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Old 08-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
Atripes
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Default Beer line length, who is right?

I have used multiple calculators found on the forums about beer line length. The calculator at http://beersmith.com/blog/2011/07/14...of-draft-beer/ says my lines should be about 3.5 feet. Most of the other calculators found on the forums say my beer line lengths should be about 5.5 feet.

I also see people recommending 10ft+. Who do I listen to? I have 40 feet of 3/16" beverage tubing and I have 4 taps, so 10 feet on each line is certainly possible. Is it better to go with the long length tube and be done with it, or try and match the calculators (if so, which one?)? Are there any downfalls to having longer-than-needed beer lines?

Thanks for the help. My month long keezer project is 90% done and I cant wait to enjoy some draft home brew.

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Start with 10', go from there. Why not?

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Old 08-03-2013, 04:48 AM   #3
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Most of those calculators are based on commercial systems, and are designed to result in a flow rate around 128oz/min. This works ok for most commercial systems because they're all kept under 36° and the carb level is always at or under 2.7 vol. If you're going to serve your beer warmer, or have a highly carbed beer, or don't have a perfect tower cooling system, using those calculators and equations will usually result in a foamy pour. Temperature is the big one, as just a few degrees will cause the CO2 to come out of solution if the pour is that fast. The only side effect to longer lines is a very slightly slower pour.

Many of those caclulators and articles about line balancing reference the "ideal" line length. IMO a longer line that takes an extra second to pour a pint but can serve beer at a wide variety of temps and carb levels is a whole lot more ideal than a line that pours just as fast as possible without foaming when everything is perfect, but results in a foamy mess the rest of the time.

FWIW the only line length calculator out there that doesn't ignore the basic laws of fluid dynamics is this one. For cold temps I'd use at least an 8 sec pint fill, anything up to 42° I'd use a 10 sec pint fill speed, and even slower for warmer temps-

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...VX0hzaEE#gid=0

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Old 08-03-2013, 05:47 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. It definitely sounds like longer line length is the way to go. Im not too concerned with the amount of time it takes to pour the perfect beer. I was just uneducated on whether or not a long beer length would have other negative effects due to the "other" calculators showing such short lines. A better pour is my main concern, regardless of time.

Thanks for the accurate calculator link, I will definitely start with 10' per line and see how it goes from there.

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Old 08-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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How much of an impact to pour time is normal when switching from 5' of line to 10' of line?

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Old 08-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hezagenius View Post
How much of an impact to pour time is normal when switching from 5' of line to 10' of line?
Depends on the pressure, but it usually adds 2-3 seconds to the time it takes to fill a pint. You can use the spreadsheet I linked above to calculate an exact time difference for your specific set up.
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