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-   -   Kegerator problems: foam (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/kegerator-problems-foam-115257/)

Willsellout 04-21-2009 04:09 AM

Kegerator problems: foam
 
So I have a 3 tap setup from keg connection that has never worked right. I'm not sure if it's me or them. I have my temp set at 35 degrees with a swing of 2. I've had nothing but foam from 3 beers. This latest one is a really great IPA that I've been trying to dial in using the tips that they gave me.

Basically he said to make sure that the beer is below 38 degrees otherwise it would foam. He also said to make sure I go the right diameter hose, which it is. Then he made sure that I have my serving pressure right, which right now is at 8 PSI.

I force carbed this keg by cooling it and then rolling it on my legs for a few minutes until it had the carbonation I wanted. Right now it has the carbonation I want but I'm getting half foam and half beer.

I put a glass of water with a thermometer in it to double check the temp. The temp coming out of the keg appears to be right around 38, so I lowered the temp a bit to get it a little bit lower.

I guess I'll see tomorrow whether the temperature is the problem but I have a couple questions.

1. The lines are 5 feet. I've heard most people use more to limit foam. Might this be a problem?

2. Is the temperature thing for real? What do you keep your kegs at? Do you have to keep the temperature lower to compensate for the keg density? Like to get the keg to 34 degrees do you have to set it a couple degrees lower?


Thanks!

Dan

brewmasterpa 04-21-2009 04:22 AM

a few things are missing from your story. you said you rolled the keg around on your legs. for how long, and what psi? you should have cooled the keg to serving temp, then set your regulator to 20 psi, and shook the keg for 20 minutes. then you have to wait 24 hours for it to settle. once you tap it, purge the excess pressure first, then set your regulator to 6-8 psi. you should have your keg at 34-38 F. some guys go up to 46 depending on the brew, this is usually with english dark ales like stouts and porters. some people prefer serving other beers at that temp too. the colder it is, the less flavourful it might turn out to be. i personally have mine at 36 and pour into a frozen pilsner glass. my tap pressure is 6 psi, and i explained how i carbonate. now the line length ive heard about, i have 3-8 feet lines depending on where the keg is in my keezer. obviously this is for distance to the tap. i have no difference from one tap to the next. so i cant tell you whether that actually makes a difference or not. the taps are dirrectly bolted to the cold side of the keezer so i dont have a massive temperature difference and my pours are fabulous.

Willsellout 04-21-2009 04:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewmasterpa (Post 1273387)
a few things are missing from your story. you said you rolled the keg around on your legs. for how long, and what psi? you should have cooled the keg to serving temp, then set your regulator to 20 psi, and shook the keg for 20 minutes. then you have to wait 24 hours for it to settle. once you tap it, purge the excess pressure first, then set your regulator to 6-8 psi. you should have your keg at 34-38 F. some guys go up to 46 depending on the brew, this is usually with english dark ales like stouts and porters. some people prefer serving other beers at that temp too. the colder it is, the less flavourful it might turn out to be. i personally have mine at 36 and pour into a frozen pilsner glass. my tap pressure is 6 psi, and i explained how i carbonate. now the line length ive heard about, i have 3-8 feet lines depending on where the keg is in my keezer. obviously this is for distance to the tap. i have no difference from one tap to the next. so i cant tell you whether that actually makes a difference or not. the taps are dirrectly bolted to the cold side of the keezer so i dont have a massive temperature difference and my pours are fabulous.

I rolled it on my legs for probably a good 20-30 minutes total. I'd do 5 minutes and then check for carbonation and so on. I had it at 30 PSI. Once I had a feel for the carbonation I let it sit over night and checked again this evening. I'll try and lower the serving pressure a bit and see if that makes a difference.

Do you have bubbles in your line? It always seems like it starts pouring fine and then there is a spurt of air and the rest is foam.


Dan

Denny's Evil Concoctions 04-21-2009 05:32 AM

Longer line might help. Check the o-ring on your kegs pickup tubes.

I currently have 7 foot lines with a temp of around 5-6c (41-43F) and can run up to 20 PSI without foam. (Though the beer will over carb at that PSI).

I prefer a 10 foot line for high carbed beer.

boogyman 04-21-2009 05:52 AM

I'm willing to bet you overcarbed your beer. Seems like everyone that does force carbing has this issue. I would let it sit for a couple days, and bleed off the pressure a few times per day.

If that doesn't work, you know it's your line length, assuming your temperature remains constant in the 30's.

Work on 1 issue at a time, and you'll figure it out more quickly.

Denny's Evil Concoctions 04-21-2009 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boogyman (Post 1273467)
I'm willing to bet you overcarbed your beer. Seems like everyone that does force carbing has this issue. I would let it sit for a couple days, and bleed off the pressure a few times per day.

If that doesn't work, you know it's your line length, assuming your temperature remains constant in the 30's.

Work on 1 issue at a time, and you'll figure it out more quickly.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that. Over carbed beer is a pain. Easie to just let it warm up several degrees, shake a bit then vent co2. Then re chill at your proper co2 pressure (as per temp/pressure/vol of co2 you want).

Willsellout 04-21-2009 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boogyman (Post 1273467)
I'm willing to bet you overcarbed your beer. Seems like everyone that does force carbing has this issue. I would let it sit for a couple days, and bleed off the pressure a few times per day.

If that doesn't work, you know it's your line length, assuming your temperature remains constant in the 30's.

Work on 1 issue at a time, and you'll figure it out more quickly.

Thanks, I might have overcarb'd, but I actually dig the carbonation. I'll take it off the gas and bleed it for a couple days and see how it works. Then I'll go from there. Thanks!

MikeinAK 04-21-2009 06:47 AM

You never said what size line you had. That short of line you would need 3/16 and make sure it is beer line.

Denny's Evil Concoctions 04-21-2009 06:59 AM

If you dig the carboantion then you will need longer 3/16 beer line.

brewmasterpa 04-21-2009 03:10 PM

it sounds like overcarb. i think if you carb using the shake method, 20 mins at 20 psi.
thats it. youre going to have some bubbles in your lines, but thats normal. now to remove carbonation, i usually shake the crap out of the keg, let it settle 30 mins, then purge. try tapping and if its still doing it, repeat until proper carbonation is attained. this only works if you have ample head space in your keg, like a gallon low. if its full, expect a huge mess. the rest of what youre doing sounds great. 20 for 20 works for me.


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