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Broken beer!

Ok, so maybe I can get some help. I made an imperial pale ale a month ago. It was compllete a week ago. So i kegged it but wanted it to be drinkable on Christmas eve. So I Pressurized at 40 PSI and shook it occasionally for a couple days. Then came off the pressure. Left it at 7 PSI for 2 days. Xmas eve day came and when I tried to dispense all I got was foam. So I depressurized. Did not drink it on Xmas eve. I have been releasing all pressure from the keg repeatedly and it seems like there is little pressure anymore. But still, when I put serving pressure (any pressure, even less than 4 pounds) it dispenses all foam. I can tell that there is a lot of liquid beer in the keg. Should be over 4 gallons. But all I get is foam. What have I don? Have I broken my first beer beyond repair? I need to make a decision soon because I have a porter ready to go in that keg and I was hoping to bottle from the keg to make room.What should I do?

how long are your lines? Can you dispense with zero pressure?

If it is in fact overcarbonated, I would let it warm up and depressurize so some of the CO2 comes out of solution.

My line is 12 inches. I can BARELY dispense without adding pressure. It’s like I can fill half glass without pressure then I have to add pressure. I turn my tank on to like 2 pounds and out comes foam. Before adding pressure I can get liquid. This is just so strange.

At 40 psi and shaking for a couple of days, I would think it’s almost certainly over carbed. Have you used that process before?

1 foot of serving line seems awfully short too. Have you had success serving out of that in the past?

Danny, I am very new to kegging. I have not yet had great success and it may well be that my set up is not correct. No I never did the 40psi thing. It was my attempt at rushing the process to have it ready for christmas eve. Not sure how to determine how long the dispensing line should be. When i got into this I thought it was as simple as juicing the beer with CO2 and throwng a piece of tubing on the picnic tap.

Yea I thought the same. Not quite that simple but not really overly complex either.

When I started I used picnic taps with the 4 or 5 feet they come with and that seemed to work fine for my temperature and pressure. I then added some perlick taps to my fridge thinking I could just use the lines I had since they worked…wrong…my lines are now about 9 feet long. I could maybe go shorter but it’s working fine so I coil them up inside the fridge out of the way and go with it.

First: Line length. Yours is too short. There are calculations you can use to determine the correct line length to balance your system. Includes the pressure you want to serve with, the temp of the beer, etc. Here’s one example…google for more…

http://beersmith.com/blog/2011/07/14/ke ... raft-beer/

Second: quick force carbing. Some people will say DON"T DO IT. I say just be careful and don’t OVER do it. Sounds like you over did it but lengthening your lines WILL reduce foaming, though may not be all this beer needs to fix it. Good news is you know what doesn’t work! I’d disconnect that keg from the gas, bring to room temp and pull the relief valve as often as possible for the next coulpe days until you can serve it, like Pietro advised.

I’m sure you’ve heard set it and forget it. That is the most realiable to avoid overcarbing.

Here’s what I’ve been doing that works for me. Hook up the gas at 25psi to the gas post and vent out any air in the keg. Move the gas line to the liquid OUT post and rock the keg back and forth for 1-2 minutes, you’ll hear the gas bubbling through the beer. Let the keg sit 24 hours with gas at 25psi attached to liquid OUT post. After 24 hours remove the gas line, relieve the pressure in the keg(VERY IMPORTANT), set gas to your preferred carbing/serving pressure and reattach to the gas IN post. It should be carbed enough to begin drinking in a couple days with this method. Will still take some time for the CO2 to become hydrolyzed and change the mouth feel of the beer.

There are many other methods to “quick force” carb. Find one that works for you. Don’t get frustrated. Once this exercise is over you’ll have your system dialed in and know what works for you! :cheers:

1 foot does seem too short. My lines are almost 3 feet. I don’t usually have issues with overcarbing. I just brewed an oatmeal stout and also wanted it ready by Xmas eve, but I did 20 lbs for 2 days then reduced to 10 and it was good to drink before Xmas. I think 40 lbs is a bit much, sounds like it’s definitely overcarbed. Normally I do 10PSI for 5 days and tap to see if it’s ready. Really you need to be patient…I think a good rule of thumb is 10 PSI for 2 weeks to also age the beer a bit. Many of us tap too soon and if you notice the flavor keeps getting better with time and about the last gallon of beer is really good (at least better than the first)

A friend of mine who is a cicerone/BJCP/professional distiller (and beverage system tech) has installed draft systems at some really high end beer bars. For home kegging, he recommends a minimum of 6’ of line. You need to pack the line to reduce foam and longer lines will help with that.

To the prior posts on quick force carbing: I love doing it as well. Set to 30 PSI, hook up to chilled keg (full of beer), roll keg back and forth on floor ~90 degrees about 30 times/30 seconds, hear it gurgle, disconnect line, keg sits upright in the fridge for minimum of 1 hour but no more than 1 day, bleed all pressure from keg, hook up at serving pressure and serve.

For your current set up without new (longer) bev line, I would try bleeding the pressure in the keg, and setting the regulator to 1 or 2 PSI or even disconnecting the gas altogether for serving. If it is still foamy/overcarbed, warm the keg up to room temp and bleed off the pressure as it warms over 24 hours. Then chill it and if its completely flat, do one of the forced carb methods recommended in this thread. If its partially carbed still, you probably need to carb it slowly.

Your porter will be fine in the fermenter for another few days. Get this straightened out first and bottle it properly.

Initially I thought this was a joke.

I saw a Youtube video a couple years ago where a guy demonstrated hooking up gas to the liquid post to de-carb overcarbonated beer. I’ve never tried this, but if you’re desperate this might be worth a try. Of course, you still need to fix the line length issue.

I am not sure if your beer is over carbonated or not. But for me, I was getting mostly foam in my glass, even in a normally carbonated beer. I found out that the diameter of the line matters and length matters. My line was 3’ at 1/4". I switched to 3’ at 3/16" and tapped a perfect beer. There is a calculator out there, let me know and I can dig it up.

One warning. If you are using Pepsi type AKA ball lock quick disconnects, the gas (gray) and liquid (black) look similar but are not. You can ruin the QDs by simply swapping the gas to the liquid post so you should swap the QD from the dispense hose to the hose from your regulator if you plan to force carb by running the CO2 through the dip tube and up through the beer. Coke QDs AKA pin lock can not be swapped without doing this.

I have done the quick carb by high pressure and shaking or bouncing the keg for a long time and find it is a crap shoot. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It is best to stop and check to see if it is getting too foamy along the way. Works best of the beer has been chilled also.

Longer lines do sound like a solution but I would experiment with a keg that was carbed by set it and forget it instead of one you are struggling with. Once you get it down it will be great.

BTW I will move this post to the draft forum and leave a shadow in general.

I used to force carbonate also but now I just set it at my serving pressure and forget about it for seven days. I like this way better. If you do force carbonate make sure you have only CO2 in the headspace of the keg , if not while you are rocking it back-and-forth you are introducing oxygen throughout.
Also I just went from 5 feet to 10 foot of serving line and no more phone problems. Dispenses slowly but not a big deal. I recommend 9 to 10 feet.

[quote=“Trapae”]I used to force carbonate also but now I just set it at my serving pressure and forget about it for seven days. I like this way better. If you do force carbonate make sure you have only CO2 in the headspace of the keg , if not while you are rocking it back-and-forth you are introducing oxygen throughout.
Also I just went from 5 feet to 10 foot of serving line and no more phone problems. Dispenses slowly but not a big deal. I recommend 9 to 10 feet.[/quote]

You should purge your keg of oxygen weather you quick carb or set it and forget it.

For sure.

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