Same old problem?

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by Damon2, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Ok so I have a new to me kegerator. It is a Pepsi machine converted. I am using a 5 lb co2 and a twist on coupler. I currently have a half barrel of Miller lite. This is the third barrel I have had in it. I have fluctuated the temp in the 3 kegs from 32 to 42. The beer has been like 34 to 40ish. Temp doesn't seem to matter the beer blasts out at about 100 miles an hour. I have to almost close the co2 tank and no pressure to get anywhere near a decent pour. I have replaced the regulator. Is it possible the tap is bad. Thanks in advance
  2. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,277) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Welcome to the BA site, Damon. Your question is best asked in the Home Bar or the Homebrewing forums. Do a search in one of those forums and I'll bet that you'll find your answer. If not, start a new thread for discussion. And get some GOOD beer into that kegerator. :wink:
    dcotom likes this.
  3. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,973) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Welcome aboard! Here are links to the Home Bar and Homebrewing forums. Good luck!
    By all means! :grinning:
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  4. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (897) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Can you take a picture of your regulator and relay the pressure setting?

    Methinks you are using a high pressure soda regulator instead of one designed for beer.
  5. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,927) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania

    @billandsuz will probably have your answer. What worked for me was simply doubling the length of hose that I was using, which was already a lot. It took up a lot of room in the fridge but it worked by extending the length of the run. I had two taps so it was a lot of hose but you only have one so it shouldn't be as bad. You might want to get a smaller I.D. line as well. There are charts you can find online for this. Good luck.
  6. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    what @IceAce says is a possibility. If you replaced the regulator let's hope it was a decent brand.

    Couple things here. When you say Pepsi machine converted, I am thinking your local Pepsi bottler is missing a "Pepsi machine", whatever that may be. Pepsi does not sell any beverage equipment. Period. So even if you don't know it or it was given in good faith, your equipment is not yours, aka stolen. That is felony. Something to think about. And you just posted it on a public forum.

    You need the proper temp, proper restriction and proper pressure.

    All of this is in the forums, but we can make it easy here.
    About 10 psi.
    6' of 3/16" ID beverage line.

    Those three things, pretty much exactly as stated, are required. Then let us know.
    Pictures are worth a thousand words.
  7. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Thanks for all the replies. The cooler stays a constant temp pretty well. I am running 10 ft of hose right now 3/16 ID. The pepsi machine is probably from the 80s it used to dispense cans,I think I am ok on that front. I will post a regulator pic but it is beer specific regulator. It is also the second one. I have it st to 9 lbs and the beer is 37 degrees. It is coming out so fast it shoots down and over the rim of the pint with the pint on the spout. How many days before I should try and let it go before I give up o. Balance. For balancing does that mean whenever I get a keg I have to do this? Also how are people bringing them home waiting an hour tapping and drinking without this issue? Also i will get some Good beer when I get the blasting issue taken care of. Again thanks for all the helpful advice this is a great place.
  8. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (312) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Something doesn't add up. 10' of 3/16" at 9 psi should not be doing this. Are you sure it is 3/16" and not 1/4"? Why is this the second regulator? Once you are dialed in, settling isn't really a thing anymore. Bring it home, hook it up, and go. When you start adjusting stuff all over the place it takes time for those changes to take effect.
    billandsuz likes this.
  9. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    I am wondering the same as you. I cant figure out how to post the pic. I thought the regulator was broken hence the new regulator. It is deffinately 3/16 line. It has 1/4" when I bought it. I have let it go for a week at. Time without adjusting. I have disassembled the coupler and reassembled it according to the schematics. I cant figure out if maybe a seal is worn or?
  10. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    So I tried it again tonight. Same temp and pressure. It is still coming out at warp speed as beer. It fills the glass in less than 2 seconds and then turns to all foam. How long do I wait for balance?
  11. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    It also looks like the beer is flat but maybe that is because of the blast out of the keg
  12. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    There are a few possibilities. I think you might have a wild keg. You may have a kink in the line. Basically, if your information is accurate these are the only possibilities.

