Impossibly frothy lager

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The bar area in our pavilion gets very hot in the summer as it contains two hot water tanks for the showers and a chiller cabinet for bottles and cans. The keg bitter is not a problem, but the lager becomes almost impossible to dispense without losing lots of it because it comes out so frothy.
We have had the cooling unit checked out recently but the problem still persists. I have thought about installing cask jackets but these require connecting to the cooler, which is a problem as the kegs are not under the bar near to the cooler, but several yards away. The connecting pipework is buried under the concrete floor.
There is room next to the casks to connect an external cooler unit which would be dedicated to cooling the casks. Does such a thing exist, or should we try connecting up another cooler just to cool the jackets.
Alternatively, can anybody recommend a lager which does not froth as much as Carlsberg, which we currently serve.

8 COMMENTS

  1. There can be so many problems here. What temp is the room where the containers are stored? What gas are you using to dispense your lager. You say it is a pavilion how often is it in use is it every day? how long does a container last? Do you disconnect the containers when not in use? Are you able to adjust the speed of dispense? I assume you are using under counter coolers, do you leave them switched on all the time or just before you use it? How often do you clean the lines is it weekly? If you are getting fobbing lager, it would probably be the same with any brand.
    (woot)(woot)(woot)

  2. We had this problem when I first took over the club. Its so annoying and doesn’t instill confidence in the customers either. Our main causes were that the lines hadn’t been cleaned properly for months, flash coolers under the bar, too many pumps running off one line, warm glasses thanks to the flash coolers and the hot weather didn’t help either. It all seems to have settled down now but if it happens again I’m going to go mad at the brewery. During one function we lost 21 pints of fosters to fobbing.
    Remember to log all of your losses for your stocktake and to let the brewery know. Good luck 🙂

  3. In answer to previous questions, the room temperature today was 24, which was quite cool by recent standards, and we use CO2. The bar is only open at the weekends and the odd midweek occasion, and a cask of lager can last up to 3 weeks. The under counter cooler is left switched on all the time, which adds to the heat generated in the bar, but the casks are not normally disconnected. I will try that. Today and yesterday the lager has been better, due I think to the cooler weather. Also, today I reduced the gas pressure from over 20 to 12 psi, which I think helped. We clean the lines every 2/3 weeks.
    We only run one pump off the line, and lose about two pints on a bad day. It is just a lot of hassle pouring it and money down the drain.

  4. It is a lot of hassle I agree. Trying to explain it to people too drunk or not interested enough to care is really hard work. I have been known, whether this is right or not but it does seem to help, to put ice packs from the freezer around barrels in really hot weather. I don’t have the facilities for jackets but found wrapping these round with wet cloth certainly helped.

  5. 267 wrote: In answer to previous questions, the room temperature today was 24, which was quite cool by recent standards, and we use CO2. The bar is only open at the weekends and the odd midweek occasion, and a cask of lager can last up to 3 weeks. The under counter cooler is left switched on all the time, which adds to the heat generated in the bar, but the casks are not normally disconnected. I will try that. Today and yesterday the lager has been better, due I think to the cooler weather. Also, today I reduced the gas pressure from over 20 to 12 psi, which I think helped. We clean the lines every 2/3 weeks.
    We only run one pump off the line, and lose about two pints on a bad day. It is just a lot of hassle pouring it and money down the drain.

    It might be simpler to tell you what it should be to give you an idea. In an ideal setup the temperature should be 13 degrees centigrade and the under counter cooler should then take it down to 6 degrees. However to work around the temperature you have you would have to slow it right down at the tap (this on its own won’t work). You have turned the gas pressure down to 12psi which is the worst thing you could do, the gas pressure now isn’t holding the gas in the liquid it is now leaving the liquid in the line worsening the situation a better solution is to slow it right down at the tap.

    You have the terminology wrong you are using kegs not casks. Lines should be cleaned every week this on it own will cause massive fobbing problems. If you have a lot yeast in the line which I suspect you have and will also increase massively in the heat you are storing the beer (e.g.what happens to bread),infecting the beer in the line in between sessions and creating wastage. Turning off the gas at the end of every session will help enormously as over time gas will get absorbed into the liquid. You should try to sell the beer within a week it just doesn’t taste as nice after that the gas in a bottle isn’t as pure as created in the brewing process as was said before gets absorbed into liquid three weeks is too long.

    Probably the best bet in your situation would be to sell cans if the keg is lasting that long. Or get a local tech services to have a look at your setup maybe to use 30/70 mixed gas like we do on outside bars but over time that would make the beer taste flat. Perhaps this will give you some idea of your options. Hope this is of some help.

  6. Problem fixed yesterday by Mark Goodyer from Premia Cellar Service, who spotted bubbles in the lines coming out of the keg and simply turned up the pressure. This problem is known as "breakout" in the trade, and symptomatic of low gas pressure. In a cool cellar with a temperature of 12-14 degrees, the recommended gas pressure is appoximately 20 psi, but in our pavilion bar where the temperature is often about 25 degrees a pressure of 28 psi is required.

  7. 32 wrote:

    You have turned the gas pressure down to 12psi which is the worst thing you could do, the gas pressure now isn’t holding the gas in the liquid it is now leaving the liquid in the line worsening the situation a better solution is to slow it right down at the tap.

    Quoted from Mavericks’ post, spot on!

  8. 267 wrote: Problem fixed yesterday by Mark Goodyer from Premia Cellar Service, who spotted bubbles in the lines coming out of the keg and simply turned up the pressure. This problem is known as "breakout" in the trade, and symptomatic of low gas pressure. In a cool cellar with a temperature of 12-14 degrees, the recommended gas pressure is appoximately 20 psi, but in our pavilion bar where the temperature is often about 25 degrees a pressure of 28 psi is required.

    Glad you sorted your problem, but if you go above the recommended gas pressure. Just be aware gas will absorb into the beer quicker as you use the container. so always make sure you disconnect the keg coupler from the container when not in use or you will still have problems like before.

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