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Old 05-21-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
senorswiss
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Default Air getting into beer line (video)

I have searched through the foaming threads for a couple of days now to no avail. On one of my taps (perlick 525, fully open) I am getting pure foam after the initial beer in the line makes it out. I'm linking to a video I posted where you can see air is somehow getting into the line. Let me summarize what I've done to try to fix it:

I switched the line (including coupler) from one keg to another thinking that perhaps I had a bad o-ring on one keg. The foam followed the beer line, so the kegs should be fine (later tried a picnic tap which works fine on both albeit a little fast as that line is much shorter).

So then I thought perhaps the line out coupler (ball lock threaded with flare screwed on) was somehow bad. I switched it with a spare I had, same problem.

I then took one of them apart and used Teflon tape everywhere that pieces fit together - no help.

Each time I switched the coupler I cut off the end of the hose, so the hose itself shouldn't be a problem. Also in the video it looks like the bubbles are making it in before the beer makes it out of the stainless barb.

(Disclaimer: shot one-handed with cell phone while holding keezer lid up and trying to get all the beer into a glass)
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=qzq4gn&s=6
Each of my kegs has been slowly force carbed (one at about 13 psi, the other at about 7, 41 deg F) for > 2 weeks, and again each one pours fine from the picnic tap.

I would be very appreciative of any insight you can offer.

Thanks!

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Old 05-21-2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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thats not air in your beer line. thats CO2 escaping the beer.

well there are a few reasons for foamy beer coming out of a keg. it could be that your serving pressure is to high. this can cause turbulence that will knock the gas out of the beer similar to shaking a bottle or can before you open it. it could be also that the beer lines are warm and the beer is warming up releasing its carbonation.

my recommendations are to lower your serving pressure and make sure your beer out lines are as cold as the beer in the keg.

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Old 05-21-2010, 11:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
thats not air in your beer line. thats CO2 escaping the beer.

well there are a few reasons for foamy beer coming out of a keg. it could be that your serving pressure is to high. this can cause turbulence that will knock the gas out of the beer similar to shaking a bottle or can before you open it. it could be also that the beer lines are warm and the beer is warming up releasing its carbonation.

my recommendations are to lower your serving pressure and make sure your beer out lines are as cold as the beer in the keg.
Those are great suggestions. Also, it's hard to tell in your video what size and type of tubing are you using for your beer lines. Is it 3/16 beverage tubing? What is the length of the tube and how high must the beer rise to the tap? Have you connected this line to another keg to see if the problem follows it?
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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Thanks, both, for your replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
thats not air in your beer line. thats CO2 escaping the beer.

well there are a few reasons for foamy beer coming out of a keg. it could be that your serving pressure is to high. this can cause turbulence that will knock the gas out of the beer similar to shaking a bottle or can before you open it. it could be also that the beer lines are warm and the beer is warming up releasing its carbonation.

my recommendations are to lower your serving pressure and make sure your beer out lines are as cold as the beer in the keg.
I was serving the two kegs at quite different pressures but just tried lowering the serving pressure way down to 2-3psi and got the same behavior (tried pouring both before and after bleeding the keg).

I have the lines coiled up on top of the kegs but do not have a fan running in the keezer yet. Still, when using the picnic tap (line coiled in the same way), I don't get the foaming. That makes me think it's not the line temp. Also, the line I have running to my keg of Two Hearted is coiled in the same way and it does not foam. I'll be putting a fan in there at some point though, so I guess we'll see.

Quote:
Those are great suggestions. Also, it's hard to tell in your video what size and type of tubing are you using for your beer lines. Is it 3/16 beverage tubing? What is the length of the tube and how high must the beer rise to the tap? Have you connected this line to another keg to see if the problem follows it?
Quote:
I switched the line (including coupler) from one keg to another thinking that perhaps I had a bad o-ring on one keg. The foam followed the beer line, so the kegs should be fine (later tried a picnic tap which works fine on both albeit a little fast as that line is much shorter).
Yes, I am using 3/16 bev line. I have about nine feet of it left, now I think...started with ten. The taps are in a collar, about 18 inches above the center of the kegs.

Thanks again for the input. Any other ideas?
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Know that if you lower your serving pressure you will make the foaming worse for a time. Lowering the pressure will allow the co2 to break out of suspension. If you leave it at 2-3psi for any length of time, you will have flat beer. And any changes you make will take time to show results, so it's best to do one thing at a time and be patient.

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Old 05-22-2010, 11:35 PM   #6
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Are your clamps and flare fitting tight? Is the nylon insert for the flare fitting seated properly and in good condition?

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Are your clamps and flare fitting tight? Is the nylon insert for the flare fitting seated properly and in good condition?
The clamps are tight; I've specifically tried a second hose clamp in case the first was applying uneven pressure on the hose enough that it let air leak in. No success.

Is the nylon insert you are referring to this: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/swivel-nut-gasket.html ? I don't have one of those, but the liquid out coupler has a plastic tip. I thought this took the place of a nylon washer...perhaps not? I'm starting to think that this may well be the issue, but I would have thought the teflon tape I added would have sealed the fitting up well enough.

Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:26 AM   #8
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Sounds very weird indeed. Just to confirm, no matter what keg you try it on it foams but a picnic tap on any keg is fine?
Have you tried changing the disconnect, it might be clogged or something and restricting the flow causting a pressure drop and allowing the co2 to come out of the solution.?

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Sounds very weird indeed. Just to confirm, no matter what keg you try it on it foams but a picnic tap on any keg is fine?
Have you tried changing the disconnect, it might be clogged or something and restricting the flow causting a pressure drop and allowing the co2 to come out of the solution.?
Yes, I have tried to different disconnects (each with different a different barb and nut), and yes, the picnic tap works fine on each of those two kegs. I bought the picnic tap already assembled (perhaps it has a nylon washer) whereas I have assembled the other lines myself. I bought the liquid ball lock threaded fitting, a flare, and a nut to convert the threaded fitting to a flared (barbed) fitting.

Anyone have thoughts on the nylon washer discussed in the previous two posts?
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:53 PM   #10
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The beer line is at a positive pressure relative to the atmosphere, so there is no way for air to 'get in' even if you did have some sort of leak path. If there were a leak path, beer (or CO2) would come OUT, because it's at a higher pressure. Outside air can't magically move from the lower pressure atmosphere to the higher pressure interior of the beer lines. So imo you can quit wasting time looking for air getting in somehow. It's def CO2 coming out of solution as mentioned.

But you do have a mystery on your hands because I can't figure why a picnic would work fine but the Perlick won't, especially since this isn't even happening at the faucet end but is at the keg end. I would triple-check to make sure there is nothing like a venturi in there; i.e. a restriction in flow immediately followed by a larger cross-sectional area. That will pull CO2 out of solution the same way a venturi works.

FWIW, I keep the hoses coiled up, zip-tied in coils, and stuffed down between the kegs in my keezer. My keezer has just enough room for all the beer line and gas line to fit between all the kegs.

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