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Old 01-28-2013, 08:45 PM   #11
Johnnyboy1012
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I figured bars had more advanced techniques then we homebrewers have. Ill have to look into the fan to chill my tower and longer lines to help stop this foam. Do you think 7 psi is too little to of a psi to carbonate and serve beer at? I feel like that isn't enough pressure if I want to carbonate a beer and set it at 7 and forget it. My kegerator is at 34 degrees at the moment.



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Old 01-28-2013, 11:46 PM   #12
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With a glycol system the tap is chilled - the glycol runs up to a cold blocks that are attached to the beer shanks. Glycol systems keep beer cold from the keg all the way to the faucet.

And if the faucets aren't sweating it's because the humidity is low enough in the bar to keep them from sweating.



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Old 01-29-2013, 04:22 AM   #13
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Satisfaction: Maybe I will have to try that. What is you serving temp and psi? I feel like that will be a lot of lines in my kegerator that I may not have room for because I'm just barely able to fit 3 kegs in there along with the tubing for co2, but if that's what will solve the problem. So the issue that you had had nothing to do with warm taps and warm lines in the draft tower?

I've done both force carbonating and set it and forget it. I always get a foamy pour. And if I remember correctly I always see bubbles in the line no matter what way I carbonate. A buddy of mine has the same kegerator and it happens to him too so maybe it's not just me.
If you're getting gas pockets in the line, it's almost always because the serving pressure is lower than the carbonation level in the beer, or the beer side diptube o-ring is bad. It can also happen if you have extreme temperature stratification, where the beer lines are much much warmer than the beer in the keg. Longer lines are good, and will solve a lot of foaming issues, but they won't fix foaming caused by gas pockets in the lines.

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I figured bars had more advanced techniques then we homebrewers have. Ill have to look into the fan to chill my tower and longer lines to help stop this foam. Do you think 7 psi is too little to of a psi to carbonate and serve beer at? I feel like that isn't enough pressure if I want to carbonate a beer and set it at 7 and forget it. My kegerator is at 34 degrees at the moment.
The pressure you use is dependent on what carbonation level you want. Use a chart like this one to determine what your serving/carbing pressure needs to be. I like ~2.5 vol, and keep my keezer at 40°, so I use 12 psi. At your serving temp the same carb level would only require 9 psi. That's just personal preference though, and a lot of people like different carb levels than I do.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:08 AM   #14
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Funny, I was going to answer your question intuitively and I was going to say that 9PSI is where you should be at 34F. Then I checked JuanMoore's chart and I guess all these years some of this stuff has started to stick ;-)

For you line length, you can coil the lines about the diameter of a corny (if you have a few inches at the tops of the kegs as I do) and put them on top of the kegs. For your c02, take the time to route the tubes correctly and don't use any extra line to conserve space.

You could do all this and a tower cooler and still have the same problem, if that's the case, you're just overcarbed in your keg or have a faulty liquid out tap, post, or Oring on the diptube. Don't give up though. It can be solved. If you have to vent c02 for a couple days to relieve an overpressured keg, do it and leave the gas off. You can overshoot and undercarb it, but if that happens, just reconnect the gas at 9PSI and wait patiently. After awhile you'll start to get a feel for how to work your kegs. The carb levels change sometimes as the keg empties (at least this is my experience, YMMV)..but you'll get it wired. Cheers!

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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This may be a dumb question but is it hard to change the lines out if I get new 10' lines? The reason I ask is because my tower came already equipped with the lines attached and all I had to do was screw on the taps. I've never seen the inside of the tower or where the line connects to the back of the tap. I've taken the taps off numberous is times to clean but never taken the line off. Thanks for the indeth replies, it's greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #16
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This may be a dumb question but is it hard to change the lines out if I get new 10' lines? The reason I ask is because my tower came already equipped with the lines attached and all I had to do was screw on the taps. I've never seen the inside of the tower or where the line connects to the back of the tap. I've taken the taps off numberous is times to clean but never taken the line off. Thanks for the indeth replies, it's greatly appreciated!
Your beer tower came with 5' of line, and 5' isn't included with all draft air cooled towers by accident. 5' is used because this length plus the height of the tap above the kegs has been used to control foam in many thousands of bars & for years the manufacturers have been building what's been needed by the industry. Adding more length is just masking another problem, like over carbonation.

