Wild and Foamy Beer

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by seifer1886, Oct 22, 2013.

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  1. seifer1886

    seifer1886 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Texas

    Howdy all,

    I've been scouring the web and been unable to find the solution to my problem. I'm using an EdgeStar KC2000 and have been for a few months now with several different kegs and have had no problems.

    However, I bought a keg of Fuller's ESB a couple weeks ago and I have been having issues since the day I brought it home.

    The retailer sold me an older MicroMatic G coupler to go with the keg, but it had a faulty check valve on the gas line so the CO2 tank drained completely. After that I bought a new G coupler online, but it wasn't forming a good seal with the keg and poured straight foam. This newest coupler was wokring fine for about a week and now I am consistently getting all foam after an initial sputter.

    Specs:
    • Temperature: 38 degrees
    • Pressure: 8 psi
    • Beer line is refrigerated
    • Lines, faucet, and coupler are clean
    • 3 1/2 feet of 3/16" Bevlex tubing
    • Tower is about 2 feet above the keg
    • The beer foams in the line

    I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.
     
  2. zero_signal

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

    Pressure sounds low. Your line seems short. And how have you determined your pouring at 38F?quality calibrated thermometer?
     
  3. zero_signal

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

    I think you should be around 10psi with this beer. Have you had it at 8psi the whole time? If so might be part of your problem.
     
  4. seifer1886

    seifer1886 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Texas


    I contacted Fuller's and that was the PSI they recommended for my temperature. I haven't bought any special thermometer, I've just been using an instant read thermometer that I know is accurate. The ambient air in the kegerator is around 37°F. The beer is measuring 43°F, but that's 90% foam so I've considered that reading unreliable. I'm going to leave a cup of water in there overnight to confirm the temperature.
     
  5. seifer1886

    seifer1886 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Texas


    No, I had it around 10 for the first week, while I was waiting for Fuller's to reply.
     
  6. zero_signal

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

    Did you bleed off excess pressure from beer since you had higher than spec'd carbonation levels after you turned down?
     
  7. seifer1886

    seifer1886 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Texas

    Thanks for your help by the way.

    Yes, I've changed the psi a couple times, and each time I bled the keg of excess pressure.
    I'm worried the coupler might be the problem; I tried retapping the keg and the coupler sits a little loose even when it is "locked" into place (before depressing plunger into keg but after rotating coupler quarter turn).
     
  8. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (292) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    After lowering the pressure and bleeding off the excess, it will take a few days before the beer has stabilized at the new pressure, during which time you need to burp it periodically. Patience.
     
  9. zero_signal

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

    If coupler is not fully locked you could be introducing air at that point causing the foam in the line. Hard to tell if a leak on a "g" coupler since it surrounds the top of the keg
     
  10. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (470) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    You can't get going here with that temperature reading. First off, you cant just say 'you know the thermometer is accurate'. It takes two minutes to prove if it is or not, so best to just do it. Put it in a glass of crushed ice and water and see what you get, dont let it touch the sides. You need beer temp, taken with a calibrated thermometer again without touching the sides of the glass. It should be taken in the second glass you pour immediately after pouring the first one - either gulp or discard the first. If your beer is really 43, then your pressure is really low and is likely contributing to the break out in the lines. When you say your lines are 3.5' long -is that what it came with? That is abnormally short. Normally you get 5' lines, and many people lengthen them as part of being able to balance the system.
     
  11. seifer1886

    seifer1886 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Texas


    Thank you for your advice, but I know how to calibrate a thermometer. That was the first thing I did after I saw the beer measure 43 degrees. That's how I know it is accurate, and that's why I can say that. The line length was a typo, the beer line is actually 4 1/2 feet, and yes, that is the line it came with.

    Glass of water I left in the kegerator overnight measured 36.6°F. I found out why the beer was so warm right before I went to sleep last night; the bottom door seal was sagging down and not making a real connection. Fixed that and pulled a few mugs of foam this evening, the third one came out at 38.4°F.

    I'm becoming fed up with this keg, as the system was perfectly in balance for the previous 4 half-barrels I put through it. Nevertheless I'll try lengthening the line.
     
  12. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (470) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut
    Subscriber

    You are welcome, but truth be told two people asked if you had used a calibrated thermometer and all you said was you knew it was accurate. Not that it was calibrated. It was also posted that you need to take this slow, so let's get our arms around where you are at...what is the pressure currently? How long has it been there? Lengthening the line will help if the foam issue is only being caused by flow speed, which typically shows up at the faucet. The beer line is solid beer up to that point. The description you give of a burp of beer followed by foam suggests you have breakout in the line - what does the line look like in the unit? It should be solid beer.
     
  13. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (299) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    IceAce likes this.
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