Here's the situation: I'm thankfully equiped with a small family of Corrnies and a keg fridge. It's only a single tower, but it packs a triple manifold/3 keg setup inside with two in-fridge dispensing lines....all lines balanced off so that we can regulate overall system pressure OR individual pressures for kegs.
At the beginning of the summer, I bough a jockey box kit (hardware w/o the cooler itself) and had immediate intentions of wiring up the "portable" keg system. However, I had trouble finding (what I deemed) reasonable deals on a SS coil so I put the project on the back burner. Now I'm revisiting the issue and have found only a few helpful places to order the coils online.
I had purchased this kick-bung mini-cooler that has a clear interior 8"x8"x8" space for the coil. REALLY tight, I know. But this was purchased without the current understand of the issue. The system would be used as an occasional party-type dispensing system. One cornie, 3-4 hours. Nothing special.
The questions are:
1 - I have done the math and can fit a 1/4" x 50' coil in this tiny cooler. By volume, that gives me a pint in the coil, which was the 'sweet spot' I was trying to hit. However, it this cooler just too tight to properly cool the coil? 8" cube, 6" coil.....not enough ice/water?
2 - Should I only trust "extruded" tubing and avoid "welded" tubing? I have heard whispers that you are begging for nasties at locations of notches/nooks along the imperfections of the weld. But if I am only using this in one-off situation couldn't I alleviate this concern by blowing the coil clean then forcing Idophor though after each use?
3 - It seems like everyone reccomends 3/8" coils. There seems to be concern that smaller tubing would create excessive head/carbonation in the beer and that you would be left with suds moreso than beer. My thinking, though, goes such that if I calculate the correct PSI correction for the smaller tubing vs. existing keg normalized pressure, shouldn't I be able to achieve a "calm" pour? Just the fact that the coil tubing is smaller than 3/8" would create more force needed to squeeze the beer through the coil, so the pressure would have to be adjusted with some thought-out equation anyway.
simplified version of 3 - Is 1/4" tubing too small? Will is result in foamy beer?
4 - Anyone know of any good deal on coils? MoreBeer has a 3/8" 50'r for $75, I found some 1/4" on Ebay for $2/foot. Any surprise vendors??
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!!