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Old 11-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
JonnyJumpUp
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Default How Far is Too Far: Ambient Beer Lines

I finally managed to get my hands on some 525SS Tap and SS shank. My mini fridge converted to a kegerator is coming together. I see a lot of threads on cooling the beer lines. My question is at what length of non-refridgerated beer line do you need to worry about cooling? I am building a wood enclosure with a countertop and a 12" tall shelf where the faucets will be mounted. My math shows I will have about two feet of un-cooled beer line. So should I worry about it? Mostly I pour a beer a night, sometimes more, sometimes less.

If I do need cooling I would think for this length air would suffice... but at some point liquid cooling would become more practical.

I could just put the taps straight out of the side of the fridge but I want to keep this out of the reach of the kids, at least until there not toddlers...

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
bduane
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Yes, you will want to make sure the beer stays cold in those lines, otherwise the first 1/2-1 pint will be warm foam before each session, and seeing that you only drink 1 a night, this would mean a lot of lost beer!

I really doubt a liquid cooling solution would be practical for 2 feet. Most people use them for long runs (to their keg room for example)

You are going to want to get a blower to blow cool air in the box through some tubing, and insulate the box well well. You can make our own blower using a project box and a pc fan as well, but it wont be as efficient. Make sure you have a return tube as well so that you have a path for the air to circulate.

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Mine has about 16 inches of uncooled line. The first time that I use it, for the day, I get about a 1/3 glass of foam that I throw away, then the line and faucet are cool and it works great.

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Mine has about 16 inches of uncooled line. The first time that I use it, for the day, I get about a 1/3 glass of foam that I throw away, then the line and faucet are cool and it works great.
That is more beer than I am willing to lose. Especially because I think you could fix that with $7 worth of hose and a $5 case fan.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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That is more beer than I am willing to lose. Especially because I think you could fix that with $7 worth of hose and a $5 case fan.
The hole in the top of my kegerator is just big enough for two hoses. When I get time I may enlarge that hole for some air flow. The case fan will be a pain in the arse to wire up, I guess that I could hook it to the light bulb.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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The hole in the top of my kegerator is just big enough for two hoses. When I get time I may enlarge that hole for some air flow. The case fan will be a pain in the arse to wire up, I guess that I could hook it to the light bulb.
I like the light bulb idea, although I just checked and my dorm fridge evidently wasn't fancy enough to come with a ligh bulb. So much for that idea

I have at least a dozen chargers to electronics that I no longer own or use, one should do the trick for the wiring. I have used them as inexpensive power supplies for a few projects now.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:21 PM   #7
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I have about 2' of uncooled line. The first pint I pour is about 1/2 foam. I set it aside and then pour a perfect pint. While I enjoy the pint, the first one slowly turns from foam to beer. Then I drink it. It's not perfect, but it works.

-Mike

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Old 11-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
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Someone on here put their last few feet of line inside copper tubing. The tubing extended well down into the refrigerated section. Since copper transfers temp so well, it supposedly kept the lines cool, no fan. I have not done this, just passing it on as an idea.

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