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Old 05-11-2011, 05:47 AM   #1
Schwartzenberg
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Default Foaming Issues

I recently kegged my first batch after a whole lot of research. I brewed a Cream Ale (BJCP guidelines suggest 2.6 volumes CO2). After racking it from the secondary to the keg and purging three times at 3-5 psig, i relieved the pressure to about 2 psig and let it cool down to serving temp (about 48F). Per my handy force carbonation chart, I needed the keg contents to come to equilibrium with 18 psig at that temperature to achieve my target carbonation. I set the regulator to 20 psig and rocked the keg for about 10 minutes. It was still taking gas, but I didn't want to overdo it so I dialed it down to 18 psig and continued rocking for a few more minutes until it stopped taking gas. I let it sit overnight at 18 psig, then adjusted to about 12 psig for serving. It has been all foam, even a week later. Since then I have purged the head space down to 3-5 psig and rocked the keg to try to get some of the CO2 out of solution. When I do this, the pressure doesn't ever rise and I don't seem to be releasing any more gas. My question is this: how do I lower the carbonation level?

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Old 05-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
bdupree
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purging it will keep lowering the level. Sometimes you just have to do it a lot -- it will keep equalizing and you just keep purging every hour or so. How long is your beer line? If it's too short you'll get a lot of foam. You could either have too much restriction or too little. Always open your tap all the way when pouring the beer. Make sure you don't have anything stuck in your dip tube or in one of your posts from the keg.

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Old 11-20-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
Schwartzenberg
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Default Update: Finally figured it out

Never did figure out what the problem was on this particular batch, but kegged my next batch in the second keg I got with my kit. Since the first kegging experience I read up on balancing pressure some more and was a little bit more careful of how I force carbonated it. I never went above the equilibrium pressure. This one worked perfectly. Cut to batch #3, which I kegged in the same keg as my problem batch. I followed the same careful carbonation procedure as the successful batch (#2) but when I opened the tap I got foam again. The flow also seemed very low. Thinking I might have botched the pressure balancing calculations I raised the pressure a bit with no change in the results. Finally, I had a hunch and pulled the dip tube and bent it slightly. I re-installed it and re-pressurized and voila! perfect carbonation and a nice steady pour. The open end of the dip tube had been smashed right up against the bottom of the keg, restricting flow and presumably causing all of my foaming issues. Kind of a freak occurrence, but it was great to finally solve the mystery.

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