Keg dispensing flow issue. A real head scratcher

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acarey

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I've run into a real head scratcher of an issue. When I'm dispensing beer from my kegerator its slow AF. I'm talking a trickle if anything, BUT if i hook up a keg with water in it, the flow is fine. WTF? Setup details as follows:

CO2 pressure: 11 psi
beer line diameter: 5mm (or 4 maybe, cant remember).
beer line length: about 2.5 m (keg king put it all together).
number of taps: 3

The thing is, it happens on all taps which is weird. It happens with all 3 of my kegs. I did a full test with one as i was about to keg a lovely NIEPA as follows. At no point did i touch the gas reg.

1. Reflect on how shitty the beer that was formerly in this keg was pouring.
2. Clean keg
3. half fill with water
4. Connect to gas and tap
5. Pour water through without issue
6. test on all three taps, same result
7. Think 'cool, the problem must have resolved itself via the power of positive thinking'
8. Empty water out
9. Fill keg with lovely NEIPA.
10. Hook it up to the same gas disconnect and one of the taps.
11. Do a quick test pour to make sure the flow is still good.
12. Be equally confused, disappointed and enraged that it's gone to shit again.

Anyone have any ideas?
 
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Hi Acarey. I'm guessing you have different beer in all three kegs?
I can understand the water pouring differently to the beer as it's not carbonated. Would check the liquid dip tube in the kegs and make sure that it is not sitting hard against the bottom of the keg, this can cause the flow to restrict.
The other thing is you're not sure of the beer line diameter, that will make a difference.
 
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acarey

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Thanks Razz. Yeah different beer, but not wildly different. I'll check the dip tubes in the other ones.
I think the difference in flow is more than the different liquids could account for. Think normal flow for the water, and a minute trickle for the beer, kinda like when a tap is all but off and theres a tiny stream and if you reduced it anymore, it would be off.

I'm not a wordsmith :)
 

acarey

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Hi Acarey. I'm guessing you have different beer in all three kegs?
I can understand the water pouring differently to the beer as it's not carbonated. Would check the liquid dip tube in the kegs and make sure that it is not sitting hard against the bottom of the keg, this can cause the flow to restrict.
The other thing is you're not sure of the beer line diameter, that will make a difference.

Oh, one other thing that I should have included. Sorry, rather a large omission.

It used to pour fine. Then I got a splitter on my gas line and ran some line to a beer disconnect so I could force carb down the beer dip tube using the 'shake the crap out of it method'. Ever since i did that, it kinda went to shit. Could that have buggered up my business somehow? I assumed that if it was stuffed, it would be stuffed for all liquids, not just beer.

Here's a photo of the mighty torrent.
IMG_2221.jpeg
 
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I have a T in my gas line to do the same thing, I use it to connect to the fermenter to push beer into my kegs/force carb etc. The timing may just be a coincidence.
Have you checked the pressure of the beer in the kegs? That beer in the photo looks flat.
 

acarey

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I have a T in my gas line to do the same thing, I use it to connect to the fermenter to push beer into my kegs/force carb etc. The timing may just be a coincidence.
Have you checked the pressure of the beer in the kegs? That beer in the photo looks flat.

Thanks again for the reply, I really appreciate it. I have checked the pressure and its all good.. That beer is flat as I only kegged it yesterday and didn't do any force carbing.
 

MHB

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Your right its a bit of a head scratcher
About the only thing that makes any sense is that you have some crud (being a NEPIA, its probably hops) it goes up the diptube and gets caught in the poppet or the disconnect.
I would take the keg out of the fridge, Vent the overpressure through the PRV, take apart the Liquid Disconnect and see if its clean. Do the same for the for the keg post, remove it from the keg and see if its got hop debris in it.
Otherwise I'm buggered if I know.
Mark
 

acarey

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Your right its a bit of a head scratcher
About the only thing that makes any sense is that you have some crud (being a NEPIA, its probably hops) it goes up the diptube and gets caught in the poppet or the disconnect.
I would take the keg out of the fridge, Vent the overpressure through the PRV, take apart the Liquid Disconnect and see if its clean. Do the same for the for the keg post, remove it from the keg and see if its got hop debris in it.
Otherwise I'm buggered if I know.
Mark
Thanks Mark. I'll give that a crack. Was about to replace all the lines etc, but the problem can't be there. I'll do as you say and hope for the best.
 

kadmium

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have you tried asking it how it's feeling? Might be starved for attention.

Could be a wild coincidence that somehow the keg has a leak?

Have you chased down all the fittings and made sure they are all not leaking? Have you taken the tap apart? Perhaps there is something caught in the tap seal?


The T splitter shouldn't be an issue unless its leaking.

Is this brand new? If so, check the ID of the beer line as it should be written on it.

My KK came with 4mm and the line length should be 1.5m. Perhaps yours is too long and the resistance of the beer is greater then plain water?
 

acarey

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have you tried asking it how it's feeling? Might be starved for attention.

Could be a wild coincidence that somehow the keg has a leak?
I dont think so, happens with all 3 kegs
Have you chased down all the fittings and made sure they are all not leaking? Have you taken the tap apart? Perhaps there is something caught in the tap seal?
No leaks, havent taken the tap apart. All three taps and kegs have the same behaviour, ie water = no problems, beer = trickle.
The T splitter shouldn't be an issue unless its leaking.

Is this brand new? If so, check the ID of the beer line as it should be written on it.

My KK came with 4mm and the line length should be 1.5m. Perhaps yours is too long and the resistance of the beer is greater then plain water?
yeah bought in may, had a month or two of good use, then all 3 taps and kegs started doing it.
 

acarey

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I would take the keg out of the fridge, Vent the overpressure through the PRV, take apart the Liquid Disconnect and see if its clean. Do the same for the for the keg post, remove it from the keg and see if its got hop debris in it.
Otherwise I'm buggered if I know.
This was the key! Thanks Mark. Much appreciated. Wont be chucking a [email protected] of aroma hops loose into my neipa's anymore :)
Fixes the issue for half a beer, then it immediately comes back, but its no longer the worlds greatest mystery! Woo!

Thanks to all who chimed in. I've been off this site for years (having just gotten back into brewing after a prolonged break) and its good to see everyone is still nice and helpful :)
IMG_2223.jpeg
IMG_2224.jpeg
 

kadmium

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Ahhhh, that was gonna be my next guess. Lol jokes.

Yeah get yourself a SS hop cage or, buy a cask widge and do a floating dip tube. Could probably just buy a replacement SS ball and tube like what goes in the fermentasaurus / fermzilla.


Or


And use a floating dip tube when you go commando in your keg. Just a thought!
 

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