My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

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brewbrew
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My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by brewbrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:03 am

Story so far.

Got my first keg. Brewed Greg Hughes Black IPA full grain - exactly to recipe - all looks OK.

Fermented in primary around 18 to 19 deg C with Mangrove Jacks M44 for 7 days. Then racked to secondary with air lock for 4 days at 18 to 19 deg C.

Then 10 days at 8 to 12 deg C in secondary to clear. Filled keg with 23 litres - doing good job of avoiding sediment and added 110g of dextrose monohydrate to give the 2 vols of CO2 to the beer. Mixed well and added small squirt of C02 from S30 to take immediate pressure at 12 deg C to 20psi on the gauge

Four x 500ml bottles also conditioned with 5g dextrose per litre. All carb conditioned at 15 to 17 deg C for 10 days and then moved to 8 to 12 deg C for 14 days. Keg went to 25psi after 7 days and then 27psi on the 10th day of carb conditioning

Opened a bottle today - excellent in every way - just right carb, slight head and clear when torch shone through. Taste fantastic.

On the keg - just foam - like a fire extinguisher. Pulled 5 pints of foam - each one yielded about an inch of clear beer after 10 mins settling (tastes fantastic). I have tried opening the tap ever so slightly and also more full-on..... but just foam. The tap is a standard chrome job that you pull forward to dispense. Pressure now 15psi.

How do I dispense a decent pint????

Thanks for any advice from the experienced amongst you.

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My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by LeeH » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:16 am

Leave your keg for a week at serving pressure and temp. Simple, just be precise.

Also check your beer line length, start long and gradually cut back until you get just enough flow to pour. Of google beer line length calculator.

Also loose the S30 bottle. You can buy 6-7KG for 15 pounds.

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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by IPA » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 am

Your priming is way too high for a cornie. 2.5 gr a litre of household sugar is the maximum. Serving pressure is also too high. 0.5 bar maximum. Lastly buy a spunding guage from the MaltMiller and use it to set the keg pressure.
Beer line length ? Another internet myth. It's just a way to cure over carbonated beer. All my beer lines are 7 mm diameter and 70 cm long. Believe me I have tried all sorts of diameters and lengths from 3 metres long and 4 mm diameter. I only cured the problem when I mastered the carbonation problem. Also search my post on here about serving bright beer from a cornie.
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by gobuchul » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:27 pm

I had a similar problem the other week, I think it was caused by over priming for secondary, something I don't normally do.

What I did was vent off with the PRV until it stopped or too much foam started to come out, (do it outside!), then leave for a few hours and then repeat. It took multiple vents over 3 days to calm it down. Then I just served at the usual low pressure,as above about 0.5 bar.

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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:38 pm

70/30 gas is great on cornies if you can get hold of it
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by LeeH » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:53 pm

It’s easy to get hold off but unless you are using it for cream flow it’s a bit pointless.


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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by orlando » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:14 pm

IPA wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 am
Beer line length ? Another internet myth. It's just a way to cure over carbonated beer. All my beer lines are 7 mm diameter and 70 cm long. Believe me I have tried all sorts of diameters and lengths from 3 metres long and 4 mm diameter. I only cured the problem when I mastered the carbonation problem. Also search my post on here about serving bright beer from a cornie.
It's an example of when US influence is sadly adopted by UK brewers. In fairness to them they like cold fizzy Beer, it's part of their Heritage, it is not ours. Instead of tackling the problem at source a post hoc technical solution is found. If you want to force carbonate then hooking up at serving pressure, regardless of temperature, is really just a question of time, aka patience. Like you my beer line is short and "fat". :D
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:44 pm

LeeH wrote:It’s easy to get hold off but unless you are using it for cream flow it’s a bit pointless.


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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by Kev888 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:16 pm

As mentioned higher up, keg carbonation levels should normally be much less than for bottles. It also helps enormously if you have temperature regulation or at least stability of the keg, since this plays a big roll in carbonation alongside the pressure (the two are intertwined). it also helps if you arrange the serving pressure/temperature combo to balance the desired carbonation, since it prevents things changing during serving.

I shall now slightly disagree with some of the above posts by saying that beer line length and balancing is absolutely not a myth, it just doesn't do much unless you get it right (and the two should not be confused). A key problem is that you won't get far with around 3/8" OD line unless the length is huge by homebrew standards (my last setup was, so i can attest to this). For typical homebrew situations I would always suggest a 3/16" OD line (which has a tiny ID) or even less. Then, large changes in length make a demonstrable difference to the rate at which beer dispenses and so also upon the rate at which the pressure drops and foaming tries to occur. Flow controls achieve similar results but can only do so in a small distance, so IMO are best as a combination with proper lines, to allow for tweaking and changes between beer styles.

Though, fundamentally, I do fully agree that it 'does not' overcome excessively carbonated (and/or warm) beer and shouldn't be expected to.
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:39 pm

As an example with co2 I would normally force carbonate at around 20psi for around a week and then release excess pressure then serve at around 6psi.


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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by Digby » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:49 pm

Hi folks,

I am not an expert by any means, but I have a 3 tap home bar and I brew mainly Belgian, German and US style beers. Hence my keg pressures are comparatively high and getting the line length right has made a huge difference to foam vs beer being dispensed!

I have just grabbed a cylinder of 70/30 gas for my next brew (a foreign export stout) so this will add another fascinating dimension to getting everything working. :)

Matt

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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by orlando » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:07 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:16 pm
A key problem is that you won't get far with around 3/8" OD line unless the length is huge by homebrew standards (my last setup was, so i can attest to this). For typical homebrew situations I would always suggest a 3/16" OD line (which has a tiny ID) or even less. Then, large changes in length make a demonstrable difference to the rate at which beer dispenses and so also upon the rate at which the pressure drops and foaming tries to occur. Flow controls achieve similar results but can only do so in a small distance, so IMO are best as a combination with proper lines, to allow for tweaking and changes between beer styles.
Though, fundamentally, I do fully agree that it 'does not' overcome excessively carbonated (and/or warm) beer and shouldn't be expected to.
My turn to agree but also slightly disagree. For UK styles there is absolutely no need for long 3/16" lines (I too can attest to this, I brew little else :D ). But if you desire high carbonation styles of Beer then it does makes sense. I would also suggest much lower serving temps and chilling of your squeeky clean glasses. :D
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by Kev888 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:36 pm

Yes, though that doesn't seem to be disagreeing. Modest lengths of 3/16" line are great for most British styles at low pressure; all mine are about 1.5m now, which seems reasonable. That was not the case when the distance between keg and tap was about 8m though, in which case 3/8" was needed to get reasonable flow (you would have died of boredom with 3/16").

3/8" is a very different matter; it takes several times the length to even come close to the same level of flow control as 3/16". And yes, if you're into high carbonation then keeping the lines near frozen helps, as well as heavily chilling the lager/lager-beer.
Last edited by Kev888 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:53 pm

I gas and dispense using 3/16 line....
Far better than 3/8 in my shed.


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Re: My first Corny keg attempt - nothing but foam

Post by Rhodesy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:55 pm

Agree on the 3/16, it just saves so much hassle and works perfect for my needs

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