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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Nothing but foam and I can't figure out why
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Nothing but foam and I can't figure out why

I have a keg of cider that dispenses nothing but foam. The pressure is set at 12psi and I have 13 feet of 1/4" line that is supposed to balance out 0.85psi per foot, or ~11psi. I have the keg about 2 feet below the spout. Every pour is nothing but foam, and it looks like it is starting in the lines. I tried lowering the serving pressure all the way down to 3psi and I still got a foamy mess.

What am I doing wrong?

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:06 PM   #2
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1/4" line
Those calculators don't seem to work in "real world" issues. I can tell you from experience that the issue is right there where I "quoted" you. Switch to the same length of 3/16" line, and you'll be all set.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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Sounds like it's overcarbed to me, if it's overcarbed you are going to get a ton of foam regardless of what the pressure drop in the line is. I think 12 psi is probably too much CO2 to put on it. If you can still push it out with 3 psi, try lowering the pressure to like 7-8 psi and waiting a few days.

If you can't push it through the lines with a lower pressure, you might have to get mixed gas (N2/CO2) which is what they do in a lot of bars.

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:21 PM   #4
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I agree with Yooper about the beer line. Were there bubbles forming in the line at 12 psi, or just when you turned the pressure down? If that was happening at 12 psi, then the cider is also overcarbed.

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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I think 12 psi is probably too much CO2 to put on it. If you can still push it out with 3 psi, try lowering the pressure to like 7-8 psi and waiting a few days.
Ciders typically have med-high carb levels, so 12 psi seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially if it's not being stored ice cold. I keep all of my beer at 12 psi and 41°, which equates to only 2.4 vol. If it is overbarbed, just reducing the pressure won't help. It needs to be repeatedly vented so that the excess gas has somewhere to go.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Those calculators don't seem to work in "real world" issues. I can tell you from experience that the issue is right there where I "quoted" you. Switch to the same length of 3/16" line, and you'll be all set.
I think I have some 3/16 line around here somewhere... But my corny keg out adapter has a 1/4 barb on it, and it was tight getting my 1/4 line on. Theres no way I can get 3/16 on it.


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Ciders typically have med-high carb levels, so 12 psi seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially if it's not being stored ice cold. I keep all of my beer at 12 psi and 41°, which equates to only 2.4 vol. If it is overbarbed, just reducing the pressure won't help. It needs to be repeatedly vented so that the excess gas has somewhere to go.
I think my fridge is a little over freezing, so i'd guess ~35 F. I've read that ciders are often carbonated more than other drinks, but 2.4 sounds rather average. I suppose I can try it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #7
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Another question is.. what kind of faucet are you using? Party tap or commercial Perlick type? Not sure that makes any difference if carbed properly.. but.. if you don't hold the faucet fully open.. vs just cracking it.. you will get a lot of foam/head.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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Its completely open when I pour, its just a mess.

I burped my keg and dropped the pressure to ~7psi. The weird thing is that a large amount of CO2 bubbled into the keg (it was on its side) when I did this. It sounded like it does when you just start carbonating. I'm kind of really confused. It shouldn't be absorbing co2 at that pressure unless it was terribly under-carbed to begin with.

According to the kegerator chart, I should have about 2.6 vols in this cider. I carbonated it at room temperature because I have limited fridge space. At 65F I put about 28psi on the keg and shook it like a crying baby for about 10 minutes total. At that point the co2 stopped bubbling into the keg. I let it sit with pressure on for a few days, then disconnected and moved to my fridge. After a few days I released the pressure in the keg, hooked up my tank at ~12psi, and attempted to dispense.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:52 AM   #9
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Its completely open when I pour, its just a mess.

I burped my keg and dropped the pressure to ~7psi. The weird thing is that a large amount of CO2 bubbled into the keg (it was on its side) when I did this. It sounded like it does when you just start carbonating. I'm kind of really confused. It shouldn't be absorbing co2 at that pressure unless it was terribly under-carbed to begin with.

According to the kegerator chart, I should have about 2.6 vols in this cider. I carbonated it at room temperature because I have limited fridge space. At 65F I put about 28psi on the keg and shook it like a crying baby for about 10 minutes total. At that point the co2 stopped bubbling into the keg. I let it sit with pressure on for a few days, then disconnected and moved to my fridge. After a few days I released the pressure in the keg, hooked up my tank at ~12psi, and attempted to dispense.
What do you mean it's on its side?
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:48 AM   #10
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Heat up the tubing a little bit (heat gun or boiling water), it'll go right over that barb.

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