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Old 02-14-2006, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default Keg problem

I recently started kegging and I can't seem to get the foam to stop flowing foam from the keg. I have tried both force carbonation and natural, but the results are the same. I have tapped over a gallon at a time and it is all foam. I know I am doing something wrong and I would appreciate any suggestions to fix my problem.

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Old 02-14-2006, 04:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72C10
I recently started kegging and I can't seem to get the foam to stop flowing foam from the keg. I have tried both force carbonation and natural, but the results are the same. I have tapped over a gallon at a time and it is all foam. I know I am doing something wrong and I would appreciate any suggestions to fix my problem.
What size of liquid line are you using. I used to have this problem until I extended the liquid line length. I now run 3/16" line for the liquid and is at least 6ft long. Then I run 1/4" line for the CO2. What pressure are you serving at. I generally am serving anywhere from 8psi to 12psi.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72C10
I recently started kegging and I can't seem to get the foam to stop flowing foam from the keg. I have tried both force carbonation and natural, but the results are the same. I have tapped over a gallon at a time and it is all foam. I know I am doing something wrong and I would appreciate any suggestions to fix my problem.
Sounds like your system is not balanced. Check here for information on how to do that.
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Old 02-17-2006, 12:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for your help. I will put these suggestions to work this weekend.

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Old 02-17-2006, 01:43 AM   #5
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Chill your keg until any excess co2 is absorbed into the beer then set your reg to 3 -5psi. As long as you dont let the temperature rise too much above a ball park figure of 13 deg c you'll serve foam free beer and still be able to produce a good sized head on a pint.

If I were to follow that balancing nonsense and set my reg to 12 psi id get nothing but foam from my quick dispense tap/faucet and very little of it would be in the glass.

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Old 02-17-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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I"ll try that first. That seems to be similar to the instructions I have been following, but I may not be allowing time enough for the CO2 to become completly absorbed. Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAB
If I were to follow that balancing nonsense and set my reg to 12 psi id get nothing but foam from my quick dispense tap/faucet and very little of it would be in the glass.
Maybe nonsense to you, but to the rest of us 'balanced' folks, it works perfectly. I get no foam at 12 psi.

A constant 3 psi in akeg will give you virtually 'flat' tasting beer. If that's what you like, more power to you.

Don't understand your comment about 'excess' carbonation. Are you assuming that you can 'overcarbonate' a beer, then back off the pressure to serve? If so, the CO2 will just come out of solution and you'll have to start all over again.
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Old 02-17-2006, 11:29 PM   #8
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The balancing concept is very important. Mikey is totally right.

You can shortchange the process and end up with acceptable results, but if you really want it to work, you need to figure out what pressure will carbonate your beer to the desired level and leave the gas at that pressure. Because this is usually 12 PSI or so, and beer poured with a short hose at 12 PSI will foam because of the sudden pressure drop and violent pour, you need a longer hose. The beer line must create enough back pressure so that the beer pours at a nice rate and the CO2 stays in solution until it leaves the tap.

Unless you are drinking a keg all at once, the 3 PSI pouring trick will flatten your beer, since 3 PSI isn't enough pressure to keep the CO2 in solution. Also, reducing the pressure drastically will cause the beer to foam as the CO2 rushes out of solution. Like when you open a soda.

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtfan99
Sounds like your system is not balanced. Check here for information on how to do that.
Just looked at that site and if that is what I have to do to enjoy good draft beer then I think I'll go back to bottles. When I purchased my kegging stuff, no one mentioned how difficult it would be to balance the system. Stuff like that sucks all of the fun out of home brewing.
If that works for you, more power to you but I think I will set my system at 10 PSI to get a carbonation level of 2.4 volumes and then tweak the pressure until I can pour a great pint.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:00 AM   #10
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It sounds like youre confusing pressure in the keg with carbonation. Because I rack my beer 'bright' to the keg I have to force carbonate my beer which involves increasing the pressure and chilling it so the co2 is absorbed. (some people rock their kegs or something similar to force carbonate, that seems like alot of effort to me). This may have to be done more than once if the keg isnt consumed within a few weeks.

Once the beer is carbonated it will stay that way all the time there is pressure in the keg, much like a bottle of soda, the drink is fizzy but there is only a small amount of pressure (the co2 has been absorbed in the soda). The 3-5 psi set on the regulator purely to deliver the beer out of the tap.

If you notice I dont talk about excess carbonation but excess co2, I could have described this as excess pressure but of course its only excess to the void it occupies, once it is absorbed into the beer its no longer in excess but serving a useful purpose carbonating the liquid (again try not to confuse carbonation with pressure, dont forget you can have a carbonated beverage under very little pressure, remember the soda bottle)

Now if you'll excuse me I will draw off some carbonated beer from my chilled keg with my regulator set somewhere close to 3-5 psi just to confirm I am correct.

BTW, if 'balancing' your kegs keeps you happy dont let me stop you, i'm sure it serves some purpose, how many can you balance at once, can you tap dance too

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