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Old 09-05-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
orion2598
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Default PSI and dispensing formulas are off, or I am...

Ok, this is my second attempt at balancing my draft system. First, the details. Standard keggerator fridge@40 degrees, with the kegs 2 ft below the faucets. Regulator set at 11-12 PSI. 6" shanks in the fridge door.

I started out at 5ft of 3/16" hose, but had foaming problems unless I dropped the pressure, so I moved up to 7ft of hose, but still lots of foam. However, if I drop the PSI down to about 8 (and purge the keg), I can get a good pour.

So, I'm tempted to replace the hoses once again, but this time use 10 ft to add more resistance. However, I am a bit distressed becuase the balancing calculators I have seen recommend 3-5 ft of hose.

I'm wondering what others use, and if anyone else has had to use a lot more tubing than recommended.

Thanks,
Greg

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Old 09-05-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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I've noticed inconsistency in the tables too but I also suspect a degree of error in the regulator gauges, actual pressure drop per foot of hose, etc. It's also possible that the beer at the bottom of the keg is colder than the setpoint of the fridge. I tried using the tables and then gave up and decided to go with 10' on all the faucets. It's a slower pour but no foam. Hey, it's cheaper to cut the hose than to buy a new length.

There are others who claim that once the beer is carbed, dropping down to 5-8psi for the rest of the batch's life will not change the carbonation level. I think this is impossible based on physics. Given a couple days, and a couple pours, it should equalize down to the new "volumes" calculation based on pressure and temp.

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Old 09-05-2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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I am a novice at CO2 balancing, but 8-10 psi sounds right for ales with 5 feet of tubing. I have around 5 feet of tubing and keep my regulator at 8 psi, haven't had any problems.

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Old 09-05-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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I get foaming on my first pour with a "balanced" system.

Everyone has thier low points. I try to think happy thoughts until my sadness passes. Then I tap another.

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Old 09-05-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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7' 3/16 40 f and 12 psi. Almost never have foam.

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Old 09-05-2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
I get foaming on my first pour with a "balanced" system.

Everyone has thier low points. I try to think happy thoughts until my sadness passes. Then I tap another.
Me too. Mine is at 12 PSI cause I don't want my beer low carbed.

I just use an extra cup to take the foam hit for the first couple of seconds, then I pour a regular beer for myself and SWMBO. I swing by the taps a few minutes later and pour what settled down back into my beer glass.

This is waste you see bartenders pour down the drain at every bar you've been to.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the tips everyone. I will start w/ the 10' of tubing and see what happens from there.

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Old 09-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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7' 3/16 40 f and 12 psi with the same results as Edwort and that foam, I believe, is due to the tap being warm. I think 10' may be too much.

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Old 09-06-2007, 02:11 PM   #9
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The only downside to hose being "too long" is that the pour will be slower. It's not the end of the world.

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Old 09-06-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Mine mostly have 6ft lines, and 10-12psi works well I suspect regulator and guage error to make up a bit of the foaming mystery for some folks, as well as inaccurate fridge thermostats, and poorly cooled lines, taps, and towers.

You can drop the pressure once you carb a beer to the required volumes of CO2, and it will only equalize (de-carb) very slowly. If you carbed at 10psi and left it at 8psi for a while, I doubt most folks would notice. I tried this and I was the only one who knew, and it took a long time to be noticable. Lots of variables like beer volume vs air space, but don't make it tougher than it is. With a little time spent fiddling around with a proper setup you'll find your balance.

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