Sunday, 5 August 2012

Two Problems With Kegging

My recent foray into kegging has revealed two serious problems.  The first of these has to do with my kegorator setup.

The problem, as you can see to the right, is whenever I pour I get a head of foam.  At first I suspected the usual suspects - bad poor technique or beer lines which were too short.  But a closer look revealed something different:

At the beginning of the pour (top), pure foam comes out of the tap.  But after a few seconds, a proper pour ensures (below).  After the first glass, I can pour successive glasses that are perfect pours.


A bit of searching identified my problem - the beer lines in the tower were not being cooled, so the first bit of beer to pass through warmed, releasing its CO2, causing the foaming.  The flowing beer then cooled the line, resolving the issue.

Problem 1: Beer lines in tower are warm.
Solution: Create a heat-sink.

More below the  fold...


Materials:

  1. Three feet of 1/2" copper pipe
  2. Copper pipe cutter
  3. Pipe insulation
  4. Dremmel tool or saw
  5. Duct tape
  6. Misc common tools
  7. Homebrew (helps with problem solving)

Step 1: Cut the Tubing
 To begin, cut the tubing in half.  Slide on the tubing, and insert into the tower.
When in place, the tubing should extend ~30cm into th fridge and cover the whole length of the beer line.








Step 2: Create a flap
 To increase the heat exchange capacity, we want to maximize the area of the tubing exposed to the cool air inside of the fridge.  This is done by cutting a slot along the length of the tubing that is in the fridge, and a second slot perpendicular to this one that goes most of the way through the tubing.
Next, using pliers, chisels, and any other tools you have on hand, open the slot, then hammer the tubing flat.
Vola - flat!!!!









Step 3: Assemble
 Insert the tubing - try not to break the flaps off like I did (oops).
 Hold in place with tape

Insulate with pipe insulation
Re-install tower









So did it work - AKA Problem 2?
And here is the second problem with kegging - I apparently emptied the keg while building this beast, so my first pour was air...meaning I need to do an emergency brew session!

Problem 2: NO BEER
Solution: Emergency Brew Session!!!!!!!!

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