Author Topic: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!  (Read 3438 times)

Offline blatz

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Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« on: April 03, 2013, 07:19:17 AM »
Hey all

If a tap hasn't been pulled in about an hour or so, i generally have to dump a few ounces into a cup before pouring into my glass as the beer has sat in the line in a warm tower  and gets an unpleasant/off aroma and flavor.  I basically pour into the dump cup until the glug of foam stops and regular beer flows. Does anyone else do this?

I'm getting pretty tired of if (after 5 years LOL) as it wastes a lot of beer over the life of a keg.  Eventually I will be getting a new kegerator with a chilled tower, but for now, is it worth it to install the whole computer fan contraption?  I don't have ANY space left inside the kegerator - its pretty filled to the max.

I've changed lines several times and it doesn't seem to help things at all and I am vigilant about using BLC and sanitizer in between kegs. 

Do I have a unique issue or does everyone with an uncooled tower kegerator have this issue?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 07:27:05 AM »
Hey all

If a tap hasn't been pulled in about an hour or so, i generally have to dump a few ounces into a cup before pouring into my glass as the beer has sat in the line in a warm tower  and gets an unpleasant/off aroma and flavor.  I basically pour into the dump cup until the glug of foam stops and regular beer flows. Does anyone else do this?
Yes, my tower is uncooled as well. It's frustrating to have to dump a few ounces each day. I'm pretty OCD about sanitation as well.

I'm getting pretty tired of if (after 5 years LOL) as it wastes a lot of beer over the life of a keg.  Eventually I will be getting a new kegerator with a chilled tower, but for now, is it worth it to install the whole computer fan contraption?  I don't have ANY space left inside the kegerator - its pretty filled to the max.

I've changed lines several times and it doesn't seem to help things at all and I am vigilant about using BLC and sanitizer in between kegs. 

Do I have a unique issue or does everyone with an uncooled tower kegerator have this issue?
Jon H.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 07:30:27 AM »
Yes, my tower is uncooled as well.  Frustrating to have to dump the beer in the lines. I have changed the lines too, and I am crazy about sanitation.
Jon H.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 07:34:14 AM »
You can get some tiny computer fans and you wouldn't need much circulation. You might be able to pull one out of a junk laptop.
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 07:45:54 AM »
Computer fans are okay to circulate air around but they will not pump air up the tower.  To eliminate this go to MicroMatic.com and check out their fans.  I use one in my chest kegerator, plastic plumbed to pump cold low air up and over the lines and directly over the shanks.  Cost me a hundred bucks but I have solved my problem.  Cheers!
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 10:54:01 AM »
Computer fans are okay to circulate air around but they will not pump air up the tower. 
In my head I was thinking that the fan would be connected to some pvc to pull air out of the top of the tower. I guess I need to work on my ESPN.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 10:56:11 AM »
Steve

Offline gymrat

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 11:05:59 AM »
I have been looking at these:
http://www.kegkits.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=W&Category_Code=BTCC
I think they are similar, if not the same, as what Steve pointed to.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 11:07:08 AM »
I use a fan like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kegerator-Beer-Tower-Cooler-Tap-Cooler-Fan-Kit-compatible-with-Danby-other-/130871467613?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e788c1e5d

It is a lot cheaper than the above mentioned solution and works just fine.
 
Computer fans are okay to circulate air around but they will not pump air up the tower.  To eliminate this go to MicroMatic.com and check out their fans.  I use one in my chest kegerator, plastic plumbed to pump cold low air up and over the lines and directly over the shanks.  Cost me a hundred bucks but I have solved my problem.  Cheers!
  Thanks alot for the links guys.  This goes to the head of the line for homebrew purchases. Awesome.
Jon H.

Offline dean_palmer

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 01:59:38 PM »
I have a True commercial kegerator with forced air cooling in the towers and I still dump a bit before serving, but only if it has been a day or more between uses. I can pour a good pint the first time no matter what, I just have a probably unfounded phobia about the beer that has sat in the lines and the faucet for a day or more :-)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
Mine seems to not have that issue. Or I don't notice it. I have it set so if I have a glass of water inside it forms a thin layer of ice but doesn't freeze solid. The etoh in the beer keeps it liquid. I think my out lines only hold a couple ounces.

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Offline mugwort

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 01:14:34 PM »
There are some good solutions mentioned here.  So far, for my dual twin-tower setup I'm sticking to simple.  I have a copper pipe running the interior height of each tower, to provide a clear air channel as well as the metal itself to conduct "cool" into the towers.  It's nestled between the shanks at the top and sticks out an inch or two below the ceiling of the fridge, well out of the way of the kegs.

With nearly all setups, lines running up through towers lose their chill the higher and more cut-off they are from the fridge.  There shouldn't be a dramatic temperature difference though.  Has anyone who is experiencing this problem measured the temperature inside the tower at the top compared to the base/fridge?

Also, what 3/16" ID line length are people using here?  For each of my tower taps, I went 10 feet.  Even before I added the copper pipe, I was getting no initial foaming.  I'm wondering how much line length might be playing a role here.

With warmer beer can come foaming, but temperature alone should not be producing dump-worthy beer.  Perhaps there is a microbiological issue with deposits in the lines or with the beer itself that accelerates in the warmer line environment.

Beer in warm lines should taste warm, not off.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 01:52:14 PM »
Yeah, I don't seem to have a problem with my two tap tower either. What does the off-flavor taste like?
Issues I'm having I think are coming from down in the keg, not the lines. I'll be replacing my lines soon with 10 feet lines. The 6 feet ones I have work well, but I want a little less foaming, so I'm going longer.
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Offline minorbrew

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Re: Kegerator Issues - Dump Cup!
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 03:11:36 PM »
Yeah, I don't seem to have a problem with my two tap tower either. What does the off-flavor taste like?
Issues I'm having I think are coming from down in the keg, not the lines. I'll be replacing my lines soon with 10 feet lines. The 6 feet ones I have work well, but I want a little less foaming, so I'm going longer.

So the length of line that is needed has a lot to do with the type beer you are dispensing and the pressure that you are supplying it with- 10 ft seems like a lot in a direct draw set-up like a kegerator. Micromatic has a calculator on their web site to find out how long your line should be based on the tubing ID, # of restrictions in your system, volume of co2 in type of beer, temp of box etc. It is a bit of math but yoiu usually only have to do it once.   

There are a lot of factors that can lead to foaming issues for example too low a co2 pressure allowing co2 to come out of solution in the line, too high a pressure causing beer to become over carbonated in the keg ( especially true when the beer is very cold and able to accept more co2), kegerator temp too high etc etc. I agree that sanitation is paramount ( I never want to drink am "accidental Belgian sour") but I have seen commercial locations with visible gunk in the 3/8 line from the keg to a jockey box that pour just fine. I think for sanitation/infection issues to contribute to foam they usually have to be coupled with other conditions. 

For single or dual keg boxes I have found that a good starting point is 3/16" line of about 6ft at 12-14 psi and a temp of 34-36 degrees. For most beers.

I had never thought of using copper tubing going up the air supply of the tower to help the cooling function but it makes perfect sense. I would/will try zip tying the lines direct to the copper section of the air supply next time I set one of those boxes up.