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  • Yes, another foam thread... help..

    Hi... My name's Allen and I love beer....

    I hate for this to be my first post, but I need to ask for advice. First I'm using a Keggermeister km2800. It was a gift from my wife so no snickers please..

    Anyway, I've added a tower cooler (tower is nice and cold), a fan to circulate and drop temps that's suspended from the inside roof pointing down the cold plate, swapped to 10' x 3/16" beer line that's coiled loosely on top of the keg, and a calibrated digital Thermometer that's submerged in a glass of water next to the keg. My 2nd glass pour temps are between 35 and 36 degrees.

    That being said, I have foam.. Not on the first pour but on all of them. I get about 1/2 a glass each time (at least). CO2 is set at 10 psi and has sat overnight. I also get bubbles in the line, and gaps. The gaps are right up near the beer line and Keg coupler (about a 2"-3" gap) and the small bubbles rise from the keg and settle in pockets along the tube.

    I've tried bumping the pressure up to 12 psi and only got faster foam. I live at 5800 feet above sea level, so please take that into consideration. Also, the beer I'm using is Odell's easy street wheat. According to Odell's, the CO2 volume to shoot for is 2.6.

    Now I've tried those calculations that tell you the line length to use based on CO2 pressure, height to faucet, etc.. and they all come out at like 3' of line (give or take). That's just way too short in my opinion. The original 4' line that came with it was too short. I've also spoken tot a couple of local home brewers and they all said the exact same thing - "10' of 3/16" beer line at 12 psi".. But I get mounds of foam.

    So, where do I go from here? If I lower the CO2 to like 7 or 8 psi I get large bubbles in the lines (CO2 breakout) and foam.. So I know I can't do that. Do I need to extend the lines to 12 or 13 feet? I feel like I've done quite a bit of reading on this and have tried all the suggestions you normally see - tower cooler, longer beer lines, etc...
    So, I'm open to suggestions.

  • #2
    wazzelby,
    You aren't the only member that has a Keggermeister and not the only one that the mate has gotten them a kegerator, so you aren't unique.
    "According to Odell's, the CO2 volume to shoot for is 2.6.", not sure if you "shoot for" v/v, v/v is set carbonation that brewery does to beer (from what I have read most wheat beers have a fairly high v/v. Ask brewmaster if carbonation is 2.6, or THEIR target or some other way they measure v/v.
    "My 2nd glass pour temps are between 35 and 36 degrees." Is it 35 or 36 or somewhere between? Best to get a digital thermometer, calibrate and get a temperature to XX.X.
    "a calibrated digital Thermometer that's submerged in a glass of water next to the keg." good, interior temperature gets cold, stop reading this glass, it really doesn't matter at this point.
    "...on all of them. I get about 1/2 a glass each time (at least)....mounds of foam...and only got faster foam" So, every CONSECUTIVE glass has 1/2 foam, in exact same glass? Did this start from start of this keg? Did you have another keg previously that did work (which beer and v/v)? Define mounds of foam and what do you mean by "faster foam", more foam grows faster, fills faster?
    Yes, most restriction charts say 3-5 feet is fine, most put 8+ to slow flow, 10 feet the beer flow should sufficient, don't go longer than 10 feet, if flow is really fast at 12 PSI with 10 feet, something funny is going on.
    OK, find v/v, get calibrated temperature of the 2nd room temperature glass via digital thermometer that you submerge into beer. 10 feet beer line should be fine as long as the ID is 3/16, you don't need both a tower cooler AND a fan, I'd just run fan to see if you have any difference. Check flow of beer from coupler to faucet, from faucet it should be flash of white, then beer color, if white, beer, white, beer something is wrong with faucet or temperature of the beer line, if all white, check the flow from coupler, if all white while pouring, something in coupler or keg is causing problems.
    Also by my calculations your altitude adjustment is +2.5.
    KB

    You also have to remember:
    correct pour
    room temperature, clean glass (please post dishwasher or hand wash)
    and most important CO2 tank, regulator MUST be upright
    Last edited by KillianBoy; 08-01-2014, 04:44 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Flash light test beer line while pouring . Do you see bubbles in line or solid beer? Could also be a crappy Chinese regulator giving you false psi measurement .
      What I got:
      Beverage Air #BM23
      with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
      -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
      -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
      -MM S/S Keg Couplers
      YouTube video of the goods

      Comment


      • #4
        Allen,
        Whenever you are back, can you update, thanks.
        KB

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KillianBoy View Post
          Allen,
          Whenever you are back, can you update, thanks.
          KB
          Another one and done....
          What I got:
          Beverage Air #BM23
          with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
          -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
          -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
          -MM S/S Keg Couplers
          YouTube video of the goods

