Kegerator Foam Problems? – Fight the First Foamy Pint!

Beer Tower CoolerPictured: Beer Tower Cooler via Amazon

Does your kegerator spew foam for the first couple of glasses of beer?  And then shape up and start behaving?

If so, what’s likely going on is related to line temperature.  The beer that’s sitting in your beer lines is warming up.  Warmer beer does not hold CO2 as readily.  Your warm-ish beer hits teh faucet and whammo… you get foam for the first couple pours.  The problem clears up because your lines, shanks and faucets cool down after you’ve run enough beer through the lines.  I’ve seen people discard half a pitcher of foamy beer before things clear up.  Lost beer isn’t good.

The solution usually revolves around getting and keeping your lines chilled as much as possible.

Start With a Good Foundation

First, start with a balanced system.  This gets your setup tuned-in and healthy.  If your system is not balanced you have problems that are beyond line temperature.  See: Balancing Your Draft System

After your system is balanced, everything else revolves around trying to keep your lines and taps as cold as possible.

Fixing A Foaming Kegerator Gear and Techniques for Reducing Foam

  • Use a recirculating fan to stamp out warm spots.  I have a freezer based kegerator/keezer and this has resolved the first foamy pint issue for my kegerator.  See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan
  • If your kegerator has a draft tower, consider getting a tower cooler.  These are fan setups that are designed to blow cold are into your tower.  Cooling the tubing and tower down.  See: Beer Tower Cooler via Amazon
  • Neoprene Wraps are available that further insulate your tower.  These should help reduce foam and help save on energy.  See: Kegerator Tower Cooler for Beer Tower – via Amazon.  Make sure to pick the right size for your kegerator tower.
  • Use longer shanks.  A longer shank means… a colder faucet.  A colder faucet means less foam.  Credit for this tip goes to Tom Schmidlin.
  • For longer runs that go outside your kegerator, considering a recirculating coolant line.  This line would run alongside your beer lines circulating cold liquid.  Commercial establishments use recirculating glycol lines for this purpose.  Those are generally very expensive.  You could build a similar budget setup by recirculating water using a utility pump.  You’ll also want to insulate those lines.  Also: Propylene Glycol – Food Grade USP – 1 Gallon – via Amazon
  • Brass Draft Beer Shank Cold Block – These thread on to your standard shank to let you run glycol or water lines through them.  Cold shanks and faucets mean less foam.
  • Intertap Flow Control Faucets – these variable resistance faucets help you dial in resistance to reduce foam.

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

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