Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > I know it's been asked, but here it goes -- Balancing kegging lines
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-24-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
MetuchenBrewerNJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 74
Likes Given: 2

Default I know it's been asked, but here it goes -- Balancing kegging lines

Like the subject says, I know there have been a lot of posts on this topic already. I spent hours going through them, tried what people suggested, and still haven't had any luck. So, I think it's ok for me to post this, no?

Basically, I'm having problems balancing my line length/psi. At first I put in 10' of 3/16. But the beer was coming out undercarbonated. So I put my stats into a calculator and it told me 4 ft of 3/16 was good. So I cut the lines down to 4', but I still had the same problem. So I thought maybe 3/16 was too small and was too much resistance, so I went to 5/16. I put in 5 ft and it seems a little better, but still not what it should be ...it's still undercarbonated (I should note that it's a commercial keg -- Sierra Nevada Pale. It comes carbonated and was immediately undercabonated.) But then I put 5/16 into the calculator and it says I should be around 14'. I haven't tried it yet (my LHBS is a long drive away), but that seems long. From what I've read, people here say 10' is usually the longest.

I have a dual tap kegerator..pretty standard faucet 2' above kegs. 40 degrees. My brother has pretty much the exact same system and gets perfect pours every time. I tried to mimic his system with the 5' of 5/16 lines, but like I said, still not great.

Any thoughts? Thanks guys!

__________________

Primary 1 / Primary 2:
Secondary 1 / Secondary 2: Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Conditioning:
Bottled: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Kegged: Hopback Amber

"He was a wise man who invented beer" ~Plato
Cheers, and thanks for all the help
- Chris

MetuchenBrewerNJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
patthebrewer
Manasquan River Brewing LLC
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
patthebrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: , allenwood, nj
Posts: 686
Liked 55 Times on 48 Posts
Likes Given: 141

Default

Hello fellow Garden Stater. Well, I run 10ft in my Kegerator with Perfect pours, and Its seems like you've tried alot of different things already. What I'm thinking is that your not suppling enough gas pressure, either because your pressure is set to low (flattening out your SNPA), you turn the check valve off to save gas after pours (needs to be on at all times), or there is something wrong with your regulator (I.e incorrectly calibrated or leaking).

One more thing have you verified the temp inside your kegerator(the higher the temp the more pressure is needed)

__________________
Manasquan River Brewing LLC
patthebrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
MetuchenBrewerNJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 74
Likes Given: 2

Default

Thanks for the response. Like you said, I've tried everything. I've heard of the (counter-intuitive) not enough pressure resulting in flat beer. I just hooked up what I have left of my 3/16 line, about 7 ft. I tried it at 7 psi, 10 psi, and 12 psi, and all times there was an undercarbonation immediately, and after about 20 seconds all the bubbles went away and it tasted near flat.

We did have a leak when we first hooked everything up, but I've checked everything 10x by now, and I don't think a leak is the problem (and I would never turn off the gas in between pours). Could be a regulator problem, but we've tried things at low psi and at high, and there hasn't been a big difference.

So 7 ft of 3/16 hasn't done much. At this point though, the pressure could have been low for too long, making the beer a tad flat. I put the PSI up to 13, and we'll see in a few days if that changes anything.

Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated though We've had this kegerator since September and we have yet to have a good beer

Thanks again!

__________________

Primary 1 / Primary 2:
Secondary 1 / Secondary 2: Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Conditioning:
Bottled: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Kegged: Hopback Amber

"He was a wise man who invented beer" ~Plato
Cheers, and thanks for all the help
- Chris

MetuchenBrewerNJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
frank001
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Holland, Michigan
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Temperature might be a factor.... If the keg is warm (which I assume it is not) or the line is warm co2 will not stay in solution. I think you mentioned that you have a it a keggerator... If so and temperature is cold, I have seen shanks (the threaded rod that goes through the door) cause problems. For experiment purposes, try pour a pitchers worth of beer, and then pour a glass. If the glass is carbonated I would say you have a temp problem, if not I would check gauge pressure (9-12 psig) on co2 tank. After that I am at a loss....

__________________
frank001 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 62,905
Liked 4950 Times on 3586 Posts
Likes Given: 1002

Default

Remember that pressure and temperature are related, so use this chart go pick your psi: http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

If with 10' lines your beer seemed undercarbed, it probably was undercarbed. But not because of the lines length, but because the psi on the regulator wasn't high enough to carb up your beer!

