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I’m having an over carbonation issue with my keezer. I could write a novel with the challenges over the last year. But I’ll skip it, and just jump to the facts. I would really appreciate some assistance on where to go from here. I built a straightforward keezer a little over a year ago. It’s a basic collar type setup. I have a four way manifold connected to a co2 tank with regulator (kept inside the freezer). I have about 6ft of line on the beverage side. Foam isn’t my issue, just over carbonated beer. I set the regulator to 11 at 40 degrees. I should note I suspected the regulator at one time. I’ve replaced it and no change. I force carbonated using the set it and forget it method. I serve and carbonate at the same time without touching anything. I recently degassed all four kegs and it brought them down to a reasonable carbonation. I then put the gas back on, only at 8 psi. Crap, one week later at 8 psi... over carbonated again. Any thoughts, ideas?

* side note. As I’ve been dealing with this I carbonated a single beer in my other freezer that I normally use for fermentation. Hooked up a cobra tap. Awesome beer and perfectly carbonated. This was with the regulator I replaced in my keezer.
 

day_trippr

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Greetings, @The Lousy Hunter, and welcome to the forums at HomebrewTalk! :mug:

Can you provide a bit more detail on your keezer, like do you have faucets vs picnic taps, and if the former where they're located (collar, tower, etc)?
Also, can you provide your thoughts on why you think the beer is actually over carbonated, vs perhaps your dispensing system is not optimally "tuned" for what might be a proper carbonation level after all?

11 psi with a beer temperature of 40°F should equalize at just under 2.4 volumes, per our favorite carbonation table. And, without knowing the beer line used, I'll offer that the only beer line length calculator worth using says for 11 psi with a typical ale FG, a minimum line length just under 10 feet is required, assuming the once ubiquitous 3/16" ID thick wall solid PVC line (ala Bevlex 200).

As for what seems to be some rather bizarre behavior wrt one freezer vs the other, is there a chance the keezer is running significantly colder than the fermentation freezer? Also, how did you dispense the beer in the fermentation freezer vs your keezer?

Cheers!
 
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Greetings, @The Lousy Hunter, and welcome to the forums at HomebrewTalk! :mug:

Can you provide a bit more detail on your keezer, like do you have faucets vs picnic taps, and if the former where they're located (collar, tower, etc)?
Also, can you provide your thoughts on why you think the beer is actually over carbonated, vs perhaps your dispensing system is not optimally "tuned" for what might be a proper carbonation level after all?

11 psi with a beer temperature of 40°F should equalize at just under 2.4 volumes, per our favorite carbonation table. And, without knowing the beer line used, I'll offer that the only beer line length calculator worth using says for 11 psi with a typical ale FG, a minimum line length just under 10 feet is required, assuming the once ubiquitous 3/16" ID thick wall solid PVC line (ala Bevlex 200).

As for what seems to be some rather bizarre behavior wrt one freezer vs the other, is there a chance the keezer is running significantly colder than the fermentation freezer? Also, how did you dispense the beer in the fermentation freezer vs your keezer?

Cheers!
I should note, that I did add a fan and attached the probe to a a tall boy with bubble wrap. All readings have come out at exactly 40 degrees with multiple devices.
 

day_trippr

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Good pics, provides some helpful context and data.
So you are indeed using 3/16" ID solid PVC. I would definitely consider taking Mike Solty's calculator to heart as my experience using the same type of line showed consistently good pours at 11 psi using 12 feet total of that line type per tap.

Still a few questions to answer :)

Cheers!
 

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Everything that @day_trippr said. ^

Excellent pictures, they tell more than 1000 words could, looks like a good setup.
You're sure the beer line is definitely 3/16" ID, right? Not 1/4".

Please describe what you call over-carbonated. What are the symptoms that make you think it is?
Excessive foaming when dispensing is usually the telltale of too much carbonation for the lines used (too wide and/or too short), offering not enough resistance.
May we assume you open the faucets fully, all the way open, when pouring?
 

VikeMan

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How are you measuring the temperature in the keezer? What matters is the beer temperature. And since you can't really measure that directly, you need to know the average air temperature in the keezer over time. That can be significantly lower than the set point on your controller. If you are simply setting the controller to 40F and thinking that's the beer/average air temp, that's what I'd be looking at.

