General Category > Kegging and Bottling

commercial vs homebrew carbonation/serving

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poster72:
So ive decided to take a brewing hiauts for a while :-[.  just no time/money right now.

My only reservation on this whole thing is the commercial kegs in the kegerator.  Homebrew seems easy to set to a pressure and get great pours all the time.  but commercial kegs always give me foam issues.  The co2 comes out of solution in the beer line, causing a big foam burp to start every pour.  I have ways to try and minimize it, but why is this the case all the time?

My only guess is that its the difference in your co2 pressure vs the carbonation level set in the beer by the brewery.  if that were the case you'd expect it to equalize after a couple of weeks.  the only good pours i seem to get are the last 3-4 pints in a keg!

Typical fridge kegerator, taps at keg height, about 5ft of beer line.  Any suggestions?

dcbc:
I have run commercial kegs next to home brew kegs.  You are correct about many commercial kegs coming from the brewery highly carbonated (about 3 volumes).  I have done a lot of different things to work with foam issues and seem to have found a happy place.

1.  Longer lines.  I am running a tower and use 10 ft. of line.  Yes, I know the formula indicates I should be fine with 5', but that never worked out in the real world of my kegerator.
2.  Dual regulators.  Much easier to keep things finely tuned.
3.  Bleed pressure completely from commercial keg before hooking up the gas.
4.  Fan to keep air circulation in the fridge at maximum.  I don't even blow it into the tower any more.  But keeping the temps a bit more uniform in the upper portions of the fridge really seems to help. 
5.  Toss the lines behind the keg close to the cooling element.
6.  Short pull at first to get cold beer into the faucet, count to 15 or so, then pull the beer.
7.  Ventmatic or Perlick forward seal faucets.

poster72:
thanks.  those are some of the same things i use for sure.

I do the quick pull open, then wait 10 seconds and go again.  seems to be the best method.  havent tried longer lines though.

I do run a dual regulator, i try to keep my beers a little lower than my wife's wheat beers.  and of course with homebrew and commercial on tap you need dual regs.

have perlick forward seals as well.  guess its just the way it is.  i dont understand why they dont equalize over time though and stop foaming.  makes me think its something with sanke taps as every sanke tap i have does the same.

IHBHS:
try a smaller diameter line on your domestic kegs.  i know it seems to be the opposite of what you should do but what you are trying to do there is to keep the co2 in as much as possible so that it doesnt foam coming out of the tap

sbc:
bleed pressure from commercial keg always helps me

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