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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > Keeping beer lines cold
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
drycreek
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Default Keeping beer lines cold

I recently bought a Frigidaire 4.4 cf mini fridge that I will be using as the basis for a 2-keg/2-faucet keezer. It will sit inside a wooden cabinet with what I believe is referred to as a coffin top. Instead of a chrome tower, there will be a wood "backsplash" with the faucets coming out of it. The distance from the top of the fridge to the faucets is probably 15".

Question is, how should I keep the beer lines cold to minimize foaming? I've seen some people run the lines inside copper tubing when using a tower and I presume this works for them. This is the approach I would like to take - an individual piece of copper tubing for each line that is open to the fridge below, wrapped in thick insulation all the way to the faucets.

I've seen other people say the passive copper approach isn't enough for coffins and you need to run a fan. It seems like my design isn't too much different from a tower approach, so would a fan really be necessary? This is a little more complicated, but I'll do whatever is needed.

I realize this may be a trial and error situation, but you guys have a lot of experience that might save me some headache down the road if I can plan in advance.

Thanks!

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drycreek View Post
so would a fan really be necessary? This is a little more complicated, but I'll do whatever is needed.
If you don't want a foam first pour it's very necessary.

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Old 08-17-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
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IMO - you need to decide how perfect your pour must be... and how much money you are willing to spend to get there.

I have a keezer downstairs pumping up to a tower upstairs (lift of about 10 feet). I insulated teh 1/4 inch beer line in basic $1.13 per 6 feet of pipe insulation from HD. everyone told me I would pour foam all day long, it would never work, etc. It does work with a few caveats.

1. if I don't have a brew for a few days, I probably will pour off the few ounces in the beer line.
2. On super hot days it sometimes foams for the very first part of the pour (bringing the line temp downward), then is AOK from there. My fix for that was getting 20oz glasses. Let's me have a 16oz pour, with about 1 inch of foam, perfect.

So yeah, if I let the tap sit for a few days I pour off a few ounces here and there of the brew. However the cost to put in glycol and make it perfect and on demand is astronomical compared to the $10 in tubing I spent.


Point being, if you have to discard a small amount to clear your line, or get some initial foam, can you live with that? I buy my grain in bulk, so I sure can.

I say start simple and see if you can get it to work. If not, then decide how far you want to go.

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Actually glycol isn't even in the equation for the op, a simple computer fan and some tubing will work great. I buy bulk grain as well, but don't care to lose any to foam if it's not necessary.

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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I hear what you are saying, but foam in the glass turns into beer and I prefer a beer with about a 3/4-1inch head on it. So there is no "waste" due to foam. The only waste I get is when I don't pour for several days and I dump the fist couple of ounces that have been sitting in the lines.

In his case yes, a simple PC fan will probably do the trick.

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