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  • Kegco 199-SS Issues

    All,

    Sorry in advance, you will probably face palm when reading this:

    In short: bought a used Kegco 199-SS with tower cooler, c02 tank (full), and circulator fan installed. Good shape, the older guy was trusting in person, 1 year old, and got it for $320 out the door.

    Did the whole bucket test. The water began to freeze over (top layer was ice, bottom was sub 35) so I felt I was assured temperature wouldn't be a problem. I measured the temp with a liquid thermometer. I get the keg of Miller Lite, let it settle for 4 hours, and tap it. Foam city, beer is warm. I take the temperature of the beer, it was sitting at 47.5 degrees.... for god knows how long.

    I cranked the thermostat to max, the beer eventually cools to 37 degrees (foamy, but pitcher helped deal with it). Beer was excellent (even though I like my beer ice colder, personal preference). Next morning, I go to check the keg and I froze it. I eventually vented it like a mad man and warmed it up so there was no slushy or ice sound coming from the keg.

    I turn the thermostat down a considerable amount and I begin testing my beer temperature every night by turning the thermostat up a little bit, then giving it 18 hours to cool. This is what I have been doing all week.

    My beer temp this morning was 39.1-39.3. PSI is sitting ~14. I just increased the thermostat to be a tick below the "6" setting.

    1. I run the circulator fan on 30 minute intervals (30 on, 30 off, 30 on, 30 off). Can this drastically effect the temperature? When I froze the keg, I was on max setting and I was running the circulator non stop.

    2. My first pour is usually terrible, I pour the beer, intially 90% foam. After 10 seconds, 60%. After 30 seconds, 75%-80%. The foam is pretty thick, almost has a brownish/golden hue to it. Maybe I am crazy, does this happen when you freeze a keg or is there a problem? I assume I will solve my foam problem if I increase my beer line from 5' to 10'? Could someone recommend a 10' foot line (I assume I need a hex on one side and nothing on the one side)?

    Since I think I killed the keg already, this is my experimental keg. I am trying to dial in on all my imperfections and get them taken care so I don't ruin any future kegs, primarily, I really want to get temperature dialed in.

    Thanks
    Chris

  • #2
    Welcome over from Beer Advocate. You will find that all of the advice I was giving you there is from experience here (DougC123). Hold on to your shorts Colin (and soon to be KB), it will be a blustery ride. We have been through changing too many things too quickly, freezing the keg, miles and miles of bad road. Biggest issue is easye not leaving things alone to settle. We have not made it to proper balancing yet because everything changes every few hours. In the BA forums we are just getting to the fact that his tower cooler doesn't go to the shanks and that longer line isn't going to fix the balance issue, it will slow the flow in a properly balanced system to prevent foam from agitated flow. He also had a homework assignment to check his door seals. Now we are all up to speed.
    What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by djc View Post
      Welcome over from Beer Advocate. You will find that all of the advice I was giving you there is from experience here (DougC123). Hold on to your shorts Colin (and soon to be KB), it will be a blustery ride. We have been through changing too many things too quickly, freezing the keg, miles and miles of bad road. Biggest issue is easye not leaving things alone to settle. We have not made it to proper balancing yet because everything changes every few hours. In the BA forums we are just getting to the fact that his tower cooler doesn't go to the shanks and that longer line isn't going to fix the balance issue, it will slow the flow in a properly balanced system to prevent foam from agitated flow. He also had a homework assignment to check his door seals. Now we are all up to speed.
      Hey Doug. I thought I laid out the story fairly detailed in my post. Appreciate the technical jargon laid out above. It could help someone else generate an idea of what could be potentially wrong. It's not that I don't want your advice, I am just doing my due diligence by getting 2nd opinions. Like you mentioned in your post, I think this is more technical forum than BA, hence why I am posting it here as well.

      And I think you are jumping the gun on altering the kegerator settings, I have been monitoring and making SLIGHT changes to thermostat and making notes after 18-24 hours.

      Just so you know, I really only ported the conversation over here because of the web monitoring service at work doesn't allow BA.