    Kegerator balance is not about estimates, it is really physics with little room for guessing and zero room for opinion. So we need to verify the three parts. You want good draft beer? Here you go...

    • Double check the line length and line ID. It must be 3/16" ID beverage line.
    • Temp is critical. We need liquid temp not air temp (which can swing quite a bit). So, place a small glass of water inside. Let it cool for a few hours. Check temp (with a good thermometer!) of the water inside the appliance (as in, do not place it on the counter and allow the water to warm even 1 degree), record.
    • Pour 4 ounces of beer and check temp. Record. Dump.
    • Immediately pour 8 more more ounces and check temp. Record. Drink.
    Report this information.

    As I have been known to say. There are only three elements to a kegerator. Temperature. Resistance. Pressure. That is all there is and there ain't no more. We need this three legged stool to be balances and each leg is dependent on the other. If that is all cool, well. The keg is foul? The equipment is broken?

    DougC123 likes this.
  13. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    If the coupler is shot it will leak gas or leak liquid.
    It is a key to the keg. It either works or it don't.
  14. KeyWestGator

    KeyWestGator Devotee (489) Jan 21, 2013 Florida

    Is it possible the vertical distance from keg to faucet is way different than standard in this converted vending machine?
  15. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Thanks for the replies. I am going to surmise that it isn't a wild keg as this is the third one and they have all been this way. I will check for a link o. The top as that is a possibility it just fits in there with the line touching the top. I may need a shorter coupler. For 37 degrees that is how I on the second glass and thermometer was already cold from the first glass. The tap is basically horizontal to the top of the keg coming out the front of the machine.
  16. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (155) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    When you say the line is just touching the top, are you saying the line is bent? How much room from the top of the coupler is there to the top of the ceiling? They do sell low profile couplers so that is an option in you don't have enough room. It probably would really help to get some pictures of the setup. You mention 10 feet of line, how is that routed from the coupler to the faucet? Is the line mostly in refrigerated areas?
  17. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Ok so now we are at nearly a week. Beer is still 37 degrees and paid is 8 lbs. The line is not linked and it is basically all I the refridgerates area. Beer is still blasting out. Do i need to wait longer or is there another possibility?
  18. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (312) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    I’m going back to the line. Are you absolutely sure it is 3/16”? How do you know?
  19. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    I am a carpenter by trade for the last 21 years. I have measured the ID and when I bought it that was the size I purchased.
  20. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    It is possible you got a bum regulator. It is not unheard of for those bastards to lie. Sometimes right out of the box.
    So, it is telling you 8 psi, but it is a bald faced lie. You can get another pressure gauge at HD, they are a few bucks (and that is part of the problem with those things). 1/4" threaded connection. Just swap it out. Return it if that is not the issue.

    Another question, does the beer pour foamy all the time, as in is it foamy coming out of the faucet at first and then more clear?

    Finally, and this can not be stressed enough, temperature of the beer is critical. I know you are saying it is 37 but as I asked previously is it 37F in the kegerator, 37F after the first 4 ounces and 37F after the next 4 ounces? Without confirming all of this we are spinning our wheels.

    See my post above.

  21. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    I grabbed a new regulator but haven't put it on. This was my initial thought also and that is why I replaced the entire regulator setup. The beer is at 37 on the second glass. I believe that is how we get the keg temp? The beer is coming out clear not as foam. It comes out so fast it immediately turns to foam. It doesn't stop being foam as it is coming out so fast. It appears it is some type of regulator issue that would be an easy fix. In my mind it doesn't make sense it could be anything else that is why I started posting here.
    billandsuz likes this.
  22. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Your foaming is likely caused by insufficient restriction. Stay with me here.

