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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Tiny Bubbles...in the Lines
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:18 AM   #1
clayof2day
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Default Tiny Bubbles...in the Lines

Hey everyone,

I've been having trouble with my first glass of beer from my kegger foaming like crazy. When I open the faucet the initial flow is turbulent for a second or two which puts about 2 inches of foam into the glass, but then the stream clears and pours smoothly. If I draw a second pint right away, the flow starts smooth and clear and there are no problems. If I let it sit for even a minute and then pour again it happens all over, lots of foam.

I have a Sanyo 4912 conversion with a tower on top with balanced lines (6 ft. of 3/16" tubing). I used to think the beer in the tower was warming and causing the problem, but I noticed today that I'm getting bubbles in the beer line that accumulate in lines. They flow out from the keg, but find places in the lines to settle. I believe that when I open the faucet it is these bubbles that cause the initial turbulent flow and foam.

Anyone else have this happen or have any ideas where they are coming from and why I am getting them? Better yet, any ideas how to get rid of them? Thanks for any help you folks can offer me!

Matt

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Old 01-17-2007, 08:57 AM   #2
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is the tubing you are using smooth bore? and does this happen with all kegs, or just your current one? is the tubing thick walled? what pressure and temperature do you have the co2 set at? are there any kinks or severe turns in the tubing? have you tried hooking the keg up to a picnic tap to see if the same thing happens? have you tried a different QD?

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
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It is 3/16" beverage tubing that I got at my LHBS, so that shouldn't be an issue. There are 2 kegs in the fridge and both are doing it. Both had new O-Rings and poppits put in them this summer when I bought them, but I have had this foaming issue with the first pint since I put the set-up together. CO2 is at 10 PSI (6 ft. of line, that should be fine). The lines are coiled on top of the kegs and run up to the tower, but there are no kinks in the lines. The bubbles travel up the lines from the QD, but find "pockets" in the lines to settle into. I don't have a picnic tap, otherwise I would try that.

Thanks for your input, let me know if you have any other ideas, anyone!

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Old 01-17-2007, 04:11 PM   #4
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what is the temp in the fridge? can you pick up extra line, QD, and picnic tap? what this will tell you is what is not wrong, so you can pinpoint other things if that is the case.

did you dry hop in both the kegs by any chance?

measure the temp at different points in the fridge, and make sure nothing is freezing.

where did you get the kegs from, and did you replace the gaskets and poppets, or did someone else for you? have you broken down the kegs previously?

something similar happened to me once, and it was a buildup of gunk inside the liquid post around the poppet area. i've also had difficulty with dry hopping in some cases. you may want to depressurize the keg, sanitize your tools and your hands, and take the liquid post off and the poppet out, clean them, sanitize them, check the liquid dip tube the same way, put it back together, and see if that helps. if that doesn't, you may want to try getting new line.

also, did you get the tower new or used?

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Old 01-17-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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I had this very issue. Turned out my LHBS sold me what they said was 3/16" line, but upon measuring, it was 1/4" line. If you didn't have to force the line onto the connector (ie dip it in boiling water to soften it), you probably have 1/4" line. Check with a measuring tape.

I bought actual 3/16" line and my system pours perfectly now (and no more bubbles running through the beer line).

Just a thought..

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Old 01-17-2007, 09:05 PM   #6
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Does your tubing look exactly like this? If not, then your LHBS sold you the wrong stuff.

John

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Old 01-17-2007, 11:12 PM   #7
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The tubing is Bevlex-200 (3/16"ID, 7/16" OD it's printed on the tubing itself) same as seen here: http://www.undergrounddigital.com/draft/tubing.htm . Tower was brand new when I bought it, the guy at the HBS did the assembly for me so I would just have to bolt on the tower when I got home. Kegs are from http://www.homebrewing.org I broke down the kegs myself and replaced the O-Rings and poppits when I got them home. I broke them down prior to these 2 batches, but as I have said, this has been an issue from the get go. The fridge as at about 38*F, but I have not checked at more than one spot. No dry hops in the kegs, dip tube and post was clean when I assembled it. Keep the ideas coming, I want to get to the bottom of this! One of the kegs is about to blow, when it does, I'll disassemble and let you know if it looks funny, but I don't think thats it.

Thanks,

Matt

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Old 01-17-2007, 11:40 PM   #8
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when you break it down, make sure to check the liquid post to see if there is any gunk.

if there isn't, you can conduct an experiment. fill the keg with water, and carbonate it to the same level as beer. i would say it's ok to shake it to speed things up. you don't need that much water. put it in the kegerator, and let it get down to temp and full carbonation, then try to draw a pint of it, and see if the same thing happens.

if that shows the same problem, after you've made sure the keg isn't the problem, then use BLC, and soak it in the lines/shank/faucet for the recommended amount of time, and run it through the lines, then clean it out, and do the water test again. hopefully that will have cleared anything up.

i'm starting to run out of ideas. haha.

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Old 01-17-2007, 11:51 PM   #9
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I was leaning against a "build-up" problem anyways, because after the first pint, the flow is very smooth and there is no foaming issue...until I close the faucet and then almost immediately the bubbles start to build up again. I'll see if I can get some pics so you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

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Old 01-18-2007, 02:25 AM   #10
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Okay, I'll take a stab at this one. Seeing how you've stated that you took the time make sure your lines are balanced I'd say this is probably one of the clearest cases of an arguement FOR dual regulators.

If I read this all correctly and I'll admit, I've had a few Hefe's already, It seems you are running two kegs at about 10psi.

I didn't see where you stated the styles you are pouring right now. Basically, the more specialty grain that goes into a beer (darker?) the lower your keg pressure should be:

Stout: 3psi
Porter: 5psi
Brown Ale:7psi
Pale Ale: 10psi

So if you are pumping a beer with more dextrin and protein through your lines, it will tend to foam more at higher pressures. This is why the ability to dial in each keg to its own pressure is important(to me).


Your tower might also be getting warm. Is it insulated?

Hope this helps!

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