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Thread: weird keg foaming problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    weird keg foaming problem

    Hey Y'all,

    So I'm brewing for a 2 month old operation in DC. Stopped by one of the accounts yesterday and the bar manager told me they're having a problem with our kegs. They can pour off 1 or 2 pints and then the line blows foam. They have tried reducing and increasing the pressure on the line to no avail.

    This is the only account that's having this problem. My first thought was their delivery system (they have a 'keg slide', kegs land on a pile of old tires) may be rousing the co2 out, but it seems to be an intermittent problem.

    Any ideas?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Woodland Park, CO.
    check to see if the coupler is fully ingaged and check if the beer nut are tightend down if they are loose then it can let outside air in the line

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ex-Germany / California
    Yes, sounds like the coupler might not not be installed correctly. Try the keg on a different line and see if you have the same problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    At a previous brewing job, I experienced a similar problem with newly-delivered kegs. I found it best to allow shaken or agitated kegs to sit in the cooler for 24-48 hours before dispensing. This is very similar to opening a shaken can or bottle of carbonated beverage.

    I would not recommend adjusting the pressure on the beer to fix a draft problem. Pressure should be set based on the temperature of the beer in storage and the desired volmes of carbonation. Other variables, such as line restriction, should be adjusted based on the keg pressure, not the other way around. If the account increased the pressure on the keg, decreasing pressure at the regulator may not necessarily drop the keg pressure, especially if the CO2 check valve in the tavern head is working. Make sure to vent the keg headspace (most tavern heads have a vent ring) when dropping the regulator pressure.

    Verify the pressure guage on the regulator is working. It is possible the guage is broken and displaying the wrong pressure.

    If the keg has sat for an extended period of time at higher or lower pressure, the account has most likely changed the amount of carbonation in the beer and the keg should be replaced.

    Check to make sure the dispensing temperature is at or below the storage temperature. It is possible the glycol pack for the lines is malfunctioning or is low on glycol. If the temperature of the beer increases during its path from keg to faucet, CO2 will most likely separate in the lines, causing spitting and foaming at the faucet.

    Another potential problem is a defective spear or coupler. I recommend looking at the beer line on the top of the keg for CO2 bubbles while the beer is being dispensed. If bubbles are forming in this line, they will also be forming in the draft line. You may wish to immediately replace the keg and tavern head--not only as a sign of good faith to the customer, but also as a way of identifying the source of the problem.

    Beer stone or deposits in the line can create nucleation sites and cause CO2 to come out of solution. Thoroughly clean the line with caustic and acid (with a fresh water rinse between and after). Other sources of turbulence in the line, such as kinks, can cause CO2 to form in the lines as well.

    If all else fails, try swapping the keg with another brand (I recommend using a new keg and cleaning both lines when doing this). This should help determine if it is the keg or the line. Remember to swap the tap handles!

    Good luck!
    Brian Campbell
    Loeffler Chemical Corporation
    200 Great Southwest Pkwy SW
    Atlanta, GA 30336

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Small leak in line perhaps. More likely, a faulty spear (look at top of spear for nicks in rubber) or a faulty non-return valve (gas or product) on your keg coupler. I would try switching out the coupler first.


    Liam McKenna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada!
    They might be missing the little rubber seal between the gas and product. Sometimes they stick to the top of the keg and you'll find them on there during your keg washing routine.

    This is where keg tracking comes in handy cause you can call them up and say "hey, having problems pouring this beer?" and get them the 25cent seal before they get upset about a whole keg.

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