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Old 11-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #1
musclebrew
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do you really need more then 4ft of beer line for dispensing,i have heard 6ft is better!!

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Old 11-17-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
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Completely depends on your system and how it's set up. I have 10 foot lines for my kegs. I also find that if my CO2 pressure goes above 14psi, I get a LOT of foam. Keeping it under 14psi and it dispenses well.

There are calculators out there to figure out your beer line length. OR you can simply go with the rule of thumb many of us follow... 1 foot of beer line per 1 psi of CO2 pressure your kegs will be under. You can go above, and below, the pressure at the same beer line length. IME, worst that will happen is the pour will be a little slower. I'm patient when it comes to these things, so I don't mind spending a few more seconds per pint if it means I won't get a glass full (or half glass) of foam.

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:18 AM   #3
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1' of 3/16" I.D. vinyl tubing provides 2.5Lb to 3Lb of restriction to beer flow.
Each vertical foot that your faucet is above the centre of your keg acounts for 0.5Lb of restriction to beer flow.

So lets assume that you are dispensing your beer at 14 PSI of 100% CO2 to achieve or maintain your desired carbonation level (this is dependent on your dispense temperature and desired carbonation level)

Lets also assume that your faucet is 4' above the bottom of your fridge. Your keg is approximately 22" high so the faucet is about 3' above the centre of your keg...

0.5 x 3 = 1.5Lb restriction due to gravity.

14PSI (counterpressure) - 1.5PSI (gravity loss) = 12.5 PSI (required choke resistance)

12.5PSI / 2.75PSI per foot = 4' 7" of 3/16" I.D. vinyl tubing

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Musclebrew and Golddiggie are each talking about different types of tubing.

Musclebrew is refering to 3/16" I.D. whereas Goldiggie is talking about 1/4" I.D.

Industry standard for tubing on direct draw, or very short run systems is 3/16" I.D. vinyl tubing for lengths up to about 5' (max 6').

When line runs exceeding 5' in length are necessary a larger diameter tubing is used for a portion of the run and 3/16" tubing length can be calculated for the last section to achieve required system balance.

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Old 11-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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Ok im running 5' lines right now with no issues,i have seen some guys run 10' lines.Just looking for some input THANKS MAN!

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Old 11-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schroeder View Post
Musclebrew and Golddiggie are each talking about different types of tubing.

Musclebrew is refering to 3/16" I.D. whereas Goldiggie is talking about 1/4" I.D.
WRONG... I AM talking about 3/16" ID beer line... It's all I EVER use for beer serving lines. Before you assume you know what you're talking about, confirm it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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This is not something you should willy nilly choose. There are formulas for a reason and they are pretty simple ones (as you see above). Size them for your ID and output and you will have no dispensing problems.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:09 AM   #8
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I use 15' of 3/16" tubing. The lines are refrigerated and the top of the kegs are at tap level. I serve at 42° @ 12psi. The formulas did not help me at all in setting up. I was so frustrated with the formulas that I bought long lines and was going to chop a foot off at at time till I found a reasonable length. YMMV

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Old 11-19-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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It sounds like your kegs are overpressured. Do you monitor the pressure level in each keg? I've often found my beer continues to ferment in the freezer - at least to some degree. I've had some instances even where I set pressure say 12, and then I come back in the next few days to find it at 25!

I am in your same boat and my lines are 5 ft. The formulas are correct - but only as good as the data given.

Another way of calculating:

(Keg Pressure - 1 psi) / Resistance - 1 psi is a constant for the pressure at the tap by the time it runs through the tubing. Resistance is based on two things: 1) Tubing ID and 2) Tubing Type - different types of tubing provide different resistance.

So an example - if I use PE tubing @ 3/16" ID with a keg pressure of 12psi:

(12 - 1) / 2.2 = 5. I'll need 5 feet of tubing to have 1 psi at the tap.

This assumes little to no elevation change. When you add elevation you naturally lose resistance at the rate of 0.5 psi per foot (as mentioned above). So if my tap is 2 feet above my keg:

(12 - 1 - (2 / 2)) / 2.2 = 4.5. Now I need only 4.5' of tubing.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
Completely depends on your system and how it's set up. I have 10 foot lines for my kegs. I also find that if my CO2 pressure goes above 14psi, I get a LOT of foam. Keeping it under 14psi and it dispenses well.

There are calculators out there to figure out your beer line length. OR you can simply go with the rule of thumb many of us follow... 1 foot of beer line per 1 psi of CO2 pressure your kegs will be under. You can go above, and below, the pressure at the same beer line length. IME, worst that will happen is the pour will be a little slower. I'm patient when it comes to these things, so I don't mind spending a few more seconds per pint if it means I won't get a glass full (or half glass) of foam.
I thought that "rule of thumb" was 2 psi per foot of tubing. Maybe I've got different thumbs.
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