    Restriction is how we slow the flow of the beer, and it is related to the applied pressure. The 3/16" tubing is meant to supply enough resistance to slow the flow of beer to a manageable force. If the beer comes out like a fire hose it will hit the glass hard and foam.

    So we must have about 6 feet of 3/16" beverage line. You should probably double check that line ID. And be certain it is beverage line, not generic Watts brand or something from Lowes. Bev line supplies 2.0 psi of restriction per foot. So 6 feet on a 12 psi system is "neutral" (not exactly but for this purpose it is). At 10 psi your system has enough friction to counter the applied pressure.

    Next, if the applied pressure is too great, then 6' will not be enough to balance the flow. And if your regulator is lying to you, then it is difficult to know what is going on. In addition if the applied pressure is a moving target it can be impossible to actually fix the problem. Once the keg sits for a day or two at 18 psi, and maybe moved to 12 psi, then back to 14 psi, good luck getting it back to the required 10 psi. All those adjustments are made in the dark.

    Confirm line diameter, length and brand.
    Figure out if the gauges on the regulators are accurate.

    And just because 9 out of 10 system balance problems are temp related, be 100% certain your temps are steady, all the way from kegerator (with a glass of water inside) to the first 4 ounce pour, to the next pint pour. All temps must match, within a degree and not much more.

    PortLargo and rosco64209 like this.
  23. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Maybe you have gotten it. I am using just a 3/16 regular line. It is 10 ft but maybe without the ridges there is no resistance. I will change that asap. Thanks for the great help.
  24. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (312) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Bill's point was use beer line, and not bulk vinyl line from a hardware store, not quite sure what you mean by 'regular line'. Beer line is smooth but has a certain amount of resistance in the sidewalls which is part of how the line is designed. Braided line is a more durable type of line, the braids being in the side walls but not the lumen of the line.
  25. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Ok so I'm not familiar with terms. So I have crappy home depot tubing. I have now ordered 10 ft of beer line, not braided line. I will update when that comes in. Thanks all
  26. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (312) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Besides the obvious flow issue, the stuff you find at HD is not rated for food contact, so it is likely to be leaching chemicals into the beer. With the new line your flow will be normal and your beer will taste better.
  27. Damon2

    Damon2 Initiate (16) Oct 3, 2018 Illinois

    Ok, so I go the new line and I put on a new regulator(third one). The pressure was at 10 psi and same issue. I reduced the pressure to 5 psi and bled some of the co2 from the keg. It still was all foam but coming out a bit slower at first then resuming warp speed. I am ready to buy a whole new setup. My beer has fluctuated in temp between 37.2 degrees and 37.5 in the last two weeks. That seems fairly stable to me. Any other suggestions as to the issue?
  28. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    How long is the line? Should be 5' to 6'

    I think you should 1, turn off the gas 2, release gas from the keg about once every half hour for a few hours, more or less. The keg will eventually not release much gas at all after a few hours.
    Then 3, apply 10 psi and 4, wait a day.

    Then pour.

    Try to get the keg to actually 10 psi of applied pressure. Degassing and recharging with a known pressure is the best way.
  29. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (312) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    A hard reset on the pressure is a good idea, and just to go way back to the basic basics - when you open the faucet, you are opening it all the way? That won't cause a fast pour, but it will definitely contribute to foaming and maybe the appearance of a fast flow. I wouldn't worry about cutting the line back just yet if you are over 6', it will only give you really slow pours if everything else comes into line, and that might actually make you smile!
  30. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Yeah, absolutely.
    A glass that is filled with foam will really only contain a few ounces, and yeah it seems like it is screaming fast but it's just fluff quickly taking up space.

    One thing about seeing the beer coming out of the faucet and knowing if it is clear beer or foam, that helps to diagnose a some things.

    If it is foamy right at the spout then it can be a real pita to fix, because it can be anything all the way back to and including the keg. Warming in the line. Too much pressure. Too little pressure. A kink in the tube. A problem with the coupler.