Kegerator won't stop pouring huge head

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by beerassociate, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (440) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    I'm happy to try to help, but you only answer a small portion of the questions which is making it hard to make a lot of progress at once.
  2. Rinsing doesn't do anything to the build up if they haven't been changed in a while. I even got a a special cleaner that didn't help much:

    I'd change the lines and you'll notice some nasty stuff and they may be brown up near the faucet if you have a tower you won't really be able to see this until you change them... ha-ha. FUN KEGERATOR MAINTENANCE!!! Gotta love it... ha-ha.
  3. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (440) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    You bring up a good point, I'd hope that there has been actual BLC cleaning going on and not rinsing. Matthew have you been using beer line cleaner?
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (845) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    Temperature is one of the interdependent factors that determine whether the system is balanced or not. There is no universally right or wrong temperature, and thus nothing you could have tested for. If you would answer these questions, you could determine if you likely have a gross imbalance problem...

    - Length of your liquid lines
    - Diameter of your liquid lines
    - Temperature of the Beer
    - PSI pressure (the reading on your low pressure regulator) pushing the beer out of your kegs
  5. MJSawyer

    MJSawyer Savant (335) Minnesota Aug 16, 2013 Verified

    Refreshing this thread as I am having similar issues and could use help. Here are my specifics :

    -3 keg keezer with a 20lb CO2 tank inside the keezer
    - currently have 3 Homebrews on tap: Belgian Wit, Pumpkin Ale and an Amber
    - PSI indicator is set at a constant 10PSI
    - dual regulator with a 3 way splitter
    - temp set at a constant 40 degrees
    - it seems as though I do have excessive liquid line length (~3-4 feet per line), but the lines are new and were set up by the previous keezer owner so I went with it
    - first pour seems the foamiest with successive pours less foam (but still more than I'd like)

    So...what is the ideal liquid line length considering my specifics?

    Are there other factors to consider? Does the length of the gas line matter?

    Appreciate the help!
  6. Your temperature might be your first issue. Try getting down another 2F. And is 40F what beer is pouring at or just air temp. If air temp we need actual beer temps
  7. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Champion (795) California Sep 4, 2010 Verified

    Do you have a tower? and how did you carb up your homebrews, set and forget?
  8. MJSawyer

    MJSawyer Savant (335) Minnesota Aug 16, 2013 Verified

    Thanks for the response...

    40 is air temp in the keezer. Just did a beer temp reading and it's 42.

    Problem is: The keezer temp control is max'd out? I bought the keezer used, so I haven't the foggiest how to correct if this is the issue??

    Any thoughts?
  9. MJSawyer

    MJSawyer Savant (335) Minnesota Aug 16, 2013 Verified

    No tower- it's a keezer with a collar. All 3 taps come out of the collar. 2 of the corny kegs in/out lines sit at tap level, while 1 sits a bit lower.

    I carb the brews by putting 30PSI in the keg, then release it to remove any O2 (I do this 2-3 times). After that, I set it at 10PSI and let it ride for a week or so until it's carb'd. I then keep it at 10PSI until the keg is kicked.

    Appreciate the response!
  10. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Champion (795) California Sep 4, 2010 Verified

    Damn I'm not sure, but I also think bringing the temp down would fix this issue. If not then.....idk lol
  11. Not sure if it can be fixed without fixing your temp issues. What kind of temp control is the unit equipped with?
  12. MJSawyer

    MJSawyer Savant (335) Minnesota Aug 16, 2013 Verified

    Temp control just thru the standard knob on the outside face of the freezer.

    A friend suggested purging the CO2 from the kegs and slowly re-carbing up to 5PSIs (not to my normal 10). First beer after that poured slow, but a perfect head. Perhaps 10PSIs was too much after being carb'd? I'll settle for a slower pour for a smaller head.

    Still open to ideas, but am better now than 2 hours ago.
  13. Don't know much about home brew but 5 psi sounds way to low. If temp knob is maxed out then the unit is possibly having other issues. ( maybe why the other guy dumped it)
    Since it is a keezer the original tstat should freeze the unit under normal operation. Sounds like it's sucking wind..
  14. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Champion (795) California Sep 4, 2010 Verified

    First pours after sitting for awhile are usually a little foamy. You could always buy an external thermostat and bring the temp down. Also have you cleaned the lines since buying it? Maybe you have some beer stone?
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (845) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    Extra foam on first pours is because something in the pathway (line, shank, faucet, or all of the above) are warmer than the beer.

