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  • The dreaded foam questions...

    Let's get straight to it...

    I pulled my kegerator out of storage a few weeks ago. I bought a new coupler, a new co2 line, and a new beer line.

    I picked up a half barrel of Institution Ale Company's White Walls IPA. The brewer recommended that I run it at 14 psi.

    I brought the keg home, put it in the kegerator, let it chill for 3 hours.

    My kegerator is in the backyard in the shade at all times. I have a beer tower which I know can be of concern. It was a hot day so while the keg was chilling, I dropped ice down the tower to help keep those lines cool.

    I had 1 foamy pour, and the rest of the weekend was great!

    I obviously don't want to be dropping ice down my tower all of the time, so that weekend I ordered a super tower cooler and also a neoprene tower sleeve.

    Since installing these items, I cannot get a smooth pour! I'm always dumping foam and I'm frustrated as all hell.

    8' of 3/16 line. Beer about 38 degrees, although I've tried all types of temps. Nothing seeming to work. Dropped the PSI down and still have the same issue.

    My first thought would be to extend the lines, but because it was flowing so nicely the first weekend, I figure it has to be the cooling in the tower. The tower is super cold though, even the faucets are cold to the touch.

    I know nothing about kegs except for what I've been googling this week. Any insight you guys have would be amazing.

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by VELPO; 05-25-2020, 09:59 AM.

  • #2
    If your tower is staying cold, then I would guess your pressure is too low. Are you getting any CO2 breakout in your beer line, i.e. are you seeing pockets of bubbles form in high points in your beer tube? That's usually a sign that you don't have enough applied pressure to match the carbonation in your beer and the CO2 is able to break out of solution. I highly recommend using the McDantim Easy Blend app to find your applied pressure. See if you can find out the carbonation level from the brewery (if they said 14psi, I'm guessing it's in the 2.6-2.7 v/v CO2 range), and plug that into the app along with the liquid temperature, alcohol content, and your altitude. The app also asks for your gas blend, so just put 100%. Your line length doesn't need to be altered if you like the speed at which it flows. The only time the length of your line would cause foaming is if the line is way too short (< 4') and the increased speed is creating too much turbulence at the faucet. At 14psi, 5.5' gives you a 1gal/min flow rate on most kegerators which is a good upper limit on how fast your beer should pour.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mikejferrari View Post
      If your tower is staying cold, then I would guess your pressure is too low. Are you getting any CO2 breakout in your beer line, i.e. are you seeing pockets of bubbles form in high points in your beer tube? That's usually a sign that you don't have enough applied pressure to match the carbonation in your beer and the CO2 is able to break out of solution. I highly recommend using the McDantim Easy Blend app to find your applied pressure. See if you can find out the carbonation level from the brewery (if they said 14psi, I'm guessing it's in the 2.6-2.7 v/v CO2 range), and plug that into the app along with the liquid temperature, alcohol content, and your altitude. The app also asks for your gas blend, so just put 100%. Your line length doesn't need to be altered if you like the speed at which it flows. The only time the length of your line would cause foaming is if the line is way too short (< 4') and the increased speed is creating too much turbulence at the faucet. At 14psi, 5.5' gives you a 1gal/min flow rate on most kegerators which is a good upper limit on how fast your beer should pour.
      Wow, thanks for the info. Just looked at my beer line and there are HUGE gaps in it. I poured a super foamy beer and bumped the pressure up. It seems like my temperature in the cup within my fridge is much warmer than the beer coming out. Is that normal? I'm gonna let the keg sit tonight and see what happens tomorrow.

      The cup of water sitting on top of my keg is reading 47 degrees. The beer coming out of the keg is 37 degrees.

      I went to move something and realized that I can just pull the top cover up and see inside of the kegerator.

      I'm guessing I'm going to have to seal that somehow. Also, ice build up on that back plate.
      Last edited by VELPO; 05-25-2020, 11:17 PM.

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      • #4
        You have temperature issues for sure. The ice build up on the cold plate is telling you that ambient air is getting in as well. It could be from opening and closing the door, but as you describe that the top comes right off, you are probably getting air coming in from a number of places. Door seals are another thing to check for this. The tower cooler fan should be helping turn the air over in the box and should minimize the temp difference between the top and bottom of the box.
        What technique are you using to get your beer temp?
        What I have: Haier two tap, 525 faucets, tower cooler, 10' lines

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        • #5
          My best guess is the keg OVER CARBONATED. 14 psi is the top of the range for a kegged beer. If you left 14 psi on the keg for a week, you may have over carbonated the keg. In other words, too much CO2 has been infused into the liquid. This excess CO2 will escape the liquid as soon as it is exposed to the atmosphere, so all you get is foam. If the pressure were too LOW, you would end up with flat beer, not foamy beer.

          A shade tree fix to try: Turn off CO2, reduce pressure to 10 psi on the gauge. With CO2 off, release the pressure on the keg (pull ring on side of coupler). Don't faint, shake the snot out of the keg for 10 seconds or so, release the keg pressure again. Now, turn on the CO2 and recharge the keg. DO NOT DO THIS MORE THAN ONCE.

          Good luck.

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