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Pouring theory 101

So I was dying to sample my beer, only carbing for 5 days so far so I knew it would be flat.

I was surprised that I could not seem to manage a glass that was not full of foam… Even when I dialed and bled the pressure down to like 3 psi.

I am sure there is a logical reason so here is what I have been doing:
It’s a dead ringer all grain IPA, 5 gallons.
Kegged last Saturday morning
It’s in my freezer at 38 deg
Psi was set to about 8-9 psi as called for the carb level I wanted which is around 2.2 ( I have really no idea what carb level I want, just went with the IPA recommended).
Yesterday I followed a posters tip, and raised the psi to 15 and it was at 14-15 for about 36 hours before my taste test.
Before testing I tried to reduce the pressure and bleed off the keg as much as possible to try to get an acceptable pour. But just lots of foam and some beer of course.
The beer tastes great which is a big relief as its my first all grain, first with my treated spring water, and first keg experience.
But it is flat…, so carbonation is a different animal than foaming I guess?
My beer line is quite short maybe 4 feet or so… It was ordered as an assembled unit from NB I think.

I am thinking tomorrow I will go to my brew supply and pick up about 10 ft of line to experiment with.

Sorry for the long story but I know it’s hard to offer suggestions if all the variables are left blank.

I am really happy the beer tastes great and it was pretty clear as well when it finally settled and I had a third of a mug.

As always, thank you for any suggestions


Did you dry hop in the keg? I’ve always been curious if a dry hopping implement gets too close to the dip tube…does it cause turbulence/foaming?

No, I dry hopped in the secondary a week before kegging. But I certainly got some hop material into the keg as I did not use a bag to dry hop, which I will use in the future.

Unless you were carbing at 30 or 300 psi…it shouldn’t be overcarbed.

Are you turning down the pressure and using the pressure relief valve to lower the low pressure dial down to the actual psi?

I agree it’s not over carbed, I don’t think it is carbed at all yet.
I did bleed off the pressure using relief valve on the keg. What I did not do, was shut the gas off first and then bleed it off before re applying.

It seemed strange to me to have about 2 psi on the gauge and still getting quite a flow out of the picnic tap.

I am sure there is a logical explanation that is part of my learning curve :slight_smile:

Maybe I will pick up about 20 ft of beer line, then start with double what I have now and see how it goes.

I left the pressure down to the 9 psi recommended for the long term carbing method.

Maybe the beer was still out gassing the higher 15 psi it was at for the 36 hours just prior to this experiment. Makes no sense that I would be getting a pour from 3 psi… Must have been more pressure in the keg somehow. I did watch the gauge drop when I bled it and recovered to the low pressure setting. I was thinking I would drop it to the point where nothing came out but gave up on that at 3 psi.

15 psi is to much not surprised your spitting foam. 20’ of line is ridiculous. 5 or 6’ is all I use and it’s fine. If the line gets warm the first pull may be foamy but subsequent pours are fine

Not pouring at 15 psi. Dropped way down and bled before pouring. Not planning to use 20 ft, buying 20 ft as I will most likely need to extend my other set up going to my son. Sorry if my posts were not clear. Just figured I would start with a 9 ft line.

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At 8-9psi and 38F I’d definitely focus on line length. Start at 10 ft and trim to speed up your pour. I like a bit slower pour so I can control the head. I carb at 9-10psi at 36F. A picnic tap with 4 ft lines works fine but my perlick taps need 9 ft. It’s all about resistance. What kind of tap are you using? 1/4" line?

edit" stick with the longer lines and a slow pour for a couple of weeks. Then you’re beer will be well carbed and you can work on speed of pour.

Thanks, I am using a picnic tap. It is 3/16 at 5 ft long.
After reading the responses again I can say the line was definitely warm when I started. Could that be a big part of the problem? Otherwise it seems I should get the same results as others . I may build up a 9 ft and toss it in the freezer and start there tonight and see what the results are.

If you are bleeding it down, you want to shut the gas off completely. When the hissing stops from the PRV, then turn your gas back on to your serving pressure or lower. Foam and flat beer means it’s pouring too fast and knocking all the CO2 out of solution on the way to your glass. Try bleeding it off, letting it sit a while without gas, then pour a pint and see what happens. If nothing comes out, turn the gas up slowly until it does. Your serving pressure is dictated by your system and it may take some fiddling to figure out where you like it.


Great, Thank you for that! I will give it a try tonight with a longer line that is at the same temp as the beer.

Just another thought since I just pulled a glass of my Brew Cat IPA which has been sitting at 12 psi for 10 days. The carbonation is good but I’m going to pull off the bottom couple pours which have the yeast bite from the yeast settling out then let it sit a couple more days. The first half pint gets dumped but the next 2 glasses I drink but don’t pass judgement yet. It gets better waiting it out trust me

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10 days 12psi 40deg 5’ picnic tap

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That looks awesome. I think I will find the right combination with line length and PSI, and … putting the beer line and picnic tap in the freezer with the keg for a while before pouring. When I think about how it came out yesterday, I had the 38 deg beer hitting the 75 deg hose and it probably created its own pressure in the hose by the quick foaming. I am only at day 6 for carbing so I am not really expecting much right now. Just would like to get the pouring set up right for now.
I would like to start slowly drinking it this weekend. I do have some belgian tripels still, but I can only drink a couple of those at a time.

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Thanks @brew_cat…you made me thirsty…that’s a fine lookin beer. My all mosaic that I DH’d with Citra, now known as MoCitra IPA has become pretty tasty and looks very similar in color to that one.

I just tried with the 5 ft cold hose, not much difference. The best pour I got was when I shut the gas off, bled it out of the keg and then poured until it stopped. So definitely a pressure / length issue. Still some trub coming up into the foam I also noticed. Hopefully that clears soon… I feel like I am dumping all my beer but I know that’s not reality.

So I went ahead and built up a 10 ft hose and tossed it into the freezer and will experiment tomorrow starting with very low pressure. It cannot defy physics … Hopefully it will be dialed in before the keg is empty. I’d hate to go back to bottling after all this.

So if you turn the gas off and burp the keg, you’re able to pour a glass but it’s still foamy?

6 days into it… the CO2 hasn’t fully dissolved into your brew… be patient… You put gas into the top of the keg, now it does take quite a bit for it to saturate all the way through… If you remember that carbonator gizmo I procured, it works by forcing CO2 and liquid at a higher pressure in a small container… it has no choice but to mix… Sneezles61

With no gas on, and the keg burped I would say the pour looked much better. When under the 8-10 psi when I let it flow for a bit it seems to be sending me beer …but the flow rate is way too high and foams in the glass from all the turbulence I guess.

Maybe I screwed the pooch by setting the pressure up to 15 psi for that 36 hour period. I have it sitting at 9 psi now, with my 10 ft line sitting in the freezer. I will give that a try tomorrow.

I don’t expect the beer to be carbonated at this point, but I was just hoping to get my flow rate set for when it’s time to drink. Maybe I should just leave it alone for a few more days. The samples I tasted were good, but definitely not carbonated so I don’t think it got over carbed.

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