Author Topic: Kegerator psi?  (Read 2408 times)

Offline ukolowiczd

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Kegerator psi?
« on: December 28, 2012, 08:46:20 PM »
Here's my theory on kegerator psi - which I think is completely inaccurate and would like some help on. Let's say my friends and I have some beers on a Friday. I completely gas out and set to around 2 psi to get a nice pour; we can then pour all night from the keg with no problems. When finished for the night or the next morning I re-carb the airspace with about 20 psi to make sure the beer doesn't go flat. The issue lies in the fact when I want a beer during the week or when someone comes over and wants a beer, I have to go through the whole de-gas, set to 2 psi, make sure the pour is okay, etc.

Question: Can you just set a keg to a certain psi that will allow you to pour correctly (no foam) and allow the carbonation to be maintained for a month or two?

Any help is much appreciated.

Offline tygo

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 08:54:28 PM »
The answer is yes.  You can balance your system so that you maintain the keg at a serving pressure 24/7.  You need to create enough resistance on the out side to balance the amount of pressure in the keg.  This is usually done by adjusting the length of the serving line but is also affected by gravity (the amount the beer has to rise from keg to tap).  It's also affected by the ID of the serving line.  For kegerator/keezer applications 3/16 line is what you want.

Sounds like you need longer lines.  I usually need at least 12 feet of line at 10-12 PSI and sometimes more to get the pour I'm looking for.
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Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 06:35:32 AM »
The answer is yes.  You can balance your system so that you maintain the keg at a serving pressure 24/7.  You need to create enough resistance on the out side to balance the amount of pressure in the keg.  This is usually done by adjusting the length of the serving line but is also affected by gravity (the amount the beer has to rise from keg to tap).  It's also affected by the ID of the serving line.  For kegerator/keezer applications 3/16 line is what you want.

Sounds like you need longer lines.  I usually need at least 12 feet of line at 10-12 PSI and sometimes more to get the pour I'm looking for.

Yes, my current lines are about 2 feet! Looks like I need bigger lines. Thanks.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 06:50:04 AM »
The answer is yes.  You can balance your system so that you maintain the keg at a serving pressure 24/7.  You need to create enough resistance on the out side to balance the amount of pressure in the keg.  This is usually done by adjusting the length of the serving line but is also affected by gravity (the amount the beer has to rise from keg to tap).  It's also affected by the ID of the serving line.  For kegerator/keezer applications 3/16 line is what you want.

Sounds like you need longer lines.  I usually need at least 12 feet of line at 10-12 PSI and sometimes more to get the pour I'm looking for.

Yes, my current lines are about 2 feet! Looks like I need bigger lines. Thanks.

That would explain why degassing and serving at 2 psi gives you a clean pour (1-2 psi drop per foot of beer line).  Replace your lines with 12' ones, set your regulator at 10-12 psi.  If you have slow pours or no foam production cut a foot off the line.  Repeat until you get the pour you want.

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Offline gymrat

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 12:02:03 PM »
Is it even possible to use the 5 foot line that came with my new kegerator? Will the height of the faucet above the keg compensate for some of the shortness of the hose?
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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 03:18:42 PM »
I've not tried it, but I've seen where you can use a device from the hardware store that is meant for mixing 5-minute epoxy to create resistance in your dip-tube and get a perfect pour from a short line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvqcGDRJ66I

I've found the mixers at the hardware store but have never bothered to try.  I can see where this could be helpful for a tap right off the ball-lock disconnect.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 07:51:12 PM »
Is it even possible to use the 5 foot line that came with my new kegerator? Will the height of the faucet above the keg compensate for some of the shortness of the hose?
Yes, the rule of thumb is 1/2 psi per foot of elevation change.  The 5' line is probably not too useful unless it's 1/8" ID.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gymrat

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 08:11:45 PM »
It is 3/16ths ID
I dont understand how they can sell something that does not work until it has been modified.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 08:46:56 PM »
It is 3/16ths ID
I dont understand how they can sell something that does not work until it has been modified.
It does work, just not for us ;)

The 5' hose would be great if you were pouring a crappy lager at 32F and wanted 2.4 volumes of CO2 - that would mean about 7 psi, it should give you a nice pour.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 08:59:49 PM »
How difficult is it to get the hose out of the tower? Is there a way to just splice more hose on? Where do I buy hose?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 09:52:11 PM »
You can get beer line from the homebrew shop.  You can buy a splicer if you want and just add it on the end, or you can have one continuous piece, it's really up to you.

If you decide to replace the whole line it's pretty easy.  I'm guessing the tower has a short elbow shank, so all you need to do is pop the top off the tower, unscrew the nut on the back, and slide the shank out the front.  Then you remove the old line and install the new one.  It's really not that bad, I did four of them a couple of weeks ago.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 11:14:57 PM »
Thankyou very much. I genuinely appreciate your input.
Ralph's Brewery
Topeka, KS

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegerator psi?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 11:19:29 PM »
No worries, happy to help.
Tom Schmidlin