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
After your system is balanced, everything else revolves around trying to keep your lines and taps as cold as possible.
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.
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.
- Intertap Flow Control Faucets – these variable resistance faucets help you dial in resistance to reduce foam.
- KegLand Stainless Flow Control Ball Lock Threaded – similar idea to flow control faucets. These take the place of your standard ball lock liquid QD and feature a dial to let you change resistance.
- CMB Inline Flow Control – installs inline on the liquid side of your kegerator
- CMB Flow Control Event or Party Faucet
- Flow Control Shank Adapter – installs at the shank to convert faucets to flow control
- Related: What Does a Flow Control Faucet Do?
Related Resources – Foam Control & Kegerator Balancing
- Step by Step Balancing Your Kegerator Draft System
- Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan
- What Does a Flow Control Faucet Do?
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