Foam-Free Pours Without Balancing Keg Lines

Dusty Rollers

Foam-Free Pours Without Balancing Keg Lines

A lot of people have been asking me about the little flow restriction device I use in my kegs. Well it took me a while to locate that life-changing post, but at last I found it and I decided to write a blog about it.

Back in 2012 after I built my first kegerator, I was having all sorts of trouble balancing the lines. For the first couple of batches I tried to convince myself that it was still better than bottling… as I waited patiently for foam to settle in my glass so I could enjoy yet another ¼ cup of beer. It didn’t help that I liked highly carbonated beers, hated math and was too busy learning how to fly to do any actual troubleshooting. So I partnered up with Corporal Google and by the end of the night, and a half dozen ¼ cups later came across this post by Philip Jensen on homebrewtalk.

Could it be that simple? Could a 25 cent piece of plastic allow me to enjoy a full glass of beer and free up my time to focus on my job again? I went ahead and ordered a bunch of these Bayonet Mixer Nozzles on eBay and when they arrived I couldn’t wait to install them. I purged a keg, shoved one down into the dip tube, applied some gas and poured my first full glass of beer.

Yes! It worked!

Turns out that using just one of these little angels is enough to restrict flow to the point where you need to hold the glass 6” below the faucet for 5-10 seconds just to get a decent sized head… but I’ll take that over math and a ¼ cup of beer any day. Warm lines… no problem, 2’ of beer line… no problem, 3.5 CO2 volumes… no problem!

It’s no wonder when someone walks into my store and asks about balancing lines, I stand there like a deer in headlights! Why do you need to balance lines? You need to dial back your CO2 pressure for serving? What is this craziness you speak of? I’ve been spoiled by these little plastic angels for so long that I never had to put much thought into properly balancing a line.

Not only do these work well to restrict flow, but they also last a long time. In fact I don’t even know how long they last, because I’ve yet to repurchase. At first I was worried about sanitation and/or if hop and yeast sediment would clog the dip tube. For the first 10-20 batches, I would take them out after each batch and inspect them, clean them, soak them in star san and in some cases toss and replace if I suspected they were guilty of off-flavour producing treason. They never were, but it gave me satisfaction to blame something other than my shoddy beer making techniques.

After many years of use and many batches later, I’m happy to report that they not only work great, but using a simple PBW/Star San routine after each batch is enough to keep these little angels nice and white and prevent problems from developing. I don’t even remove them from the dip tube anymore. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I removed one from a dip tube… yet no clogs, no off flavours and no infections.

One last thing that I discovered recently. When you have these in your dip tube, bottle filling using a Bottle Filler Beer Gun is much, much easier. The beer flow’s already restricted, so simply dial back the pressure a little bit, ensure everything’s nice and cold and fill every bottle foam free.

Special thanks to Philip Jensen for the idea and for posting on homebrewtalk.

One Comment

  1. Jeremy Venhuis
    Jeremy Venhuis
    April 8, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Amazing recommendation, and amazing write up. Thanks for the heads up!

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