Author Topic: balancing ?  (Read 1592 times)

Offline boapiu

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balancing ?
« on: January 16, 2012, 04:03:17 PM »
I just read on a web site from long ago about something the author termed balancing. the idea was that the pressure required to force carbonate was higher than that desired to dispense between different kegs. this was very interesting to me as I am getting ready to add up to four kegs of (possibly) different beers inside my beer fridge, under one Co2 source. since the kegs will be added at approximately two week intervals, some will be in the force carbonation stage while the ones with the most tenure will have been on tap for a month or more. my Co2 tank is outside the fridge and I don't want to get a secondary regulator or drill another hole to run a second air line into the fridge so I can have two different pressures - one for serving and another for force carbonating.
So.... here is the jist, by using a longer length of beer line for the tap (20 feet of 1/4"), the pressure is reduced - or something like that - and the beer dispenses without the foam from being under too much psi. huh???
why didnt i think of that, or at least read it on one of the many manufacturers web sites? ps. some of them have lots of info on kegging but not so much on enabling you to get by without buying more stuff. duh, again.
oh well, i am going to try it as soon as my distribution manifold arrives and the next batch is ready to keg. of course, this assumes brewing outpaces consumption, up to now, this has been a problem.
is there a good source of info on the reduction in pressure - relating to dispensing beer - as the length of the tubing increases?
thanks.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 04:44:26 PM »
http://www.draughtquality.org/w/page/18182201/FrontPage

I have heard others say that some of the numbers don't work out quite right but this is the 'everything you ever wanted to know...' resource for balancing your keg system.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline bonjour

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 05:09:12 PM »
There is no NEED for two different pressures.  If you pressurize all the kegs at your desired serving pressure the kegs will, over time, establish an equilibrium at that pressure.  With more pressure the kegs will reach the same carbonation level quicker but will reach equilibrium at a higher carbonation level so you will have to reduce the pressure when the carbonation level reaches the desired carbonation level.

Both ways will work, it's your choice.
Fred Bonjour
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Offline Gribble

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 07:36:04 PM »
balancing the system is using the required force necessary to dispense the beer as it has resistance in the line.  1/4" line has a resistance of 1.8 lb/ft  so if you had 6 feet of line you would need 12 psi to dispense properly w/o foaming
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Offline bonjour

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 07:43:36 PM »
I believe you meant to say 3/16 beer line
Fred Bonjour
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline tom

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 07:47:14 PM »
Gribble meant 3/16" ID vinyl beer hose.

Pick the temperature that you want to serve your beer.  Then pick the carbonation level that you would like.  There are several temperature/carbonation tables around and also probably in your homebrew book.  e.g. 38degF and 2.5 volumes CO2.  Check chart   http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php  and it says to use 12 psi of CO2 pressure.  This will carbonate your keg in 1-2 weeks.

Then to "balance" your system so that you can leave it at that pressure, you need to pick a length of 3/16" inner diameter beer hose that will slow down the beer as it's served so it doesn't foam too much.  I recommend starting with 8-10 feet of 3/16" ID beer hose.  This will be a relatively slow pour.  You can cut 1-2' off at a time if you want to speed it up.

Cheers
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Offline boapiu

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 08:21:03 AM »
thanks a bunch for the info. that draught beer quality manual is 82 pages. gonna take me a while to digest all that. but until then i will try some different lengths and see what works. i am only using a picnic tap on the end of the hose. not a sophisticated system yet. again, thanks.
Beer is an ancient beverage that has been consumed as part of a balanced diet for centuries - it contains the goodness of sprouted grain extracted into rich liquid and fermented to produce a nutritional 'liquid cereal' beverage.

Offline bonjour

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 08:31:53 AM »
Start long and cut. 
It's much harder to add length to the hose  ;D
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 08:34:16 AM »
Start long and cut. 
It's much harder to add length to the hose  ;D

But all those internet ads assure me... ohh never mind ::)
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Offline weithman5

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 09:17:57 AM »
i cut that hose twice and it is still too short ;D
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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 03:46:04 PM »
Try this approach so that you don't end up with lines that are too short: http://seanterrill.com/2011/11/11/a-more-accurate-approach-to-draft-system-balancing/
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 04:14:09 PM »
Try this approach so that you don't end up with lines that are too short: http://seanterrill.com/2011/11/11/a-more-accurate-approach-to-draft-system-balancing/
Nice, send us to your blackout page :)
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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 04:46:24 PM »
Nice, send us to your blackout page :)

Yes, that is what I did. On purpose. That. :-[

Sorry about the politics. It really was unintentional.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 05:04:50 PM »
Nice, send us to your blackout page :)

Yes, that is what I did. On purpose. That. :-[

Sorry about the politics. It really was unintentional.
I'm hoping we're all against censorship of the internet.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline boapiu

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Re: balancing ?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 06:23:57 AM »
just a fyi post op report. 10 feet of 1/4 ID did the trick. the pour is just right, for my purposes. that manual is fascinating, btw. thanks.
Beer is an ancient beverage that has been consumed as part of a balanced diet for centuries - it contains the goodness of sprouted grain extracted into rich liquid and fermented to produce a nutritional 'liquid cereal' beverage.