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Old 05-10-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default Weissbier in kegs foam issues (aka yet another carbonation question)

I have been through many of the overcarbonation/foaming issues in kegs threads in the forum, and tried to follow most of the advice, but am still having some 'too much foam while pouring issues'.

Here is my situation:

I kegged a Dunkelweizen and a Hefeweizen about 10 days ago. I cooled them to 40 F (my chest freezer temp), jacked the pressure to 20psi (this is as per the charts for ~3 volumes of carbonation recommended for the German wheat) and have pretty much left them at this pressure without shaking or anything. I have been occasionally trying out small glasses to check for carbonation levels.
I checked around day 5 - beer was pouring well, and head could be created tilting the glasses properly etc. Next I tried on Day 8 and both the beers were suddenly creating a lot of foam - on the first as well as the subsequent pours. Turning down the serving pressure to 1-2psi did not really help.
I forgot to take pictures, but I am getting about half foam, half liquid per pour.

Currently I have 10 feet of 3/16 hose with a picnic tap at the end - this is temporary while I build my collar. Also, I used glasses that were chilled to the freezer temp - however I was mostly using tulip glasses so as to pour small amounts for tasting.

My question is - is the beer overcarbonated by any chance even though I followed the set and forget method? Or is this typical foam for a wheat? (I have had Erdinger & Franziskaner Hefeweizens as well as hefes poured from tap at German pubs, and they do have a strong head, but mine seems excessive.) Will foam trouble go away once I complete the collar and install the Perlick faucets?

Finally, if the beer is indeed overcarbonated, what is the solution to reducing the carbonation - bleed the gas from the kegs and reset the pressure ?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
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Hefeweizen by style is more carbonated than say, a pale ale. To serve a wheat at the proper carbonation from a kegging set up is going to require some trail and error on your part. These work great for me....

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/cure...oubles-100151/

But the short version is your system is umbalanced and you'll need to lengthen your beer lines considerably for wheats or try the fix in the link. I can attest it actually works.....

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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But the short version is your system is umbalanced and you'll need to lengthen your beer lines considerably for wheats or try the fix in the link. I can attest it actually works.....
Lengthen his beer lines more than 10 feet?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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@Hammy71: I can't quite figure out why the system is imbalanced. I checked an online calculator that tells you how many feet of beer-line is required, and 10ft seems sufficient for 20psi. As I mentioned, even at a serving pressure of 2-3psi, I am getting lots of foam.

I do have the epoxy mixer in yet another keg that is holding a pilsner. It is being kept at 10psi and same temperature and even with a 5ft hose on that one, the beer pours fine.

I had already kegged the hefes by the time I got the epoxy mixer sticks and I am very wary of opening up the poppet to throw in these mixers now.

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:39 PM   #5
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As long as you bleed off all the pressure in the keg, you shouldn't have any trouble getting the top to come off and dropping in one or two of the mixer sticks. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Madhopper.... I've never had any luck with the online calculators for beer line length. Through trail and error, I have 10' on my pale ales that are @ 10 psi. Logically then....20 psi for my system would require alot more beer line to create the resistance I need at the tap. You'll have to see what will work for your system. FYI: I've added the mixer sticks many times after a keg has been carbed. Turn off the gas, bleed the keg (leave the bleed valve open....), spray the out connection with starsan (as well as the wrench) and quickly remove, insert and replace.

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Old 05-11-2010, 02:33 PM   #7
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Madhopper.... I've never had any luck with the online calculators for beer line length. Through trail and error, I have 10' on my pale ales that are @ 10 psi. Logically then....20 psi for my system would require alot more beer line to create the resistance I need at the tap. You'll have to see what will work for your system. FYI: I've added the mixer sticks many times after a keg has been carbed. Turn off the gas, bleed the keg (leave the bleed valve open....), spray the out connection with starsan (as well as the wrench) and quickly remove, insert and replace.

Ok got it. Will throw in a couple of epoxy mixers this week. I just wasn't comfortable doing it for the chance of oxidation and/or contamination. But the way you describe makes sense. Thanks

Btw, I assume you still serve your Hefes at the higher pressure - or do you lower the pressure for serving ?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:11 PM   #8
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I keep the kegs at the recommended CO2 levels. The sticks slow the beer down coming out of the tap so it'll come out as if you had lowered the psi. Oh, and don't forget to sanitize the sticks......good luck.

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Old 05-11-2010, 07:48 PM   #9
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As I mentioned, even at a serving pressure of 2-3psi, I am getting lots of foam.
This is not helping your problem. If you leave your psi low it causes the c02 to break out of suspension and further increases foaming problems. Do you have bubbles in your lines?

Remember ANY changes you make to your regulators take time to give results. Simply turning them down won't solve foaming issues.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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Ok to update: I went by the recommendations of Hammy71 - opened up the the beer-out valve, stuck in four of the epoxy mixer sticks (I tried with two first and didn't slow down enough). Waited a day for the temperature, pressure etc to reach equilibrium again. Pour is much slower now and I can control how much head I want.

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