Author Topic: Kegerator frustrations  (Read 853 times)

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Kegerator frustrations
« on: July 20, 2016, 03:45:50 PM »
Just built a new kegerator and am having a difficult time plumbing it.  The CO2 regulator is set to 15 psi and the cooler is at 39-40F.  I have checked the regulator against another CO2 regulator and have taken the temp with a Thermopen in the beer being dispensed as well as a jar of water left in the cooler overnight.  I had very little difficulty plumbing my previous kegerator but this one is killing me.  Right now I have 14 feet of 3/16 inch ultra barrier silver plumbed to one perlick faucet.  MoreBeer claims that this line has a resistance of 2.2 lb/ft which looks to be reasonable.  I have about 2 feet of rise from the center of the keg to the faucet.  Math isn't my career or specialty but it would seem to me that 6 feet of line would be about right.  Not even close- straight foam even after the first two pints- more than enough to fill the line with beer fresh from the keg.  So I attached the remaining 14 feet.  It gets really interesting here.  I was testing on an Oktoberfest and it occurred to me that I was going to go through a lot of a favorite beer getting the line length correct.  The Ofest poured slowly through the 14 foot line but not foamy.  I switched to a Helles- same CO2 manifold, cooler, regulator everything as the Ofest.  Straight foam.  What could possibly be happening here?

Previous kegerator was 1/4 inch vinyl lines.  Had them figured out in a few minutes.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.  Hopefully I'm overlooking something simple.

Offline metron-brewer

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 04:43:45 PM »
One keg poured foamy and the other didn't? Sounds like maybe an over carbed keg?
Ron B.
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Offline andrewmaixner

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 05:09:14 PM »
purge the head pressure, and test serving at 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, etc PSI. see what does work, and you will have more data work with, as well as being able to drink it right away.  I also note that your carb level (15psi, 39F) is 2.8, which may be slightly high.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 05:16:06 PM »
Did the Helles pour super slowly?  If so it sounds like you have too much line.  14 feet sounds like a lot; I use 10 feet of the regular PVC line.

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 05:37:04 PM »
They all pour slowly.  I've vented all 3 kegs - APA in there too- and reduced pressure to 12 psi.  Beer trickles out but isn't foamy. 

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2016, 05:48:21 PM »
I've had that happen on over carbed and infected kegs.  If 2 kegs run really slowly but don't foam I agree with the poster earlier who pointed to the keg. 

I have had to purge the headspace 3, 4, 5 times, over the course of days, with no gas applied between dumps to fix a couple over carbed beauties.   ::)

Have you checked the dip tube and liquid out poppet?  It may be a coincidence that a chunk of s... stuff is causing a problem in the new kegerator.

I hope you find the issue.  I hate new stuff that doesn't work.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2016, 06:06:05 PM »
I would agree that 14 feet is a lot- at 2.2 lb/ft of resistance and 2 feet of lift I wouldn't think it would pour at all.

All three kegs were tapped using a cobra/picnic tap and all poured fine before being transferred into the kegerator.

Is the 2.2 lb/ft of resistance accurate?  Does anyone who has this line installed want to chime in with their experience?

Sorry if the frustration comes through the keyboard.  Thanks for the tips so far.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2016, 06:15:02 PM »
Try swapping the connections around to see if the problem follows either a keg or one of your lines/faucets?
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2016, 06:17:37 PM »
I would agree that 14 feet is a lot- at 2.2 lb/ft of resistance and 2 feet of lift I wouldn't think it would pour at all.

All three kegs were tapped using a cobra/picnic tap and all poured fine before being transferred into the kegerator.

Is the 2.2 lb/ft of resistance accurate?  Does anyone who has this line installed want to chime in with their experience?

Sorry if the frustration comes through the keyboard.  Thanks for the tips so far.


I use ultra barrier silver in my kegerators and ignore the quoted numbers. I started with 10 ft on each line, cutting it down in 6 inch(ish) increments until I got the exact pour I wanted - pretty foolproof method. Ended up at ~ 9 feet on my lines.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 06:29:02 PM »
I use about 12 feet at 15psi with about 2 feet of rise. Take about 10 seconds to pour and I get about 2 fingers of foam if I clear the line first.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 06:32:04 PM »
Yeah, should've added that I carb/serve at ~ 12-13 psi for most beers (40Fish), with a couple feet of rise as well.
Jon H.

Offline EHall

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Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 07:19:15 PM »
Currently at 10 feet of line at 38F air temp in the cooler.  15 second pour for a pint- just for reference, obviously not a commercial operation under time constraints.  In my opinion (SWAG) it is pouring at about 60%.  Now my reference was to 1/4 inch line in the previous kegerator with different faucets.  Its better but not there yet.

EHall- thanks for the pdf; lots of great information.  I have to believe at this point that this 3/16 line has much less resistance than the traditional 3/16 line.

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Kegerator frustrations
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 07:20:15 PM »
Should also mention that the carpenter that built the bar trim is getting impatient.  Something about how the plumbers always hold up the project.