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Old 08-27-2010, 05:29 PM   #21
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Shop that noise to the hundreds of posters here who can't pour less than 3/4 a pint of foam on their 4 foot lines. The proof is in the pour and not a formula. 10 feet is on the extreme end for sure but the tubing is so dirt cheap that it's a perfect place to start. If you can't pour fast enough to get a decent head at the end of a pour, cut a foot off. Boo hoo, 30 cents wasted and everything.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:35 PM   #22
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4' lines worked for me @ 37F with 8 psi, but I was always doing a dance to keep the foam from happening.

I now keep my beer @ 45F with 13-14psi and find that 10' lines work great. I could probably lop off a foot or two and be ok, but why bother as it gives me flexibility.

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #23
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The only harm in longer lines is slower pour and what to do with the extra slack... no other harm that i have seen... it sort of surprises me that the companies that make the "kits" don't just start with 10' lines - i bet their customer service calls would be far less as a result (instead of dealing with the checklist of foam issues) and you wouldn't get people complaining their foamless pour is too slow - they'd just cut off more line if they needed to.

what the longer lines does for alot of people i think is make the temp/height/tap balancing act much less of an impact on the quality of the pour - it adds a level of consistency and insurance that can make up for alot of things. which means less fiddling to get things right and an overall quicker and more pleasant experience.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:30 PM   #24
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I noticed the last comment about companies using longer lines. 10' of beer line is much more than is needed in the vast majority of sytems. As the owner of a draft beer company I believe it is important to determine the correct restriction length and then use that length on a system. For a standard, typical direct draw system 5' of beer line is more that you need. Putting 10' on will slow down the pour and offers no advantage unless you are serving an extremely highly carbonated beer. If you are getting foam at 12PSI with beer carbonated to serve between 10 and 14PSI your issue is with something other than hose length. It is due to temperature or the beer was carbonated to a rate higher than 12PSI equivalent (due to mistake) If you are serving your beer at 18PSI, you would need longer hose, but it would still not be 10', it would be 6' or 7'. I recently had a customer email me after reading suggestions on Homebrew talk saying his beer line should be 10' long asking why were were being "Cheap" and not installing longer beer lines. My first reaction was to start using longer beer lines, but I know that 10' is way to long and 95% of our customers have great results using 5' beer lines. I think changing the length would have negative results for many customers, including longer pour time, too much beer line to deal with in small spaces and increased cost for something that will give no benefit. We are always happy to put on whatever beer length you desire. Just call us and we will make the change for you. I just don't believe "more is better" is the correct philosophy. I believe it is better to get the correct length and use that.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlus View Post
what the longer lines does for alot of people i think is make the temp/height/tap balancing act much less of an impact on the quality of the pour - it adds a level of consistency and insurance that can make up for alot of things. which means less fiddling to get things right and an overall quicker and more pleasant experience.
I like this simple summary. I'm building a keezer right now, just getting into kegging and this whole beer line length/size foam issue is confusing. I need a simple solution that is basically a one size fits all. If my biggest drawback to 10' lines is a slower pour, I'm sold. I don't have the time/patience/knowledge to be messing with all the other variables.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:49 PM   #26
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I like this simple summary. I'm building a keezer right now, just getting into kegging and this whole beer line length/size foam issue is confusing. I need a simple solution that is basically a one size fits all. If my biggest drawback to 10' lines is a slower pour, I'm sold. I don't have the time/patience/knowledge to be messing with all the other variables.
I agree to a point. The only thing I really think those that keg should absolutely know is that the pressure set at the regulator should have absolutely nothing to do with serving. It's strictly the pressure at which the beer will be properly carbonated at its temperature. From there, we're only using the lines and height difference of the keg and tap to resist the pressure so that we don't have a fast pour that produces foam. A 10' line will surely do that. But if the lines are kept at the same temperature as the rest of the beer, then much shorter lines (5' or even less) can be used without problems.

I make my calculations for hose length, add a foot (or round up) and go from there. Actually, someone (don't remember who) once said that the flow rate should vary as the pressure does, meaning that highly carbonated beers should pour slower than lower carbonated beers. Which makes sense. But most calculations on pressure reduction in hose assume a 1 gal/min flow rate (about 6 seconds for a pint).
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #27
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42*F, 12psi, 5' of beer line, perfect pours. But what do I know, I dont have 15,000 posts.

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Old 08-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #28
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42*F, 12psi, 5' of beer line, perfect pours. But what do I know, I dont have 15,000 posts.
According to physics, 5' is about right for a 1 gal/min pour rate with those specs!
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #29
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According to physics, 5' is about right for a 1 gal/min pour rate with those specs!
What physics? You're using an empirical formula, not one based in physics. If you were using physics, (really fluid dynamics), you'd need a LOT more information, (wall smoothness, is the line coiled or not, how tight is the coil, where and how many restrictions, turbulence inducing points, etc are there?).

I said this in another post, it seems Todd and I disagree. Some say 5' of line works, some say 10' of line works. All I know is that if 5' of line ISN'T working, you should try 10' of line. There's no "right way" to do this, just figure out how to pour your beer, whatever it takes.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #30
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Ok, keep it civil. You know damn well I'm not leaning on my post count as some kind of authority and I never have. What it means is that I spend a lot of time trying to help people.

Certainly faucet height does play a part. If you use a tower on top of your kegerator, you're already about 16" higher than faucets on a freezer collar or say in the front door of an old fridge. With towers, sure, shave 2 feet off that recommended 10' of line to start with.

My, and others, recommendation to start with 10 feet of line per is perfectly logical and I'll continue to defend it until you can show me how the pros/cons are outweighed against an "ideal" length. Let's work it out.

Lines that are "too long".
Pros: Just about foolproof way to resist overfoaming. Allows for warmer serving if you want to. Allows for serving of Wits and Belgians at over 3 volumes.
Cons: Costs about $1.50 more per faucet, May slow the pour down to an unacceptable speed, not enough head creation.
Fixes for Cons: Trim a foot and try again (waste about 30 cents every time you do that).

Lines that are "Too Short"
Pros: none unless you hate carbonation.
Cons: Glass full of foam. Have to come post on HBT about that problem. Have to buy new lines, even if they're only 2 feet longer than the ones you had. Essentially you waste the cost of the entire length of your original lines.

Lines that are "just right". You've done your calculations and in order to impress your draft beer profession friends, you got the 5.5' line that pours a 12psi beer just right.

pros: You can pour that 12psi beer just right, 2 finger head, as fast as possible.
cons: you can pour that 12psi beer just right, Grab some new line for a wit or mild. You decide your 38F set temp is too cold for your tastes so you raise it to 44F and now need to bump your pressure up. Now perfect is not.

Would it make everyone happy if I suggest starting with 9 feet instead? Done. Everyone with collared freezers,start with 9 feet and shave as necessary. Everyone with towers, start with 7'. If you do the calculations, know the temp you always want to serve at, always like the same volumes of carbonation, always run a fan to keep upper and lower chamber temps equal, can trust the manufacture's claim of per-foot pressure drop, you can arrive at this magic line length that pours perfectly. If you just want to pour some F-ing beer, um..

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