Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: Caddywhompusbeer on August 26, 2011, 02:02:20 PM

Title: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on August 26, 2011, 02:02:20 PM
I'm sure this question has been raised but I couldn't find an answer for my situation anywhere else.

When I pour a glass from my keg it is all foam. after letting it sit for a while I end up with 1/4 a glass of beer, which is about 3/4 less than I wanted   :D

My kegerator is 38F and my beer line is 5 ft of 3/16 ID line. The line isn't attached to the tower, just a picnic tap inside. When I keg I hit it with 20psi of co2 for two days then drop it down to 10psi for five more days. The problem doesn't seem to be too bad for the first week, only half a glass of foam, but as the level drops it gets worse. Almost forgot...after pressurizing for a week I bleed the excess co2 before the first pour, and again when the foam started getting really bad.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!  ;D

Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Mark G on August 26, 2011, 02:14:31 PM
Try a longer beer line. Start at 7 ft or so, and see if it improves. You can also try holding the picnic tap up high as you pour to get some additional resistance from gravity. I'm guessing that it's not so bad the first week because your beer is not quite fully carbed.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: HydraulicSammich on August 26, 2011, 03:24:17 PM
+1 to Mark

If I recall correctly, my lines are more like 12 feet.  Crazy.  I carb for a week at 12 lbs for most of my beers.  I am at 4500 feet elevation.  38 degrees with a fan directing bottom cold air to the shanks.  Important to keep the lines and shanks as close to 38 to 42 degrees as you can.  Also no weird things in the beer line to activate bubbles as the beer moves along.  Good luck, can be frustrating but start long and cut back. 
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: tschmidlin on August 26, 2011, 07:23:25 PM
A longer line will help, if you are trying to pour at 10psi you'll need 6 or 7 feet like Mark said. 

The likely reason it is better at first is that you vented the extra pressure so you're pouring at 10psi.  As it sits at 10 psi CO2 will come out of solution and the pressure will creep up, but there is probably a check valve inline that keeps the extra pressure from showing on the gauge.  It is not that as the level drops it gets worse, just the longer it sits the more the pressure will build to reach equilibrium between the headspace and the beer.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on August 26, 2011, 08:04:21 PM
Holding it higher up doesn't seem to help, but I will definately buy a longer line.

Thank you for the tips!
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: tubercle on August 26, 2011, 10:43:27 PM
Start with a  line 2 or 3 feet longer than you think you need. It is easier and cheaper to cut some off than to find out you need a longer one and have to replace it.

 I once tried to set a post for a fence. I had to dig 6 different holes before I got one deep enough.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: liquidbrewing on August 27, 2011, 01:14:46 AM
Ahhhhhhhhhh.  The wonder of the good old interweb.

http://tinyurl.com/3pjly2s

Sorry, Tubercle!  Couldn't resist!!!
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 02, 2011, 05:34:06 PM
Just got 30 ft of 3/16 ID line from NB, gonna start with 10 ft so I have room to chop down. Thanks for the tips, I'm still new to kegging. Are there any down sides to having too long a line? Would 10 ft be too much?
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: euge on September 02, 2011, 05:41:44 PM
Just got 30 ft of 3/16 ID line from NB, gonna start with 10 ft so I have room to chop down. Thanks for the tips, I'm still new to kegging. Are there any down sides to having too long a line? Would 10 ft be too much?

It's not a cure-all. Too long of a line and you have to increase the pressure to move the beer through it. Then you have to "balance it again".

I just use cobra-taps (4 years) and never have a problem, I don't keep my co2 hooked up to the kegs either. But, many brewers on this site have their kegging system and kegerator dialed in with no problems. Mostly, though it seems that many have trouble initially.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: gmac on September 02, 2011, 06:38:23 PM
I had one keg that I couldn't get to stop foaming (and it was the first one I ever tried).  Eventually I realized the wrong dip tube was in it and it only gave about 1/8 inch of clearance for the beer to enter which seemed to agitate things.  Cut a 1/2 inch off the tube and it was perfect.  My lines are 10 feet and I keep them in the freezer to avoid temp differences (picnic taps) and they work great now.  Just spent a lot of time being frustrated with different pressures and line lengths and they weren't the big problem.  Check everything over and clean the poppits well too (that's helped me).
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 02, 2011, 07:32:54 PM
My lines and cobra taps stay in the fridge at 38F as well, so that couldn't be the issue. And the dip tube has around an inch of clearence or so. its the tube that came with the keg. Hopefully the longer line will solve the problem. That keg is empty and I have a new one almost carbed, so we'll see what happens.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: oscarvan on September 02, 2011, 10:39:05 PM
10 psi, 44ยบ, 12 feet of line. No problem.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: classic on September 03, 2011, 01:06:40 AM
Here's an great thread about how to reduce the length of the lines and add resistance by inserting a swizzle stick type object in the dip tube:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/cure-your-short-hose-troubles-100151/
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: oscarvan on September 03, 2011, 01:29:48 AM
Hmmm, isn't there an expansion at the end of the obstruction?
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 03, 2011, 02:54:35 AM
Just tapped my honey wheat with the 10 ft line, got all foam. BUT, I force carbed it this morning for a cookout tomorrow. First time doing that but I believe the foam is from being agitated. Will have to check tomorrow.

Honey wheat is under carbonated. Guess I don't have the force carbing down either  ;D

New to kegging if you can't tell allready  ;)
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: euge on September 03, 2011, 06:07:50 AM
You can tap a chilled keg after shaking maybe- 30 minutes. Max the pressure first. It beats down the foam. Wait 20-30 minutes. Just vent it carefully to a few psi and pour. Play with it.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: oscarvan on September 03, 2011, 02:54:50 PM
Just tapped my honey wheat with the 10 ft line, got all foam. BUT, I force carbed it this morning for a cookout tomorrow. First time doing that but I believe the foam is from being agitated. Will have to check tomorrow.

Honey wheat is under carbonated. Guess I don't have the force carbing down either  ;D

New to kegging if you can't tell allready  ;)

Eventually you'll get a feel for it and develop standard practices. Patience malthopper.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 05, 2011, 09:55:50 PM
Eventually you'll get a feel for it and develop standard practices. Patience malthopper.

I don't mind waiting for a glass of foam to go down...I just get my liter mug and end up with about 12 oz of beer :D. But the other day I poured a glass of IPA for a friend and he poured out all the foam and took the one sip at the bottom. I had to shoot him with my eye lasers.

My honey wheat is still all foam. 10 ft line, 3/16 ID line w/ cobra taps that stay at 38F in the fridge. Anyone have any ideas why I'm still getting all foam?
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: euge on September 05, 2011, 10:24:36 PM
OK are you seeing foam in the line as you pour? And how is the foam formed? Is it from a forceful stream of beer? My thoughts are that you are over-carbonated and/or serving at too high of a psi. Maybe your regulator is significantly off. Try dialing it down. Disconnect the keg from pressure. Vent it till it pours better.


Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 05, 2011, 10:39:27 PM
Theres no foam in the line and it doesn't seem too forceful, definately less with the 10ft line than the 5ft. My regulator is set at 10 psi always, but it could be off like you said. I will try venting & disconnecting from the gas supply later this evening.

Thanks for the tips everyone.
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: MAnderson on September 06, 2011, 12:42:14 AM
Hate to say this, but are you opening the tap all the way when you are pouring beer?
 
Title: Re: all foam from keg
Post by: Caddywhompusbeer on September 06, 2011, 01:15:23 AM
Hate to say this, but are you opening the tap all the way when you are pouring beer?
 

lol yes. But its a good question since I'm such a keg noob. That was one of the first things I learned.