Foam conundrum

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stunsm

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I've been pouring perfectly carbed, foam free beer (well not foam free, but a nice head at the top of the glass) out of my picnic taps at 10 psi for a while now, and finally got the bug to use my old faucets/tap handles. They were originally in a tower, which I ditched because of the major foaming, so I bought some new 4" shanks and put them through the door of the fridge, thinking if the lines stayed inside, unlike the tower, they'd pour just as nicely as the picnic taps. 6 or 8 pints of pure foam later, I dropped the pressure from 10 psi (with 6', 3/16" thick wall lines) down to about 4, and still get a serious shot of foam before the rest pours extremely slowly. Am I doomed to always have foamy beer out of the taps? The picnic taps work so perfectly, and I'm sure I'll end up back with those, but the tap handles sure look nice. Advice?
 

knucklenitz

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I've been pouring perfectly carbed, foam free beer (well not foam free, but a nice head at the top of the glass) out of my picnic taps at 10 psi for a while now, and finally got the bug to use my old faucets/tap handles. They were originally in a tower, which I ditched because of the major foaming, so I bought some new 4" shanks and put them through the door of the fridge, thinking if the lines stayed inside, unlike the tower, they'd pour just as nicely as the picnic taps. 6 or 8 pints of pure foam later, I dropped the pressure from 10 psi (with 6', 3/16" thick wall lines) down to about 4, and still get a serious shot of foam before the rest pours extremely slowly. Am I doomed to always have foamy beer out of the taps? The picnic taps work so perfectly, and I'm sure I'll end up back with those, but the tap handles sure look nice. Advice?
I have the same exact issue (except that I only have the faucet, never tried a picnic tap).

I've read and read about this issue and have tried: higher and lower pressures (carbing at 10psi but 4 psi is best but not perfect for pouring), confirming balancing calcs that show my 5', 3/16 line is proper for my temp and pressure, tubing position, etc. My keg equipment is all brand new.

I will continue to search and keep an eye on your post but may try increasing my line length when I get a chance to get some more line.
 

JohnnyO

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Definitely increase your line length. Happened to me at first. Had 5' lines and would get 3/4 of a glass of foam on first pour. Lengthened my line to around 9' and no longer had the foaming issue.

I won't bother trying to explain the science behind it because I just don't know what that is.

It works. Try it.
 

JuanMoore

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I've also always found that I needed longer line than the calculators tell me I should. A kink in the line or dirty faucets/shanks can also cause foaming. Make sure you're opening the faucet all the way in a nice quick motion. If the faucet isn't open all the way it will foam like crazy. It's also best to organize the lines so that the up and down travel is minimized. I keep mine coiled horizontally on the top of the kegs.
 

Brewerforlife

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I wish we all could re-write the books on this one. I think the stated 2.5 to 3psi for 3/16" vinyl that''s in most literature are wrong. It's more like 1.25 to 1.5 psi?/ft of resistance, which equals about 12.5to15 psi/ft. Personally I think 8-10 feet is a good starting, as do alot of other's on this site, I think?
once you have a beer carbed at certain level, let's say 10 psi, and you lower down to 4 psi, co2 will come out of solution till it comes to equillibrium with the 4psi now being applied, causing gushing & foaming. Once you have a beer carbed to a certain vol/temp, which = what psi. you need, it should be held at that psi./temp till the whole keg is served. You need to properly balance your system around your average psi. you use, not the other way around, by lowering the psi to 10 or below. This will evetually lead to low carbed or flat beer. Hope this helps!! Cheers!!!!:drunk:
 

BrewThruYou

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I wish we all could re-write the books on this one. I think the stated 2.5 to 3psi for 3/16" vinyl that''s in most literature are wrong. It's more like 1.25 to 1.5 psi?/ft of resistance, which equals about 12.5to15 psi/ft. Personally I think 8-10 feet is a good starting, as do alot of other's on this site, I think?
I agree with you.
 

TokyoRoad

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All the calculators seem to agree that a ~5' line is what I need, the problem is no one told my beer that; 5' line = foam. I have a 10' line and it works 10000x better than the 5' line.

Formulas are nice, but in this case whoever came up with it did something wrong or left out a key variable.
 
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