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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 PM   #21
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You can also use the restriction type faucets. I use the Perlick restriction faucets in my long line glycol cooled system so I don't need to change chokers with different beers. But I have a vertical run of 12' and use beer pumps to overcome that.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #22
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There are a couple of other points that bear repeating here. One is if you use "barrier" type of tubing. It seems like you need far more of that then the calculators say.

Another point is that it's not scientific, but anecdotal with the experiences we're sharing with line lengths. It's probably true that in a perfect environment, you'd need xxx feet of tubing due to the height, drop, etc. But most of us have cold spots and warm spots in our kegerators, warmer faucets than kegs, possibly a tower, etc.

I started with 6' lines. It was a little foamy, so I went to 8' lines. Ok, much of the time, but not always. Then I went to 10' lines. It was better, as long as I didn't go over 12 psi at 39 degrees. Because of that experience, I'd simply recommend going longer. You can always cut them shorter, but you can't cut them longer!

If the line is "too long", the worst thing that can happen is it takes 2-3 seconds longer to pour a beer. If the line is too short, foaming and having bad pours is a reality. Faced with those two scenarios, I would go with longer lines to begin with.

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:10 AM   #23
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Well said as always, Yooper

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
There are a couple of other points that bear repeating here. One is if you use "barrier" type of tubing. It seems like you need far more of that then the calculators say.

Another point is that it's not scientific, but anecdotal with the experiences we're sharing with line lengths. It's probably true that in a perfect environment, you'd need xxx feet of tubing due to the height, drop, etc. But most of us have cold spots and warm spots in our kegerators, warmer faucets than kegs, possibly a tower, etc.

I started with 6' lines. It was a little foamy, so I went to 8' lines. Ok, much of the time, but not always. Then I went to 10' lines. It was better, as long as I didn't go over 12 psi at 39 degrees. Because of that experience, I'd simply recommend going longer. You can always cut them shorter, but you can't cut them longer!

If the line is "too long", the worst thing that can happen is it takes 2-3 seconds longer to pour a beer. If the line is too short, foaming and having bad pours is a reality. Faced with those two scenarios, I would go with longer lines to begin with.
I am all for anecdotal, but can someone explain this to me. I am set at 38F with 16 psi and 5 foot lines, and I have a perfect pour every time. I will accept that the laws of physics do not exist here in ME.

I mean no disrespect to you Yooper as I hold you in high regard.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG2620 View Post
I am all for anecdotal, but can someone explain this to me. I am set at 38F with 16 psi and 5 foot lines, and I have a perfect pour every time. I will accept that the laws of physics do not exist here in ME.

I mean no disrespect to you Yooper as I hold you in high regard.
Let the ridicule begin.

First - if you keep your lines cold temperature has little to no bearing here. You'll get initial foaming as soon as cold beer hits your warm tap but once the tap cools everything will be fine. If your keezer is really that sensitive then you really need to put a fan n it. But I just can't see it.

The most important factors are keg pressure and restriction. A significant amount of overpressure whether by short tubing, larger diameter tubing or improper regulator setting will result in CO2 trying to escape and hence - foaming.

If your line is too long - your beer flow is slow or could even come to a complete stop. You'll have to account for this by increasing pressure at your regulator. So all you've done in the end is waste tubing and gas to account for the loss of pressure. I don't care if it's 1' or 5'. It's a waste and eventually it adds up.

My suspicion is based on your comment, your line length and keg pressure create the right amount of overpressure at the tap to have a "perfect pour". That's all there is to it.

I would implore anyone who thinks their problem is solved by increasing line length to take a closer look at their setup and try to figure out the cause of the problem instead of putting a band-aid on it. Do you in fact have higher keg pressure than you thought? Do you have a vertical rise or descent you didn't account for? Do you have a different tubing material or ID? Is your regulator actually working right? More than likely, there is a reasonable explanation. This isn't some willy nilly formula. It's what pretty much every brewery, commercial and homebrewer alike use to figure out draft runs. And magically - it's what my keezer uses and works like a charm. 12 psi, PE tubing, 3/16" ID, no vertical change, 5'. I had issues last month - found out my keg was super over-pressured. Bled it down to 12 psi and voila - everything was fine.

So if you want to accommodate varying line pressures ok - this changes things a bit. Then you're going to have to have longer lines and sacrifice a bit. Or, have many secondary regs that have the right tubing length attached.

My problem with making blanket rule of thumb statements is that everyone coming on here, reads them and just uses them without understanding the science behind it. Someone will come by this thread wth 1/2" ID tubing and then use 2psi per foot as a rule and then it'll be nothing but problems.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:24 AM   #26
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Old kegerator has 5' lines. Pours too fast and foamy. New kegerator has 10' lines. Pours a little slow for my liking, but head is created by a proper pour in into the glass providing a good looking beer.

