Serving line length question

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ebj5883

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So I've researched a little bit on the subject, as I was running only a foot of line and getting (as you would imagine) a cup full of foam when serving from my kegs. I've since gotten 3/16" ID lines and have just hooked up a 10' section to my pale ale keg currently set at 13psi. I'm still getting a cup full of foam. I feel like I'm missing something somewhere?

Anyways, I'll look into some LHBS advice, but it seems to vary between each one (there's 2 in my area). Thought I could get a 3rd opinion here to sort of act as a tiebreaker, providing it matches with one of their suggestions :)
 

wilserbrewer

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Vent the keg and try serving at lower pressure. Sounds to me like your beer is over presurised if you are getting that much foam at 13psi w/ 10 feet of 3/16. 13psi sounds a bit high if the beer is very cold?
 

JuanMoore

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13psi is a little on the high side, so you may need even longer than 10'. We really need more info to be able to properly diagnose what the issue is though. How did you carbonate the beer? What temp is the beer kept at? Where are the beverage lines run, and are they kept cold the enitre run? Is just the first pour foamy, or every pour? Are there any kinks in the beverage line?
 
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ebj5883

ebj5883

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Okay, checking back here. So I'm running all line inside of the keezer (which is kept at 35 degrees F) to picnic taps for now, and I've since turned the pale ale down to 11psi. No kinks in the lines either :)
 

JuanMoore

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How did you carbonate the beer? Unless you used the set and forget method, it's possible that it's just overcarbonated. FWIW 13psi at 35F is almost 3 volumes, so even if it's properly carbonated you'll probably need longer than 10' lines for a perfect pour. It could also be hop debris or something stuck in the faucet, or even a faulty picnic faucet. Do you have a second picnic faucet you can try?
 
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ebj5883

ebj5883

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I'll give a lower psi a try first. I used the set and forget method (which I was suggested was 13psi @ 37 degrees F). A faulty picnic tap could be the case, but wouldn't that pretty much guarantee a leak out of the tap while not being used? A significant amount of gas does find its way to the head of the line after pouring is done, but no leaking. Could that be a sign of anything?
 

JuanMoore

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A faulty picnic tap could be the case, but wouldn't that pretty much guarantee a leak out of the tap while not being used?
No. It could just be a small protrusion inside from the molding process creating turbulence and knocking the co2 out of solution. You are openeing the faucet completely when you pour right?


A significant amount of gas does find its way to the head of the line after pouring is done, but no leaking. Could that be a sign of anything?
Yes. There shouldn't be much co2 coming out of solution unless it's overcarbed. Hard to say what the issue is that's causing it. Maybe someone else can chime in.
 

shafferpilot

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it's overcarbed. Solution:

Unhook gas
Vent pressure
shake keg
vent pressure
repeat for more times than you think is necessary
hook back up to gas at 10psi
try a pour after a few days
 

gnef

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Also, what is the OD of the beerline you are using?
 

gnef

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You can also try some thicker tubing then. The standard is 7/16'' OD, though I have been experimenting with 3/8'' OD recently.
 

day_trippr

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Wait - OD? Who cares about the OD of beer line?

Cheers
 

gnef

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My thoughts are that the thinner the tubing, the more likely it is to heat up the beer as it travels through, the more likely to kink, or get close to kinking, as well as the elasticity of the sidewall is also different, which could impact the pressure drop of the line. If the lines were going directly to a shank/faucet or tower, then the temperature wouldn't be as big of a deal in my mind.

If I remember correctly (which I could definitely be wrong on), the original pressure drop measurements were calculated using 7/16'' OD tubing.

Also, you may want to check your pressure with a separate gauge if possible - I've noticed that one of my regulators shows a higher pressure than the bleeder valve gauge.

At least with my setup, 10 ft of line with 13 psi won't give a glass full of foam, it either has to be significantly higher in pressure, or significantly shorter in line length.
 
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