Kegarator beer issue

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by hippityhop86, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. hippityhop86

    hippityhop86 Initiate (101) Apr 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    So, I’ve had my kegerator going on 13 years and just recently started having this problem.... I can’t figure it out...
    Basically when I tap my new kegs and pour it looks like pea soup... after I let it settle a day or two and pour (a typically Hazey beer) it pours clear (color say of a bud light). If I were to shake the keg it’s back to pea soup! This has been going on for maybe the last 6-7 kegs and never happened before that. Everything seems to be working properly and the beer taste fine... hoping someone has some insight.

    Temp is fine
    Psi at 7
    Lines cleaned regularly
     
  2. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (328) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Do you disassemble and clean the coupler and faucet at each cleaning?
     
  3. hippityhop86

    hippityhop86 Initiate (101) Apr 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    Not each time... however I’ve been consistent in how I’ve done things for the last 13 years... it’s almost a new phenomenon... pressure is consistent but I was wondering if somehow the co2 was improperly bleeding into the beer. What wouid cause a hazy beer to be clear?! Had good n you on... it looks like a miller light...
    was wondering if a coupler can wear out... had almost 90 barrels on it...
     
  4. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (405) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    No a coupler does not wear out. well, it the chrome wears off but that is not your problem.
    but a regulator wears out. And a thermostat breaks down.

    check your temps. place a glass of water in the kegerator and let it sit for a day, then compare the beer temp to the water temp.

    next, are you pouring local NEIPA's? because those beers are going to be cloudy, and the local brewer is going to be the most cloudy. That haze is not sitting in suspension forever.

    psi of 7 is just too low, no matter the beer.

    your beer needs to be at 38F. No exceptions are allowed here. 7 psi at 38 is 2.1 vols, which is way too low for every style. Bar none. My guess is you need to 1, raise the temps to 38 and 2, raise the pressure to 11 psi. 3, maybe, your regulator is screwy.

    But before we go any further, temps and pressure. and what beer are you pouring? I am finding more and more ma and pa brewers are shipping NEIPA's that are too much NE and not enough IPA. just the way it is these days i guess.

    Cheers
     
  5. hippityhop86

    hippityhop86 Initiate (101) Apr 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    Thank you for your response! I mistyped, I’m at 9 psi not seven. I’ll check the temp tonight to eliminate that. So right now I have on “good n you” from Springdale but it was happening with my lost nation mosaic and soul purpose crushgroove as well. When I buy the cans to compare I notice that canned the beer is approximately hazey where as from my keg it’s clear (bud light looking). I go through a half barrel every six weeks so it’s not as if they are sitting for long times... to me it almost seems as if some how c02 is somehow (improperly) getting into the beer? Which is y I asked about the coupler and/or the regulator. Every now and again when I tap a keg it doesn’t work, sometimes it takes as many as 5-10 tries... which is why I thought maybe the coupler....

    It’s a recent phenomenon and as I said, when I initially tap its pea soup but settles in les then a day to the clear version.... anyway, thanks for taking the time, I appreciate it!
     
  6. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (328) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    9 psi is likely too low also, get an accurate temp starting with a calibrated thermometer and a room temp glass. Pull a beer, immediately chug or pour off, pull another and take the temp of the liquid without touching the glass. CO2 isn’t accidentally getting into the beer, it is in solution in the beer from the brewery and you are applying the pressure based on temp and volumes to both dispense and keep the proper amount in solution.
     
    PortLargo likes this.
  7. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (181) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Neither of the two beers mentioned should be super hazy, neither are NE IPA's but they are unfiltered and dry hopped. For those that aren't aware Springdale is the same brewery as Jack's Abby. Jack's Abby created a second brand to focus on ale's vs lagers for JA. Jack's Abby is certainly not a ma & pa brewery and generally don't make super cloudy beers (unless the style called for that).

    First question, do you tap your beer immediately when you bring it home or do you wait and let it settle and get back to the proper temperature? Second question have you noted the date the beer was kegged when you tap it? I've never had a Springdale keg but I have had Jack's Abby, I haven't had one in maybe 2 years but they used to use a Julian date written on the cap on the keg if I remember correctly. The haze will dissipate from hazy beers over time as billandsuz mentioned. One of the reasons I stopped buying Jack's Abby kegs is because they tended to be on the older side and they tended to be delivered on the warmer side. Those two features aren't the best for hazy IPA's (or IPL's for JA). Since you are in MA I personally am a big fan of two distributor's; Craft Collective and Night Shift (they distribute a bunch of great labels). Those two distributors always deliver fresh and cold beer. Just my 2 cents.

    So my guess is that you are tapping your beer the second you get your beer home and that sediment has been shaken up in transport. Don't do that, let it settle and get cold. I'm also betting that your kegs are getting to you at least 2-3 months since they were brewed. The beer might taste fine but by that time most of the hazy beers start to have their suspended yeast and hops settle out to the bottom. Don't worry so much about the look of your beer unless it is pea soup because that isn't normal unless you've shaken up a beer that has sediment. Finally clean your coupler and faucet every time. I'm betting the reason you have to try tapping your keg a few times to get it to work is because that little plastic ball in the coupler is getting stuck due to sticky beer when you flush your lines and put your coupler off to the side and don't clean it. I used to not clean my coupler every time and have problems tapping my keg, I don't have those problems any more.
     
  8. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (328) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    If he is getting kegs of IPAs that are 2-3 months old the flavors wouldn’t be there. I don’t take an IPA that’s over 30 days old because I still need some time on the clock to drink it. My beer guy knows me, and will check with the distributor for dates before he orders it in. He is a great guy and double checks on arrival, and sends it back if it’s over 30.
     
    matthewp likes this.
  9. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (181) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Yeah, I agree and that's why I swapped out both the store I buy kegs from and the distributors I deal with (which also obviously changes which breweries I get kegs from). A sixth barrel lasts me 4-6 weeks so you really do need an IPA under 30 days old. I used to deal with a guy in town but I moved to someone about 25 minutes away because he's easier to deal with (we communicate via email mostly) and I trust him. I've asked him for different beers and he's pushed me away from ones he doesn't feel with be reliable with delivery and age of the keg. The keg I've got now was about 2 weeks old when I picked it up.

    Maybe the op is getting younger kegs but my guess is that the kegs he is getting are a bit on the older side.
     
  10. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (328) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    My go to IPA is New England Brewing’s Sea Hag. Have probably run 20 of those, best I’ve done is 1 day old and typically it is less than a week old.
     
    matthewp likes this.
  11. hippityhop86

    hippityhop86 Initiate (101) Apr 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    Thanks all, very helpful!
     
  12. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (328) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    So where are you at with this?
     
  13. hippityhop86

    hippityhop86 Initiate (101) Apr 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    I reached out to Springdale as my temp was good, regulator apparently fine, and understanding that the psi levels wouldn’t separate the beer but rather just lead to under/over carbonation. Here’s their response...
    Jeff,
    Thanks for reaching out. What's the date/batch of the beer?
    We actually ship to our wholesalers upside-down, to keep the solids in solution. What you're describing is not a pressure issue but a hop/yeast solids falling out of suspension issue. Not a recurring issue always with this beer, but it does happen occasionally, especially with age. Who did you buy this from? Was it kept cold consistently?

    I appreciate their quick response and based on my experience probably accurate.
     
  14. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (405) Sep 1, 2004 New York


    I am quoting myself here.

    The part with "But before we go any further" especially.

    The spear is picking up sediment from the bottom of the keg. There is a small well where it will collect.
    Eventually the well clears out. Until you shake it, and it fills up with sediment. Etc.
    Cheers