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, thanks for that vote of confidence there pointpleasant, please let me know if you have any other words of wisdom... I never received notification that there was a response until today.
            The update:
            I've had it set to 12psi for a couple of weeks and not touched it. I don't have bubbles in the line anymore but still getting about 1/3 a glass of foam with each pour. The flashlight test shows solid beer when pouring and while sitting.
            As far as your questions Killianboy, the temps are exactly 35.2F in glass after 2nd pour and 34.9F as measured in a glass of water inside the kegerator at all times with a digital thermometer. When I pour I get white and beer mixed. What I mean by that is I get foam at first (for about the first 1/3rd of the glass) then it starts to look more like beer. My glasses are dishwasher cleaned but I rinse them in cold water before pouring. The tower and faucet is very cold to the touch so I don't think it's a problem with tower cooling.
            I've tried going up to 14PSI but didn't notice any less foam, just a slightly faster pour. Odell responded to a question I asked them and suggested turning the pressure up to 19. That seems way too high to me and I don't want to overcarb the beer.
            I was going to start replacing parts but I don't want to keep throwing money at this thing without knowing if it's necessary. My first thought was a crappy faucet. The regulator stays at whatever pressure I set it to so I'm not sure it's a problem either. Maybe it's just that wheat beer is harder to dispense? I'm at a loss and about ready to throw in the towel. I haven't touched the damn thing in 2 weeks..

