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Old 04-27-2010, 02:37 AM   #1
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Default First pour of the night, all foam, next perfect?

Yesterday I tinkered with the PSI on my kegerator to counteract the improper line length given to me by the LHBS (second guessed the info I got from here rather than second guessing their info). Anyway. I adjusted the PSI down to 9 from 11 because I was getting more foam than I wanted. I purged the keg and let it sit until the evening. The first pour was ALL foam, next two (had a friend over) were perfect. I bumped the PSI back up to 11 since the head was at least consistent at that level. Tonight again the first pour was all foam, but the one after that was perfect.

So what should I look for to troubleshoot? Any way to see if I damaged the regulator? Or could just fiddling with the PSI cause extra foaming until it settles?

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:15 AM   #2
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How is your kegerator set up? shanks through the door, tap tower, etc? Usually a foamy first pour is from warm lines in a tower.

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Old 04-27-2010, 07:57 AM   #3
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Shanks are in the collar so they stay pretty cool. Before I tinkered with the PSI the foam (although too much) was consistent.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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Also if you used thin walled tubing instead of thick walled (std. beer line), you will get more CO2 coming out of solution overnight. Thin walled tubes will expand slightly under pressure and allow more CO2 to come slowly come out of solution so the first pour will be foamy, but since it takes a while for the CO2 to come out of solution, the rest of the pours for an evening will be fine.

Plus, as already mentioned, warm lines/shanks can cause the same problem.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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Even coming out of a collar the beer in the lines up to the shank will be warmer than the beer at the bottom of the keg that is being pulled. Do this.
Pull out a shot glass or two worth and take the temperature. Then pour into your glass and take the temp.
I have a tap box and have to pour an ounce or two into a sample glass to prevent foaming. I still drink the warmer sample glass so I don't consider it a waste. It still tastes good, just a little warmer.

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Old 04-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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others on this forum have suggested adding a mini computer fan to the inside of your keezer/kegerator to avoid temperature stratification. I haven't done it yet, but I've heard it helps alot with avoiding the foamy first pull. I still have that issue, and like IrregularPulse, I just pour a half a glass (foamy), let it settle, then pour the rest since the shanks/lines have then been chilled. Works great!

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Old 04-27-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Even coming out of a collar the beer in the lines up to the shank will be warmer than the beer at the bottom of the keg that is being pulled. Do this.
Pull out a shot glass or two worth and take the temperature. Then pour into your glass and take the temp.
I have a tap box and have to pour an ounce or two into a sample glass to prevent foaming. I still drink the warmer sample glass so I don't consider it a waste. It still tastes good, just a little warmer.
exakary. I do the same.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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Hmm, I'll check the temps tonight or tomorrow. The reason I was thinking of a regulator issue was because the pours were consistent before I tinkered with the regulator.

The line I'm using is 4' of 1/4" ID beverage line. I need to replace it with the 3/16" ID, the LHBS suggested the incorrect size for some reason, and I went along with that.

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Old 04-28-2010, 09:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The line I'm using is 4' of 1/4" ID beverage line. I need to replace it with the 3/16" ID, the LHBS suggested the incorrect size for some reason, and I went along with that.
I think that will help a lot. Based on being 6-12" above the keg, you should (in theory) need about 5 feet of 3/16" hose to properly balance 8-10 psi of input pressure.

On top of that, you'll have a smaller volume of beer higher up in the lines from the smaller diameter hose, so if there is that temperature differential it will cause less foaming.
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