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Foamy but flat

First time kegging. Tried to carb quickly. Kegs are at approximately 40F. Set at 40psi for 24 hrs. Bled pressure. Set at 20psi for 24 hrs. Bled pressure. Set at 10psi to serve.

I am using the foam free picnic taps:

After letting the kegs sit for 4-5 days, when I pour I am getting a cup full of foam, but when I drink it, it feels flat. No carbonation “bite”.

I tried bleeding the pressure off and reducing the serving pressure, but it doesn’t seem to help.

What am I doing wrong?

Could be undercarbonated and pouring too fast, just pouring too fast, or it could just be overcarbed. Try turning down your pressure to about 4 PSI and bleeding the keg and then try to pour. It should pour pretty slowly. If it still comes out foamy your beer is overcarbed. If not, but it is still flat, it is undercarbed. If it comes out fine then your beer is good and you are pouring too fast.

If overcarbonated, unhook from CO2 and vent every day. You may be able to get it to stop where you want it carbonation wise, but more likely you will have to start the carbing process over. Until you get the hang of it, I suggest setting the gauge at 12 PSI and hooking it up to the keg of cold beer and forgetting about it for a week or two.

If undercarbonated, set the tank pressure to about 12 PSI and let it sit for a while. To avoid the beer coming out too fast, and causing it to foam up, you’ll have to lengthen your picnic line. I’ve had those taps not work at my usual serving pressure. The beer comes out too fast and foams in the glass.

A third possibility is that your tap line is too short and your beer is carbed fine. If that’s the case the beer will come out to fast and foam, leaving you with very little carbonation. Lengthen the tap line.

The tap line restriction and the serving pressure have to be balanced. Google “beer tap line balancing” for a ton of info available on the web.

This is all assuming that there are no odd blockages in the tubing or keg. If thats the case, you may have to dissasemble and find whats wrong.

Good luck and welcome to kegging. I promise it gets easier.

[quote=“Beer_Gutt”]First time kegging. Tried to carb quickly. Kegs are at approximately 40F. Set at 40psi for 24 hrs. Bled pressure. Set at 20psi for 24 hrs. Bled pressure. Set at 10psi to serve.

I am using the foam free picnic taps:

After letting the kegs sit for 4-5 days, when I pour I am getting a cup full of foam, but when I drink it, it feels flat. No carbonation “bite”.

I tried bleeding the pressure off and reducing the serving pressure, but it doesn’t seem to help.

What am I doing wrong?[/quote]
I had the exact same problem using a “foam free” line and picnic tap. The problem: The carbonation is getting released due to the short beer line. I went out and bought 25’ of 3/16" line and hooked up 10’ to my keg. I serve around 6 psi. Since lengthening the beer line and lowering the serving pressure, the beer has come out nicely carbonated with the right amount of foamy head!

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=108080

Good advice above, and focus on overcarbonation. A sure formula for this problem is setting a keg on some random pressure and letting it sit for some random time period. Either set it at the serving pressure for a few weeks and get it perfect, or rapidly force carbonate in a few minutes with a controlled procedure to near-perfection. Here’s my process, not the bible but it works http://thebeerjournals.com/carbonation.html

I think my lines may in fact be too short. Is there a way I can adjust the serving pressure to accomodate for this?

Yes, and no.

Yes you can drop the pressure for serving, but you need to bring the pressure back up to the proper level to maintain the carbonation level when not serving.

Best to get a set of proper length and diameter lines immediately. 6-7ft of 3/16" ID and you’ll be happy long into the future.

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