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Old 11-19-2012, 11:06 AM   #11
jcaudill
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That's not a rule of thumb I'd follow. Sounds like a waste of tubing and cleaner. There are formulas for a reason! And simple ones at that.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
Paulgs3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
It sounds like your kegs are overpressured. Do you monitor the pressure level in each keg?
This is actually my greatest problem. I have a cheap, disappointing regulator that came with my kegging starter kit. The tank pressure gage stopped working a year ago, and I have very little confidence in the pressure readout to the tanks. I have a monitor that I got from Williams out in California that is an awesome little tool. Truth is I need a better quality regulator.

Side note: it is why I've been telling new people that want to get into the hobby to NOT buy starter kits. Most of the equipment is garbage. I really don't want to name the company I got it from as that are on this forum and I no longer use them, but everything I got from them I had replaced within 6 brews. Except obviously the regulator which is my own fault as my own ignorance kept me from realizing its probably my problem for all these years.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
jcaudill
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One thing I'll note is that pressure readout is certainly not going to be representative of pressure in each tank if say you have 4 on the same run. You could have one at 12, one at 25, one at 15 and so on. It's more like the average pressure. You really have to have a gauge at every keg to really get an accurate picture.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill
That's not a rule of thumb I'd follow. Sounds like a waste of tubing and cleaner. There are formulas for a reason! And simple ones at that.
2 psi per foot of tubing is a variable in an equation, or don't you see that.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill
One thing I'll note is that pressure readout is certainly not going to be representative of pressure in each tank if say you have 4 on the same run. You could have one at 12, one at 25, one at 15 and so on. It's more like the average pressure. You really have to have a gauge at every keg to really get an accurate picture.
How do you explain this phenomenon?

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #16
jcaudill
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Originally Posted by OG2620 View Post
How do you explain this phenomenon?
Actually I call BS on myself here. That was a 5am reply.

Here's a better comment:

A keg still fermenting will continue to drive up pressure across the run. So that can account for primary regulator inaccuracy sometimes. I've had lagers that were still going 2 months later.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #17
jcaudill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG2620 View Post
2 psi per foot of tubing is a variable in an equation, or don't you see that.
Actually no - 2 psi is pretty much a constant here. But thanks for the arrogant reply. Sheesh.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill
That's not a rule of thumb I'd follow. Sounds like a waste of tubing and cleaner. There are formulas for a reason! And simple ones at that.
Sorry. I mistook this as arrogant. Moving on.

So, 1 psi per foot of tubing is the constant that I should be using?

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #19
jcaudill
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No it was intended as a serious reply. Even though I'm wrong sometimes I really do try to help

So: no you can't ballpark it like that because keg pressure, tubing ID, tubing material and vertical change all impact this. We could rule of thumb given say 3/16" ID PE tubing at 0 vertical change with 1 psi overpressure is about 1 foot per 2.4psi. (Resistance of PE tubing at this ID is 2.2psi per foot)

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #20
zachattack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
That's not a rule of thumb I'd follow. Sounds like a waste of tubing and cleaner. There are formulas for a reason! And simple ones at that.
It's not really a waste of anything. That's a negligible difference in cleaner usage (what, a few mL?) and the extra tubing is being used to balance the pressure. If saving a couple bucks on tubing is more important to you than properly dispensing beer that you've worked hard to make, then that's fine. But there have probably been hundreds of posts on here confirming that 5' of 3/16" beer line is simply not enough, and probably 95% of problems with continuous foam go away when a 10 foot line is swapped in.

The formulas are based off a lot of assumptions that are simply not relevant for home kegerators. The resistance of beer through tubing (psi/foot) is highly dependent on both temperature and flow rate. If you're serving a keg at 34 degrees and you need to pour a pint very quickly (commercial scenario), the calculators are good.

If you prefer your beer closer to drinking temperature (~40 degrees) and pour rate doesn't matter, the calculators are now irrelevant. You have to go off the empirical data from the hundreds (thousands?) of us that have gone through this already.

I'd say most of us here have 8-12 feet of 3/16" tubing per line. I have 20 feet of 3/16" barrier per line. Indeed, the general rule is 1-2 psi drop per foot of tubing. It's better to err on the long side and assume 1 psi/foot. It's been said many times on here, but the only downside of longer tubing is a slightly slower pour.

Since most of us don't run a bar, and our bottom line isn't a function of the number of beers we can pour in an hour, it's well worth the flexibility to have longer tubing and be able serve a wide range of carbonation levels.

And yes, you certainly can ballpark it. Are you going to remove tubing because you want to serve an English ale with a lower carb level? Or add tubing when you serve a saison? Just leave the tubing longer than it needs to be and wait the extra 10 seconds to drink a beer.

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