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Old 02-12-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
nathan
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Originally Posted by droopy View Post

The extenders are probably just places to get dirty/infected... The longer lines don't effect the carbonation-- just the speed of the beer coming out. A 6 foot line pouring at 6 psi for a low carbonate beer is just a matter of taking like 10 extra seconds to fill a glass vs the 4 foot line... my 2 cents...
In commercial setups, they are usually pushing the same beer over and over, so when calculations for line length are made (which is resistance in the system so you don't deliver foam into the glass) it usually doesn't need to be changed. In my case I want to be able to change beer styles and keep their volumes of CO2 appropriate, so the variable I can adjust is line length.

At a given temperature (my kegorator temp) to maintain a set Vol of CO2, I need a specific pressure. Since both of those are now constants and not variables, my variable is resistance, which is a factor of line length and inner diameter. I'd rather not use different thickness of tubing, so I just made the extensions to give me the ability to control that last variable easily.

They are flare fittings, and I will clean the lines and remove extensions after every keg, so it won't add much work.

And last night I pulled a PERFECT pint. It came out at a nice speed, filled the glass in about 6 seconds with a perfect head on it and the carbonation level is precisely where it should be.

Now I have to finish carbing up my pilsner and double IPA and try them! brewing three batches this weekend to start stocking up so I can keep the five keg slots full.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:24 PM   #12
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I like the dedication to a perfect pint... And the fact your brewing like crazy! I just think you are over complicating your very nice kegerator just for the sake of doing it.

not so much for you but for guys setting up kegerators for the first time and might think these extensions are necessary...

Balancing lines on a direct draw home kegerator is as simple as having a length of 4 to 6 foot 3/16" ID beer line. No formulas needed.

Any 3/16" ID line in that 4 to 6 foot range will pour a beer plenty fast and control foam. The longer you go the slower the pour and more foam control.

You would never use two different inner diameter lines unless you wanted to for some odd reason. Splicing two different lines may only be needed for lines 16ft or longer. And at some point on super long lines--- I would go with beer gas or better yet a booster pump, rather then have pints of beer in thick beer lines. Another common home draft system that requires lines more then 6 ft and less then 16 ft (say going from one floor in your house to another or one room to another) requires no figuring either. Just use 14 or 15 feet of 1/4" ID line as that slows the beer down the same as 5 or 6 feet of 3/16" beer line will. Set the Co2 regulator at whatever desired carbonation level you want. Over 16 feet may require two different lines but not too many homebrewers will have to deal with this.

In nathans case -- his shorter beer line (4ft) kegerator will cause foam only on a highly carbonate beer because the beer comes will travel out the tap too fast -- thus his extension idea-- more line slows the beer down... In any case beer line has no effect on the volumes of Co2 in the keg. A longer 3/16" line will not cause foam--quite the opposite-- and again has zero effect on the volumes of co2 in your keg.

The only way to effect the carbonation level of the beer is adjust the co2 regulator pressure attached to the keg.

Having the wrong inner diameter line-- say a 5 foot length of 1/4" ID will cause lots of foam b/c the beer will come out like a fire hose out of the tap--- not because it does anything to the carbonation level of the kegged beer.

Hell you could have a 15 foot line of 3/16' at any typical desired volumes of co2 in the keg and you would still pour a perfectly carbonated pint-- it would just crawl out the tap.

That would be great for bottling beer (actually have done that) --- there would be zero foam as the beer would come out so slow--- but i might get a little impatient waiting for my pint to fill.

The only marginal benefit of the extensions is to pour the beer faster-- a matter of a couple seconds difference-- and form a frothy head on the beer with a tilted glass on a low carbonated beer.

For all those setting up a home keggerator--- simple is better.

With a line at the high end of the typical 4 to 6 foot range on home kegerators --- 6 ft--- you can pour any beer with or without a frothy head by tilting the glass or not. From near flat cask conditioned ales to spritzy hefeweizens.

A four foot line on highly carbonated beers can be a bit heady... and every pint of foam you toss is like 1/4 of a beer! Waste not want not!

The added bonus if you over carbonate a wee bit from rushing force carbonation at higher pressure-- typical of homebrewers-- the longer line gives you added foam control...

ps- with the perlick and stout faucets 'cause there forward valved you don't need to take them apart to clean them adequately... just run your beer line cleaner through them at higher pressure (20 to 30 psi). The high pressure creates turbulence in the line and scrubs the beer line and faucet parts.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:21 PM   #13
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Droopy,
You are correct in that a new kegorator builder could go simpler.
My motto is "if something is worth doing, it's worth getting OCD about and way over-doing".

I considered making extensions smaller than 6", then decided a 6" variance was sufficient.

I only have a starter line of 48" because I needed to be able to open the door with the kegs connected, so that was my minimum distance. I wanted them to all start at the same minimum so I could geek out from there and have maximum control.

I have elbowed tailpieces, which are more resistant than standard, and my faucets are a bit higher than average keezer or chest-with-tower modes, so my 48" lines are indeed likely to be GREAT for just about any beer (maybe not a hefe), BUT, I'm in the pursuit of building this out so I can deliver perfection in every pint. So yeah, mine is far more complicated than it needs to be, but it is versatile and way over-expensive and FUN and I love the heck out of it.

I do clean my lines and faucets with high-pressure hot pbw, then a hot rinse, then a cold rinse, then a sanitizer run, which is left in the line. I do one gallon of each (I fill up a keg). It's great and I love the forward seals. Hrm. Typing that it seems even my cleaning method is overkill.

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Old 02-12-2010, 07:30 PM   #14
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My motto is "if something is worth doing, it's worth getting OCD about and way over-doing".

AMEN! But if you were really OCD you would be able to set each keg at different temperatures Something tells me you will probably figure that one out too...
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:40 PM   #15
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Oh I've thought about it. Eventually when I buy or build a house, I might consider purchasing a few chest freezers over time and running insulated lines up from the basement into a kitchen faucet set.

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Old 02-12-2010, 09:17 PM   #16
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Go with a walk in fridge. Set up zones/rooms of varying temperatures...

Ale fermenting zone, lagering zone, multiple keg serving zones, hop freezer zone, yeast storing zone... haha

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:38 PM   #17
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in my last house I had two standup fermentation fridges with dual stage controls and heaters inside, a 25 cuft chest freezer, a kegorator made with a smaller chest freezer, a spare garage fridge for my brewing stuff...

right now I only have the one standup freezer for fermentation (2 carboys), a 16 cuft chest freezer, the new kegorator.... there is time to build up!

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Old 02-13-2010, 05:18 AM   #18
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Looks good!

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:23 PM   #19
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Pics of the inside?

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #20
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ah, I'll get some tonight!

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