Hello! I “assembled” my lines for the X series kegerator (Kegland) and hooked a couple of kegs and I notice that I don’t have much head retention, which has never been an issue for me before (using cheap pic nic taps on kegs). The pressure in the kegs is normal (I even added a bit more after I noticed the problem) and my beer lines were well cleaned/rinsed. I know that the beer lines that come with the kit to assemble the kegerator are of a smaller diameter than my previous beerlines, so I adjusted the length accordingly (as per the instructions in the manual for the kegerator), but I am stumped with the results. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Head retention or head?
There’s a huge difference!
My lines are all about 2 meters with restrictive tubing and my regulator is usually set close to 10psi.
I have about a 10 sec pour for a 20 oz pint.
Thanks for the quick feed-back. Both head retention and plain head are a problem. My pour is at least that fast, closer to 8.5 seconds for 20 oz. Not sure what restrictive tubing is. My beer lines in the kegerator are 4mm ID (Eva Barrier) compared to the 5mm I used to have with my pic nic taps. According to the manual from Kegland, for 4mm I should have 1.5-2 meters of line, which is what I cut it at. I used to have 2 meters for my 5mm, now it is closer to 1.8. Still, my kegs are pressured at more than 15 psi (I bumped it up a bit because of the lack of foam), so I don’t understand why there is a problem. The only thing I did differently, but that is really far-fetched, is that I put the keg outside in the cold right after kegging to cold-crash quickly (only for a few hours, but at -20C) and then put it in the kegerator and started putting gas in. Don’t see how that could have done something bad, as it only made the beer get cold faster than usually.
The colder the beer, the move it will absorb CO2. So, possibly as it warms up a bit from being outside to fridge temps, you might see more CO2 coming out of solution.
Restrictive tubing is specific beer line tubing that is designed to reduce the pressure of the beer from the keg pressure to the tap pressure.
In my case, pretty much from 10psi to 1psi.
How long has the beer been kegged? How is the carbonation level? It might be worth putting the pressure back to your normal serving pressure, then waiting a couple days to see if it just needs to finish carbing.
If it is fully carbed, you could try running some PBW/water/Starsan through the lines. There’s a chance there’s something coating the inside from the manufacturing process that might be knocking down your foam. I would assume Kegland would have mentioned something about this though.
Thanks for the thought, but I started adding CO2 after I had left the keg outside, so that should not be the problem.
The beer has been kegged for a week. The carbonation level is about 15 psi. Usually I carbonate for a few days at 20 psi and then make sure there is still good serving pressure (about 12 psi) for my pic nic taps (2 meters, 5 mm ID). Now that I have these Nukatap with slightly thinner ID Eva Barrier beer lines (4mm instead of my former 5mm, 1.8 meters long), I expected to need a little more pressure, but how much more do I need?
I really would be surprised if there was still anything coating the inside of the beer lines, because I cleaned and sanitized the crap out of those beer lines and faucets like I do with all new equipments, including a long soak. That’s a real head-scratcher.
If you haven’t already, I would contact Kegland and see what they have to suggest.
How’s the flow? Is the beer coming out at a decent flow? Do you have enough beer line to try a shorter one?
The flow is very good, in fact faster than on my former pic nic taps. Kegland’s manual stated that we should keep the beer line between 1.5 and 2 meters for a 4mm ID, so I don’t really want to shorten it. I am guessing I have to adapt to the new set-up and learn to work with it (I was used to the pressure needed in my former set up), but at the same time it seems excessive to gas more than 15 psi in the keg, considering the serving pressure is supposed to stay around 10-12.
Thanks. I am waiting for an answer from them
Can you tell us more about the beer? Is this a recipe you’ve brewed before and gotten good head from?
If you drink the beer that pours with no head, is the mouthfeel still bubbly and carbonated?
If you reattach your picnic tap, does it pour like you would want?
I’m trying to think of other indicators of what the problem could be…
Thanks for the thoughts. I have brewed this recipe once before and had great head. It is an IPA, so head should not be a problem normally (plus I have never had a beer without a good head anyway). Carbonation seems ok, though maybe not quite as high as usually. I added a little “extra” pressure (almost 20 psi) a bit ago and will leave it for 48h to see if it is just a matter of needing a little more pressure with these new beer lines. If it is still a problem then, I will try with my old pic-nic taps: that’s a great suggestion, but I don’t want to do it now because the pressure in the keg may be a little high for these cheap plastic faucets. The pic-nic tap should tell me if the problem is my new lines or undercarbonation.
This leads me to think it still needs time to finish carbonating. It takes time for the CO2 to get into solution. Check this out Sparkle & Fizz: Carbonation Methods | Brülosophy for some different time/pressure combinations.
It could be that previously with your picnic taps the beers were pouring foamy because that’s just what picnic taps do, especially with short lines. Now with your fancy set-up, everything is flowing much more smoothly through the lines and out the tap, so you’re not getting the turbulence in the lines that produces extra foam. When you get the new system dialed in, it should pour mostly non-foamy, then you can pour down the center of the glass toward the end of the pour to increase foam, but still have nice carbonation in the beer.
That makes a whole lot of sense. I like your thinking. So I will give it a little extra time and try again. Thanks a bunch!
You were right. It just needed a little more time to get a nice head. It is much better today and should be perfect tomorrow. Thanks a lot for the advice!
You should always follow our great president’s advices for he is wise and almighty.
Amen! Have mercy on us, O wise one!