Kegerator pouring issues

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Scott_H

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Hi,

I recently got a keg king series 3 kegerator, and im having a bit of an issue getting a perfect pour. im running a 3.5m 5mm line to a 2 tap font sitting about 1.5m from the centre of my keg. Just bought a font fan and this has dramatically improved the pouring of the beer.

Ive tried vaious serving pressures but sill getting quite a bit of foaming. im confident that my beer isn't over carbed. What i am seeing 5 mins after a pour is my line emptying back into the keg which i think may be related to the issue im having. So i guess my questions are:

1. Is my line length correct: different calculators have 1.5m-2m and the keg king website says 2.5-3.5m. or am i better to shorten it?
2. Is the beer draining back into the keg and causing "gaps" in my line an issue? if so how do I solve it?
3. any other general suggestions?

I can add pics if needed.

Thanks in advance fort the help
 

pcmfisher

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You haven't mentioned your pouring pressure or how you carbonate.
If you are seeing a gas bubble in your beer line there is a discrepancy between your pouring pressure and the amount of co2 in your beer. Or your tap/font is a lot warmer than your beer , but unlikely.
 

Pnutapper

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What you describe seems to me to be a pressure issue. That may not necessarily mean that your regulator is faulty. You might be advised to conduct a thorough leak check of your gas system. And the posts on your keg as well.
 

Grott

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Two problems it would seem. Off the top, your line length seems too long at 3.5 metres. Beer should not be going back into the keg after 5 mins of pouring a beer. When you pour a beer the rush back up the beer hose will certainly give you foam.
As pcmfisher has stated we need to know your pour pouring pressure, temperature of your beer and how you carbonated. This will help to solve your problem.
Cheers
 

Scott_H

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Thanks,

I did 200 Kpa for 48hrs then backed it off and have tried 10/20/30/40 kpa to get a decent pour with no determinable difference. The fridge is set to 2 Deg C.
Font and lines are definitely cold, only the tap which is slightly warmer, i would expect to have the first tiny bit be a bit foamy and then sort itself out as the tap cools (it does very quickly). I suspect the co2 in the beerline is causing most of my foaming but i am not certain what is causing it and how to fix it. if there was a leak in the beer line wouldn't i see beer leaking everywhere?

My only guess after 2 weeks of playing is i need to shorten my lines to around 2m?

I have done a leak check and I am confident I have no leaks on the gas side and the keg
 

Grott

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I would shorten the beer line to 2.5m first and work down from there. If there are no leaks in your system then the beer running back into the keg would mean there is not enough pressure to hold it. What is your dispensing pressure?
 

klangers

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I'm not certain that's beer falling back to the keg. I have a feeling it might just be a big bubble of CO2.

If it is a big bubble of CO2, there isn't enough head pressure in your keg to keep the CO2 in solution so it bubbles out. This is happening because the serving pressure of your keg is below the equilibrium pressure for your carbonation. I would:
  1. Increase the head pressure in your keg to keep the CO2 in solution
  2. Lengthen your lines to compensate for (1)

If beer is falling back into the keg, then it's not a pressure issue (beer will always be more dense than gaseos CO2). It's a piping layout issue that's allowing beer to drain back and CO2 to float up. I personally highly doubt this is actually what's happening, especially if your lines truly are 5mm ID.
 

Scott_H

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Sorry guys I ended up out all of yesterday and today. I'm now not sure whether to increase the serving pressure, shorten the lines? I wont get to try until later this week as i am a way for a couple of days for work.

When I get back ill try my serving pressure at a very low pressure and shorten one of my lines to 2.5m and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for help so far. ill let you know how it goes/get some more advice
 

Scott_H

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I have it sitting at 60 kpa (9 Psi) at the moment about to try it at 40kpa (5psi)
 

btrots87

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Its easier if your serving pressure is the same as your carbonating pressure. If you have it lower than that then the CO2 in the beer will come out of solution so that it can maintain equilibrium. This will cause more foaming.

Sounds like you've overcarbed it to me by setting the pressure too high while carbonating it. Release the pressure on the keg, wait a few hours for it to equilibrate and repeat a few times. Then carb it up again.

10-12psi at 5C will carbonate a keg to about the level you want for most beers. Lower the pressure if you're fridge is at 2C. It will take about a week but it definitely won't be overcarbed. Leave it at that pressure and adjust your beer line length to suit. Start longer than you think you'll need and cut back.

It's annoying when you're first figuring this out but once you've got it right you won't have to touch it again.

Continuing to lower the serving pressure is going to allow more CO2 out of solution which could make the problem worse.

Good luck
 

Scott_H

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Its easier if your serving pressure is the same as your carbonating pressure. If you have it lower than that then the CO2 in the beer will come out of solution so that it can maintain equilibrium. This will cause more foaming.

Sounds like you've overcarbed it to me by setting the pressure too high while carbonating it. Release the pressure on the keg, wait a few hours for it to equilibrate and repeat a few times. Then carb it up again.

10-12psi at 5C will carbonate a keg to about the level you want for most beers. Lower the pressure if you're fridge is at 2C. It will take about a week but it definitely won't be overcarbed. Leave it at that pressure and adjust your beer line length to suit. Start longer than you think you'll need and cut back.

It's annoying when you're first figuring this out but once you've got it right you won't have to touch it again.

Continuing to lower the serving pressure is going to allow more CO2 out of solution which could make the problem worse.

Good luck
Thanks, I must admit I'm getting a little frustrated with this and the wasting of good beer!!! Are there any other signs of overcarbing as the beer doesn't taste over carbed if anything it tastes slightly under carbed (I don't think it's over carbed but not positive)? But I could be losing carb in the foam. I have managed to fluke a couple of good second pours but not consistent enough to be a pattern.
I am just cold crashing a second keg now so I will try your method over the week after geletin.
 

klangers

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The way I see it is that it is so much easier to control a bar with longer-than-strictly-necessary beer lines than it is a bar that's always on the brink of foaming.

Longer beer lines will never cause more foaming, unless something else changed during that process.

You're not going to get anywhere constantly changing things. Carbonation takes a long time to equalise, so whenever you make a change the effect will not be instant.

If you move to shorter lines and a higher pressure, the problem will get worse. Longer lines will allow a higher-carbonated beer to be poured without foaming.
 

abyss

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Are you sure that your beer line is actually 5mm ID as it looks larger in the photo to me.
 

Grott

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Could have a point there abyss, does look large.

Persist Scott-H as the end result will be worth it. It is strange how things work.

With these standard kererator, like your KK series 3, I would have thought there would be a standard set up for generally brews, eg if your temp is set to ? and your beer line id is ? then the length will be ? and serving pressure will be ?. Fairly simple I would have thought. Perhaps someone here with same kererator could advise?
 

Scott_H

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It must be an optical illusion. The line is definitely 5mm, it's stamped "keg king 5mmx8mm"

Good idea re the standard setup. I've contacted keg king now to see if they will tell me what their setup. (Let's see if they will actually tell me).
 

pcmfisher

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10/20/30/40 kpa is not enough pouring pressure. You want about 75-80.
As advised by many you do not have enough pressure to hold the gas in solution.
Keep pouring at these pressures and you will keep getting gas in your lines causing a shitty pour and lose carbonation in your beer.
Turn your reg up to 75 and leave it. Your beer line will be long enough as is to slow it down to pour properly.
 

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