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-   -   Keg Dispensing - Help Needed (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/keg-dispensing-help-needed-306495/)

CJR 02-21-2012 06:05 PM

Keg Dispensing - Help Needed
Hey everybody,

I'm a student and I've finally achieved what most students would be rather jealous of. I have a keg in my room. Now I don't have to leave the room for beer. :P However...

1) I've currently got a winter stout being consumed from it. The CO2 is a 16g cartridge system and I've currently got a 2ft picnic tap on it (ready-made set purchased). The beer is extremely foamy when I dispense it, which settles down after about 30 seconds and needs topping up a few times once the foam settles. Is this due to the short length of the line or possibly too much pressure in the corny?

2) The other thing I want to do is connect the keg to a beer engine so I can pull a proper pint. Would I have enough pressure in the keg using the 16g CO2 cartridges to make this work?

I'm building up things piece by piece. Hopefully once I have to start renting a serious place, I'll have a fully working beer dispensing system complete with regulators and a proper CO2 canister.

Thanks for reading.


Brewnoob1 02-21-2012 06:43 PM

Sounds like you need longer lines for the foaming. However, I have no experience dealing with the cartridges, so someone else with more experience would need to pipe up.

zacjack 02-21-2012 07:11 PM

I would swap out your beer line for one that is about 5' long. I also have no experience with the 16g CO2 cartridges though. Any opportunity to pick up a 5lb tank?

What type of keg is it? Commercial keg or 5gal corny keg?

CJR 02-21-2012 07:16 PM

It's a 5 gal corny. Regulators for a CO2 tank is on my list of things to buy. Maybe ask for them as a birthday or christmas present. Right now the cartridges are filling in until I can afford the regulators and tank.

I'll change the line, hopefully tomorrow.

Brewnoob1 02-21-2012 07:43 PM

Longer lines should help the foaming. I'd be surprised if you were getting over carbed beer with the cartridge....but again, I have zero experience with them.

CJR 02-21-2012 07:58 PM

I think it's most likely the line. I'll pop to LHBS and have a word with the guy there. Might also get another kit.

Do you guys know how to change the line attached to a screw-on connector? Grey plastic thing with a smaller plastic tube inside, screws onto the corny disconnects.

CJR 02-22-2012 03:45 PM

Small update. I've upgraded the line to a 6ft line using a 1ft line and 5ft line with a "Universal Connector". However the stout is still mainly foam when I dispense it so I'm going with over-carbed beer.

Can someone give me a run-through on how to connect up a CO2 tank and regulators to a keg please?

Many thanks,


scsnick 02-22-2012 04:31 PM

What size I.D. line do you have? I use ten feet of 3/16 I.D. line on my taps with my co2 set to 12 psi and I get perfect pours. I have a picnic tap that I bought at my local shop that's 1/4 inch. You probably have the same. 1/4 inch line has a lot less resistance than 3/16. When you have too much resistance you get very slow pours. When you have too little resistance, the co2 will come out of solution and cause an abundance of foam.

1/4 inch line has a resistance factor of about .60-.85 psi/ft. 3/16 is about 2.2-3.0 psi/ft. What you need to do is balance your line system. Unfortunately, I have no idea how you could do that with the cartridge system as you have no idea what pressure you're at.

ValleyBrew 02-22-2012 05:32 PM

My pressure is set to 12psi (37*F) and I have 5' lines of 3/16" with picnic taps and I don't have a foaming problem. If you have the same setup, it could be the pressure, but as stated above, you have no way of knowing the pressure... This should help if you decide to go the regulator/tank route.



CJR 02-22-2012 06:07 PM

I think my line is 1/4" I.D., it's the line the LHBS had. The original I think is 3/16". The connector narrows the tube to about 1/8" I.D. approx. I think this thinning then re-widening might have something to do as the beer goes from low-high-low resistance. I'm hoping the connector will be temporary though.

I'm going to go for the tank/regulator route once I can afford it but until then, I'm stuck on the cartridge system.

Thanks for the links Valley.

EDIT: Removed the connector, it just won't stop leaking.

EDIT 2: Removed the 5ft 1/4" tubing and put the original stuff on. Couldn't connect to the keg without a fountain of stout at the disconnect/pipe connection.

So... back to where I started. *sighs*

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