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I hadn't used this kegerator in a couple of years (the fridge has been plugged in, but I've had nothing attached). I bought a brand new 3/16" hose and connected it and now I get about 50% foam coming out on a new keg.

When I used to use this, everything was fine before. I'm not sure what is different (other than the new line).

I have about 5' of hose that rises 2' in my fridge (maybe a foot). I've used the calculation found here with this number and came up with that I should be having about 16psi. This seems rather high.

At any rate, I've tried lower PSI and the higher PSI; all generate foam. I've noticed that after a pour, I get bubbles in the line right out of the keg immediately. What could I be doing wrong?

The only thing I could think of is the plastic retainer is a bit mangled; I've ordered a new one but it hasn't came up yet.

The fridge stays at about 40F. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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From my experience there are a few things that caused beer foam for me.

  1. Watch out for CO2 saturation! Carbonating for long periods (or shaking) with too high a pressure will mean that you cannot get anything but foam. This one was a killer for me when I started because I would shake the kegs at 40 psi and release the pressure then apply 8 psi for the draft. This can easily result in a CO2 saturation higher than the temperature will allow and you will get nothing but foam.
  2. You need to be taking the temperature of a liquid throughout your chiller. Get a couple glasses of water and put one on the floor and one near your tap. These temps should be practically the same after a nights chilling time. If they are not then you are probably warming the beer in the line on the way out. Wild variations in temperature as the compressor kicks on and off are also an issue. Also make sure the poor is at the correct temp.
  3. Try to prevent that beer line from dipping below the top of the keg. I've seen some resources that say coil the beer line on the top of the keg. This prevents a sudden drop in pressure as the beer flows downwards which lets the CO2 escape.
  4. Not letting the beer stand for long enough. Agitating dissolved CO2 can make it easier for it to escape. I had these sorts of problems with opening bottled beer too quickly after carbonation too. Let your beer settle under pressure for more than a couple days.
  5. Beer line not long enough or line that is too thin can be a menace too. Try extending the line to 8ft and a wider line if problems persist.

I built my keg system from a converted freezer, so temperature control was very difficult until I bought a temperature controller. I didn't stop having issues until I widened my line and stopped over carbing.

Links: http://www.kegerators.com/articles/foamy-beer-kegerator.php http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/foamy-keg.45959/

Related (Over carbonated): Why is there so much foam when I open the bottle?

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    Thanks for the advice! Any thoughts on why the foam is immediately in the line after a pour? – Levi Jun 26 '15 at 18:16
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    My guess, and it is a guess, is that your beer is over carbonated or your line/beer is too warm somehow or both. If you weren't seeing foam in the line though, I would say that you should try opening the tap faster and all the way. – Keystone Jun 26 '15 at 18:25
  • I haven't verified this, but I forgot that the freezer side of the fridge was not turned on (it's a side by side). I turned that on last night and now my temperature is reading 28 - 30 degrees (vs. 40 like before). Hopefully I can regulate this better. I haven't poured anything out of this yet, but that's the only variable out of this equation that I haven't been able to really mess with. – Levi Jul 3 '15 at 14:42
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Have you tried taking apart and cleaning out everything below the tubing (valve / dip tube, etc).

I had an issue with excessive foam that turned out to be some hop trub getting picked up and clogging the valve. Give everything a thorough cleaning and make sure all o-rings are seated properly before going to more drastic measures.

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  • Yeah, I got a new tube prior to attaching and cleaned out the sankey with vinegar prior to hooking anything up. I had that problem before too. – Levi Jul 3 '15 at 22:07
  • Turns out this was due to temperature. It's fixed now! :) – Levi Jul 3 '15 at 22:07
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Foam directly above the connector is a problem. Foam should only form where there is a pressure drop or a rise in temperature, and that all usually happens at the tap. Either the beer is too carbonated for the temperature, or there is a restriction in the dip tube or connector.

I would try to lower the pressure first. Without a relief valve, it means turning off the CO2, serve a few beers, wait for the bubbles to go away, try again. With that connector you could try to loosen the CO2 line, but you risk making a huge mess.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion; I adjusted the CO2 lower and am going to test it slowly; I let it settle overnight. We'll see what happens. – Levi Jun 30 '15 at 14:53
  • It's still foaming after a poor. The pressure is low. What to try next? What'd you mean about loosening the CO2 line? – Levi Jul 1 '15 at 1:45
  • On that connector (I'm pretty sure) the hose barb for the CO2 is attached by a threaded nut & gasket. Loosen that nut and CO2 will come out of the beer, just like the relief valve on a corny keg. Loosen it too much and the beer will come out too, also just like the relief valve on a corny keg. – Pepi Jul 1 '15 at 6:57
  • Oh yeah - 40F and 16psi gives 2.84 volumes of CO2 (according to kegerators.com), kinda high. Is that appropriate for the style of beer? Even so, you should be drop the pressure down quite low to serve slowly without losing the dissolved CO2; that should take a few days. – Pepi Jul 1 '15 at 7:03
  • I've had the CO2 set to low as well and same result...I'm wondering if there's some sort of leak somewhere in the CO2 line or something? – Levi Jul 2 '15 at 19:04

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