Also, adding length to the lines may introduce another cause for foaming. Sometimes CO2 will break out in the lines where the barb fitting is inserted because of the sharp edges of the barb fitting. So if you do decide to add length you need to replace the beer line.

Your issue is the beer faucet & shank are too warm or your carbonation is too high or both. Install a beer tower cooler & manage your carbonation and your foaming problem should go away.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:22 PM   #17
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Your beer tower came with 5' of line, and 5' isn't included with all draft air cooled towers by accident. 5' is used because this length plus the height of the tap above the kegs has been used to control foam in many thousands of bars & for years the manufacturers have been building what's been needed by the industry. Adding more length is just masking another problem, like over carbonation.
No, 5' is used because the calculators used for commercial systems say that it's the minimum length that won't result in excessive foaming, and kegerator manufacturers assume their customers are going to want to replicate the conditions of a commercial system. Commercial draft systems keep the beer very cold (34°-38°F), serve beer with ~2.7 vol or less of carbonation, have measures in place to eliminate temperature stratification, and are designed to pour beer as fast as possible without excessive foaming under these conditions (~1gal/min).

Many homebrewers don't want to keep within these parameters, especially the temperature, and end up with a ton of foam using a 5' line. In many cases the pour speed needs to be slowed down to prevent foaming, and the most common way to do this is replace the lines with longer ones. There's absolutely no side effect to longer lines other than a slightly slower pour. Unlike bars whose profit could be affected by how many pints they can pour in an hour, most homebrewers don't need to maximize the pour speed, so a couple extra seconds to pour a beer is a small price to pay for better system flexibility.

And there aren't many "problems" that longer lines will mask. If your tower/shank is significantly warmer than the beer, it will still create a foamy first pour no matter how long the lines are. Same thing with the beer being carbed higher than the serving pressure, the gas pockets will still form in the line and come out as sputtering foam. I suppose it would mask the "problem" of the beer being served warmer than 38°, but a lot of us don't consider that a problem at all.

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Your issue is the beer faucet & shank are too warm or your carbonation is too high or both. Install a beer tower cooler & manage your carbonation and your foaming problem should go away.
In this case I agree, but that's because the OP is keeping the beer very cold, and it sounds like they're not trying to achieve carb levels above 2.7 vol. For someone that's wanting to serve beer at 42° like many of us homebrewers, I'd say that they need longer lines.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:36 PM   #18
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OP,

It depends on what kind of hookups your beer line has to your taps how hard it will be to replace. In some cases it'll be worm clamps and there will be enough room to work inside the tower to just loosen them pull off the old lines and put on the new ones...but that's never been the case for me.

I generally take the faucets off the tower to give me some room to work and remove the lines that way. If your lines have Oetiger clamps (the permanent clamp type with no screws to loosen/tighten it)..you may have to remove them completely from the tower and take it out to your garage to get them off. I hate those clamps. You CAN get them off with some sweat, some linesmans pliers, some needle nose pliers and a very small screwdriver to fit inside the crimped part of the clamp..but the easiest way IMHO, is a metal cutoff wheel on a rotary tool. Replace them with worm clamps to avoid this nightmare in the future. Oetigers do their job (hold tubing in place) very well, but they were never designed for removal.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:23 PM   #19
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Juan I do use that chart that you recommended in your post but I have an oatmeal stout on tap at the moment so and prefer the lower end of carbonation.

Awesome information guys! Anyone recommend a beer tower cooler that they use and like? My kegerator is in my living room so I would like a fan that is pretty quiet if possible. Also, does anyone recommend a place where I can get beer line? I might as well kill two birds with one stone here.

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:50 PM   #20
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Just do a search on Google, or follow this link.
Beer Tower Cooler



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