Kegerator Newbie (Foam)

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by H00KY, Nov 8, 2013.

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  1. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    Just bought a used kegerator and you guessed it, I've got a excessive amount of foam. I've got a quarter barrel of Budweiser that has been in the fridge (set at 36) for a few hours now. I have a brand new 7 foot 3/16 " line with the CO2 pressure at 12 PSI. I've poured at least 15 glasses now, each with at least 80% foam, with at most 30 seconds between some of the pours so my guess is that it is not the tower temp. I dialed the pressure up to 12 as the pressure was initially around 6 or so, so I'm not sure if there's some sort of equalization that is required, but the regulator definitely reads 12 PSI. Shoot me your best suggestion, I'm willing to try anything. If there's anything else you need to know, I'll do my best to provide it.

    Thanks,
    Evan
     
  2. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    You need to start with the actual beer temp taken with a calibrated thermometer. You pour a beer into a room temp glass, then chug or pour off and fill the glass again. Take the temp of the beer not the foam. From there you can set your pressure using the volumes of CO2 for the beer which I believe is 2.7. Then you can start identifying what might e going on. A few hours isn't enough for things equalize from putting the keg in and certainly not enough time for your pressure changes to do anything. This may look better after you leave it alone for a while.
     
    zero_signal likes this.
  3. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    So I took my best shot as measuring the temp of the beer. After pouring a couple quick glasses, the lowest a got was in the low 40's. I'm not too confident in that reading since the thermometer has a long probe, which was going through the foam, too. I placed another thermometer in the fridge last night and that's at 39, so I would put the temp in the 39-43 range, which is different from the kegerator's reported temp of 36, so there's an issue right there. Would a temp in the low 40's cause this much foam or is there likely something else causing this? I have also seen small bubbles in the beer line, not sure if that is indicative of anything.
     
  4. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    You can balance the system at any temperature, the key is understanding what you are doing. You need an accurate beer temperature, and the volumes of CO2 for the beer, and then you refer to a Zahm Nagle or force carbonation chart to tell you what your pressure should be. Based on your guesses on temp, and 2.7 volumes, it looks like you need to be in the 14-17 psi area. Warmer beer needs higher pressure. The other thing that you need to be concerned with is whether or not the regulator is accurate. With bubbles in the line I'd say you are probably low on pressure right now and are probably on the higher side of your temperature range. What brand is this kegerator? Did you clean the coupler, faucet and shank when you replaced the line?
    Also make sure you are opening the faucet all the way.
     
  5. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Follow DougC123's direction and you will get better pours..Assuming you can get down in temp..Budweiser can be a tricky one to tame for some people.
     
  6. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    The kegerator is a Danby, which from what I've heard has several problems, including temp regulation and a bad faucet, both of which I'm currently looking into. I didn't clean the coupler, but I did soak the faucet and shank in BLC and ran a brush though them. The faucet is open all way, however the beer seems to be coming out fast. I'm not sure what an ideal time is for filling a glass, but I would guess it is more than 2 seconds or so, which is about what mine is taking. Haven't tasted it today, but what I was pouring last night tasted pretty flat. Is that just as likely to happen if you have too much pressure as too low pressure?
     
  7. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Flat taste would be from low pressure.Faucet open all the way also means pulling quick.Pull to slow will cause it to foam too.As far as your temp issue you might want to look into the resistor mod over on the micromatic website.If you cant get a good flow without turning pressure below where your supposed to be I would say buy 10ft of line.(Adding restriction)
     
  8. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (297) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    over at MM they have an entire community dedicated to Danby issues. it's called "Danby Group Therapy".
    good luck with your Danby. it's not like, heaven forbid, the manufacturer will provide any guidance.
     
  9. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    Also pouring foam on foam causes more foam. Can you describe the flow you are getting from the faucet - is it white the whole time, or is it white followed by beer color? Micromatic is a great resource.
     
  10. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    I found that on micromatic last night and I guess you have to be manually added to the forum by a moderator after you register, and until then I can't view the pictures that have been posted or make a post to ask for help. I'll sift through the threads tonight to see if there's a good guide in text. Also, I moved my air temp thermometer to the bottom of the fridge and placed a glass of water in there with the water thermometer, and both are at about 45, so I'm hoping that's my only problem. The pour is white followed by beer. I changed my technique so now im up to 40-50% beer. It tastes better than it did last night, but still not quite right. Could it still be undercarbed after I've had it at 12 PSI for a day now?
     
  11. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Savant (971) Sep 4, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    45* is pretty warm so I would guess that is the problem. Also, 12psi with all that other info shouldn't make it flat in a day especially if you haven't been pouring much from it.
     
  12. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    For Budweiser you will have to be higher than 12 lb. you should be more like. 14lb at normal temp. At 45f your gonna have to be up to 17lb. Will need a lot more beer line to slow that flow down enough
     
  13. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    So if I'm at 35-37 degress w/ 12 psi will seven feet of line be enough? This is assuming I can get the temp down.
     
  14. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    At 35-37 your psi would want psi at 11.5-12lbs
     
  15. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    Might be, but if it isn't it is a cheap fix. You also want to add a tower cooler to get rid of first pour foam, but you aren't there yet.
     
  16. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    There is plenty for you to read there, no need to ask specifically, Danby's not cooling is common. You should look at the newbie threads also as it will get you headed towards understanding balancing.
     
  17. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    I performed the resistor mod on my danby, which got the temperature down to 36 in a couple of hours. I poured two glasses of Budweiser and the second tasted fine with about a 1" head. Looks like the temperature was my problem. I'm now battling defrost cycles that raise the temp into the 40's, but that's a problem for another day. A tower cooler is also next on my list, but for now I'll enjoy my cold beer. Thank you all for your help and if there is anything else I need, I know where to ask.
     
  18. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    That 40 degrees is air temp I assume? If so that isn't a big deal. If it is beer temp that's an issue.
     
  19. H00KY

    H00KY Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Arizona

    Yes, that is the air temp. I'm assuming the air can be in the 40's for a couple of hours without doing much to the beer temp.
     
  20. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (467) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    Yup, no problem.
     
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