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Old 01-11-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
loxnar
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So i am not quite sure this is the right forum for this but seeing as there are so many DIY ideas and designs on here i figured id post here. Well i bought my first set up about 3 days ago and got it fully put together and what i thought would be fully dialed in. The issue im having is just tons of foam and head i have to double pour the beer and sometimes triple pour to let enough head settle in order to get a beer i can drink. After hours of research and even more hours of messing and troubleshooting with the thing (this also included about drinking 9 beers in the process lol) i just cant figure out what the best solution is to this. Let me give you guys the lay out of what i have and what I have tried...
Current keg is sam adams boston lager and ive written to the brewmaster for proper PSI/temp storage for their beer and have yet to get a response.
Temperature varies from 36-38 degrees.
Currently i have the PSI set at about 12psi

So everytime i pour a beer if i pour it straight through i get like 60% head in the pint glass. Far beyond acceptable. From being a complete newbie and reading threads and forums I have concluded the problem could be A) the pressure is to high and causing the beer to come out to fast and be agitated B) the warm beer in the tower is creating the foam C) bends in the line can create foam. D) pressure is to low and air is escaping into the beer line creating air pockets which when coming out of the spout release as foam....

ok so here are the solutions i have tried....i have gone back and forth with the pressure regulator trying to get it dialed in perfectly...the issue im having that is really frustrating me is that when i turn the psi up high enough to keep CO2 from escaping into the beer line it just seems like it is pouring WAY to fast and obviously creating head. When i turn the regulator down enough so it seems the beer coming out of the spout is pouring right i get air bubbles in the line =/ it really just seems like i cant find the happy medium...
another solution to help reduce head would be to follow something like
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/pvc-...lution-43072// this....i can for sure see how this helps with the beer keeping cold but i really dont think that is my issue since i get the same result if i pour 1 beer or 3 beers in a row....

my OTHER thought which i think may help the most is to lengthen my beer line to increase the amount of restriction which should let me raise the PSI without increasing the flow out of the spout to eliminate my issue with gas escaping the keg....i read elevation can effect this but seeing as im like 200ft above sea level i really dont think this is a factor. the beer line as it stands now is about 5 feet long which seems to be standard and shouldnt really be the issue.....my only real life friend that i know, who has now moved away and cant help me in person, thinks that perhaps shortening the line would help with the issue....as much as i love him i dont agree with him....so here is my plea for help as im at a crossroads as to what my issue could be....any input would be greatly appreciated as i really dont wanna have to try all these ideas if none of them are gonna work....as i said insulating the tower i dont think will do much and i dont think i should need 9 feet of hose inside my kegerator to increase restriction. but with the psi at 12 it is shooting out of the spout and i remember my buddies kegerator it should be a nice constant fast trickle almost....taking about 6-8 seconds to fill a full pint...i will stop rambling and await assistance from the outside world

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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oh also another thing my friend told me is that the keg itself may have been overpressurized which is why gas would be escaping with the psi down to 10.5/11 which is about where it needs to be for the spout to pour right....i really havent seen anyone talk about that or know if there is any validity to it? i figured id find out if i get the same results with my next keg luckily this is only a pony so it should only last me a couple weeks anywho just more food for thought

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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I had trouble understanding that, sorry.

How long are your lines? 5 feet? That's pretty short. Many people with 12 psi are using 10 feet lines. It should take several seconds to fill your glass, a slow pour is actually a good pour. I pour down the side of my glass, and get the perfect amount of head.

My lines are 8-10' long, my kegerator is 40 degrees, and my regulator is at 11 psi. http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com...rbonation.html

It does sound overcarbed. Commercial beer often is carbed up pretty highly. You could try turning down your regulator to about 2-3 psi, just enough to push the beer without getting a glass of foam. I think commercial lines are long.

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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36-38 is WAY too cold, especially for 12 psi... that's some fizzy boston lager in my book...

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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appreciate the quick reply and yea my lines are about 5 feet long...as i said before tho if i turn down pressure to get a nice slow pour i notice air forming in the line....from what ive read and understand that means that CO2 is exiting the keg and forming as air bubbles in the beer line (line from coupler to faucet) which if left long enough will cause the beer to become flat....i had the regulator set at 10PSI which it seemed like a pretty good pour at that pressure but when i left the regulator at that setting i had about 30 minutes between beers and when i came back i noticed the pocket of air in the beer line directly above the kegerator was a goo 1-2inch pocket of air which just seems like way to much....maybe this site will help illustrate what im saying a little better
http://www.angelfire.com/ks2/beer/homekeg.html

scroll down to "pouring problems and co2 low pressure"

and in response to the fizzines the beer itself taste wonderful....but from what i gather from both of you is that pressure should be lower or the hose should be longer or both...
i understand lowering the pressure will create a better smoother pour which is what im aiming for but shouldnt i worry about my beer going flat seeing these pockets of air in my beer line?

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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Too low CO2 pressure is only a problem if the beer is carbonated beyond that pressure. In this case, you carbed at 12 PSI, then turning it down to 10 PSI isn't going to be enough pressure to keep the CO2 in solution.

You need to make the lines long enough to drop the pressure, and set it at one pressure and leave it.

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia View Post
Too low CO2 pressure is only a problem if the beer is carbonated beyond that pressure. In this case, you carbed at 12 PSI, then turning it down to 10 PSI isn't going to be enough pressure to keep the CO2 in solution.

You need to make the lines long enough to drop the pressure, and set it at one pressure and leave it.
ah so what you are saying is the air that im seeing in the line has resulted from me starting at 12 psi and then lowering so some of the gas is needing to escape until the system balances out? how long should it take for the system to do this? or once set at the proper psi and the system left "stable" how long should it be before air pockets stop forming or at least significant ones
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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It will take a while, but realize that you'll have less carbonation if you do it that way.

You're going at this backwards. You need to decide the amount of carbonation you want, then use the table that Yooper posted to determine the pressure required. From there, you need to make sure your liquid line is long enough to drop that amount of pressure so that you don't pour too fast.

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia View Post
It will take a while, but realize that you'll have less carbonation if you do it that way.

You're going at this backwards. You need to decide the amount of carbonation you want, then use the table that Yooper posted to determine the pressure required. From there, you need to make sure your liquid line is long enough to drop that amount of pressure so that you don't pour too fast.
and being a complete noob at what im doing and since i have not heard back from sam adams brewery on their recommended specs what is a good carbonation level for a beer like boston lager? and what i gather from this post is read the chart adjust the psi accordingly and adjust the length of the line to create a smooth pour at the end of the spout....and as for the gas forming in the beer line? with the right psi setting from the chart the system should eventually stabilize and stop creating these air pockets which im assuming would have settled after the first few days if i just got the right psi set and left it alone instead of messing with every other beer i pour
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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well, if we're not dealing with homebrew, that changes things a bit. I apologize, I missed that in your original post. Many commercial brews are carbonated higher than what most homebrewers use, so it's very helpful to know what the brewery recommends for pressure.

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