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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Forced to use 1/4" (not 3/16") for 15' beer line?

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Old 11-16-2007, 03:11 AM   #41
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The copper line and coolant in the keg freezer (at 40F) wasn't keeping the taps and beer cooled enough so I put a copper loop through the freezer section of my bar fridge which happens to be just a few inches behind the taps. Now the temp of the cooling liquid is down from 55F to just above freezing and it keeps the taps/shanks/lines very nice and cool.

Everything's wrapped in aluminum foil and then wrapped with a couple of layers of pipe foam insulation (not show in the picture below).



It's so nicely chilled that it actually causes condensation on the taps in the summer when the air is more humid:



But I'm still having the extremely annoying problem that the first 2-3 oz tastes like crap if I go more than 3-4 hours between pours. For the last couple of months I've had to waste the first 2-3 oz of every pour as it seriously tastes like the beer's been sitting in a bucket full of rubber boots. It's like the rubber seals in the taps are given off flavour! Part of the reason to chill everything was so that I could pour without wasting the first 2-3 oz to foam or warm beer. That's all fixed but it seriously tastes like crap (and I'll drink just about anything). Does it on all 3 taps I have on the go now, from light lagers to heavy IPA's. All lines and taps have been cleaned and sanitized.

I started a separate thread about it here. So far one person's mentioned that they had the exact same problem when they went from cheaper rear sealing taps to forward sealing Ventmatic taps like mine. I just don't get it!

I'm going to replace one of the taps with a cheap rear sealing one just to confirm that the problem is indeed the taps. Anyone have one used one that they want to sell for me to try out? If it does cure the problem however I'm loath to get rid of the ~$200 worth of Ventmatic fwd sealing taps though.... I love these taps!

Kal

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Old 11-29-2007, 02:14 AM   #42
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Update: The beer hose is causing the off-taste. Nothing else. Replaced the line with better stuff and the problems gone.

Kal

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Old 11-30-2007, 05:45 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal
Update: The beer hose is causing the off-taste. Nothing else. Replaced the line with better stuff and the problems gone.

Kal
Congratulations, I'm glad you found the problem. I'd hate to think that such a nice setup produced bad beer. Or caused you to waste so much beer.

I'd like to say that I am also very jealous.

Craig
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:42 PM   #44
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Thanks Craig!

Actually, finding beer line that doesn't cause any off-taste at all has turned into a much large project than I thought...

I've gone through 5-6 types now. Seems pretty much all vinyl line (PVC) causes some 'plastic' taint if the beer sits in it long enough no matter what unless it's got a glass-like barrier in it (what's they call "barrier tubing" in the industry). Barrier tubing's usually used for setups where the lines aren't 100% dedicated to a certain beverage. You can actually go from pop -> milk -> cranberry juice without any cross-taints as long as you flush the lines in-between.

I tested by leaving water in each hose/tubing type (not connected to anything) for 24-48 hours and then tasted and compared to just regular tap water:

(1) Original morebeer.com 3/16" generic clear vinyl hose (defective): Horrible plastic taste, even after only 2 hours. Definitely defective (as morebeer.com stated). There's no way anyone would find this acceptable.

(2) Sample of: Arrowhose.com 3/16" type 14 clear vinyl hose used by many places: Still some taint. Less than above. Probably what most people use or are used to. A local draft installer in town here has 700 installs in place with this stuff.

(3) Second sample: Arrowhose.com 3/16" type 14 clear vinyl hose: Still some taint just like above. I wanted to try a second piece just to be sure. Different run. Tastes the same

(4) Sample of Arrowhose.com 1/4" type 58 poly tubing with "arrow guard" barrier: Very subtle plastic taint. Much less than all above. Likely adequate, but the 1/4" won't work for me. I need 3/16" (hard to find).

(5) Sample of Kuritek.com 1/4" Bev-seal Ultra Series 235 poly tubing with barrier: NO plastic taint at all! None! Nada! Fantastic stuff! But again, 1/4" won't work. I need 3/16" which turns out is IMPOSSIBLE to find since Kuritek actually doesn't make it in 3/16" even though their web site says they do! (I called all talked directly to their engineers) <sigh>

So while (5) is best, it can't be bought in 3/16". So I ordered 50' of item (4) instead. Got it today. It's the wrong stuff! It's not arrowhose "type 58", it's arrowhose "type 5C" grey poly tubing from 2001 without any barrier at all. The guy grabbed the wrong thing off the shelf. I'll try it anyway.... while they re-ship the other stuff.

I tell ya, this is not obvious.

