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Foamy Kegerator

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by hailster, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. hailster

    hailster Aficionado (145) Wisconsin May 28, 2006

    Hey guys, I have a Edgestar dual tap kegerator that my wife bought for me about two years ago.
    From the beginning I have had issues with foam, after adding a homemade tower cooler the foam issue got much better. However now the first pour each time I use it seems to be about 3/4 foam. The temperature is set around 38 degrees and for most beers I have the pressure set to 12psi, the kegerator came with 5 foot beer lines but I don't know the ID of the lines as they are not marked.

    The kegerator I have is http://www.compactappliance.com/KC2...d=Wine_and_Beverage-Kegerators-Complete_Units

    Does anyone else have this kegerator? Or does anyone have suggestions on what else I can try to get rid of the foam issue? The only part of the system that I can think of that might be causing issues temperature wise would be the faucet but I'm doubting that right now.
     
  2. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Well, have you double-checked that your lines are screwed in tightly and O-rings are good? I've never had trouble with that but have heard of it causing issues (which makes sense, if air is getting in you're gonna have a bad time).

    Otherwise my only comment is that sometimes kegs are just foamy. I was really caught off-guard when I got my first Lagunitas keg, it would pour all foam for a while, then pour great, then after it sat go back to all foam. I thought I was doing something wrong (even though I hadn't had this problem with any other kegs) until my bartender buddy said that's just how their kegs are. Now I vent off some CO2 before pouring (hold the valve for 3-5 seconds) and it pours great. Wastes some CO2, sure, but not that much and it's better than wasting beer as foam.

    So you could give that a try.
     
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    If it's just the first pour of each session, then it's still a temperature difference problem.
     
  4. hailster

    hailster Aficionado (145) Wisconsin May 28, 2006

    stupac2: I'm due to clean the lines in a week, I'll double check all of the o-rings at that point. I have tried venting CO2 in the past but didn't have good luck with that.

    VikeMan: That's what I was initially assuming but I'm not sure what else I can do to get the temperature equal between the refrigerator portion and tower.
     
  5. At 38 degrees, you might consider dropping the pressure to 11 psi. At 12 psi, you've got about 2.57 volumes of CO2. At 11, it's 2.47. Still close enough to 2.5, which sounds like where you want to be. Give it a few days and see if that helps. While I agree that uneven temperature is likely a cause here, I think that if dropping the pressure a bit makes it manageable, there's really no need for additional twiddling.
     
  6. hailster

    hailster Aficionado (145) Wisconsin May 28, 2006

    mikehartigan: I'll give that a try and reply back in a few days.
     
  7. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (415) New York Sep 1, 2004

    you have gas breaking out of solution within the beer line. guaranteed.

    place a glass of water in the kegerator and measure the temperature after a few hours.
    then pour a pint and measure the temperature of the beer in the glass.
    if there is a difference you know you have warm beer in the line and need to address the tower cooling. insulation and air circulation will solve the problem. a small fan with some creative duct work will do it.

    good luck.
     
    PortLargo and IceAce like this.
  8. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (290) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012

    Are you running home brew that you force carbonated or commercial beer? If commercial, the volumes of CO2 isn't something you set by pressure and temperature, it is something that is part of how the beer was brewed and kegged and you cannot effect it. You need to set your pressure using the temperature and the volumes. After you achieve balance, you can then slow the flow with shorter lines to further address the foaming. The Edgestar as with most non commercial kegerators comes with 5' lines, you should consider upgrading to 7 or 8 foot lines. If the foam effects the first glass it is a temperature differential issue.
    I have 10' lines with a tower cooler and forward closing faucets. I can pour a completely headless beer from the get go, or adjust the attitude of the glass to get the desired amount of foam.
     
  9. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (415) New York Sep 1, 2004

    actually, you can.
    beer brewed at a commercial brewery does not have some sort of special physical property, different than the stuff brewed in a kitchen. plenty of home kegerators are set and forget and the owner is 100% satisifed. good enough is really a great thing imo. anybody can increase or decrease the vols in any keg with a very simply adjustment at the regulator plus time.

    if you want your keg of bud to have a bit less or more CO2 in the glass, that can be done. its not even difficult.
    but to the point, we want our glass of beer, and by extension out keg of beer, to have, more or less, exactly the same vols from the first pint to the last pint. and that is what we mean by "balancing" the system.
     
  10. I agree with many others advice:

    Make sure your temperature is correct in the kegerator, beer thats even a little bit to warm (40*F and up) will be foamy.

    Make sure that you have enough length of beer supply line, around 8 to 10 ft

    Insulate inside the tower as much as possible

    If its a new keg let it settle for at least 24 hours

    Try even lowering the pressure to 3 to 5 psi if all other options are amiss, then try increasing the pressure over time.

    Double check all connections around the sanke, sometimes its as simple as tightening the beer supply line, or replacing the o ring connection on the sanke, even possibly using keg lube.

    Hope something works for you, good luck!
     
  11. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (290) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012

    You can indeed over carb it, but you will always fight foam.
     
  12. tgeorgf

    tgeorgf Aficionado (200) Maryland Sep 11, 2009

    I have the same kegerator model and was running into the same exact issues. I upgraded to perlick flow control faucets and it fixed the problem:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0072KAC2M/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I actually had to upgrade the shank as well because the perlick wasn't a great fit on the stock shank:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004S528NU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Overall not a cheap solution but worked great for me. Even ignoring the foaming solution, the perlick faucets are a huge upgrade over the cheap/always locking rear sealing faucets that come with the model.
     
  13. Alas, this is one of those passions where cheaping out is almost always a bad idea. I decided years ago that spending the extra bucks to do it right the first time can, and usually does, make all the difference in the world. It saves aggravation and, in many cases, money in the long run, since you're not spending even more to mitigate a problem that was caused by cheap parts. I simply close my eyes when paying for these things.
     
    tgeorgf likes this.
  14. I am running into the same issue with the same kegerator. I know I have a temp difference and that the tower is to blame here, I just have to get myself a fan and insulation for the tower. Does anyone have suggestions as to a good insulation to use on that tower that will still allow 2 beer lines and a tube for the fan up there and still have enough space to circulate the air?
     
  15. I just solved my problem. I needed to tighten the nut connecting the CO2 line to the keg, and then all was good. It was driving me insane, but that's all it took. I think air bleeding into the lines is the biggest issue here.
     
  16. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (290) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012

    That being loose won't cause foam, it will cause you to leak CO2. CO2 doesn't leak into the beer line, it breaks out of solution in the beer line from either not enough pressure or the keg being overcarbed.
     
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    And what problem was that?
     

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