8' would probably work best.

I'd agree with the approach of - get longer lines and shorten them to your liking. Easier to take tubing away than to magically make it longer. Charts and math can't predict your personal preference.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:05 AM   #27
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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.
My apologies. It is common for homebrewers to use 1/4"I.D. tubing since that is the typical diameter of the barbed fittings on cornelius keg quick disconnects. I see it all the time.

What is your dispense temperature and carbonation level? 10' of 3/16" tubing with 0' of rise would balance at over 25PSI dispense pressure for a pour speed of 1.8 to 2 oz. per second, but that pressure would seriously over-carbonate your beer at 38 deg. F.

However at about 64F or 65F 25 PSI will yield a carbonation level of about 2.5 v/v.

BTW. the formulas DO work.
I am a draught beer system installer with over 1000 installs under my belt over the course of the last 8 years. If you have foaming problems with 10' of restriction tubing on your system then there is another problem. Send me a P.M. and I would be happy to help you sort it out. If the solution is something of value we can post it on the forum.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:27 AM   #28
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I install draft systems for Budweiser and 5ft of 3/16 line is perfect for beer pouring at 36-40 degrees at 12 psi. More or less and the system will begin to become unbalanced.

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:07 PM   #29
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As Yooper said, time and time again the calculators have proven irrelevant for most homebrewers. And there is in fact very good scientific reason behind why the calculations don't apply in our case, as I explained above.

As a chemical engineer I have textbooks on momentum transport and fluid flow... there's plenty of theory presented, yet many of the correlations and equations are built up using empirical/anecdotal data. If 5' works fine for your system, then that's awesome. But I'll repeat that for the many many people posting on this forum that have continuous foaming problems, increasing the line length closer to 10 feet (or even higher) fixes the problem in almost every case. The "blanket statement" of 1-2 psi per foot only applies to 3/16" ID, non-barrier PVC tubing, which is what most people use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
My problem with making blanket rule of thumb statements is that everyone coming on here, reads them and just uses them without understanding the science behind it. Someone will come by this thread wth 1/2" ID tubing and then use 2psi per foot as a rule and then it'll be nothing but problems.
Nobody's ridiculing you, relax. Like I've said, these "blanket statements" are what save most people from foamy pours as a result of using the 5' of tubing that came with their system or using the 2.8' (or whatever) that the calculators give them. Lurk around the bottling/kegging subforum for a while and you'll see what I mean.


I really don't see how it's a band-aid. And again, I don't see how it's wasteful. It works for almost everyone on here, and it's a couple extra dollars in tubing.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
Let the ridicule begin.

First - if you keep your lines cold temperature has little to no bearing here. You'll get initial foaming as soon as cold beer hits your warm tap but once the tap cools everything will be fine. If your keezer is really that sensitive then you really need to put a fan n it. But I just can't see it.

The most important factors are keg pressure and restriction. A significant amount of overpressure whether by short tubing, larger diameter tubing or improper regulator setting will result in CO2 trying to escape and hence - foaming.

If your line is too long - your beer flow is slow or could even come to a complete stop. You'll have to account for this by increasing pressure at your regulator. So all you've done in the end is waste tubing and gas to account for the loss of pressure. I don't care if it's 1' or 5'. It's a waste and eventually it adds up.

My suspicion is based on your comment, your line length and keg pressure create the right amount of overpressure at the tap to have a "perfect pour". That's all there is to it.

I would implore anyone who thinks their problem is solved by increasing line length to take a closer look at their setup and try to figure out the cause of the problem instead of putting a band-aid on it. Do you in fact have higher keg pressure than you thought? Do you have a vertical rise or descent you didn't account for? Do you have a different tubing material or ID? Is your regulator actually working right? More than likely, there is a reasonable explanation. This isn't some willy nilly formula. It's what pretty much every brewery, commercial and homebrewer alike use to figure out draft runs. And magically - it's what my keezer uses and works like a charm. 12 psi, PE tubing, 3/16" ID, no vertical change, 5'. I had issues last month - found out my keg was super over-pressured. Bled it down to 12 psi and voila - everything was fine.

So if you want to accommodate varying line pressures ok - this changes things a bit. Then you're going to have to have longer lines and sacrifice a bit. Or, have many secondary regs that have the right tubing length attached.

My problem with making blanket rule of thumb statements is that everyone coming on here, reads them and just uses them without understanding the science behind it. Someone will come by this thread wth 1/2" ID tubing and then use 2psi per foot as a rule and then it'll be nothing but problems.
I agree with these points.
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