When I was dialing in my keezer setup, I measured the temperature at "half keg height" every 5 minutes over a few hours (as it cycled through on/off cycles), then averaged it.
 

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How are you measuring the temperature in the keezer? What matters is the beer temperature. And since you can't really measure that directly, you need to know the average air temperature in the keezer over time. That can be significantly lower than the set point on your controller. If you are simply setting the controller to 40F and thinking that's the beer/average air temp, that's what I'd be looking at.

When I was dialing in my keezer setup, I measured the temperature at "half keg height" every 5 minutes over a few hours (as it cycled through on/off cycles), then averaged it.
Glad you mentioned that, too often overlooked!

In that light, probe placement is very important.
@The Lousy Hunter where is the probe located, is it attached to a keg, if so, how?
 
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Thanks all for the replies.
1. The temperature is definitely 40. After suspecting that very issue, I installed a fan and attached the prob to a tall boy with bubble wrap that sits on the hump. I’ve measured multiple times over multiple days with multiple devices. 40 every time. Odd, while typing this I pulled two pints from different kegs. Both pints measured around 39, 38. I would think it you be slightly higher after it hit a room temperature glass.
2. At its worst it’s a glass of carbonic acid. At its best, I’d say it almost like champagne. I don’t typically get foaming issues. My understanding of line length is that it helps with foaming. I’m I wrong in this? Does it also affect the carbonation level of the beer once dispensed? I’m heading to the home brew store this morning. I can grab 12 feet of line and see if that helps. To confirm the line is 3/16.
 

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I’m heading to the home brew store this morning. I can grab 12 feet of line and see if that helps. To confirm the line is 3/16.
You'd be better off considering switching to EVA Barrier line. Using 4mm ID (8mm OD) line, 5-6 feet per tap is usually enough.
The main advantage is it has an oxygen barrier as regular vinyl line doesn't, and exposes your beer to oxygen.

Now chances are, your homebrew store won't have it. Only few online dealers sell it (best kept secret maybe?). You'd also need some push-fit connectors/adapters, etc.
 

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I can grab 12 feet of line and see if that helps
Since you are thinking about changing out your beer lines, you may want to switch from PVC to something else. PVC is very oxygen permeable and after only a day or so your first pour will always be oxidized and not very good. After I made the switch from ultra-barrier (better than PVC but still is oxygen permeable to some degree) to EVA, I noticed a huge difference in quality of first pour. I used to throw out the first ounce or two, now it is tasty.

Not only will EVA 4mm makes a huge difference in beer quality it can help you shorten your beer lines to around 5 feet.
 

Holden Caulfield

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You'd be better off considering switching to EVA Barrier line. Using 4mm ID (8mm OD) line, 5-6 feet per tap is usually enough.
The main advantage is it has an oxygen barrier as regular vinyl line doesn't, and exposes your beer to oxygen.

Now chances are, your homebrew store won't have it. Only few online dealers sell it (best kept secret maybe?). You'd also need some push-fit connectors/adapters, etc.
^Beat me to the punch :)
 
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I was interested in making that switch. I do indeed pour out a few once’s every time. You’re right none of the stores near me carry it. On the other hand I don’t know if the line length or type is my issue yet. I’ll grab the 12 foot today to try. And order the new lines as well.
Any thoughts of the temperature results? 40 in keezer, 38, 39 on the pour.
 

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Any thoughts of the temperature results? 40 in keezer, 38, 39 on the pour.
There's a lot of thermal mass in a full or even partially filled keg. That mass resists change.
Also the bottom of chest freezers tends to be the coldest area (cold air sinks), and that's where your diptube draws from.
 
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There's a lot of thermal mass in a full or even partially filled keg. That mass resists change.
Also the bottom of chest freezers tends to be the coldest area (cold air sinks), and that's where your diptube draws from.
Make sense. Should I increase the temp until the poured beer comes in at 40?
 

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Make sense. Should I increase the temp until the poured beer comes in at 40?
If that's important to you, yes!

Is that fan on only during compressor on-time? Or all the time?

attached the probe to a a tall boy with bubble wrap.
"a tall boy" being a 5 gallon keg?
I have my probe attached around 1/3 up from the bottom of a keg, under a 3" patch of 1/4" packing foam. But that's in an upright freezer, so air is moved when cooling is on.
 

