Author Topic: Distributor Pressures  (Read 900 times)

Offline BrewQwest

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Distributor Pressures
« on: November 14, 2010, 08:02:28 AM »
Ok, new to kegging and have a newb question about utilizing one of those gas line distributors.  If I set my tank pressure to 15psi going into the distribution block and I have three kegs attached to the output of the distribution block, am I getting 15 psi into each keg or only 5 psi into each keg? Sorry for the newb question but I am kind of visualizing it as a resistive parallel circuit in which the sum of the reciprocals equate to the total resistance.  cheers!!
On a never-ending journey for the perfect pint of beer...

Offline bonjour

  • Administrator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1771
  • Troy, MI, 37mi, 60.9deg AR
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 08:24:20 AM »
Pressure on all kegs will be the same unless you have multiple regulators.
15 psi says you should have 7-8 ft of 3/16 beerline  between the keg and your taps (2.2 psi per foot approx.)
Most of us have shorter lines.
Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline BrewQwest

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 11:49:02 AM »
Pressure on all kegs will be the same unless you have multiple regulators.
15 psi says you should have 7-8 ft of 3/16 beerline  between the keg and your taps (2.2 psi per foot approx.)
Most of us have shorter lines.
Fred, you state approximately 2.2 psi of resisitance in the 3/16 inch beerline, but Ray Daniels (head of cicerone and author of "Designing Great Beers" states their is 3 psi resisitance per foot of 3/16.  Which is correct?
On a never-ending journey for the perfect pint of beer...

Offline bonjour

  • Administrator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1771
  • Troy, MI, 37mi, 60.9deg AR
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 12:15:38 PM »
If you look around you will often see the values of 2, 2.2, 2.7 and 3 psi per foot for 3/16 beer line. 

If I get a chance to measure and evaluate your system I'll be better able to tell you which value applies to your system.

The bottom line is to go long,  You can always shorten to balance your system, it is a lot harder to lengthen your beer lines.

Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 11:45:02 PM »
Yes, go long.  I find the effective restriction is less than 2 psi per foot in my system.  So start with a longer hose than you think you need and cut it to get the right pour.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2010, 04:51:55 AM »
OK, excuse the dumb newbie, but why are we cutting the hose to adjust the pressure, and not adjusting the pressure? What am I missing?
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline johnf

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 06:52:19 AM »
OK, excuse the dumb newbie, but why are we cutting the hose to adjust the pressure, and not adjusting the pressure? What am I missing?

That changes the level of dissolved c02 in the beer.

Offline BrewQwest

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 06:59:10 AM »
Yes, go long.  I find the effective restriction is less than 2 psi per foot in my system.  So start with a longer hose than you think you need and cut it to get the right pour.
thanks guys, now aside from the resistance of the beer line itself, I would imagine you would have to add in the resistance of the keg connector (corny keg - black outlet connector), and the picnic tap.  If I had REAL taps then I would imagine the resistance of those would have to be taken into consideration as well. Is there any documentation anywhere which describes how much resistance these devices place into the over all system.  Guess I am just trying to get it boiled down to some constants here, but I am beginning to think that will not be the case... Is this a never ending struggle, or once you have your system down, is it just a matter of changing hose sizes for the various styles which request different volumes of carbonation? cheers!!
On a never-ending journey for the perfect pint of beer...

Offline tumarkin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 07:07:04 AM »
Is there any documentation anywhere which describes how much resistance these devices place into the over all system. 

on my way out the door so don't have time to look up the link, but google the Brewers Assoc's  Draught Beer Guide, lot's of good info there
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2010, 07:25:22 AM »
You're over thinking this thing :)

Co2 does 2 things for us:

1. It carbs the beer to where we want it due to co2 per volume according to the stored temp. This is where the regulator is set. Set it and leave it.

2. Co2 pushes the beer from the keg to the spout. The ending pressure is affected by the resistance in the delivery system. This is variable. I'm sure there there are formulas to calculate all the coefficients and resistance and stuff for the lines, connectors and taps down to several decimal points and the length of the line can be calculated to the millimeter.

 None of this matters if you are not getting a good pour. Use the programs to get you in the ball park and add a foot or two of line, its cheap. Like already mentioned it is much easier to cut some off than add.

 If the pour is dribbling out, cut off 6 inches and try again. If foam is blasting all over the place then replace with a new line that is longer than you think you need.

  All the science in the world doesn't matter if you are not getting the results you want. It really is that simple ;)
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 07:40:31 AM »
Here's a great resource to reference for a draught beer system.

https://files.pbworks.com/download/ApU4m1ZXap/draftquality/18182336/DBQM_Full.pdf


Ron Price

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2010, 07:26:52 PM »
Thanks Ron..... will be reading that.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline monomer77

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2010, 07:35:01 PM »
Does it matter what type of faucet is attached? Perlick or regular with respects to pressure?

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2010, 09:00:58 PM »
Does it matter what type of faucet is attached? Perlick or regular with respects to pressure?
Yes, but it's not worth trying to figure out.  A minor tweak to the line will account for that, and its much easier to do that than to try to do any calculations.  There's things that affect the pressure everywhere, including the height of the keg vs. the tap.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bonjour

  • Administrator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1771
  • Troy, MI, 37mi, 60.9deg AR
    • View Profile
Re: Distributor Pressures
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 06:29:04 AM »
Does it matter what type of faucet is attached? Perlick or regular with respects to pressure?
The difference between faucets really only comes in if you put a stout faucet on, one designed to be used with a nitrogen mix beer gas
Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)