Kegging foam question/problem

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Ldundin

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Hi folks, I've been brewing for 5 or 6 years but I just started kegging and I'm having some trouble with foaming - as in, basically all foam. I've carbonated at about 10 psi at 40 degrees and kept it there for dispensing. After first trying a 3 foot setup with a picnic tap, I've moved to 10 feet of 5/16 pvc tubing. No change really. Is there something obvious I'm doing wrong here? Thanks.
 

VikeMan

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Your system is unbalanced. You'd need nearly 50 feet of 5/16" inner diameter tubing to balance. As it is, there's not enough resistance, so the beer is exiting the faucet too fast, causing excess foam. Work with 3/16" tubing and find the length you need. Probably about 5-6 feet. Start a bit longer and cut if needed.
 
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Ldundin

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Alright, thanks man. I actually asked my local store about 3/16 and they offhandedly said it was no big deal for 5/16. Glad to hear it might be something as simple as that. I'll give it a try.
 

VikeMan

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I actually asked my local store about 3/16 and they offhandedly said it was no big deal for 5/16.
Jeezus. That's ridiculous. I would go back there, find the person who told you that, and demand a refund. They are either a liar or incompetent.
 

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Ive used the hose length calculator from Mike Soltys and it has never failed me before. Plug in your psi (based on what you want your vols to be which takes into account temperature from a carbonation chart) and the diameter hose you are using and thats pretty much all you need. You can input other parameters as well depending on your setup.

 
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Ldundin

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Jeezus. That's ridiculous. I would go back there, find the person who told you that, and demand a refund. They are either a liar or incompetent.
Meh, it was some kid first thing in the morning. He was having trouble finding tubes the right size and he only charged me a couple of bucks. Only problem is now I have to buy new fittings as well.
 
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Ldundin

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3/16” tubing at least 1’ per psi will be your friend ;)
Yeah, and my local store is out and last tubing I ordered on Amazon smelled like chemical plant. I may just order it from an online brewshop even though it'll take much longer.
 
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Ldundin

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Ive used the hose length calculator from Mike Soltys and it has never failed me before. Plug in your psi (based on what you want your vols to be which takes into account temperature from a carbonation chart) and the diameter hose you are using and thats pretty much all you need. You can input other parameters as well depending on your setup.

Thanks, I think I've heard of this calculator, but I haven't used it. I figured I'd talk to my local store first, but sounds like I got some bad advice.
 

camonick

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Yeah, and my local store is out and last tubing I ordered on Amazon smelled like chemical plant. I may just order it from an online brewshop even though it'll take much longer.
If you’re ordering new tubing, consider 4mm EVAbarrier tubing. It is odorless, tasteless and oxygen impermeable and you can use less of it.
 

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If you’re ordering new tubing, consider 4mm EVAbarrier tubing. It is odorless, tasteless and oxygen impermeable and you can use less of it.
I agree with this 100%, this is what I use myself for all liquid lines in my keezer and so glad I did. If you compare prices to standard beverage tubing 3/16" you will also find that not only is the quality of the 4mm evabarrier better, but its about the same or slightly cheaper too. I bought mine from brew hardware.com but there are many sellers of this product.
 
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Ldundin

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Alright, thanks. I'll see what I can find for that kind of tubing tomorrow.
 

DaWiseBrew

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Go with the smaller diameter tubing for sure. You need to balance the pressure, but personally, I am not a fan of 50 feet of tubing in my kegerator. For me, that is times 3 kegs, its expensive and messy. We are not trying to transfer beer across a large commercial space, right? Perlick makes a flow control faucet for us home types. It's what I use It will help you balance the the resistance of the system without so much tubing. Other than that, usually foaming issues get better after a few pours, but come back again in a few hours. Also try pouring into a frosty glass.
 

VikeMan

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Other than that, usually foaming issues get better after a few pours, but come back again in a few hours. Also try pouring into a frosty glass.
What you say is true. But to be clear for @Ldundin, he's not going to get any good pours from his 5/16" tubing.

Perlick makes a flow control faucet for us home types. It's what I use It will help you balance the the resistance of the system without so much tubing.
I love flow control Perlicks, which are great for fine adjustments and growler fills.
 
