Expert Foamer

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Good evening all, as you can see this is my first post.
I must apologise for the length in advance, it will be quite long.
I feel you must see where I am coming from to provide the expert opinions I am sure you will be able to deliver.

While I am a brewer of some note (in my own mind), I have been bottling for some years with few blow ups or batches turned out, let me say, less than favourable.
My wife even prefers my brews to packaged beers so money is no object as long as she can get a beer when she wants, unfortunately she can't at the moment.

As the years have progressed, I found the bottling process a bit tedious, all that washing and sterilising and capping, blah!

I'll start kegging, EASY, buy some gear, ferment a brew, squirt in some CO2, drink away.
What a dumbo I would be.....

I should have done a lot more research first, mind you, I have done a bit of research, talked to people etc. but after my first Keg (yes it is almost empty), I must be the worlds best foam pourer. Believe me, I had a real beakthrough yesterday and even got a mug half full (or maybe a third) of beer and the rest froth, Luxury.

The setup I have at the moment is the keg, gas bottle and gun. I keep the whole lot in the fridge @5deg C, figured it would be easier and less temp rise through the gun if the whole lot was chilled.
My first keg, chilled her down, attached the gas, blew it up to 260kpa, shook it around till the gas stopped going in, left it for a couple of hours, burped her out and re-presurised to about 12psi (82kpa, buggered if I know how you can tell that, somewhere between 75 and 100 on my guage), pour a beer ...... froth.

I know, overgassed!, remove gas, shake her up, release gas, leave a couple of hours, pour a beer, froth!

Research, research, research.... Non balanced keg, got this thing worked out now...
Do the math, I only have 3 meters of 6mm line, I need 4 for 12PSI (or 82kpa), a lot of line in my small fridge, do the math again with 5mm line... 1.5 meters, much more acceptable, hook it up and Wah La... Froth.

While I have tried to make this a little lighthearted, my situation is perilous, no beer and I have taken to drinking wine to tide me over, things must change!

My asperations are to have a crack at this all grain thingy, I need a bigger fridge and until I can produce and pour a decent beer, the purse-strings are but a noose around my neck (I would also like a beer "please imagine funny emotocon here").

I know these sort of questions have been asked a million times on this board and others, are my expectations wrong, do I need to be more patient, if under-pressure and unbalanced keg are similar in that they gas up the line, I'm not sure which is which, how do you tell?

Believe me, if someone replied with "you need 4 kilometers of 12mm line to the gun", i'd probably give it a crack at this stage, well maybe....

Any help would be appreciated at this stage.

Thanks for reading.
Hey mate,
I don't think it's overcarbed, if you tried "the Ross method" then there surely wouldn't have been enough gas in there to cause any trouble. I would keep it disconnected from the gas, and try and pour 3-4 schooners.

See what happens after that, as the gas that is in the keg will be used to push the beer out. If you notice that as you pour more beers the froth is dissapating then you're definitely overcarbed. Take the keg out of the fridge and pull the PRV every time you walk past. You will probably get beer coming out of the PRV, but it will ensure you don't over carb a beer again.

PS, keep the long stories for a day at the pub lol. Some of the last paragraphs summed it up fine.
here is what to do:

1) in carbed up, cold state, turn the reg all the way down (i.e no flow/pressure).

2) vent the excess pressure from the keg. Don't shake etc.

3) let the pressure from the keg in very slowly, keep turning the knob until you just hear the gas whoosh past the valve in the reg.

4) pour under that minimal pressure.

All this is assuming that the beer line is not ridiculously short, 1-1.5m at least.

What you will need to do is to vent the excess pressure from the keg each time you go to pour and just pour under the minimal pressure from the reg until it settles down over a day or two.
I carb mine a little higher than required and then just turn the reg all the way down before it will just cut out and keep pouring, if it doesn't feel bubbly enough, time to increase the pressure and stop the gas going out of solution.
I would up the line length from 1.5 to 3 meters or 4 meters

Edit: Sometimes if beer is a bit overcarbed (or serving pressure is very low) bubbles form in the line (co2 coming out of solution) which make the first pour exceedingly foamy but second pour should be ok.
Thanks everyone for the advice,
Deebo.. are you refering to the current 5mm or the 6mm line?

Practicalfool.. I have a regulator that has a built in check valve, I find it only works, reads when there is positive pressure from the bottle, I assume you mean to vent nearly all and start again.

I have a new brew that will be ready this weekend, I will try the "sticky / airlocked and see how I go (with your suggestions of course).
Go into the articles section at the top of the page Fitz then click on "Storing and serving" then "Balancing a draft system" There is also a calculator you can download to work out your required line length. By the way, your beer line is to short.
All I meant by the valve in the regulator is that turn the knob until you just hear the gas flow.

I run similarly short line atm just because those are beer guns and I don't want a mess of tubing to deal with every time I want a beer. I'll balance it properly/get flow restrictor taps when I put taps in. For now, backing the pressure right off works and I odn't have to buy anything more ;)
Thanks everyone for the advice,
Deebo.. are you refering to the current 5mm or the 6mm line?

I would use at least 3m of 5mm line. At least 4m of 6mm line.

Edit: Coil up excess line and cable tie it, then it isnt too bad (or buy flow control taps) The problem with backing pressure off a lot is you get the bubbles forming in your line, though this may not be a problem with really short line you may lose carbonation over time?
I find in Summer that the first qtr of a glass is always foamy.. i figure it is because the beer thats been sitting in the actual tap and the beer in the line towards the top of my font is hot.... So i just pour the first bit (the warm beer) into an old stubby then pour my glass as normal...

Just my 2C
Yeah. It's more of a fix to the problem than how to do it. Let's me serve the beer with higher carbonation than the line length would allow. Once it stabilises I just dial whatever pressure pours good. Think OP's woes are partially the short line and partly the force carb. I read those articles about warming up the keg to let gas out of solution but doing it my way I've not yet had to recarbonate, just slowly get it back to an easy pour. Couple of days and a few pints is all mine takes to settle down.

I did carb the next beer at the right level and then brewed a weizen, so there goes dealing with higher carb again. Bit of a nuisance switching between beer styles unless you have flow restrictors, I get away with this. Do people that balance their lines keep a few different lengths of coil on hand?