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Old 09-30-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
Jota21
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Default Yes, another beer line question

So I have tried to search, but everything seems to involve more complex setups and ball lock couplers.

For the time being, i bottle my beer, but i have a kegerator for commercial beers (just an old fridge with a tap on the door). I just tapped a 1/2 of Labatt last week for our halloween party, but for some reason it's pouring way too much foam.

Now that the beer has settled for 5 days, i expected the foam to go away, but it hasn't. The CO2 is on 10 psi. The fridge is on it's coldest setting (probably 38-40), and the beer tastes fine, so I'm wondering if a longer beer line will fix this. The first pour is the most foam, and each pour immediately following gets progressively better.

This is the kit that I have:
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/kits/skk.shtml

It shows 1/4" line, and I know everyone recommends 3/16" so I'm thinking about swapping out to 10' of 3/16th. Will this help? Will it even fit? I've never taken the beer line off of the coupler. There is no quick disconnect, so i'm not even sure how to do it.

Is there a difference between 'beer line' and hardward store PVC tubing?

Dumb questions, I know, but any tips are appreciated.

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
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Your issue sounds like a problem with keeping the beer in the line the same temp as the beer in the keg, since the issue goes away as you pour more beer. You need to setup fans and possibly insulation around the lines to ensure the deep stays down.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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I don't know if that is the problem. The lines are in the fridge so they should be as cool as everything else. The temp difference from the back of the fridge to the front isn't as much of a problem as the temp difference from the bottom of a chest freezer to the top. Having a fan in a chest freezer is almost a necessity where as a fan in a fridge isn't.

You may want to clean your lines and faucets if you haven't done that in a while. If possible, watch your line as you pour a beer. You should see all beer and hardly any bubbles.

A longer line definitely could help. It won't hurt that's for sure. 10 feet of line should only cost you a couple bucks.

The beer also may be overcarbed from the distributor. I have found when I bought cheaper BMC kegs, some of them were overcarbed.

My advice, clean your lines. If that doesn't work, buy a 10 foot line.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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I have a different setup than you - I have a coffin box on top of a mini kegerator, so I think more chance for foam.

I think a 3/16" line will make a big difference - the pressure changes exponentially with diameter. I had a problem with my 3/16 lines when I switched to Perlick faucets. I increased my line length from about 4' to about 12' and it made a world of difference. Now I get beer with a little bit of foam rather than vice-versa. To get the lines to fit on the barbs, do what I did: let the end of the line sit in boiling water a while to soften it, then quickly jam it onto the barb. It's tricky but certainly do-able.

There is a difference between the pvc and food-grade line. Make sure you have the food-grade otherwise you might (because I don't KNOW for sure) experience off-flavours or worse, health risks from chemicals dissolving into your beer.

Your questions are not silly - these are key to making sure your system is balanced and safe.

B

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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my last keg was too faomy also, so I thought it might be over carbed since it was Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. I thought maybe a smaller brewery wouldn't have the checks and balances/technology/etc... but two kegs in a row point to my equipment.

I use "Beer Line Cleaner" and a bristle brush between each keg. The lines are 3 years old, so i'm sure they're due for replacement anyway, so my questions about the beer lines still stand.

How to replace the beer line to the coupler with the connection that is in the picture of the kit posted above. Also, in my searches, i've seen people replace 1/4" with 3/16" by heating the tubing to force it over the barbs. How would you get it off? A heat gun again? I need a heat gun to remove the 1/4" tubing from the shank, i can't imagine a 3/16".

Also, can I use clear tubing from a hardware store?

Edit: How to tell if the lines are food grade?

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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Make sure the tubing is food grade, it doesn't matter where it comes from if it's food grade.

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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I would give the same answer - longer lines and 3/16 instead of 1/4.

Use a utility knife to cut the lines from the barb, save and re-use the hose clamp.

Use clear tubing from the hardware store if it is food-grade. If it doesn't say it, then it isn't. Get the real thing for the reasons I mentioned.

B

EDIT: If you're not sure about the tubing, go to your LHBS or BOP and ask them for the tubing.

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:08 PM   #8
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Bop?

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zixxer10R View Post
Bop?
Brew On Premises

B
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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As in BJ's or a restaurant that BOPs? I have literally never heard that term before. At least not that acronym.

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