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Old 08-25-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default First beer out of Keg - over carbed

So - i just got a new regualtor, one of the ones with two separate gauges for each keg. Now i have the psi turned down to about 7 on it - the first beer is nothing but foam - the second one is a little low in the carb. Can't seem to get this straightened ut. I either have way to much or not enough co2 - after that first one. So what causes the first pour to be so over carbed?

Thanks

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:35 AM   #2
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If you are changing psi to serving pressure, bleed the keg so that the regulator reads 0, then work up to your pressure.

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:41 AM   #3
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Thanks - i have bleed it a few times. Still that first pour is all head...

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Old 08-25-2013, 04:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leukass
Thanks - i have bleed it a few times. Still that first pour is all head...
Bleed the keg or bleed from the regulator pressure relief?
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:38 AM   #5
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In order to help, it would be good to know:

-What steps you took to carb the beer (temps, pressures, time)

-What your beer line length is

-At what temperature you are serving

All of these things will have an impact on how your beer comes out of the tap. Also, treat the tap as an on-off switch. Partial opening of the faucet will encourage foaming.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:35 AM   #6
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If it's only the first pour that's foamy, there are only two possible causes. You either have the serving pressure lower than the pressure which corresponds to the carb level, or your faucets and shanks are too warm. How did you carb the beer, and to what carbonation level? What type of kegerator are you using, mini-fridge style with tower, standard fridge with faucets on door, keezer, other?

And FWIW a foamy pour and overcarbonation are two completely separate things. The carbonation level is something you taste, not something you see. Overcarbonation can sometimes be the cause of foamy pours, but there are a lot of other causes too.

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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ok- so i try to answer all the questions.

Bleed the keg
It is in a kegorator style with a tower at about 38*. I have 5' beer line and 5' gas line.
I cold crash the beer for 1 day then transferred to the keg. I carb'd the beer in the kegorator at 30 psi for about 2 days, then i turned the co2 down and bleed the keg a few times until in dropped down to 10 psi.
I do know about the on off switch technique. My last beer and old regulator didn't do this, just the new one.
You are correct - it is foamy not over carb'd

Thanks!

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Try lengthening your beer line to 12 ft and running the pressure at 11-12psi. If needed, you can trim it back to around 10-11ft. The gas line length doesn't really matter.

You may have a bit of an issue with the tower being warm. If the longer line doesn't do the trick, look into rigging a small computer fan to blow cold air up into the tower.

For carbing, if you can stand the wait, 2 weeks at service pressure gives pretty darn consistent results. Otherwise, try just one day at 30psi, drop it to 18-20psi for 2 days and then down to serving pressure.

Please let us know if that helps. Hope it does.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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My guess is that the main issue is the shank, faucet, and lines inside the tower are too warm, causing CO2 to come out of solution until enough cold beer has passed through to cool them off. If only the first pour is foamy, longer lines aren't going to do much to help, but I do still think they're a good idea. They'll allow you to serve a wider range of carb levels and at a wider serving temperature range if you ever decide to do so in the future. They can also slightly reduce foaming caused by a variety of other issues.

You might try getting a small computer fan installed that blows cold air up into the tower. Some people have had luck with passive tower cooling systems, placing copper pipes in the tower that stick into the fridge and act as heat sinks. If you run a search here for "tower cooling" you'll probably find some ideas and some DIY guides.

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Old 08-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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I suggested doing the longer line first because I like to try the easiest and cheapest solutions first. I also expect that he'll have do something to cool the tower as well (I defer to tower folks for that, I run a 3-faucet keezer).

Even w/o the tower, it's something of a challenge to get good pours out of 5ft beer lines. I ended up switching from the 5ft lines (that came with the setup) to 12ft and saw the improvement. Even with the temp and pressure at optimal, the first glass with 5ft lines would have significantly more foam than the following glasses. I get a better consistency with the longer lines and the beginning of each pour seems to happen more softly.
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