I *also* have some Simgo.com generic 3/16" vinyl hose to test since the sent me the wrong stuff too! I had asked for Kuritek Bevlex Series 200 Clear PVC tubing (no barrier but I thought I'd try it since the Kuritek guy I talked to uses it in his own home bar). So they'll be sending me that as well. More tests...!

All together I will have tested 9+ different types. Sheesh. In the end, it's just easier to pour off the first 2 ounces I think. I've gone waaaay too far with this and have become waaaay too much of a hose/tubing vinyl/poly expert.

Kal

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Old 12-17-2007, 08:27 AM   #45
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Quote from somewhere back in this thread..."We're not interested in moving."

NO SH*# !?!

Great looking setup, bar, home theater, and the new taps. I can't imagine that the tower solution would have looked any better, I think this setup looks fantastic, and you didn't have to drill the counter.

Any update on your hose tasting experiments? That's all interesting information so far, and even if the warmth wasn't the cause of the problem, that cooling system seems great too. If you could get the condensation to freeze it'd look like the "Extra Cold" taps I've seen at some bars.

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Old 12-17-2007, 01:06 PM   #46
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Thanks for the compliments!

I'm still waiting for the two suppliers to send me the right hose type... It's getting to the point that I'm not that hopeful anymore that they actually HAVE the two types I wanted to try.

Oh well, the standard 3/16" stuff isn't that bad. You pour off the first oz or two if it's been sitting idle for more than a day or two and the rest is good. The defective stuff I had before was so bad that I'd always have to pull of the first few oz even if it had only been an hour since the last pour. Keeping it all cool helps too.

If/when I finally do get the 3/16" barrier poly hose and the Kuritek Bevlex series 200, I'll post back.

Kal

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Old 03-11-2008, 03:34 PM   #47
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Update:

Ok, none of the 3/16" vinyl stuff I was sent was perfect. It all gave a plastic taint taste to my beer. So all of the vinyl types I tried previously (see post above) added a plastic taint, and now I add these to the list of no-go's as well:

- Simgo.com generic 3/16" vinyl
- Kuritek Bevlex series 200 vinyl

I never got the 3/16" PVC barrier hose from Arrow. They just don't make it seems. Probably for the best as connecting it up to 1/4" disconnects and shank barbs would have required extra work and reducers.

So the only stuff that works really well is the Kuritek.com 1/4" Bev-seal Ultra Series 235 poly tubing with barrier that I mentioned I had tried a sample of a few months ago.

So this is the stuff that I've been using for about 2 months now. It's fantastic. Beer left in 12' of this line for 2 weeks has zero taint. With the beer line chilled it's at 40F too.

I skipped using it originally as my problem initially was the large 1/4" diameter which would cause the beer to come pouring out way too fast as I had 8-10 foot lines at 10-15 PSI (depending on the style). This was per the style guidelines.

The good news for me is that I've come to the realization that I like my draft beer served like in the pubs: A bit less carb'ed than bottled beer. So now I keep my English Ales at around 5-6PSI (instead of around 10) and pump through about 8' of hose, and my lagers and wheat beers at around 9-10PSI (instead of 12-15) and push through 12-15' of hose. This works great for me with 1/4" poly line.

Problem finally solved.

I bought the Kuritek.com 1/4" Bev-seal Ultra Series 235 poly tubing with barrier from Simgo.com (in Mississauga Ontario) so only 4 hours from me. Best part was the price. Only 26 cents/foot (correction: 21 cents/foot CDN). Cheaper than most places will sell vinyl line for.

Kal

P.S. A final word of warning when using poly (PVC) line. The stuff's a lot stiffer than vinyl so it's harder to work with and leaks are easy to create. You need to make sure that the barbed ends you work with are good and sharp so that you can get a good fit and USE HOSE CLAMPS!

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Old 03-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #48
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Thats very interesting about the plastic taste. Im working on a 4 tap setup keezer right now and ordered 3/16 tubing. Im curious how many others have noticable off flavors in the beer tubing. I don't see myself drinking from my taps every day so some of them might go several days or weeks in the plastic line before another pull. I will have to see how it goes. Also if I'm out of town for vacation of work then they just sit as well..so I'll be interested in if I notice any off plastic flavors or not..that wouold suck

Jay

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:11 PM   #49
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My research led me to believe that most people always pour out the first 2-3 oz before drinking from a tap. I just didn't want to do that myself so I went a little overboard with the research and solution.

Kal

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Old 03-11-2008, 08:12 PM   #50
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Awesome bar, great setup, great read! I love threads like this that give me ideas for the future.

I used the 3/16" vinyl beer hose from AHS, and I've yet to notice a "plastic" taste. Even after sitting for a whole month once. Don't have any experience with any other hose so I can't compare.

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