      I will post detailed pictures of my tower tonight. Both places.
      Last edited by easye418; 04-09-2015, 11:52 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        easye418,
        I think djc is right both here and BA, take things slow and one at a time, don't make several changes and hope for the best.
        Couple of points, you don't need both a circulator fan AND a tower cooler, just use one (my choice would be circulator fan for now and run 24/7). A sweating tower is good but might be sending warmer than normal air back into unit, make sure the tower is insulated properly and if you do run tower cooler make sure hose is blowing air right at the shank.
        If you are making adjustments and leaving unopened and tower cooler and fan running for 24 hours, then fine, but when you open door and/or turn tower cooler and fan on and off during the 24 hours you are throwing off how unit cools keg, take it slow and easy.
        If it were me, I'd run just fan, set thermostat between 1/2 and full power, make sure the fan air flow doesn't blow on keg or hose, just up for 24 hours and see where this gets you.
        I don't think you you "froze keg", that takes a lot of effort and colder numbers than the ones you posted (between 25-35 degrees air temperature without air circulation), you might have separated beer but again if you have a fan, can't see this happening.
        When you pour beer describe what flow looks like, white? beer color? or back and forth? When you pour beer makes sure you start will a room temperature glass, test then pour glass into pitcher, pour another in same glass, test then pour into pitcher. Without a tower cooler the 1st glass will be warmer than 2nd, 3rd and 4th should be roughly the same, if each glass gets colder and colder, something is wrong with air circulation.
        Can you post PSI setting, if you did replace beer line, what is the length and ID, and how you ran the wires for all you electrical?
        KB

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KillianBoy View Post
          easye418,
          Can you post PSI setting, if you did replace beer line, what is the length and ID, and how you ran the wires for all you electrical?
          KB
          PSI is right around 14. I did not replace the beer line. I believe it is a 5 foot 3/16. The wires for the fans were ran in the back where the c02 tank goes in. It looks like he put some silicone or sealant to seal it up.

          The beer temperature measured at 38.3 when I got home. I pushed the tower cooler as far up as I can to the shank. I would say its roughly 6 in away from the actually shank.

          https://drive.google.com/folder/d/0B...cwcGNfUlE/edit

          Pictures are all in this google drive.

          Still foaming pour, but need to evaluate tomorrow since I just pushed the tower cooler up there. The beer tasted alright...kinda watery. I would like to achieve colder beer.

          Thank you both for the assistance.

          Comment


          • #6
            easye418,
            I would stop using the tower cooler until you redesign tower and tower cooler, right now you are cooling the metal of the tower more than the shank/faucet.
            Are you still pouring into pitcher? glasses as I posted? what does the flow look like?
            First thing you need to do is insulate tower properly, IF you do use the tower cooler, you have to have hose blowing on the shank AND return flow. Most here insulate the heck out of the tower and have one hose up and one hose back to unit.
            You really can't go much lower than 38 degrees, maybe 36 but that is as low as you should go.
            Again if it were me stop using the tower cooler, just throw more insulation in tower till you figure out tower cooler redesign, your PSI might be a tad high, 13-14 PSI is fine for 38.3 degree Miller Lite (my perfect read would be 12.5), some members will say that it always tastes that way, if you are at the last 1/4 of the keg you might have had beer separate causing watery beer.
            The purpose of fan and/or tower cooler is to pull the coldest air from BOTTOM of unit to top of unit, not to create some sort of wind chilled keg or beer line, the way you have the fan and tower cooler set up, bottom of the keg might be super cold and top of unit might be warmer than it should be, stop using tower cooler and relocate fan at bottom pointing up.
            Remember beer poured on foam causes more foam, so if you pour into a pitcher, foamy beer at beginning will cause really foamy beer at end of pour even if the second part of pour isn't foamy, try the glass after glass pour and test each glass for temperature and height of foam.
            KB
            Last edited by KillianBoy; 04-09-2015, 05:53 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KillianBoy View Post
              easye418,
              I would stop using the tower cooler until you redesign tower and tower cooler, right now you are cooling the metal of the tower more than the shank/faucet.
              Are you still pouring into pitcher? glasses as I posted? what does the flow look like?
              First thing you need to do is insulate tower properly, IF you do use the tower cooler, you have to have hose blowing on the shank AND return flow. Most here insulate the heck out of the tower and have one hose up and one hose back to unit.
              You really can't go much lower than 38 degrees, maybe 36 but that is as low as you should go
              KB
              I pour into glass, dump it, pour in same glass, take temperature. I think I have half or more of the keg left.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just took a beer temp again. 37.9-38.3. At least 2-3 inches of foam that sticks around. I almost wonder if the PSI is too high. The beer tastes a bit flat tho. If you read the old posts, I vented the keg.

                Possibly turn PSI up to 20 to carb it for the night and lower it to 12 to serve? I plan on drinking it tomorrow night.