            Comment


            • #7
              Allen,
              Don't rely on the notification system, you should check back every few days to see yourself. Some newbies have mentioned the same thing, that they didn't get any notice of any reply, if your problems are that bad, just click on the thread you create, just to be sure if there was any response.
              So, Odell said the v/v was 2.6? If they say to set PSI at 19, what temperature did they say to set at? None of these numbers seem right. At 2.6@35 degrees 12 PSI should be fine, to set at 19 PSI@35 degrees, the v/v goes to 3.5+ (which might be right). Wheat beers are harder to pour, but not difficult, normally a higher v/v than a lager or ale, you just have to balance the PSI to v/v and temperature, check with them what level do they carbonate their wheat beer and if you set to 19 PSI at what temperature?
              I would EITHER run a fan or tower cooler and not both, if you do run tower cooler, understand the hose needs to blow directly on the faucet/shank, remainder cold air should cool beer line , not sure how your tower cooler is built but most home built must be tuned (some store bought also). My suggestion is just run slow moving fan to start with.
              Flashlight test should be used as last resort, and is only when beer is not moving, look for little bubbles rising from coupler, wait a little while, then check beer line CO2 gaps in the line is a sure sign PSI is too low. Right now I think the fan and tower cooler are causing temperature problems, when you solve temperature problems, foam problems should follow.
              Tower should be cold but make sure you still have insulation inside tower and if using a muffin fan (PC), make sure you have sufficient return airflow, the main aim of a tower cooler is to cool faucet/shank, secondary to cool beer line. If as you pour you should see a flash of white then beer color, if beer color and white mixing (back and forth or lighter than beer color, you may have to remove the check ball in the coupler.
              Just a note I usually give a couple weeks after last activity before asking for a response if no activity, you last logged on 8-3, figured you saw reply and figured out problem or as PointPleasantNJBeerguy says "one and done", tried to reply quickly today but was stalled by website maintenance .
              KB
              Last edited by KillianBoy; 08-21-2014, 09:13 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I will check with them to see what they recommend for temperature and carbonation. I should clarify the fan/tower cooler a little. I built the tower cooler based on directions online using a craft box from radio shack, computer fan and tubing. It blows the cold air right up the tower and terminates just below the faucet. It does a great job of keeping the faucet cool and there is plenty of room for return air back down into the fridge. The (smaller) secondary computer fan blows across the back cooling plate to circulate the cold air around the fridge and help bring the temps down. Without it my temps wander around above 41F and aren't stable.
                I installed a permanent digital thermometer in the door of the fridge with the probe sitting in a glass of water inside next to the keg so I could monitor the "liquid" temps without having to open the door and do it manually. The temperature stays constant and does not fluctuate any more @ 34.9F since adding the internal fan.
                I'm going to pull it all apart this weekend and re-clean everything. I might also order a new Perlick faucet as the one I have tends to drip a bit after closing (cheapo that came with the kegerator).
                Thank you for all your suggestions!! I can't wait to actually enjoy some beer without the headache!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Allen,
                  Not all fans are created equal, some are blowers (squirrel cage type) and some are muffin type. PC fans are generally muffin fans. These fans are not meant for compression, meaning that an 80mm fan CANNOT be compressed down (CFM-wise), say you have a 120mm in box (running at 20 CFM), then you have a 30mm ID hose. You will not have 20 CFM at end of hose only 5 CFM, if return air flow impeded (too small or blocked) flow back to unit may not be right.
                  Blowers (squirrel cage type) are meant for compression, 20 CFM blown out of box will equal 20 CFM at faucet, and 20 CFM with return airflow (you might lose some CFM up, through and back but you get my point).
                  So, your tower cooler might be causing temperature difference in your beer readings, check again what your beer temperature of consecutive glasses, if it gets warmer from glass to glass to 5th or 6th, tower cooler isn't working right, that's why I suggest just a fan for now.
                  A glass of water will react differently from a keg of beer, it is about mass. I have frozen jugs of water and poured 38 degree beer. 35 degree water may translate to 38-40 degree beer, with improperly working tower cooler, you might have incorrect beer readings, with incorrect beer readings, you can't balance the beer.
                  I still use the "cheapo" faucet the came with the Haier, no problems. Check if any extra or missing washers between faucet and shank. Most likely a loose nut holding the tap handle, I tighten down to point of not moving and back off 1/4 turn.
                  Take a look at my newbie thread (also the store, faucets and replacement parts, to see how things are put together), do things one at a time, don't replace any parts just yet, just worry about your temperature, then balance.
                  KB
                  Last edited by KillianBoy; 08-22-2014, 04:24 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What's the state of the coupler? I had the same issues you are describing, and it turned out to be my relatively new coupler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not sure what you mean by the "state" of it? It's brand new. I've run less than two 5-gallon kegs through this so far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Allen,
                        I guess you answered it, it is new, but the Keggermeister km2800 coupler is problematic, questionable 90 degree turn and a horrible beer check "ball". Right now, since you went from "mounds" to 1/3 foam I don't think it is the coupler, though eventually you should replace or at least take the strange check valve out.
                        Just looking through the Keggermeister km2800 posts on the 'net and your posts I got a couple of questions:
                        Did you let the unit stand upright for several hours after putting wheels on before you started running?
                        What is the OD (outside diameter) of beer line you are using?
                        When keg kicks, get a big brewery keg to test, one that has a known v/v.
                        KB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I did let everything sit overnight after setting it up. The 90 degree connector on the coupler is gone, I replaced it when I replaced the beer line. Now it comes out the top vertically and gradually bends.
                          Yesterday I had a friend over and we pulled everything apart. I noticed that the coupler wasn't 100% tightened to the keg, it was about 1/4 turn short of being "locked". We cleaned everything and made sure it was all tightened correctly when reassembling. I realized then just how crappy this coupler is. It took both of us to tighten it all the way. So I need to look for a new one online today. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I wanted to let it sit overnight while everything re-pressurizes and settles.
                          We set the Co2 to 11 PSI for now, I'll try a pour after lunch to see how it's doing. I also ordered a 30CFM blower type fan to replace the computer fan I used in making my tower cooler.
                          Thanks again for all the help! Of all the forums I reached out to, this is the only one which responded with actual information and not just "get longer lines and crank up your pressure", or "you got a bad keg"..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Buy a coupler from our hosts, micromatic.
                            What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Allen,
                              Yup, I would suggest as djc says, if you do go elsewhere, get the stainless model.
                              The coupler to keg connection really shouldn't be lagged down super tight, just pull so it stops (for 1 person). Making too tight might result in problems in removing.
                              Unless it is the incorrect coupler (Odell should be using a "D"), your coupler shouldn't be causing any problems at the keg connection. Main thing you need to look at in coupler is the check "ball", in your case it is a torpedo looking part, if incorrectly inserted can cause massive foam.
                              The beer line should have a thicker wall (ID 3/16, OD 7/16), I have always had problems with smaller OD (kinking of line).
                              The problem with taking off the 90 degree is that the line might be smashed against the top of kegerator (if I remember correctly height of your unit is a little tight for a full sized keg with standard beer connection), So make sure the beer line isn't kinked, and not pushed against top of unit. This can cause temperature and foam problems.
                              Next post, temperature of beer (2nd room temperature glass), describe the flow as it goes into glass and confirm the OD of the beer line and if against the top of unit.
                              Just run ONE fan for now, it should circulate air, you will get 1st glass foam but you can be 100% sure beer of 2nd pour will be accurate representation of keg temperature. If nothing works and you get 80-100% foam on every single pour and beer flow looks all white , it just might be a bad keg, with 1/3 foam I think it is just balance.
                              KB

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