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Old 04-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default "long lines" orthodoxy

The normal advice is to use 10 foot lines so that when your beer is at serving pressure, it will pour slowly enough to not foam.

The idea is that the longer lines are introducing enough resistance to slow the flow down. If you reduced the pressure enough to slow the flow, the beer would be undercarbed.

It seems wasteful to use 10 feet of hose just for the purpose of slowing down the pour. Why not introduce resistance some other way? Why not, for example, pinch the center of the line slightly with a hose clamp or something? Why not crush the dip tube slightly to reduce the area?

I have seen the "expoxy mixing swizzle stick in the dip-tube" trick, but haven't tried it because I don't know where to get the swizzle sticks.

I'm thinking of trying an adjustable clamp so that I can just pinch the line to adjust the flow. Ideas?

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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i have 6' lines and have no issues at all. but if i did, 10' lines are a nice easy, quick, and cheap fix. why bother trying to reinvent the wheel.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Because beer line is expensive, has to be cleaned, and clutters up my kegerator. I only need 2 feet of line, max. Instead I have these big coils, 40 feet total, in my kegerator.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
[...]I have seen the "expoxy mixing swizzle stick in the dip-tube" trick, but haven't tried it because I don't know where to get the swizzle sticks.
You can get them from Graingers.

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I'm thinking of trying an adjustable clamp so that I can just pinch the line to adjust the flow. Ideas?
You should try it just to see what happens - which will most likely be lots of CO2 breakout in the line just beyond the clamp. Abrupt changes in flow rate will do that. Someone recently fighting foam problems discovered a cocked gasket inside a coupling. That's all it took to cause big problems...

Cheers!
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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Why not, for example, pinch the center of the line slightly with a hose clamp or something? Why not crush the dip tube slightly to reduce the area?
Did you ever go outside with the hose, and then pinch a portion of the flow to make water shoot harder and faster out of the hose? That's what is would happen if you narrowed the line in a place.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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You should try it just to see what happens - which will most likely be lots of CO2 breakout in the line just beyond the clamp. Abrupt changes in flow rate will do that. Someone recently fighting foam problems discovered a cocked gasket inside a coupling. That's all it took to cause big problems...

Cheers!
What he said. You want laminar flow, not turbulent, and sudden changes in pressure can cause some of the CO2 to come out of solution. I went with ~12 ft lines on my system and I have no foaming problems. I can wait the extra couple of seconds it'll take to pour my glass, waiting for the foam to die down takes WAY longer.

I'm with the other posters above, beer line is fairly cheap (at least when talking about kegging components). Cut longer lines, coil them, and zip tie or velcro them. They should sit on top of the kegs without much problem. Good luck with it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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FWIW I tried the mixing sticks in my dip tube one time, and had some trub go up into the diptube and almost immediately clog the works up. To be fair, I had added some kind of fruit or something to that batch (but not in the keg), and the typical yeast sludge might not be as much of a problem, but I decided it wasn't worth the hassle of disassembling a full keg of beer just to fix it if it happened again.

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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There is an equation I was supposed to learn in college Physics class that I never could master...the flow rate is not going to change, and the speed of the beer coming out of the keg is not changing, just the orifice size...basically what Yooper said though...I think it would actually make the problem far worse.

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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I've had great luck with 5' lines on mine, same with my buddy's kegerator. I haven't had the need to go to 10' lines. All I do is adjust the pressure to what works and I'm good to go. Haven't had to worry about anything being undercarbed, and thats with homebrew as well as commercial.

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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There is an equation I was supposed to learn in college Physics class that I never could master...the flow rate is not going to change, and the speed of the beer coming out of the keg is not changing, just the orifice size...
You're right - it didn't take

Restrictions reduce flow rate. That's why they're called "restrictions".

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basically what Yooper said though...I think it would actually make the problem far worse.
That'd certainly be my bet...

Cheers!
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