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Any thoughts of the temperature results? 40 in keezer, 38, 39 on the pour.
Yep. The temp of the beer in your kegs is even lower than 38/39, thus over-carbonating somewhat (compared to a true 40F temp). I would suggest making some more accurate/longer term/more observations temp readings of the air in your keezer. You mentioned that it was 40 "every time." But the way freezers cycle on/off (and overshoot low after switching off), there's no way the air temperature can be the same every time, unless there were only a few readings that happened by coincidence to be the same.
 

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I would suspect beverage lines that are either too short and or too large in diameter as stated above. Unless the regulator is faulty, there really can’t be an “over-carbonation” issue if the gauge pressure @ 8-11 psi is accurate and your temperature is within a couple degrees of 40° using the set and forget method. I think you’ll be surprised by adding longer lines, 6’ is much too short. I also second the switch to EVA. I did it a few months ago and now wished I had done it long ago. The 3/16 vinyl hose is cheap, so it’s a quick way to help diagnose the problem.
 

day_trippr

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[...]
Odd, while typing this I pulled two pints from different kegs. Both pints measured around 39, 38. I would think it you be slightly higher after it hit a room temperature glass.
[...]
That's your red flag right there. No way does 40°F in the keg end up with 40°F in the glass...

Cheers!
 
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Ok. I’ve purchased 2, 12 foot lines and installed. The beer is better, but I still get some bubbles dancing on my tongue. I’m going to assess over the next few days and report back.
 

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Ok. I’ve purchased 2, 12 foot lines and installed. The beer is better, but I still get some bubbles dancing on my tongue. I’m going to assess over the next few days and report back.
Maybe you don't like carbonated beer?

That fan, how is that placed, when does it operate?
Without recirculation, temp stratification in a chest freezer can be significant, meaning your tubing lying on top is a few degrees warmer than the bottom of the kegs. That causes CO2 to come out of solution, causing foamy pours.

Also, most freezer lids are the pits, insulation wise.
 

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anyone use 1/4'' id for the liquid side? i used that line length calculator, but it says i need like 39'. i bought a keezer locally and it has picnic taps. It came with 25' of extra 1/4" ID beverage tubing, im going to install beer taps just thought id save money and use it.
 

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anyone use 1/4'' id for the liquid side? i used that line length calculator, but it says i need like 39'. i bought a keezer locally and it has picnic taps. It came with 25' of extra 1/4" ID beverage tubing, im going to install beer taps just thought id save money and use it.
1/4" ID is not commonly used in keezers/kegerators. As you've seen from the calculator, you'd need an exorbitant long line to keep the beer carbonated at the faucet.
Now commercial taprooms such as "World of Beer" may use 1/4" ID line (or even wider) as they need that extra length to get the beer stored in their cold room to the taps. I've seen those lines "stapled" along the cold room's ceiling.

You're better off buying EVA Barrier line, as it is has an oxygen barrier. Vinyl lines let O2 in, oxidizing your beer.
Use 4mm ID/8mm OD EVA Barrier line and John Guest ptc (push-to-connect) fittings. For both beer AND CO2 lines.
 
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allen3436

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I read that using a thicker od line with the 3/16” Id would also eliminate oxidation is that true?
 

TheMadKing

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Odd, while typing this I pulled two pints from different kegs. Both pints measured around 39, 38.
that tells me you have a temperature gradient in your kegs and they are colder than you think they are. They may be 40 degrees in the middle of your keg but at the bottom of the keg they are colder than that if it is coming out of your tap at 38-39 (which is probably a few degrees higher than it was at the bottom of your keg)
 

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This Eva line sounded expensive, just looked. It’s like the same price. I’ll just get that. Thanks for the Info!
 

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This Eva line sounded expensive, just looked. It’s like the same price. I’ll just get that. Thanks for the Info!
Cheaper in use, you'd only need 4-6 feet per tap. And thus easier to clean too.

I'm still using BevSeal Ultra 235 (has an inner O2 barrier PET liner) but at 19' per tap, and stiff like a spring, I'm switching at some point soon.
 
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