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Diagnosing Foamy Seltzer Tap Setup

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jhorgan24

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I've recently been messing around with making some homebrew seltzer since that's what my family likes to drink but I can't seem to get a non-foamy pour from it. The first thing I read was that I needed a longer line so I took the stock 4 foot-ish 1/4" line, cut it in half and spliced in 30' of 3/16" tubing using these quick disconnects. Beer & Gas Quick Connect - In-Line Set (With Shut-Off) | MoreBeer The seltzer still gushes out and is really foamy so I figured that it must be something with the quick disconnects that's agitating the beer so as an experiment I took that 30' length of tubing, took off the inline QDs and put a picnic tap and a liquid ball lock QD on it so I can go straight from the keg to the picnic tap. Still super foamy. The foam goes down really quickly so it's not impossible to deal with in this state but since I'm at home all day and I like tinkering I figure I'll see if I make the tap system a little more user friendly.

The seltzer is served at 30psi, plugging all the numbers into this calculator should indicate that I've got the right length of tubing, is there something that I'm missing here that could be leading to all the foaming?
 

Beholder

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I’ve got seltzer on tap and have the same performance. I believe the quickly dissipated foam is expected due to the higher dissolved CO2, so I never considered it an issue. I usually just fill glasses with an initial pour and then top up after the foam dissipates in a few seconds.
 

MMP126

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30psig is super high for an at home draft system (kegerator or keezer), and really fast math, 30ft of 3/16" ID hose should be more than enough resistance to slow the liquid down to avoid the over foaming. Few questions to get started...

1. What ID is your beer line.
2. How are is your faucet above/below the keg?

As for head, I dont think you will ever have any. The composition of beer lends itself to form and retain head (has to do with the grain, not a science expert on that, yet). If you have a good amount of bubbles rising in the liquid, that will probably be about it.
 

MMP126

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A few more things:

1. I see your hose is 1/4" ID, so good there.
2. What temp are you dispensing at?
 

pvpeacock

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I have a dedicated Soda Water tap on my keezer. I keep a keg of water at 35 psi with 11 ft. of hose all the time and have never had any problems with foam or losing carbonation after pouring.
 

MMP126

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I have a dedicated Soda Water tap on my keezer. I keep a keg of water at 35 psi with 11 ft. of hose all the time and have never had any problems with foam or losing carbonation after pouring.
This sounds correct if you have 3/16" ID hose. I think the issues is the 1/4" ID hose being used. Ya seltzer is flying outta there!
 
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jhorgan24

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I'm actually using 3/16" ID hose to serve the beer. My kegerator was originally using 1/4" and I spliced in the 3/16" hose. I thought that maybe switching between the two hose IDs was causing some agitation so I switched to just a straight line of 30' of 3/16", still had the problem. I don't have a digital thermometer for my kegerator but I'm pretty sure it's set at 40 degrees. I can check later today once my fiancee is done working where the beer is.

My tap is probably about a foot above the keg. My kegerator is a converted minifridge with a dual tap tower on top.

The only other odd thing I can think of is that when I pour the first seltzer it comes out mostly fine and then after half a glass it gets all foamy and crazy. If I look at the beverage line there's a lot of air bubbles in the line. I just swapped out one of my seltzer kegs but I'll try to get a video of what my pour looks like tonight.
 

MMP126

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Yeah, if the line is 3/16", you should be fine. Like 12ft should be enough to slow the fluid down.

Other than that, dirty beer lines can lead to foaming. I have seen that, unfortunately on my system... :smh: shame
 

MMP126

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This is pretty much the long and short of it:


These recommendations, and doing the balance calculations to make sure you have the proper pressure at your faucet.
 

day_trippr

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Ugh. Splicing different diameter lines is risky, especially going up in diameter on the way to a faucet.
And 30 psi needs at least 26 feet of 3/16" beverage tubing to get close to an acceptable pour rate.

A suggestion: pour a glass, then immediately check the soda line back at the keg to see if the foam actually starts way back there (even better if you can observe the beer line at the keg end while pouring). If it's foaming right at the connector, there may be a mechanical explanation for the problem: the small O-ring under the long dip tube flange can cause all kinds of foaming issues if it's missing or damaged (and it doesn't take but a small nick in the right location) as that can allow CO2 under pressure in the head space to be injected into the soda stream at the Out post...

Cheers!
 
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jhorgan24

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So I actually just kicked my old keg of seltzer and I hooked up my new keg and it's pouring really well. I added back the inline QDs and it still pours perfectly so I guess it probably is an issue with the previous keg. I've had the kegs for years and I've only ever replaced the o-rings on the posts so that explanation makes sense to me.

I'll try replacing that O-ring and maybe I'll add some soft seltzer to the keg to test it out if I have time before I need it for the next batch of beer.

Thanks for all the help!
 
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