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Old 01-15-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
barron35
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Default Line length, pressure...want to get this right

Hi all. Long time listener, first time caller

I've done quite a bit of searching, but don't feel like I have a complete handle on what I'd like to do. Here's my scenario. Upright fridge/freezer in the basement, tower in the kitchen. From the middle of the keg to faucet is 5' across and 13' up. I have a Glacier Maxi Panther glycol tower with 4 product lines and will have a bucket in the freezer. The barbs on the product lines are 1/4". I've read all about the accuflex ultra lines, but see most people are using 3/16" ID on the 1/4" barbs. My main concern is how long my lines should be and at what pressure. I've run some calculations and it seems 22ft at 13psi is about what I need, but that is with 1/4" tubing (resistance).

Have I missed something here? Will 3/16" tubing work for my setup? Anything else glaring I've overlooked? Thanks much!

2013-01-13-14.22.37.jpg  
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Most people find that the calculators are generally off. They make assumptions about line resistance that may not be actual. It's obvious though that 3/16" line is going to be too resistive to be able to run 13 feet in addition to all that vertical head. You definitely need to start with 1/4" ID. I'd start with 25' per line and if it's still too slow at your desired pressure, cut off 2 feet at a time.

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
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I don't think I would use 3/16" with a 13' rise and 5' run. The pressure requirement would probably over carb most styles. You are at almost 6psi for the 13' rise alone.

Are you chilling the entire length of the line? If not, you are likely to get foam.

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #4
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Bobby,
Cool, that was my thought as well, will definitely go with 1/4". Thanks.

Pelipen,
I typically kept my pressure around 12psi when I had my co2 and keg in the fridge. It sounds as if I will have to crank that up to get the proper pressure when running upstairs. Perhaps a silly question, but will that over carb my beer?

I will be chilling the entire line. Glycol in freezer, insulated trunk line up to tower and glycol cooled tower which I have read, and hope, chills to the faucet. Here's what I got, http://store.glacier-design.com/maxi...glycol-cooled/.

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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What your describing, is basically a bar/rest. commercial set-up, with a home made glycol power-pack. You shuoud run a pre-made trunkline between fridge outlet to tower bottom. How many ft. between fridge & tower bottom up-stairs would the the insulated trunkline section be??? They sell it @ micro-matic for about $9/ft. in 1/4".
We usually set this type of system up with a 5ft. vinyl jumper from keg to wall bracket wye, then wye out hooks to hard poly trunkline up to tower bottom, which should have 5or 6 feet of 3/16th" vinyl as choker line, that you use splicers to connect to poly trunkline. This is where you control your your resistance. Most of the time you need to shorten the choker,sometimes add a little, because i used to large dia. of trunkline up to choker. Which you don;t want to do. The shorter you can make the choker come out the bottom of tower base the better, less to re-wrap & insulate.
You could probably could run your own home made trunkline with vinyl straight from keg to shank or 3/16" choker, If you use 3/16" the whole run, you might need to much pressure to push the beer, ie. above 15 psi.
Let's say the run from keg to tower bottom is 18 ft. I would say that 1/4" vinyl from keg in fridge to tower bottom should do, maybe 5/16". Lets see: 18 Ft. 1/4" vinyl @ .65 psi./ft= 11.7 plus 6.5 for elevation = 18.2 psi plus 3ft of 3/16" choker line @ 2.2/ft = 24.8 psi. total resistance. Now, let's try 18 Ft. 5/16" vinyl @ .40 psi./ft.= 7.2 psi. plus 6.5psi. for elevation = 13.7 psi. plus 3ft. of choker line @ 2.2 = 20.3 psi. total resistance.
I, would probably go with the 5/16". Remember, the calculators are made for the commercial industry with long draw sytems, that are to give you the fastest pour rates without foam as possible. A flow rate of 1 Gal./min. We set-up our homebrew keezer's with 10 ft. vinyl, because we don't care about a little longer time a pour take's. We care about foam loss. Too much resistance only equals too slow of pour rates, too little resistance equals, all kinds of foaming and carbonation issues.
I think, either, 1/4" @ 24.8 psi. or 5/16" @ 20.3 psi. total resistance should give good pour rates at 10-15 psi. serving pressure. You might even need to lengthen the choker line more than 3 feet.
If you make your own trunkline, make sure to use larger diameter poly for the glycol feed & return line, usually 3/8 inch. Make sure that all 4 product lines our in contact with both glycol lines, if possible. It should be wrapped with moisture barrier wrap first, then a good quality foil tape for cold transfer all around bundle, then with foam tube insulation, ideally 3/4" to 1". Use black duct tape or foam insulation tape to seal any butts or joint connections.
Just remember, draft system's are fine balancing act. You put too little resistance in, then we have too keep adding a bunch of un-needed line.
On the other hand we put too much resistance, and were F****d, other than using a mixed gas at higher serving pressure. I think i'm done rambling now. If you have any questions?? I can PM you my cell#. I find it easier too explain things with word's more than a keyboard. i type slower than molasses. Hope this helps some. Cheers!!!!!!!!
Chumly

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Old 10-18-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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How do you like your Maxi Panther tower. I love the way they look. Are the shanks on them plastic? They look black which makes me think so

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Old 10-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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I like it quite a bit actually. I picked it up from ebay, pulled from a bar, so was a good amount cheaper than new which I believe is around $800-900. The shanks are metal. The black pieces you are seeing are plastic sleeves which cover the shank. They don't seem to be anything more than decorative.

The one thing I thought was odd was that the coolant lines had some play to them and could slide them in and out of the tower 2-3 inches; this same play didn't exist on the liquid lines. After a call to the manufacturer, they said this was normal as the copper is just bent in U formation, placed in the tower and not tied down. This is my first beer tower so not sure if that's typical.

If interested in some more detailed pics let me know/PM me.

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