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Old 11-12-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
Atl300zx
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I have a converted chest freezer kegerator and i am having issues with balancing of the system producing foamy beer. The beer was force carbonated by sitting at 15 psi for 7 days.

The beer comes out as 90% head and leaves the remainder of the beer pretty flat. I have my regulator set up at 15 psi, my hose length is 5.5' of 3/16" beer line and the kegerator temperature is 35 degrees.

I dont understand why my system isnt balanced.

Here is my calculation i got using the below source.

http://www.hbd.org/clubs/franklin/pu...s/balance.html

Length of hose = [Pressure - (Height from center of keg to faucet in feet * 0.5) - 1] / Resistance of Keg Line

Length = [15 - (1.5 * 0.5) - 1]/2.7 = 5.65'

I need help with the following:

If my math is wrong, what length should my hose be?
Also since i have to order new hose, what would a temporary fix so i can drink beer using this system until the new hose arrives?
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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For a temporary fix, you could try venting off some pressure before you dispense your brew. A lot of guys use less pressure than 15psi to dispense their brew. You could just add a couple more feet of 3/16"ID tubing as well. Seven feet is a common length used.

 
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:32 PM   #3
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Letting your keg sit at 15 psi is OK, but before you start dispensing you need to pop your pressure relief valve and release the excess pressure in the keg.

Some people have mentioned doing it this way: turn the regulator to 0 psi. Hold a glass under an open tap and slowly raise the psi until you start getting flow. When it's flowing nicely you're there. Give it a try.

Another thing you may want to do is be sure to rinse your glasses in cold water before filling. A dry glass also affects the foaming action.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:40 PM   #4
Atl300zx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Letting your keg sit at 15 psi is OK, but before you start dispensing you need to pop your pressure relief valve and release the excess pressure in the keg.

Some people have mentioned doing it this way: turn the regulator to 0 psi. Hold a glass under an open tap and slowly raise the psi until you start getting flow. When it's flowing nicely you're there. Give it a try.

Another thing you may want to do is be sure to rinse your glasses in cold water before filling. A dry glass also affects the foaming action.

Thanks for the tips, ill try using this a temporary fix.

Does anyone see where i went wrong in my calculation for beer hose length? i would rather have a balanced system where i can serve and carbonate at the same pressure.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:04 PM   #5
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A few things:

Your beer isnt' quite carbonated yet, it will be in another week. Are you really going for 3 volumes of CO2? That's pretty high. Is it a hefe? If your desired volumes is actually more like 2 and you're just running 15psi to hasten carbonation, you'll still need to let it sit a while. However, don't try pouring at the elevated pressure. This is why people like the set and forget method... it just takes a good 2-3 weeks for full carbonation.

I think that formula is a little off. I run about 12-14psi and I get great pours through 10 feet of 3/16" line. Maybe a little slow but I get a 1/2" head on top of 16oz of beer. It assumes that all beerline is 2.7 psi drop/foot. Maybe not so.

Your pressure gauge could be reading a little low. It says 15psi but might be 18psi.

Short term, turn the pressure down to about 12psi. Just remember, there's no harm in longer line other than a slower pour. If you find it's not producing the head you want, just drop your glass lower at the end.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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You also need to consider your keg temperature. If you're shooting for around 2.5 volumes at 35-38F, you only need to set your pressure at around 10-11 psi. I find that works fairly well for serving, too.

Even better, I turn the regulator down to around 8 or 9 psi when serving, usually. Unless you stow your CO2 tank somewhere inaccessible, it isn't that much of a hassle to turn a screw a little.


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Old 11-13-2007, 12:38 PM   #7
Atl300zx
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Here is the technique i used last night:

Closed off the co2 valves between regulator and kegs.
Purged excess co2 from kegs.
Let sit 3-5 minutes.
Purged excess co2 from kegs.
Turned pressure to 0 psi on regulator.
Opened co2 valves between regulator and kegs.
Opened faucet and turned up regulator until beer was distributing slowly.

Results: I received a little head at first, then it poured nicely.

Problem: After drinking the first beer (15-20 min), when i went back to get a second, it would sputter and put out 90% head again.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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I just put 12 feet of 3/16" on each tap and end of problem regardless of the serving pressure. Slows the pour a bit, but not enough to worry.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I just put 12 feet of 3/16" on each tap and end of problem regardless of the serving pressure. Slows the pour a bit, but not enough to worry.
This guys got the idea... nothing wrong with the longer line except a few seconds longer on the pour.

Seems like the 2.7psi/ft drop is a 'rule of thumb' but not always correct. Most people who complain of 'foaming problems' are using 5-6ft of tubing. I think 8-10, or heck even 12, is a better solution.

At .50 a foot, I'd give this simple solution a try. No need to mess arounjd - purge excess CO2, mess with regulator, etc. Just set at desired PSI, carb, serve...
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:28 PM   #10
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I agree 100%. I used 10 feet and I'm happy with that on every style. I think 2.7psi drop per foot is really optimistic where it's probably more like 1.5-2. With a slow pour you can really adjust how much head you want. If I hold the glass right up to the faucet, I can get a 1/4" head. If I want more, I drop the glass a few inches towards the end of the pour to force more co2 out of solution.
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