View Full Version : Transporting kegs for events - How do you prevent foam?

04-04-2016, 01:08 PM
What are your methods for bringing kegs to festivals/events?

I brought a few kegs to an event this weekend. I tested the carbonation in the morning on all of them and they were perfect. No foam issues. Come time for the event, one style in particular was foaming really badly. The consensus seems to be that it's a temperature issue, not a shaking issue.

The kegs had to sit outside for a couple hours after leaving the walk-in because the ice was delivered super late. I put them in plastic bins and encased them in ice for an hour before the event. Maybe this wasn't enough?

I use 6 feet of line and picnic taps with a split gas line that goes to each keg.

Todd Hicks
04-04-2016, 02:10 PM
Keep the kegs chilled as much as possible.
Avoid shaking them as much as possible when moving them.
Ice them down for as long as you can before the event begins.
Use a jockey box with cooling plate. Store jockey box with beer in walk-in at event or keep some ice in it to keep it cold.
With cooling plate jockey box, you will run at about 22 or so psi on your keg. That pressure and the back pressure from the plate will keep the beer from foaming up.
Pouring into plastic cups may cause some foam.

Try not to drink too much of your own samples.

04-04-2016, 02:22 PM
What Todd says, except I greatly prefer the coil-type jockey-boxes to plates. We have both, and the coils cool much better, are lighter to carry, and don't require a drain for the meltwater like a plate, so one less potential source of mud around you event table.

I've bought and built jockey-boxes--you probably won't save any money building one, but I prefer my own lay-out for inputs and faucets. Most commercially-made JBs I've seen have the beer in from the kegs on the back of the JB--the side facing your customers. I prefer them on the sides. Makes routing to the kegs easier and shorter. I also like the faucets mounted further apart than most commercial units.

The backpressure of a jockey-box usually takes care of any foaming problems. When using party taps, using the PRV on the side of the tavern head coupler to release the pressure (with CO2 off) will usually cure a bad foamer--I had to do this this weekend at a party--worked wonders.

04-04-2016, 02:54 PM
Thanks Todd and Timm.

We actually have a jockey box setup (coil) that we haven't been bringing to events because it's super bulky. Perhaps we'd be better off with it.

When you guys use a jockey box, do you keep the kegs on ice as well? This has been a subject of some internal debate

04-04-2016, 03:26 PM
I've served my beer 18psi, 3 passes on each tap through the plate. Beer was 25 Celsius going in and 4 Celsius coming out the jockey box. Never any issues unless with the keg itself.

04-05-2016, 07:34 AM
Thanks Todd and Timm

When you guys use a jockey box, do you keep the kegs on ice as well? This has been a subject of some internal debate

Depends on the weather and jockey box. With a plate type, yes, always. With 50' coils, sometimes, mostly when it's hot.

There is no downside to using ice--other than the ice itself--so why not play it safe?

The best way to set the pressure on a JB is to start with the regulator at 0, open a tap, and slowly turn the reg up until you get good, clean flow. You'll probably end up around 18-20psi.

Be sure you start the beer through the JB before you add ice--it's easy to freeze the coils or plate (worse with coils) if there's any water in the lines.

We had a local craftsman make some very nice wooden covers for the JBs--looks much better than an old cooler.

06-11-2016, 06:32 AM
I much prefer the plate jockey box with a drain hose going into a bucket under the table. I run the pressure at least 25lbs and have about 6 feet of 3/16ID beer hose that connects to the back of the JB. Kegs are cold but not on ice. Never have any problems at festivals.