the gas, vent the pressure, and vent it again every time you think of it for the next few days. There are also quicker ways to degas a keg, but I'm on my phone and don't feel like typing that much.

 cch0830 09-25-2012 08:37 PM

It was in the fridge so probably around 40 degrees. I have carbed like this with previous beers but I don't know why this beer would be different. I'll try shutting off the gas like you said

 JuanMoore 09-25-2012 09:04 PM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by cch0830 (Post 4443758) It was in the fridge so probably around 40 degrees. I have carbed like this with previous beers but I don't know why this beer would be different. I'll try shutting off the gas like you said
Well, maybe it isn't overcarbed, but that depends on what level of carbonation you were shooting for. A lot of Belgians are typically pretty highly carbed, but you need extra long lines to be able to serve beers with higher carb levels. If you have the somewhat standard 5' beer lines, you probably won't be able to serve anything over ~2.7 vol at that temp.

Whatever the carb level, you need the serving pressure to match it. The 5psi you have it on now corresponds to only 1.87 vol of carbonation at that temp. It usually takes 10-14 days for the carbonation to reach equilibrium with the pressure. At 25 psi and 40F that's a carb level of 3.64 vol. If I had to guess, I'd say the beer probably reached ~3.0+ vol after a week at 25 psi.

What carb level are you trying for? What was the final carb level and serving pressure for the others beers you carbed using this same method that didn't have problems?

 cch0830 09-25-2012 09:16 PM

I really didn't have a level of carbonation i was shooting for. I'm still an amateur at brewing and was trying to move into kegging to get away from the time I had to spend bottling. I was doing just enough to get the beers carbonated but I have not ran into a problem until now. I understand that certain beers have certain typical carbonation levels but I have yet to figure out how to reach those levels with a simple kegging system. I have seen charts online but still not sure how to read them.

 JuanMoore 09-25-2012 09:26 PM

To read the chart I linked, start with your serving temp on the left, and follow that line to the right until you see your desired carb level. Then look at the top of that column see what pressure it requires. Set your regulator to that pressure, and wait 10-14 days. This is known as the set and forget method. There are faster methods of carbonation, but it can be easy to overshoot the carbonation using them. The set and forget is easy and always results in the perfect carb level.

As far as what level to carb your beers to, it's really just personal preference. There are all sorts of style charts out there that have the supposed "proper" carb range for every type of beer, but they have varying figures, and often conflict with each other. What a lot of people do, including myself, is carb all beers to the same moderate carb level regardless of style. This particularly makes sense if you want to serve several beers from only one regulator, and save the cost of multiple secondary regulators. Around 2.4-2.5 vol is pretty common. As a general reference, pretty much all BMC beers are carbed to 2.7 vol.

FWIW I carb the vast majority of my beers to 2.4 vol, which requires 11psi at 40F.

 cch0830 10-01-2012 12:00 AM

Yeah my beer was definitely over carbed. I found a guy on youtube who showed me a trick to fix it. You take the beer out line off then you move the CO 2 line to the beer out line post. Turn the CO 2 on and this forces CO 2 from the bottom up. After the beer stops bubbling then you shut the CO 2 off and let the CO 2 escape out of the pressure release valve on top of the keg. Keep repeating that process until the pressure release valve starts leaking out foam. Then connect the keg up like normal and pour. This trick really worked.

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