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Guinness Foam Problem (I know it's been posted before)

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  • Guinness Foam Problem (I know it's been posted before)

    First post, trying not to repeat prior problems, but after archiving I haven't seen a solution to my problem.

    So I purchased a used kegerator about 6 months ago when I moved to NYC, after figured out that beer prices in New York City are absurdly inflated, and have been happy with my investment.

    The kegerator came with all the essentials, 5lb Co2 tank, single gauge (I know) regulator, few extra couplers, and a couple tap handles. After a few months of adhering to cheap Bud Light (used Hoboken Beer and Soda in NJ, amazingly cheap and great customer service) decided to switch it up, and got a Keg of my favorite Christmas beer, Mad Elf by Troegs.

    Recently my roommates have been asking about getting a Guinness keg, so I performed necessary/ research due diligence, and bought all the necessary equipment (coupler, Nitrogen to Co2 regulator converter, Nitrogen Tank, stout faucet and handle, upgraded to a dual gauge regulator) and then purchased the Guinness keg last week with a 10lb of 25% Co2 75% Nitrogen gas mix.

    I got home, hooked it up successfully and poured a perfect pint of Guinness. Poured out black like it should.

    This is where the problem starts

    The first day we most likely had about 15 pints, and then no one drank for a day or so. Then next usage we had no problems still great pours.

    2 Days ago I noticed when we drank some more of it, there was significantly more foam than the first usages, and had to wait a few minutes to settle before drinking. Was pouring out of the faucet cream colored instead of black, indicating a lot of gas as it exited the faucet.. Did not effect taste, but the head was much looser, and didn't have that tight Guinness head we all associate it with. It had larger bubbles and seemed much rougher, and slightly darker looking. I re-read PSI recommendations, and saw most people were around 30 psi, rather than 40 psi, as I had it. I readjusted to 30 psi, and it didn't change the foam issue (not right away at least). I decided to look at the regulator again, and when I opened the door, heard a hiss, and immediately knew there was a loose connection. Saw it was between hose and regulator, and I immediately tightened and fix. Unfortunately it drained about 90% of my fresh 10lb Nitrogen mix.

    I have been doing some research and I am trying to figure out what might be the problem with the foam.

    I read that I may have over carbed it with the high pressure, and that could be causing the large bubbles/ too much foam.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do next.

    1. Will my almost empty tank inhibit any problem resolution?
    2. Should I lower pressure even further, to maybe 25 psi?

    I am open to all suggestions. Regardless I am not too upset about the aesthetics of the beer, still tastes great and haven't noticed and difference in carbonation when drinking.
    Last edited by Cjewett; 03-29-2012, 10:49 AM.

  • #2
    Thank you for a concise and detailed post, you probably under carbonated the keg instead of over. If you had the leak at the low side of pressure your actual pressure at keg was lower than 25 PSI or less. The gas you've had at faucet is break-out from beer from not having enough gas applied to it.
    Remember adjusting PSI isn't like a stereo, it won't make any difference immediately, it usually takes 12-24 hours to see any difference.
    With a slow leak at the low side for 2-4 days about 50 to 95% of your gas may have run away, you may not have enough to finish the keg, but if there is gas left, all you have to do is make sure there isn't any more leaks and leave overnight at 32 PSI and see if your next pour is better.


    • #3
      Thanks KB, will take note and wait to see if there was an improvement.


      • #4
        My Guinness foam problem is different. I've had about seven or eight excellent kegs of the stuff. Last one I think my gas blender malfunctioned because it definitely overcarbonated the keg. All systems seemed normal. Plenty of gas in both bottles. Has that happened to anybody?


        • #5
          McDantim produces very solid products. 95% of the blenders we have sent back to them for evaluation result in no issues found. When they do find a problem, it is usual the result of moisture / debris. Moisture is normally the result of a bulk CO2 tank supplying a soda system and the blender without any type of back flow prevention eliminating moisture from backing up from a soda carbonator.

          When you state "all systems are normal", this indicates that the system is clean, pressure / temperature is in check and the restrictor plate in the spout is clear of build up. If you still believe that the blender is not operating correctly, contact customer service from were you purchased it and arrange for a new blender to be sent out. Send the potentially defect back for evaluation.
          Scott Zuhse, Instructor Micro Matic Dispense Institute


          • #6
            Hi Scott, thanks for the reply. Since I posted we have finished the Guinness keg. I "rescued" it by the bleed and shake, bleed and shake method, and kept the secondary regulator (after the blender) pressure relatively low. It was fine after a few cycles of that. I had, for previous kegs of Guinness, kept it around 28psig but had to drop it to about 8 after the overcarbonation happened to this particular keg. It was always drinkable, but you had to let the glass settle for a while. I'll check the blender, but I may send it in if things look strange after I remove it from the wall. All of my primary and secondary regulators are new in the past 2 years and I haven't had a problem with any other kegs so we'll see what happens to the next stout keg.

            Love the site for the tons of valuable info!!