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awalk1227 08-02-2012 03:40 PM

CO2 in line coming out of solution at growler shop, forms a bubble at a high point
 
I work at a retail growler shop and we've had some issues with beer lately. Several beers that pour just fine at our sister shop have been "foamy" lately. We first thought they were over carbed kegs, and tried bleeding excess air out. However, after I noticed they were beers that poured fine at other growler shops, I took a closer look at the line.

When we pour, certain taps will pour beer for a few seconds, then a huge air bubble hits the beer and causes a ton of foam. Upon further examination, at the beginning of the day I can go back in the cooler and see air pockets forming either at the highest point or closest to the coupler on the keg.

A little more about us:

-We have 3/8ID line coming from the keg up to a compressor. After the compressor, the beer goes through 3/16ID line and out of the tap.

-I think the high point of the lines is about 7 1/2-8 feet up.

-We pour almost all of our beers between 10-12psi. I believe this is appropriate for filling growlers. Sometimes we may go a bit under/over that range depending on keg carbonation levels.

-Our floating thermometer in the cooler says it's 39F inside, but the kegs with the most foaming issues are closer to the cooler door, where I am guessing it is a few degrees warmer by the end of the day.

-Our shop is a sort of garage, and we have a 12 foot wide garage door open for the entire day most days, unless it's colder than 40F outside or extremely windy/rainy. I have reason to believe that 90F+ days are stressing the beer a bit. Additionally, condensation forms on the taps, which I can't decide if that's related to humidity in the air or a bad difference in temperature between the outside and the immediate area around the taps.

bwarbiany 08-02-2012 06:41 PM

Do you have good air circulation in the cooler? I.e. you want the keg temp to be the same as the line temp at all points. Given variation inside the cooler, and 7 1/2 foot rise, there could be differences in the temp in the lines that could cause bubbles to form.

Also, if a beer is carbonated at a higher than 10-12 psi, you'll see bubbles form in the lines because the pressure holding it into those lines is too low (and the low volume / surface area ratio inside the lines allows CO2 to come out of solution).

awalk1227 08-02-2012 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bwarbiany (Post 4300688)
Also, if a beer is carbonated at a higher than 10-12 psi, you'll see bubbles form in the lines because the pressure holding it into those lines is too low (and the low volume / surface area ratio inside the lines allows CO2 to come out of solution).

Is there a reliable way to know what psi a keg is carbonated at?

bwarbiany 08-02-2012 06:46 PM

Maybe hook up a pressure gauge? Ask the brewery how many volumes of CO2 they pressurize to?


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