Author Topic: Foamy beers  (Read 701 times)

Offline jc24

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Foamy beers
« on: August 12, 2017, 06:56:55 AM »
I have 4 kegs in a chest freezer that I control with an external temp controller, set to 3°C (37°F). They're hooked up to a 4-way manifold, then to a 6kg CO2 tank. I kegged a Red IPA on Wednesday afternoon, held it at 35psi for a couple of days, then returned it to 12psi. First couple of pours we're perfect, but by the 4th pour, 3/4 of the glass is foam, then when it settles the beer is quite flat. This is not the first time I've had this happen, but it doesn't happen with every beer which seems very odd to me. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

I've just now backed the pressure off to 10psi, not sure if that will help.

All of the beer lines are clean, I've got plenty of line on each keg (about 4m - inside diameter is 5mm. 13ft, 1/5") and all lines are resting above each keg.

I do not have a cooling fan going into my font, but I don't think that's the problem, as the level of foam does not reduce by the 2nd or 3rd pour in a row, as I would expect if the problem was warm beer in the lines.

I have faucets with flow control, but reducing the flow doesn't help.

I've noticed that despite all of the (corny) kegs being attached to the same manifold and CO2 tank, they pour at different rates - not sure what's going on there.

All kegs were bought 2nd hand, have new seals, and were holding pressure fine when I tested them at the time of purchase (6 months ago).

Any help is appreciated.


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« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 11:00:57 AM by jc24 »

Offline Andor

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Re: Foamy beers
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 02:52:25 PM »
Not sure how beers pouring at different speeds fit in or that the first beers were fine but one thing that stands out is overcarbonation.

Holding at 35 psi for a few days at 37f would likely overcarbonate the beer. Depending on how many days a few is it could be way over carbonated. I carb at 35-40 psi at 40-45f and mostly carbonated after 24 hr

Try shutting off co2 and blending pressure of all kegs then set back to serving pressure and turn co2 back on.

Could you be out of co2?

I had i few issues with my system early which I blame on the crap regulator I got for free. I replaced with a taprite and have been pouring smooth since




Offline Stevie

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Foamy beers
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 04:58:19 PM »
My guess is over carb. Flow control does not really fix overcarbed beers. For it to work right the pressure on the beer, in the beer, and against the flow would be balanced with just a bit less on the pouring side to allow flow. Pouring an overcarbed beer with less pressure leads to lots of foam as the pressure pushing isn't enough to hold the gas in solution as the beer whips by the springs and other nooks and crannies.

Offline jc24

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Re: Foamy beers
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:58:24 AM »
Thanks all, looks like the general consensus is overcarbonation. Strange that my other beers that received the same treatment (2 days at 3°C, 35psi) don't have the same problem.

I'm wondering if perhaps my beer lines are too long and so the flow rate is too slow? They're currently at around 13ft but I didn't measure them exactly so there will be some variance between them. This could account for only some beers being too foamy - they have the longest lines. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure it's always taps 2 and 3 that are the problems. Is this possible? Let me know if I'm wrong here, otherwise I'll chop them down to 10ft and see how they go...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 12:03:29 PM by jc24 »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Foamy beers
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 01:53:51 PM »
My guess is over carb. Flow control does not really fix overcarbed beers. For it to work right the pressure on the beer, in the beer, and against the flow would be balanced with just a bit less on the pouring side to allow flow. Pouring an overcarbed beer with less pressure leads to lots of foam as the pressure pushing isn't enough to hold the gas in solution as the beer whips by the springs and other nooks and crannies.
This was an "aha" moment for me right here. It makes perfect sense, and explains about half of the foamy beers I've had Good info.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Stevie

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Re: Foamy beers
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 02:41:40 PM »
In my experience, lines that are too long lead to to slow pours with little head and an overcarbed mouth feel as the gas hasn't been disturbed enough to start coming out of solution.