Mine is 12 psi at 40 degrees, for a co2 volume of 2.50ish volumes (according to the chart).

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Find me on facebook: Lorena Evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
frank001
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Holland, Michigan
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Another idea is try to make it as foamy as possible... Ie shake the keg. You have not ruled out that the beer had gone flat from a faulty keg. Or instead of shaking it pressurize to 30psig and wait an hour or so if u comes out foamy you should be able to tweak it down. This is the kind of problem I would live to be there helping with... It sounds like a trial and error kind of thing and you can't let anything go to waste

__________________
frank001 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
jbaysurfer
Former future HOF Brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 2,609
Liked 508 Times on 374 Posts
Likes Given: 828

Default

If you run just a few pints from a commercial keg from it's natural cO2 you can flatten it out in a jiffy. I think your keg itself is undercarbed. There's very little that line length can do to actually affect carbonation levels...it only affects flow rate...Most "foamy/Wild" beer pour sufferers dial the Co2 back to levels that won't sustain the beers natural carbonation and end up with flat beer like you have. Put your long lines back in, dial it up 12-13PSI (going from experience on this one, not a table) and don't do anything for 7 days if possible. By the end of that week you should get flow rates slow enough to not create wild foamy beers and have enough carbonation to make the beer taste normal.

If you can't or won't wait that long, dial it up to 30PSI and connect it while shaking the keg for 30-60 seconds and let it sit for 2-3 days (after dialing the regulator back to 12 PSI)to fully dissolve into the beer.

Lastly, I've been brewing for only a little over a year, but I've been a kegerator owner for 20 years and the first thing I tell every single friend that gets a kegerator with a tower is: The first pour will ALWAYS be foamy. Tower coolers help, but likely won't fix the problem completely. Learn to live with it, it's a minor nuisance for the pleasure of having beer on tap at home!

__________________

First Brew was thanksgiving 2011, I'm at 103 batches and counting (as of 11/11/2014), and ran out of room in my signature to list them all.

jbaysurfer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
nickmv
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Memphis
Posts: 777
Liked 60 Times on 48 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Def sounds like the keg itself was undercarb'd.

OP -- you say it's a commercial beer. Is the keg a sanke tap? Just curious. Regardless, I'd hit it with 20psi or so for a couple days to see if that fixes things.

If it doesn't, you've got some leak somewhere that should be fairly obvious.

By the way, this needs to be in the kegging/bottling forum. It'll see more action there, and it's more appropriate to that forum.

__________________

Primary #1 (SS Brew Bucket):
Primary #2 (SS 7G Chronical):
Primary #3 (Better Bottle): Rye Saison
Secondary #1: Pinot Grigio Kit
Secondary #2: Pinot Grigio Kit
Secondary #3: Gewurztraminer Kit
On-Deck:
Kegged & Waiting: Citra Black IPA
ON TAP: n/a
2014 Beers So Far:
Belgian Wit | Burton IPA | Belgian Wit | Black IPA | Rye Saison | Hefeweizen

nickmv is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #9
MetuchenBrewerNJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 74
Likes Given: 2

Default

nickmv---Yes, it should be in the kegging/bottling forum, oops!

Everyone else, thanks for the input. I know how temperature affects everything so I always keep an eye on it. And I know to expect a foamy first pour. You guys do have me convinced that the keg itself is undercarbed. Admittedly, I did have it at a very low PSI for a while, so it probably got undercarbonated from that. I'll jack up the PSI for a week or so to carb it back up and see what we get.

Thanks for all the help everyone, I appreciate it!

__________________

Primary 1 / Primary 2:
Secondary 1 / Secondary 2: Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Conditioning:
Bottled: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Kegged: Hopback Amber

"He was a wise man who invented beer" ~Plato
Cheers, and thanks for all the help
- Chris

MetuchenBrewerNJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Balancing Beer (liquid) lines eman79er Bottling/Kegging 25 10-26-2012 06:11 AM
Carbonation/Kegging/Balancing Question PistolaPete Bottling/Kegging 3 08-28-2012 10:31 PM
balancing keg system with different size lines ranch Bottling/Kegging 9 10-28-2010 04:00 AM
Balancing lines running from basement Lefe21 Bottling/Kegging 3 05-11-2010 07:24 PM
Foamy beer from tap still after balancing lines NitrouStang96 Bottling/Kegging 3 06-06-2008 02:14 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS