Foam and more Foam With No Beer

Almost ready to give up. Made a Firestone Ale in a 5 gallon pink lock keg. I put it in the keg at 36F and tried to pour from the tap. No liquid came out only foam, so after a week I kept releasing all the gas than re-carbonated to like 7-8 psi. This time I used a new beer line @4-ft instead of 5-ft. Still came out with foam. Than I tried putting a 2-ft line and foam…dam! I Released gas and recharged to 3-4psi, more Foam. Whoever can figure this one out I’d give away a growler with my beer…

Don’t you need to increase line length to increase resistance (and decrease foam)?

Have no clue. I tried 3 different lengths.

Not a kegger but I have heard about calculators for line length.

Longer line means less foam. How long a line depends your particular serving set-up, but using one foot of 3/16" ID tubing per psi of pressure is a good starting point.

As it is easier to cut excess tube than it is to splice added lengths, you’d be better off starting longer and then shortening it if you find you need to.

Put a 10 foot length of 3/16" tube on there and see what happens.

Note: if you use tubing which is bigger than 3/16", you will need it to be longer. You can also buy tubing with coatings that will reduce the length needed; it’s all about pressure drop per unit length, and matching that to your serving pressure.

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I just listened to a Basic Brewing Radio podcast, about serving lines. All sorts of discussion with his guest. I’m a bit behind on my podcasts; I think it was from October or November. I’m also not a kegger, so I can’t personally attest to the voracity, but it’s definitely worth a listen. James knows how to get the right amount of science, while still being accessable.

(Sorry for sounding like a commercial)

RC, better send him your address for that growler. You need more resistance which means longer lines, not shorter.

Also, just a couple reminders: Make sure none of the serving lines get pinched (happened to me and I couldn’t figure it out because I have 10’ lines). Make sure the keg isn’t frozen or partially frozen. And make sure you don’t have a hop particle or anything else stuck in the disconnect.

Just a shot in the dark but do you think you have your dip tubes switched?

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Take that sucker out of the fridge, let it warm a day, release the gas. Now, put yer tapper on and open it, then apply gas in short shots… It should pour beer. I wonder about regulator malfunction…Sneezles61

I had a regulator malfunction just like that. It read what I set it for but had probably 50psi. I learned this after swapping out a new new one and it pegged the gauge.

I would try letting some pressure out and leave it sit for a while without the regulator. Then try it again still without it. If there is pressure in the keg, the beer will still flow.

There is also the possibility of some kind of infection in the keg. How does it taste after letting some of the foam settle out to be a small amount of liquid?

All good advice so far. One more place to look is to see if there is pellet hops stuck near the poppet, in the keg connector, or in your faucet.

My regulator always malfunctions like that whenever my CO2 tank gets low. In fact, pours getting progressively more foamy is how I know my tank is low. Annoyingly, the “early” warning happens at least a couple weeks before the tank runs out.

Very useful links. I appreciate. N

I never would have thought of 10’ line and the reason why is it just spits foam and hisses when I try to open up the tap.

Hmm…seemed like foam tasted ok. I will use a new regulator. I actually removed it from fridge for several days, let it set after releasing most pressure and tried to dispense with the same frustrating results. I kept releasing the pressure. Any other thoughts.

No I have not checked for pallet hops stuck in the valves. Will this ruin the beer if I open the beer? He’ll, I’m ready to try anything?

Here is my plan of attack to attack keg foam based upon everyone’s input! I plan to release pressure after take it out of fridge, remove both valves, check dip tubes, re sanitize than pressurize with new regulator based on charts, than increase my line length upto 10-ft. I will start this Saturday. This is a lot of tweaks and will keep the group abreast on my finding. If it kills me, I am gona figure this thing out.,…

For my set up, I bought a tower cooler and that did the trick.

If you have a long length of line that is not being kept cold, that can contribute to foam, but only until the warm beer is flushed out by cold beer. And perhaps a bit longer to allow the tap hardware to cool down. Those tap towers can be pretty massive, so yeah, it might take a lot of beer flow to cool the tower by itself. Have to remember this if I ever upgrade to a tower.

I use a tower cooler to blow cold air up through my tower from the bottom of the keggerator. Works wonderfully.