                Comment


                • #9
                  easye418,
                  How much did you shake keg when you vented? honestly don't think overcarbed. You seem to have an idea of how to solve your problem, I've given you what I would do, all I ask is that you post back and say, "yes, it worked" or "no, it didn't".
                  djc is right, you need to lay hands off and be more patient, RIGHT NOW if you don't change out the beer line, beer will flow very fast at 14 PSI (which is about the right PSI).
                  CO2 isn't really there to push the beer out, it is there to keep the beer carbonated, 1 or 2 PSI over dead perfect temperature to v/v setting won't over carb beer, you might have separated the beer because of the way you have your fans set up bottom of beer may have gotten too cold, but in my opinion highly unlikely. Right now I think most of your problems come from the short beer line.
                  KB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    KB,

                    Here is a video of me pouring the 2nd glass (botched the first video attempt and excuse the gripping at the top of the tap handle, I didn't want to block the camera).

                    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw...Mzg&authuser=0

                    Download the video if it is not converted on Youtube yet.

                    I hear your suggestions and appreciate them. Getting a longer beer line is priority for me, but it won't happen overnight.

                    I assume I need something with a hex nut on one end and tubing on the other end with a clamp?

                    Thanks.
                    Last edited by easye418; 04-09-2015, 08:25 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      easye418,
                      Yeah, you'll never pour a balanced beer with the stock beer line, double check the ID, some units have been shipped with 1/4 ID beer line.
                      The only thing you can do as a quick fix is turn CO2 off before you start drinking and turn off when done.
                      You'll need hex nut (wing nut is better though), tailpiece and a clamp (and of course beer line) and clamp for the other end. Take a look at the storefront for all the parts.
                      How to change out line is in my newbie thread (last post):
                      http://www.micromatic.com/forum/us-e...1st-steps.html
                      KB
                      Last edited by KillianBoy; 04-09-2015, 09:20 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KillianBoy View Post
                        easye418,
                        Yeah, you'll never pour a balanced beer with the stock beer line, double check the ID, some units have been shipped with 1/4 ID beer line.
                        The only thing you can do as a quick fix is turn CO2 off before you start drinking and turn off when done.
                        You'll need hex nut (wing nut is better though), tailpiece and a clamp (and of course beer line) and clamp for the other end. Take a look at the storefront for all the parts.
                        How to change out line is in my newbie thread (last post):
                        http://www.micromatic.com/forum/us-e...1st-steps.html
                        KB
                        Just verified. 3/16 ID tubing. I will be ordering a 10 footer today. Is Micromatic the best beer line? I would prefer to put a premium beer line in the system.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by easye418 View Post
                          Just verified. 3/16 ID tubing. I will be ordering a 10 footer today. Is Micromatic the best beer line? I would prefer to put a premium beer line in the system.
                          526BS-304 3/16" Stainless Tailpiece In Stock
                          1 $4.79 $4.79
                          SNP-6 3/16" I.D. Snap Clamp In Stock
                          2 $0.47 $0.94
                          759 Neoprene Washer In Stock
                          1 $0.46 $0.46
                          874 Hex Nut In Stock
                          1 $1.00 $1.00
                          547C 3/16" I.D. Clear Vinyl Hose In Stock
                          10 $1.40 $14.00

                          Just ordered these.... went with Stainless Steel for some reason... probably should of saved the 4 bucks and just got brass... oh well. It is on its way.

                          I checked out that post you reference to change the line out... do I need to be done with my keg before I can disconnect from the sankey coupler and change out my line?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You don't need to wait to be done with it, just uncouple and change it. I'm not going to have the same discussion with you in two places, one time through all the same stuff is fine for me. I'm checking out of here.
                            Last edited by djc; 04-10-2015, 01:43 PM.
                            What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              easye418,
                              All we can do is offer advice and refer you to posts that help, we can't hold a gun to your head and force you to follow our advice. djc told you replace line over 10 days ago, you even said you wanted to at first, I guess I'll take over from djc after all the advice he provided on BA.
                              You NEED to take the shank off tower to replace beer line, you NEED to get a (most likely) 1 inch open ended wrench, though most standard 1 inch will not fit in tower to hold nut on shank. You can find a cheap 1 inch box wrench and cut a gap for the beer line OR get a faucet wrench (IN MY NEWBIE THREAD).
                              Yes you can save money by buying brass but it is recommended throughout this forum that SS is best, also best to buy more than you need, 25 feet of hose, several washers and other brushes and cleaning supplies you might need is recommended.
                              I have always felt 10 feet to start is overkill, start at between 8-9 feet, that way if you get 25 feet, you have 16 feet to use later.
                              Please read my thread, this will give you an idea of what is and isn't important and what is the best way to get a perfect pour, search forum yourself (use changing or replacing), if you need any more help, I will do my best to help but like djc, if you continue to ignore advice, I'll let you do it your way.
                              KB

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