Author Topic: Outdoor draft system  (Read 1106 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Outdoor draft system
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:55:35 AM »
Been a while since I last posted - lots going on, including a move to a new (to us, anyway) house. Nice thing about the new place is that there's a patio off the first floor that has a workshop underneath, so one of the ideas I've been playing with is running some draft lines up from the workshop through to the patio and having a few built-in taps on what will eventually be the outdoor kitchen. I'm not too worried about keeping the lines cool - the walls are super thick in the workshop and it stays relatively cool, so with insulated lines I shouldn't think I'll loose too much temp on the ~10-15 foot vertical trip. But, I've never run lines outside before and I'm wondering if it's a reasonable idea, and if there's anything in specific I should watch out for.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 07:11:20 AM »
Sounds like a fantastic idea. Couple things that come to mind... Keep the lines cold. I'm not sure just insulating the lines will be enough, but maybe. No idea what a small glycol system would run you in France. You could run the lines inside PVC pipe with a small fan circulating cold air through it as an alternative. Secondly, don't forget to take into account the vertical rise in calculating the resistance of your system. You'll probably need to go with 1/4 inch lines.

Congrats on the new house, and good luck with the outdoor taps!
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 07:11:20 AM »
A 5-line glycol system runs about 700 GBP/800 EUR/1000 USD. I like your cooled PVC pipe idea. Alternatively, I wonder if sealing the PVC and filling it with water or glycol would work, with no need for recirc. Assuming perhaps convection would help keep things circulating.
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Offline hubie

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 02:39:01 PM »
Assuming perhaps convection would help keep things circulating.

If I recall my fluid dynamics correctly, with a container with the geometry your describing (something like a 4-in diameter and a 12-ft length), you'll get no natural fluid movement short of having a huge temperature difference between the bottom and top.  Temperature transport will be dominated by conduction, and most of that will come through the PVC walls and not the fluid.  You'll need to move the fluid somehow, like with a pump, but then you're back to something like a glycol system again.

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 02:45:44 PM »
Maybe part of the answer is how often will the taps be used. If they were used for a few events per year with lots of pours at each, you could build something like a jockey box outside - run the beer through coils in ice before serving - to rechill if needed. If you'll be pulling off one or two beers scattered though the week, this is not so practical.

A pipe filled with liquid would keep the beer cold if the liquid is cold - but I'm not sure how that would happen. Eventually the liquid will be at ambient temp and it will actually warm the beer faster because of the higher specific heat.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 04:24:20 PM by mtnrockhopper »
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 02:49:23 PM »
why not put your lines in a pipe, seal the bottom so its waterproof with a spigot, and then poor in cold water a few minutes before you want to start drinking outside?  when your done just empty the water out of the pipe and refill when you want too?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 09:04:43 AM »
Been a while since I last posted - lots going on, including a move to a new (to us, anyway) house. Nice thing about the new place is that there's a patio off the first floor that has a workshop underneath, so one of the ideas I've been playing with is running some draft lines up from the workshop through to the patio and having a few built-in taps on what will eventually be the outdoor kitchen. I'm not too worried about keeping the lines cool - the walls are super thick in the workshop and it stays relatively cool, so with insulated lines I shouldn't think I'll loose too much temp on the ~10-15 foot vertical trip. But, I've never run lines outside before and I'm wondering if it's a reasonable idea, and if there's anything in specific I should watch out for.

Is this to serve the fresh Kronenbourg?  Ha!   ;D

That beer actually came out pretty good.  Nothing like Kro though.....

Sorry to hijack the thread.  I like the idea of a jockey box....big question is whether you want to pull beers 1-2 per day or only for parties.

Dave
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Offline rjharper

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Re: Outdoor draft system
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »
A 5-line glycol system runs about 700 GBP/800 EUR/1000 USD. I like your cooled PVC pipe idea. Alternatively, I wonder if sealing the PVC and filling it with water or glycol would work, with no need for recirc. Assuming perhaps convection would help keep things circulating.

I know why we like glycol for chilling, but since we're operating above freezing point, why not simply have a water recirc instead. Keep a container in the keg fridge, then use a cheap pond pump to deliver it to the top of the pvc line and let gravity return it to the fridge?