Lost My Head

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

NJNewb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
41
I’m not sure if this is a brewing issue or a kegging issue so posting here. The last batch I made was a disaster of a Belgian Wit I named What Wit Wrong. The brew day was a train wreck, I had too many things going on and wasn’t focused enough. The beer was….not good but when I first kegged (force carbed at 20 psi for a day then purged and carbed at 12) it was about half head and half beer. After a couple of weeks the head went away completely. The beer was such a mess I just put it down to that but I just made a pale ale that I kegged and carbed the same way. This one came out great but still no head at all. There’s plenty of gas in the tank and the beer definitely tastes carbonated. I’m sure I’m the problem but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
3,451
Reaction score
2,385
First thing to look at is the length of your serving lines...how long are they? If they are too short the beer will lose the carb as it goes into the glass.

Second thing is recipe. What was the grain bill?

Let's start there and see if anything jumps out.
 
OP
OP
N

NJNewb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
41
The grain bill was 11 1/2 pounds of two row and 1 pound of caramel 60. It’s a new kegerator so the lines are what came with it. I’d say 3-4 feet.
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
3,451
Reaction score
2,385
The grain bill was 11 1/2 pounds of two row and 1 pound of caramel 60. It’s a new kegerator so the lines are what came with it. I’d say 3-4 feet.

Line length is definitely too short at least IMO. You need to get longer lines in order to keep the CO2 in solution as you pour. The general rule of thumb around here is 10' of line...thats what I use with my picnic taps and have perfect pours every time.
 
OP
OP
N

NJNewb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
41
Line length is definitely too short at least IMO. You need to get longer lines in order to keep the CO2 in solution as you pour. The general rule of thumb around here is 10' of line...thats what I use with my picnic taps and have perfect pours every time.
Thanks that’s easy enough to try. Dumb follow up question do I need 10’ for gas, liquid or both?
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
23,852
Reaction score
14,002
Location
S.AZ
10' 3/16" tube....not 1/4" as most of the fittings are made for....boiling water will get it on them though....

and if you don't purge first when you hook the keg up...IME, the co2 saturation in the headspace takes FOREVER to get into the beer....maybe it was warm then, as it got cold, undercarbed?
 

camonick

Mediocre brewer... Expert drinker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
4,115
Reaction score
22,888
Location
Northeast CO
It’s a new kegerator so the lines are what came with it. I’d say 3-4 feet.
A good rule of thumb and something that worked well for me before I upgraded my system is, AT LEAST 1 foot of 3/16" ID beverage tubing per psi on your regulator. The only thing longer than necessary liquid lines do is slow the time to pour a pint. You can always trim them shorter if need be. Another option is 4mm EVABarrier lines and Duotight fittings for your beer and you can shorten them to about 6 feet. There is also minimum O2 absorption with the EVA lines as well, which means fresher tasting beer, especially when you pour the first pint every time.

Edit: grammar
 
Last edited:

SanJuanWorm

Beer. Because you can’t drink bacon.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
592
Reaction score
3,267
Location
Calgary
Another time to check your system for leaks. Small amount of dish soap and water, take a small brush and 'soap' every connection. No bubbles, no troubles. it's surprising how small a knick in a line can leak out the gas, especially under pressure.

Good luck.
 
OP
OP
N

NJNewb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
41
Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll order some new beverage line today. It’s a shame I didn’t ask this a few hours earlier. I put in an order at MoreBeer yesterday morning for some other stuff. I could have got free shipping!
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,594
Reaction score
9,890
Location
Pasadena, MD
Another option is 4mm EVABarrier lines and Duotight fittings for your beer and you can shorten them to about 6 feet. There is also minimum O2 absorption with the EVA lines as well, which means fresher tasting beer, especially when you pour the first pint every time.
That! ^
Since you're redoing lines, it's a relatively small investment for superior beer and better dispensing. Vinyl lines are out, even for gas, they're oxygen permeable. Oxygen kills your beer.

The last batch I made was a disaster of a Belgian Wit I named What Wit Wrong.

The grain bill was 11 1/2 pounds of two row and 1 pound of caramel 60.

BTW, it ain't a Wit without wheat... and a hefty percentage at that. ;)
Wheat also provides foam stability.
 
OP
OP
N

NJNewb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
41
That! ^
Since you're redoing lines, it's a relatively small investment for superior beer and better dispensing. Vinyl lines are out, even for gas, they're oxygen permeable. Oxygen kills your beer.





BTW, it ain't a Wit without wheat... and a hefty percentage at that. ;)
Wheat also provides foam stability.
Sorry I wasn’t clear the grain bill I have was for the pale ale I currently have on. The Wit was about 60 % wheat. The brew day was just a comedy or errors. I had meant to brew the day before but the weather didn’t cooperate. I had company coming over the day I actually brewed and thought I’d be done before they got to my place but was very wrong. I ended up running in and out trying to play host and finish the brew at the same time, screwed up the timing on a hop addition, coriander and orange addition, yeast nutrient then got completely distracted and boiled for 40 minutes longer than intended. Apparently my wife is right and I’m incapable of multitasking.
 
Top