    Excessive foam in general (aside from first pour) almost always indicates a line that's too short to balance against the PSIs pushing the beer. Lowering the temp (by itself) won't solve this. But lowering the temp and the PSIs in such a way that the same steady state volumes of CO2 are reached can solve the problem, because the line length needed to balance against the lower PSIs is shorter than the length needed to balance agaianst the higher (original) PSIs.
  16. This is fine, short term, to get you through a party, but if you leave it at 5psi, it will soon become undercarbed. You need to fix the problem, not the symptom.
  17. After reading the thread on line length and diameter, it is saying that with 6 feet of 3/16s line i should be running something like 25psi to have a balance? That seems WAY too high.
  18. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (845) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    I don't know what you read, but no. 25 PSI through 6 feet of 3/16" ID line would come out like a cannon.
    I have a spreadsheet downloadable from here that helps with balancing.
  19. 25psi is for cold plate dispensing..
  20. I was reading the beersmith article posted up on page one of this thread, it says 3/16" line loses 3lb per foot, with 6 feet of line that is 18psi so if i want 12psi i need 21psi, is my math wrong? Maybe I just dont get how the units break down here, should I cut down the length of line to 3.6ft to get the psi I need?
  21. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (440) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    You definitely should not cut down to 3.6', normally lines that come on units are 5' and people change them out for longer ones to slow the flow while maintaining the proper pressure for balance.
  22. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (845) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    I'm not understanding your math. If you're using the simplified equation from the article, and a resistance of 3 PSI per foot, you'd need 4 ft for 12 PSI. (12 PSI / 3 PSI per Foot = 4 Feet)

    BUT, that value of 3 PSI per foot is too high in practice. My calculator uses a resistance of 1.8 PSI per ft for 3/16" plastic. Then there's the height factor. And the beer does need to be moving (not fully stopped by the resistance). Download the calculator and play with it and you'll see the relationships betweem temp, CO2 volumes, PSI settings, and line types/lengths.
  23. It doesn't work that way. 12 psi is what you want in the keg, not at the faucet. Keg pressure is a fixed value for a given temp and volumes of CO2. Don't change that! (you don't 'fix' a dispensing problem by screwing up the beer). For proper dispensing, you need the resistance to equal the keg pressure. IOW, you need to adjust the parameters to give you 0 psi at the faucet. I know that sounds strange, so I suggest you read up on balancing your system. Only then will it will make enough sense to do it correctly.
  24. Ok I get it now, how did I manage to get an engineering degree? ;)
  25. sendsilk

    sendsilk Advocate (535) Florida Aug 31, 2007 Verified

    University of Phoenix?
    Providence, fineout and marine1975 like this.
  26. I built my first kegerator (2 taps) a few weeks back and I was always getting an excessive amount of head (beer that is) no matter what I did. I didn't want to mess with my beer lines so the only thing I was changing was temperature and/or pressure. I did some more research and found this thread. My faucets are Perlick Stainless Steel 630SS and noticed DougC123's post of March 8th, 2013, mentioned Perlick. After reading tons of articles, his made the most sense to me. I took a chance and ordered all I needed to make two 10' beer lines. After swapping the lines and adjusting the pressure I patiently waited until everything balanced out. Lo and behold, the perfect pour with just the right amount of foam!! Thanks DougC123!!! :)

    As an FYI, I bought all my gear from OBK (Ontario Beer Kegs out of Mitchell, Ontario) on their web site and the service I received was excellent.
    Eriktheipaman likes this.
  27. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (440) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    Money! Glad it worked out.
  28. I don't know why I bother after reading through a pissing contest but if you guys want to help trouble shoot a fucking problem just ask how it fucking pours to start.

    Save your selves loads of time asking questions and debating balancing systems. P.S bill is right doug.
  29. You realize that this p*ssing contest occurred two years ago, don't you? Information was exchanged, misconceptions were cleared up, some phraseology was corrected, and many people - both participants and lurkers - learned a few things. Sounds like a typical day in the life of this forum. But, perhaps most importantly, the beer is pouring fine.
    DougC123 and billandsuz like this.
  30. Haha well never under estimate my ability to make an ass of myself when I've had a few and it's late at night.
    I should of bothered reading the time stamps, oh well.
    billandsuz likes this.