Keg of beer on tap- Need help, pointers

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Hello all,

 

We are having a BBQ and ordered a keg of beer and rented tap system which was delivered without instructions.

I have managed to hook it all up and the beer is flowing, but the pressure is apparantly waay too high as it is blasting out and drenching us in the the process.

The tap has two positions and the slow pour setting only produces a glass of suds which after 5 minutes settles into a 1/3 glass of drinkable liquid.

 

Does anyone have an idea where I can get instructions, pointers?? The getränkemarkt we rented from has been no help at all.

I am slightly panicking because the party is tomorrow and I cannot get this to dispense properly.

Any help is appreciated!

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What kind of tap system do you have? If you don't have a bavarian tap (keg with a direct gravity flow) then you have to have a tap system with a CO2 bottle, which has to have a pressure gage attached to it. If this is indeed the case and you have everything hooked up correctly (it should have come in such a manner that this would be hard to fuck up.) The only real things you can play with are pressure on the keg and pressure on the tap. The most common mistake is to set the pressure on the keg to low, however setting it to high can be dangerous.

 

What is the pressure on the gage attached to your bottle of CO2 and what is the temperature of the beer in the keg?

 

(edit: the two pour settings you refer to are the fully forward and pushing backwards of the tap. These are not two pressure setting and pulling forward is the only real opening of the tap, pusing backwards simply makes foam.)

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if it gets too difficult just get a hand pump and do it that way. A bit more work, but at least you will get the beer out and be able to enjoy it.

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OK I'm off to bed, but basically if you assume the beer has a temperature of 5 degrees and that we have a fairly short line the manometer should be set around 0,9 bar. What you are trying to do is keep a constant saturations pressure on the keg, if you do too little you will only have foam and if you do too much you will only get foam because the beer will be overpressurized. So you need enough pressure to keep saturation pressure on the beer (depending on the amount of carbonation of the beer) and enough pressure to overcome whatever hight or pipe distance you have on the system, which in your case should be equivalent to about nothing.

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Thanks for tips and help, I do appreciate it!

 

I'm sure it's hooked up right but the Beer is not really flowing but rather blasting out. Pulling forward quickly just twice and the glass is already overflowing with a foamy mess that takes minutes to settle down. The temp is reading -3

On the CO2 cannister is a pressure guage and regulator which I have adjusted to 2.5 bar with 3 bar marked by a red line which I assume to mean not to exceed. I have tried adjusting this down but it appears to have no effect. On the keg itself is a rocker which when engadged allows the beer to flow up to the tap. Maybe I'm missing an adjusting valve or somewhere?

I can take pictures if it would help to identify the problem.

 

*Sorry, I just missed your new post while I was responding. It sounds like I may have the temp too low and the pressure too high.

I will try to adjust in the morning as you suggested.

Thanks so much

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Hey just saw your post. Your keg is at -3 or it is coming out at -3? Do you have a chiller in line and a keg at room temp or do you have a cold keg?

 

-2,5 bar is waay to high! edit: and -3 is waay to cold! If I were you I would set the pressure at just under ,9 and the temp around 5 degrees. However if the keg is at room temp and it is running through a chiller I will have to recalculate the pressure. Pressure will always take a while to equal out so if you set the pressure at a certain setting give it time to even out.

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I think both? The keg came out of their freezer AND the tap has a temp adjuster for the chiller with various settings like -2 -1 0 +1 +2 etc I have set it to the coldest setting -4

 

I'm going to reset the pressure and the temp right now and let things settle down and equal out. Hoping for better results tommorow.

If you are ever out near Essen, you are cordially invited for a beer :-)

 

BTW- I am considering purchasing The Perfect Draft system from Phillips, seems like a good deal and much easier to use.

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where do you have the keg stored now? what is the exact range of the chiller?

 

Edit: OK sorry I really have to go to bed, although I will check this thread in the morning. However here are the basic rules of tapping a keg: 1: keep the saturation pressure constant! 2. adapt the pressure from there to deal with the length of hose/height difference (not something you have to worry about!).

So the temperature of the beer in the keg is your big variable and here is a list of temperatures (assuming you are serving helles) and their associated pressure: 0C:0,5bar, 5C:0,82bar, 15C:1,2bar, 20C:2,0bar.

 

I don't know how your chiller works and I don't know how the setting will exactly effect the beer temp, however what is important is the actual temp of the keg.

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ok. make sure that there are no air bubbles in your pipes. you will be able to see that. If there are air bubbles - don´t panic. you can pull them out when you pour. Just make sure your connections are air-tight. Temp does not matter until you start talking in kelvins. A lot of beer gets wasted when a keg is tapped. There is a lot of beer still left in the keg. Be physical with it all. Might sound like I am taking the piss, but have been in the same place as you. Set your bar at 1.8 and pour until you get a good flow. Get the shit out of the system. But don´t waste beer. honestly hope it goes fantastic for you. Kegs are the shit. but, honestley, you do have to waste a little bit of beer when tapping a keg for the first time.

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farmerandy? what do you mean temp doesn't matter until you start talking kelvins? 273,15 Kelvin = 0 celcius = 32 Fahrenheit. it doesn't really make a difference which units you are working with as long as you KNOW which units you are working with. 1,8 bar is a very random pressure and if the temperature isn't right it won't be correct unless you have a keg temperature of around 18 degrees.

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iain - yes you are right. but the guy just wants to tap a keg. give him the knowledge he needs to make it work. the day after tomorrow he can come back and talk about how things went. How did it go the first time you tapped a keg? scared the shit out of me, to be honest. what i said, temp dont matter. 1.8 is my guess based on how kegs are delivered to you here..

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@farmerandy & iaian:

 

Good News! Your great suggestions have worked. I made adjustments to temp/pressure and let it settle overnight.

Having let a liter or so flow out this morning it finally changed over from blasting suds to glorious liquid.

The keg is tapped and flowing nice and smooth now. Looks like 1 bar and 3 grad is the sweet spot.

 

Thanks Again for the help!

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So how was the BBQ, and how did the keg perform? Though most importantly, did you charge your guest for eating your food and drinking your beer at the BBQ you invited them to? And did you add charges for fuel cost oh and internet time spent trying to get the keg working properly? :D

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Outside of cold windy weather and rather tedious conversation revolving around Shalke04 soccer statistics, the BBQ was a stunning success and we killed the keg, which thanks to the expert advice here, flowed perfectly to the end....

Amazing how much beer they can stuff in there! :D

 

BTW - Is there a way to determine when the keg is approaching null?

The last customer(s) were perceptibly disappointed to discover the levy had run dry.

Cheers!

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We tried that and we even rocked it back and forth and thought we could detect a reserve quantity sloshing around, but our predictions were sadly waaaay off.

For the future, I guess I can compare the empty weight versus full weight but is there not a more elegant method of instrumentation?

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That is basically how you tell. It is one of the disadvantages of a keg. Some people put the kegs on scales and note the difference in weight as they pour. Beer weighs just a bit more than water, so just over 50 kg for 50 L.

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You need to run the keg until it stops being mostly foam, then it should be fine. Also I hope you are cooling it.

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Judging the volume based on weight is something you get experienced in. Iain can judge the remaining volume of a 50-litre keg to the nearest 100 ml.

 

Novasteve, welcome to last week. In future read before posting.

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