New to Kegging. Having Foaming issue

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
I am new to kegging and am getting nothing but foam. At the moment I just have a Picnic tap, and 6' of 1/4" id tubing.Co2 is set at 10. my fridge temp is set at 35 .I have read a bunch, but am still confused as to what to do. Should I go with longer tubing, switch to 3/16 tubing.
Adjusting the co2 pressure never made any difference.
Thanks
 

mandoman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
361
Reaction score
4
Location
abingdon, virginia
I'd say it's the diameter and length of your tubing. WHen I had foaming problems, biermuncher and others suggested 10' of 3/16 and it solved all my problems. I still have several taps with 6' and you can tell a huge difference on the same system - longer hose = less head. The hose absorbs the pressure as it passes through rather than delivering it to your glass. My guess is you'd need 15+ feet of 1/4" hose to absorb all that if you think about the surface area the beer contacts prior to the glass.
 
OP
F

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
What happens if the hose is too long. I just picked up a 20' piece of 3/16..
I figured it's easier to start longer.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
81
Been there!

1. Switch to 3/16" beverage line. The key word being "beverage". The walls of the tubing are thicker and the inside of the line is smoother. There is a difference.

2. A pic nic tap is more prone to foaming than a regular tap. You may have to back the pressure off some when serving. The same if you use the shorter beer lines. Not a big deal, but not quite a set and forget arrangement either.

3. Over carbed beer can cause foaming problems. You can bleed off pressure, but it takes longer than you might guess. Sometimes several days of pulling the pressure relief valve repeatedly. A tip off is when you have a lot of foam, but little carbonation remaining in the pour. It seems counter intuitive, but that is what can happen.

4. Keep the beer lines cool as well as the beer when possible.

If the hose is too long, you will need to apply too much pressure to the keg to get a decent flow rate at the tap. This will eventually result in the beer becoming overcarbed and you will find yourself back to square one.

Get your beer carbed to the desired level. I would suggest beer lines of six feet. This way, the lines are not so long as to be a nuisance, yet you can serve the beer at a moderate pressure. Up the pressure to the normal 12 psi or so for storing and bleed off some gas when serving. You will use a little more CO2 doing it this way, but no big deal. Keeping the keg at the lower serving pressure will reduce the carbonation level in the beer, but this happens fairly slowly and it's easy to return it to the proper level with an overnight pressure boost.

You'll get the hang of it soon enough and this will all become second nature to you. Do some trial and error stuff with what we've given you here and you will be on your way.
 

boogyman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
435
Reaction score
9
Location
Folsom, CA
Been there!

1. Switch to 3/16" beverage line. The key word being "beverage". The walls of the tubing are thicker and the inside of the line is smoother. There is a difference.

2. A pic nic tap is more prone to foaming than a regular tap. You may have to back the pressure off some when serving. The same if you use the shorter beer lines. Not a big deal, but not quite a set and forget arrangement either.

3. Over carbed beer can cause foaming problems. You can bleed off pressure, but it takes longer than you might guess. Sometimes several days of pulling the pressure relief valve repeatedly. A tip off is when you have a lot of foam, but little carbonation remaining in the pour. It seems counter intuitive, but that is what can happen.

4. Keep the beer lines cool as well as the beer when possible.

If the hose is too long, you will need to apply too much pressure to the keg to get a decent flow rate at the tap. This will eventually result in the beer becoming overcarbed and you will find yourself back to square one.

Get your beer carbed to the desired level. I would suggest beer lines of six feet. This way, the lines are not so long as to be a nuisance, yet you can serve the beer at a moderate pressure. Up the pressure to the normal 12 psi or so for storing and bleed off some gas when serving. You will use a little more CO2 doing it this way, but no big deal. Keeping the keg at the lower serving pressure will reduce the carbonation level in the beer, but this happens fairly slowly and it's easy to return it to the proper level with an overnight pressure boost.

You'll get the hang of it soon enough and this will all become second nature to you. Do some trial and error stuff with what we've given you here and you will be on your way.
good advice. definitely check your carb -- if you force (over) carbed, then you might get all foam too. If that's the case, you'll have to let it sit for a few days to let it settle.
 
OP
F

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
I appreciate the help. I switched to 3/16 and bought a stainless tap. Turned co2 down to 6psi to serve. Only get about 1 inch foam to a 500 ml glass. So this is much better than 500 ml of foam.. This is my first keg attempt so I figured there would be trial and error. I've been making beer for like 15 years.. Just don't want to bottle as much now.. I have some Grolsh bottles with flip tops so I don't mind bottling a batch of them. No Capping involved.
Another question,, What is good to clean my kegs with. To sanitize them. I can't get iodophor around here.
 

Picobrew

Biscuit Enthusiast
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
23
Location
NW Portland, OR
Another question,, What is good to clean my kegs with. To sanitize them. I can't get iodophor around here.
I use oxiclean or oxiclean free (available at target) and StarSan for sanitizing. I really love starsan. Also, I don't know if anyone mentioned this, and it is probably common knowledge, but I find that if you open the picnip tap (or any tap for that matter) wide open vs. partially opening it, you get MUCH less foam. If I partially open it, I always get foamed out.
 
OP
F

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
Well Still having some issues. I tried the 3/16 line at 20 feet. That's the way it came and didn't want to cut it before I tried it. Still getting almost half a glass of foam. I even tried some line from my lhbs, which he said was perfect length and to run around 12 lbs co2. It was thin line with thick walls. I tried that and get full glass of foam.
My next question is would the c02 lines affect this. I think mine are 3/8 id as that's what the fittings were..
Or would it be My beer.
It's my first keg.. I have another almost ready to try.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,940
Reaction score
12,870
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Gas lines don't matter at all.

It really seems like your beer is overcarbed. Did you start the pressure higher than 12 psi and then turn it down? Some people shake their kegs to get it to carb faster, which can cause some foaming.

I'd suggest keeping it set at about 12 psi for this keg and the next keg, and not change the pressure to carb it up. It'll take about a week, but then you'll be able to "dial in" your system if it's undercarbed or overcarbed.

For now, pull the pressure relief valve on the overcarbed keg a couple of times a day and see if it settles down.
 
OP
F

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
I forced carbed at 20 psi and shook it for a bit. Then let it sit for about a week at 20 psi,till I got a tap.I should have another keg ready to hook up in a couple days.
 

Blender

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
3,106
Reaction score
10
Location
Santa Cruz, CA.
I forced carbed at 20 psi and shook it for a bit. Then let it sit for about a week at 20 psi,till I got a tap.I should have another keg ready to hook up in a couple days.
I think you are overcarbed. I just did the same thing with 20 PSI and forgot it for a week and had some real issues with foam. I would turn it way down and vent the keg regularly until it comes back to the right pressure for serving.

By the way the next keg I did was 12 PSI for 10 days and it is great.
 
OP
F

flyerdx

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Location
Riverview
thanks.I figured it must have been something other than the line.
 
Top