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Ldundin

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OK, so I got 10 feet of 3/16 tubing. I've poured a few glasses, and it's still coming out all foam. I even lowered the pressure from around 10 psi to closer to 5 psi to just see if there was a difference and now. Just a liquid line with a lot of air in it and a foamy glass. Any thoughts on what I'm missing?
 

camonick

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OK, so I got 10 feet of 3/16 tubing. I've poured a few glasses, and it's still coming out all foam. I even lowered the pressure from around 10 psi to closer to 5 psi to just see if there was a difference and now. Just a liquid line with a lot of air in it and a foamy glass. Any thoughts on what I'm missing?
Sounds like your liquid dip tube o-ring is damaged.

Edit: corrected spelling
 
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Ldundin

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Sounds like you’re liquid dip tube o-ring is damaged.
I just bought this refurbished keg. Checked for leaks. Is there some way I would have seen some sign of the damage? And if that's the issue, do I just depressurize, remove the liquid ball lock and chmage the o rings? They sent me extras with the keg.
 

camonick

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I just bought this refurbished keg. Checked for leaks. Is there some way I would have seen some sign of the damage? And if that's the issue, do I just depressurize, remove the liquid ball lock and chmage the o rings? They sent me extras with the keg.
Depressurize the keg. Remove the liquid out post, pull dip tube, replace o-ring, lubricate, sanitize and reassemble.
E53096FC-4EAD-4B71-8358-DBD6BA29EE0E.jpeg
 

DaWiseBrew

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OK, so I got 10 feet of 3/16 tubing. I've poured a few glasses, and it's still coming out all foam. I even lowered the pressure from around 10 psi to closer to 5 psi to just see if there was a difference and now. Just a liquid line with a lot of air in it and a foamy glass. Any thoughts on what I'm missing?
Are you sure you haven't over carbonated? Do you have any way to check the pressure in the keg?
 
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Ldundin

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Are you sure you haven't over carbonated? Do you have any way to check the pressure in the keg?
Hmm. I originally carbonated to 10 psi with the bigger hose. Then I released the pressure back to 5, then ultimately to zero again before I switched to the 3/16 hose. Then I went back up to 10 psi, then down to 5 just to see if it had any difference. I'll have to depressurize again if I want to swap that o ring.
 

VikeMan

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Hmm. I originally carbonated to 10 psi with the bigger hose. Then I released the pressure back to 5, then ultimately to zero again before I switched to the 3/16 hose. Then I went back up to 10 psi, then down to 5 just to see if it had any difference. I'll have to depressurize again if I want to swap that o ring.
10 PSI at 40F will yield about 2.3 volumes of CO2 at equilibrium, regardless of hose sizes.
 

DaWiseBrew

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Hmm. I originally carbonated to 10 psi with the bigger hose. Then I released the pressure back to 5, then ultimately to zero again before I switched to the 3/16 hose. Then I went back up to 10 psi, then down to 5 just to see if it had any difference. I'll have to depressurize again if I want to swap that o ring.
Yeah, hose size makes no difference when carbonating. I was wondering if you tried to force carbonate by shaking the keg or ramping up the psi. If you hook up a pressure gauge to the gas out post, you can measure where you are at.
 

camonick

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Glad you fixed the problem. Foaming issues can be tricky. Given enough information, the cause can usually be determined. We went from large diameter liquid lines being too short to a bad o-ring. This was the giveaway...
Just a liquid line with a lot of air in it and a foamy glass.
I think you had multiple problems that were solved. Enjoying a properly poured pint is worth it.
Sláinte
 

chipmunk

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Ive seen these “flow control” faucets for systems that suggest that they can be used to “balance“ the system. Do those work? I would guess they restrict the pressure at the faucet to slow the flow down instead of relying on smaller diameter or longer tubing.
 

VikeMan

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Ive seen these “flow control” faucets for systems that suggest that they can be used to “balance“ the system. Do those work?
I use Perlick Flow Control Faucets. They work. However, I have not tested them with 50' of 5/16" ID line!

I would guess they restrict the pressure at the faucet to slow the flow down instead of relying on smaller diameter or longer tubing.
Yes. They smoothly adjust restriction. I used to change lines between each keg, to balance against the pressure needed for the CO2 volumes I planned to carbonate to. Flow control makes life a lot easier. It's also great for low foam growler fills.
 

odie

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I don't see how the oring is the issue. if it's damaged then your keg will just leak out. not following the oring theory...
 

VikeMan

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I don't see how the oring is the issue. if it's damaged then your keg will just leak out. not following the oring theory...
Depending on how the small (dip tube) o-ring on the liquid side is damaged, it could make a good seal with the inside of the ball lock post, but a bad seal between the dip tube flange and the keg. The bottom of the o-ring wouldn't normally see beer.
 
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