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Rookie Problems

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  • Rookie Problems

    I swear, I have tried to do my due diligence but I have hit a wall and now I am just wasting money and beer which is severely frustrating. Here is the story so far.

    I have a Nostalgia Electric kegerator. Through much frustration and a lot of wasted beer I found this post:

    Prior to this, mine was never getting below 40 (though a crappy thermometer told me otherwise). I adjusted, burned through more beer and realize the the replacement thermometer was junk as well. That's one keg down with maybe 5 good pints total. As such I purchased the micromatic liquid thermometer and a new regulator. I have also added two circulation fans and a tower fan. I am gone most of the day so I cant track the temp throughout, but in the morning and evenings it seems to always be 28-32 (thermometer was adjusted upon arrival per instructions). I have a keg of Landshark Lager, and my first test was at 8 PSI with the aforementioned temps. Blows all foam. Set to 12 and let set for 5 days. Blows all foam. Set it to 10 psi and because of vacation and frustration it has set like this for 3 weeks untouched. Below are the results, this is the 3rd pour into a chilled pitcher.

    This is what it settled to.



    From reading through the forums, I am sure the problem lies with user error but I am at a loss. At this point its more an embarrassment that anything. I have a keg full of beer but I am not going to invite any friends over as they could get a better pour out of a warm keg at a tail gate. I know the last thing any of you want to hear is a noob complaining, but please help this isn't fun anymore!!

  • #2
    Box Jockey,
    Thanks for the video and welcome and don't be embarrassed everyone here has had their share of problems, looks like you have problems with faucet/shank/beer line/coupler. No matter what temperature, you will have problems, looks like something is irritating beer, until you find it, you won't solve foam.
    Post if new or used, did you clean and assemble gear properly?, did you replace line? is it a "D" (American coupler). And was it like this from day one?
    I would disassemble everything, make sure the parts are where they are supposed to be, you can do without the beer check valve, so remove totally, between coupler and beer line neoprene washer, then 3/16 beer line (replace with same at 8+ feet after getting beer color from faucet), shank, then between shank and faucet should be a very flat "O" ring (and not the fat neoprene washer), then faucet with free floating washers (they all should be connected to something).
    You can watch the beer line as it flows from the coupler, if beer color, then problem is in the faucet/shank.
    Also every thermometer should work, just have to adjust if off, this is calibration, just adjust for error, with cheap digital thermometers, you just have to do it manually (in your head). Check out my newbie thread, it might clear up some things. Stop using tower cooler and 1 fan. How did you hook up the new regulator? Stop opening and closing door, if you want to monitor interior temperature use a wireless one, this will tell you lowest and highest temperature recorded, with 1 fan it should run 28-40 degrees. Use the MM thermometer for beer.
    Last edited by KillianBoy; 08-15-2014, 07:27 PM.


    • #3
      Stop with the fans! You only need one fan, and the best option is the tower cooler. Three fans is way too much and likely causing you more trouble than help. There is only 4 or 5 cubic feet of space in there and you are flipping your air space 60 or 80 times a minute.
      What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines


      • #4
        You need the v/v value for this beer and set temp and pressure combination accordingly. I assume you are doing that?

        If you are doing everything right, other parts like the faucet, and the coupler can cause problems too. I learned the hard way with a $200 keg of beer when I did everything right and got pitchers full of foam like you did. I decided to get a new ($70) coupler and all was well again. And my original coupler was fairly new too! This is an expensive hobby (or way of life) that we all undertake and every now and then, even the more experienced among us run into problems. Start with temp and pressure settings, and then move to the actual components. Good luck!
        Last edited by BigKutta; 08-16-2014, 05:51 AM.


        • #5
          Thank you all for the fast responses!!

          I forgot to mention I had installed this:

          Keg Tap Coupler - D System, Low Profile

          Everything was cleaned properly, but I am guessing I totally screwed up the installation. It definitely is beer colored in the line from the keg, so it sounds like I should scope out the faucet first. Or would you recommend a complete disassembly?

          I had a wireless digital thermometer that you cannot calibrate. To your point I will need to make the adjustments in my head, but I didn't have anything at the time I knew to be accurate to compare it to. Once I get everything squared away I will compare it to the liquid thermometer so I can stop opening the door.

          As for the fans I am using two of these:
 Rosewill RFX-100 90mm Case Fan: Computers & Accessories

          My thought was since they are thin I could place them in opposing directions to get the air to circulate around the keg. If I put them on a timer (they are not right now) would that still be too much?

          As for CO2 and temp, I am failing to find the post I used. I thought it was one of the stickys. It explained how to determine the correct setting based on the length of line and such. I used those results for the first try with this keg, but it was the same as the video. I have drifted away from that, but once I check the faucet I will re-run the numbers and adjust. Thanks again for all the insight! I always get more frustrated when I know its just a matter of me doing something wrong!! I will let you know how it goes.


          • #6
            It doesn't matter what the fans are, it matters that you have too much air flow. Just use the tower cooler, you don't need a weather system you just need to turn the air a little. You are not trying to swirl it around, you are trying to move it top to bottom. Just turn them off for now.

            You don't need formulas for restriction in a short draw system, just use the temp and v/v and set pressure to that.

            If you have a standard faucet you need to make sure the breather holes are clear.

            To calibrate a thermometer you put it in a glass with crushed ice and water. You should get 32 for that mixture.

            You should invest in longer lines as well, start with 10' and cut back. Longer lines allow you to set the proper pressure but slow the flow so you don't have a fire hose of foam.
            What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines


            • #7
              Box Jockey,
              About thermometer info I thought that when you showed the MM one that you used it to monitor interior temperatures. With a wireless, you don't need it to be calibrated, one or two degrees won't matter, just figure out how cold and how warm it gets. Most weather thermometers of this nature have an ability to store the highest and lowest temperature encountered by the wireless sensor, if high/low of 28/40, this should be fine, as djc says massive air circulation could be messing up the beer temperature, just run ONE for now, point straight up, all it needs to do is circulate air, not blow directly on the keg or around.

              This type of massive and constant foam is way beyond balance (unless PSI was set to 20+ for an extended period of time). Something odd is happening, something in line is irritating the beer as it flows from faucet, IF beer in line is beer colored (not all white), yes something is happening in the faucet/shank area.
              Also use room temperature glass (chilled and frozen can cause foam).
              If you added a washer in the faucet/shank connection will cause this problem, it usually has a very flat washer, fat one goes on the coupler side. While off check the 90 degree turn of the shank, try stick pipe cleaner through, check to see if it was bent too much. Try and disassemble the faucet itself, tear down to component parts, unscrew top, take lever off and check (look in store, faucets, replacement parts, this will show you how things come apart).
              Last edited by KillianBoy; 08-21-2014, 02:24 PM.


              • #8
                What's your elevation ?
                Colin Harrison
                Dbi Beverage Chico


                • #9
                  Box Jockey,
                  Don't know if your waiting for auto notification or just figured it out, but just asking if you replaced the beer line and put the beer check valve in properly?


                  • #10
                    Box Jockey,
                    I feel like playing a Pink Floyd song while waiting.


                    • #11
                      2 posts, 2 weeks ago. Buh bye.
                      What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines


                      • #12
                        Most likely a "A-Ha" moment regarding the stupid Nostalgia back flow valve. Another member has basically the same foam, hopefully that member has better manners and confirms the problem.