Kegerator Foam Problems? – Fight the First Foamy Pint!

Does your kegerator spew foam for the first couple of glasses of beer?  And then shape up and start behaving?  Or, just keep putting out foamy pint after foamy pint?

Let’s fix it!

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

This post is specifically about addressing line temperature problems. Other issues can causing foaming or bubbles. See: Why Do I Have Bubbles in My Beer Line? – for a step by step on diagnosing issues.


Line Temperature Problems

Another potential pitfall are warm beer lines.  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 the 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.

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. Search “Beer Tower Cooler” on Amazon to look for some options.
  • Neoprene Wraps are available that further insulate your tower.  These should help reduce foam and help save on energy.  Search “kegerator tower insulation” on Amazon to look for some options
  • 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.  Search “propylene glycol” on 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. Search eBay for “brass cold block”
  • Nukatap Faucets – One of the specific design goals of this faucet.  Reduce thermal mass to reduce foaming.

Flow Control

Flow control devices feature a built in flow compensator that allows you to adjust the resistance your faucet/line/device is exerting.  That means less tubing and potentially less foaming and wasted beer. The compensation feature also makes it easier to serve higher carbonation beers as you can set the faucet to provide resistance to offset the increased pressure needed to store and serve these beers at higher pressures.  Instead of replacing your beer line with ever increasing lengths of tubing, you simply turn a knob to increase resistance.

Flow Control Faucets

Intertap Stainless Steel Forward Sealing with Flow Control
Intertap forward sealing faucets have a unique modular, threaded spout design which can fit a variety of different attachments including a growler filler, stout spout and ball lock post.  Check out my Hands on Review of these great faucets.

Intertap+Flow Control have been largely discontinued. The great news, at least as of this posting, is that Nukatap+Flow Control are generally available…

NUKATAP Stainless Steel Forward Sealing with Flow Control
These are Kegland’s follow up to their great Intertap lineup.  They work with all Intertap accessories and sport a number of improvements.  Check out our Hands on Review of these great faucets.

Perlick 650SS

More Flow Control Faucets

Flow Control Devices

Related Resources – Foam Control & Kegerator Balancing

Diagnose Other Foam Related Issues

Rebuild Your Kegs!

Related: Three Top Tips for Keezer Conversions!

Our Draft Resource Page!

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

Our Top Draft Resources!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.  toppost:firstfoamypint tag:tpr

2 thoughts on “Kegerator Foam Problems? – Fight the First Foamy Pint!

  1. Greg Martin

    A couple comments
    What is the reasoning on longer shafts making colder taps?

    Also, One of the Nukatap design ideas is that it uses less material so it cools down faster. So even a non-flow control model should help with foam reduction. Besides , if you balance the system well, flow control shouldn’t be necessary


Leave a Reply