Author Topic: Beer line length  (Read 2701 times)

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Beer line length
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:11:42 PM »
Good afternoon.

I finally bought a kegerator! Woohoo! No more bottling for me!

I'm having trouble figuring out beer line lengths. I know there's a lot that goes into beer line balancing but I think what I'm getting confused by is the fact that many calculators are recommending around 40+ feet of beer line to get balanced... that doesn't seem right at all to me in a kegerator.

Ill be using a corny keg , 5lb tank. Gonna keep the beer at around 2.4 volumes for most brews. It's a tower tap so the tap is about 1.5 ish feet from the keg. I'll be using 3/16in beer line more than likely.

How is the length getting that long, what can I do about it, and what pressure should I set the regulator at?

Also, if I ever want to have a beer at a higher co2 volume, will I need to swap out lines since I know he pressure will have to go up?

Thanks!


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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 09:47:01 PM »
I do ten foot and also have a tower cooler.  The psi setting depends on the temp.  I'm not understanding the last part.  If I want higher pressure, I turn up the gas higher.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 09:47:48 PM »
How is the length getting that long, what can I do about it, and what pressure should I set the regulator at?

My guess is that you are not entering the correct hose diameter.  If you're using 3/16" beverage line, somewhere between 8 and 10 feet should work.  I would start with 10, and trim it down a bit if necessary.  The balance doesn't need to be exact to get a good pour; you have some leeway.

What pressure to set your regulator to achieve 2.4 volumes will depend on the temperature of the beer.  Check out this carbonation chart:

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 11:03:24 PM »
I do ten foot and also have a tower cooler.  The psi setting depends on the temp.  I'm not understanding the last part.  If I want higher pressure, I turn up the gas higher.


Won't that potentially cause more turbulence at the outlet causing more foam?

I've read the above mentioned article and maybe I'm just missing something.


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Offline Stevie

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 01:18:34 AM »
Higher pressure needs more back pressure. This can be done with more line or a flow restrictor

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 01:53:17 AM »
Higher pressure needs more back pressure. This can be done with more line or a flow restrictor
Bingo! That's what I'm asking. If I want to have a higher carb rate for something, I'll need a longer line... right? Lol sorry. Newbie herre.


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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 09:04:01 PM »
My psi serving range is from 10-14 and never had issues serving at those settings.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2017, 01:17:16 PM »
So in talking to my local homebrew shop guy, he said he never calculates for line length. He gets the line to the faucet and  bases his pressure off of that. Which makes no sense to me because you won't be able to control as much what your co2 will be in the beer.


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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 11:26:23 PM »
This might help: http://seanterrill.com/2011/11/11/a-more-accurate-approach-to-draft-system-balancing/

Basically at 10 psig, 5-6 ft of 3/16" tubing. Add ~1.5 ft for each additional psig.

...At sea level. Here at 2 mi elevation, I have to serve at 15 psig to get 2.4 vol CO2, so I'm using 12.5 ft of line. Well, that plus it splits a 100' spool evenly. ;)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 11:31:17 PM by a10t2 »
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 07:25:43 PM »
This might help: http://seanterrill.com/2011/11/11/a-more-accurate-approach-to-draft-system-balancing/

Basically at 10 psig, 5-6 ft of 3/16" tubing. Add ~1.5 ft for each additional psig.

...At sea level. Here at 2 mi elevation, I have to serve at 15 psig to get 2.4 vol CO2, so I'm using 12.5 ft of line. Well, that plus it splits a 100' spool evenly. ;)

Thanks! Ill take a look at that article. once im home.. cant access it here for some reason.

Offline jkirkham

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 06:50:24 PM »
I have 3 kegs in my kegerator and use a manifold to pour all three beers. What I like about my system is that I can turn the pressure off of one keg once I feel I have the right volume.

I run 8 feet of beverage line to my kegs and about a 2.5 foot line from the co2 tank to manifold. I also live at 7,000 ft.

I recently got a new regulator. My old one only pushed out about 20psi max. It used to take me a solid week to carbonate. I would read over the above posts and see what works best for you. I used to have 6’ lines but switched to 8’ 3/16 beverage lines. They get in the way as I have yet to string them somewhere that is out of the way. I plan to move my co2 tank to the outside of my kegerator to fit another 1-2 kegs.

My biggest problem has been under carbonation. I would keep your bottles and such. I don’t plan on running Brett or sours through my kegerator. Make sure to keep up on line maintenance.
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Offline jtoots

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 08:00:54 PM »
Higher pressure needs more back pressure. This can be done with more line or a flow restrictor
Bingo! That's what I'm asking. If I want to have a higher carb rate for something, I'll need a longer line... right? Lol sorry. Newbie herre.


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Within reason, I don't think so... a lower pressure for less carbonation will result in a slower pour.  A higher pressure for more carbonation (again, within reason) will result in a faster pour.  I run my pressure anywhere between 3ish and 15ish psi for serving, depending on if I'm trying to gradually increase or decrease carbonation.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2017, 08:15:06 PM »
IME, "within reason" is maybe 2-3 psi. I occasionally run a Belgian or wheat at 3 psi over the balance pressure for the lines and it isn't a train wreck, but they do pour about 1/3 foam.

The only real issue with serving well below the balance pressure is slow pours, which probably isn't a problem for most people at home.
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Offline Slackjawls

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Re: Beer line length
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 06:58:31 AM »
5 or six feet of 3/16 vinyl should be good for 12-15 lbs, of Co2.  Dont get longer lines for higher carbed beer.  I keep Hefe at 20 lbs to maintain 3.5 volumes and use a flow controller to get the right pour.
 https://www.williamsbrewing.com/FLOW-CONTROL-SHANK-ADAPTER-P4365.aspx