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04-17-2012, 04:25 AM   #1
LiquidFlame
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 Keg Line Length Question

Ok, so I'm getting conflicting information about keg line length. I'm about to put my Lemon Coriander Weiss in my keg at 45F at 20.7psi to get 3.0 volumes of CO2.

Looking at this site: http://www.iancrockett.com/brewing/info/kegbalance.shtml it says I should use 9.9ft using his calculator with 20.7 for pressure, 2 for resistance and 1.8ft for height.

At this site: http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/07/18/getting-a-good-pour-kegged-beer-co2-line-length-and-pressure/ it says I should use 6.96ft using his equation with 20.7 for pressure, 1.8ft for height, 2.7 for resistance.

Obviously there is a huge difference in length and I'm trying to figure out which one is correct. They both use different equations and they both have different resistance values for 3/16 ID plastic beer line. So which one should I go with? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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04-17-2012, 06:59 AM   #2
JuanMoore
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My guess is that neither is correct. The actual resistance of 3/16" line varies quite a bit between materials, manufacturers, and even between different runs of the same line from the same manufacturer. My experience has been that the actual resistance is almost always less than even the lowest published values. IMO those calculators aren't good for much more than a very rough estimate, if that. My suggestion would be to make the lines much longer than you think they need to be, and then trim them down if it pours too slow. It's very easy to cut a few feet off of a line that's too long, but making a short line grow longer is a bit tricky.

FWIW I made all of my lines much longer than needed, and the only side effect is a slightly slower pour. I'm not running a busy bar where how many beers I can pour in an hour matters, and if I have time to drink a beer, I have a few extra seconds to wait for it to pour. And if I want to serve something very highly carbed, it's not an issue, and will pour fine without resulting in a glass of mostly foam.

There are a lot of recommendations on this forum to start with 10-12' of 3/16" ID line, but most people are also serving at 10-14 psi. For your 20.7 psi, you're probably going to need quite a bit longer. Even with long lines, keeping 3.0 vol from foaming at warmer temps like that may present a challenge.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

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04-17-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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I inserted 2 plastic spirals into my dip tube on my kegs and this worked unbelievably. I would maybe try 3 in your case and go with a 3-5 foot line. I used two in a raspberry fruit ale, I was aiming for 2.1 volumes I have a 60" line @ 12.5 PSI. It pours slowly but the Co2 is spot on.

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04-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Not exactly the answers I was hoping to get. I think I'll start out with 10' of line and see how that goes.

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04-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by LiquidFlame Not exactly the answers I was hoping to get. I think I'll start out with 10' of line and see how that goes.
I have 10' lines on my kegerator, and my psi is at 12. I've gradually gone longer and longer, starting with about 5' but I always had some foaming issues until now. If I was routinely going to use over 14-15 psi, I would start with 12' lines at least. I'd even err on the side of caution and consider 15' lines. I know that's not what the calculators say- but you can always cut them shorter. You can't cut them longer! Or you could use those internal things to add more resistance.
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04-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Yea, I'll start longer and work my way down. Thanks.

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04-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by LiquidFlame Not exactly the answers I was hoping to get. I think I'll start out with 10' of line and see how that goes.
I'd recommend at least 13 to 15 ft and be sure it is 3/16" and not 1/4". The problem there imo is not the pressure but instead the temperature. 45 is going to foam up a lot. You may try to drop it to 40 If it won't work. BTW I use 5' and 3/16" with 38 and 10 and have no problems.

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