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Old 08-24-2007, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default My 4 tap/7 keg system with lots pics! (formerly 1/4" vs 3/16" for 15' beer line?)

Hi everyone,

In the process of putting together a kegging system with the following parameters:

Distance from kegs to taps: 15'
Height differential: + 3' (taps are 3' higher than kegs)
Beer Temp: around 36-40 F

Using these balancing instructions I get the following:

With 1/4" ID hose (0.7 resistance):

Regulature Pressure = (15 * 0.7) + (3 * 0.5) = 12 psi

Sounds about right where I want to have the beer carbonated from what I've read (10-15 psi seems 'normal' for most styles), but with 1/4" hose I'm losing about 5 oz of beer in the line as it'll likely be warm (not good). So how about 3/16" hose?

With 3/16" ID hose (2.7 resistance):

Regulature Pressure = (15 * 2.7) + (3 * 0.5) = 42 psi !!

42 psi from what I've read sounds WAAY too high!
But I'd only use about 2.5 oz of beer this way...

I can't:

- move the taps any closer to the keg freezer
- raise the freezer significantly
- chill the lines

Am I missing something here? Am I basically forced to use 1/4" hose?

Here's my layout:



The freezer goes in the back room behind the in-wall fridge and the tap tower is going on the left side of the bar (near the beer mug wall). The lines will run inside the curved bar.

Thanks!

Kal

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Old 08-24-2007, 02:53 PM   #2
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I personally can't help you, sorry!

I just wanted to say that is one nice bar.

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Old 08-24-2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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I don't think it's unreasable to ditch the first 4-5 oz per tap on the first pour of the night. You'll wrap pipe insulation around all the lines so they'll only heat up after hours. You could run a copper loop along with the beer lines and pump glycol or water from a container in your freezer if you really want to go all out. I bet a pond pump in a corny would be fine for this purpose.

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Old 08-24-2007, 03:03 PM   #4
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Yes, you're stuck with 1/4" line and ditching more beer on the first pull.
Or 3/16 and a really slow pour at a normal pressure.
Or go to nitro for everything. That would give you the push without the foam.

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Old 08-24-2007, 03:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadYetiBrew
I personally can't help you, sorry! I just wanted to say that is one nice bar.
Thanks! All it's missing is a few taps and I finally got the wife to agree after months of nagging. (She won't let be drill into the granite countertop though... so it's going to be a clamp-on tower for now). Though all credits for the bar go to the previous house owner (who was a tile/stone worker). When I first saw it when we were house hunting a few years ago, I knew that this was the one we wanted. Didn't care what the upstairs looked like at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I don't think it's unreasable to ditch the first 4-5 oz per tap on the first pour of the night. You'll wrap pipe insulation around all the lines so they'll only heat up after hours. You could run a copper loop along with the beer lines and pump glycol or water from a container in your freezer if you really want to go all out. I bet a pond pump in a corny would be fine for this purpose.
Thanks for the input Bobby. My concern is really with our drinking habits... usually I just have one pint/night so most of the time I'm *always* going to be ditching 4-5 oz which over time ends up actually costing me almost 30% of a keg which just seems a bit wasteful. Been doing bottles for years for this reason but I'm so SICK of bottling and sediment.

So the insulation wouldn't help me out as the mean time between pours (MTBP? ) is too high. The cooper loop idea actually sounds easier than I imagined. I'll do so research on this. Any pictures/links how-to's that anyone would have upfront would be appreciated.

All that being said, do my calculations for 1/4" lines seem sound?

Kal
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal
Thanks! All it's missing is a few taps and I finally got the wife to agree after months of nagging. (She won't let be drill into the granite countertop though... so it's going to be a clamp-on tower for now).
I don't blame her that's some nice stone. There are other ways to have the taps without the damaged counter... What's behind the counter down below, if you cut down on the length of the hose some of your problem would be solved, would it not?
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Yes, you're stuck with 1/4" line and ditching more beer on the first pull.
Or 3/16 and a really slow pour at a normal pressure.
Or go to nitro for everything. That would give you the push without the foam.
Interesting. Is there any way to calculate just how slow the pour will be with 3/16? If I can try and keep the lines as short as possible (maybe 12') it may be possible then.

I suppose I could always buy a 12' piece of 3/16" and just try it out myself.

Regarding Nitro: This is news to me. I didn't know this was even a possibility. (I thought nitro was only used when you wanted a Guiness or Cream ale style head).

Kal
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal
Interesting. Is there any way to calculate just how slow the pour will be with 3/16? If I can try and keep the lines as short as possible (maybe 12') it may be possible then.

I suppose I could always buy a 12' piece of 3/16" and just try it out myself.

Regarding Nitro: This is news to me. I didn't know this was even a possibility. (I thought nitro was only used when you wanted a Guiness or Cream ale style head).

Kal
That's actually a misnomer... I had my LHBS guy tell me that the Flying Saucer here in town serves all their beers on tap with Beer Gas because it's cleaner so there's less waste. He said he has a plain Co2 tap at home with flow controls and gets the same Guiness style head and body with it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadYetiBrew
I don't blame her that's some nice stone. There are other ways to have the taps without the damaged counter... What's behind the counter down below, if you cut down on the length of the hose some of your problem would be solved, would it not?
I think we had the same idea - I thought about putting a freezer/fridge underneath the bar as well but the problem is that the space is not deep or high enough for any sort of small freezer or fridge to store 5 gal corny kegs. If I *really* worked at it I may be able to fit in a tiny bar-type fridge and put in one or two 2.5-3 gal kegs but that's just too small... I know I'd be wanting to upgrade within months. My freezer in the back room holds 8 so that I can have 2 on tap and a bunch of others lagering or queued up.

What other ways are there to get taps without damaging the counter?

I'm considering this one from kegconnection.com:



(I'm hoping that the drip tray can be completely removed as I'd like to put it on the lower bar area that about 12" lower - I think it would look really odd to have the drip tray floating in space like that).

Kal
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:29 PM   #10
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Wait a minute. If you have room for 8 cornies, there's no way in hell you'll be happy with 2 faucets. I'm thinking 4 minimum. If you watch craigslist or ebay, you can find a 4 faucet tower with an integrated glycol loop.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brass-Beer-Tap-T...QQcmdZViewItem

They'll clean up nice I'm sure with a little polish.

My idea for a cooling loop goes like this: You put a damaged unusable corny in the fridge with a pond pump down in the bottom. The output of the pump goes through some hose outside the fridge and attaches to some 3/8" copper. This copper goes down the insulated bundle of beer lines to your tower. If the tower has a glycol loop, it attaches there to cool the tower too. The return loop can be copper also assuming it still has some cooling capacity left. This goes back to the fridge and dumps back into the top of the corny for cooling again. At the very least it will keep your beerlines somewhere between ambient and fridge temps.

It's odd to me that you can't drill into the countertop for the tower. When would it not be appropriate to have a beer tower on a bar? It's like peanut butter and jelly.

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