1/4 Beer Line

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Rockweezy

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My LHBS only carries 1/4 inch beer line because he says it is the same. I am currently running 10 ft (after failing with 5 ft) to try to balance out all the foaming but am having trouble. It seems the only way to pour a beer with 50% or more foam is to turn down the C02 so that the needle reads just above 0. Still I get a lot of head, but it's better. However, my beer seems to have very little carbonation and boarder line flat. It's an oatmeal stout so I don't expect a lot of carbonation, but still I had it set at about 12 PSI for two+ weeks, before I turned the CO2 down. What's my problem?
 
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Temperature can also impact serving, where do you have the temp set?

I don't think 1/4" line is acceptable, unless you're running really long lines. Say from a cellar, or back room in a bar. I do very well with a mere 5' of 3/16" line, @ 9 PSI serving pressure...very little foaming, and a reasonably fast pour.
 

wilserbrewer

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My LHBS only carries 1/4 inch beer line because he says it is the same.
BS...big difference b/w 1/4 and 3/16. Doesn't look like much from the numbers. Get 3/16 asap and you will be much happier.

There was a thread not too long ago where a guy did a pretty extensive comparison of many types of lines...if I recall, some of the generic stuff from the HD, Lowes, or ACE faired pretty well. I can't recall, but it may have been the harder, opaque tubing that is used for ice maker supply lines.

Try a search for the specifics.
 

ChshreCat

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I've always wondered... if you needed to add resistance to a line, would it be possible to put some kind of clamp on it and pinch it off somewhere along the line?
 

yermej

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Just to illustrate, in a beer line length calculator, switching from 3/16" line to 1/4" increases the line length from 7.3' of 3/16" to 28.2' of 1/4" line, keeping all other settings the same. The relationship is linear, so generally a 1/4" line must be about four times longer than a 3/16" line to get the same pour.
 

camiller

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1/4 line has a resistance of .7 psi per foot, 3/16 line has a resistance of 2.7 psi per foot, about 4 times as much so what yermej about needing 4 times as much is about right.
 

david_42

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Only stocks 1/4"? Sounds like a great way to sell lots of tubing.
 

wilserbrewer

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Two weeks @ 12 psi is borderline for full carbonation. As I mentioned, you reallly need 3/16 line unless you are running the taps a remote location. Get the 3/16 line, and next time if you are anxious, up the pressure to 30 psi for the first 24 - 36 hours to get a jump on carbing. It may still take a few days or a week, but not like waiting at 12 psi.
 

KUbrew

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I use 1/4" LDPE tubing, just because I had a some extra sitting around. I ran about 25' for each beer line, it's a little too much I think 20' should do the trick. I'm out of line now so as soon as I add another keg or 2 I'm going to go ahead and switch to 3/16" line, mainly because having 50' of line in your keezer is a pain when trying to move kegs and co2 tanks around. It would be a lot nicer to have 10' or less.
 

SowegaBrews

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i use 8' of 3/16 in my keggerator at 42 degrees and my pours from all my beers are a thing of beauty. it almost brings a tear to my eye.

i had a crappy LHBS sell me 1/4 originally too. i don't regret for a second switching to 3/16. instead of every pour being a stressfest of fighting foam, it is how it should be - awesome.
 

monathedog

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Thanks for the info! I am using 1/4" lines in my new setup and have ginger ale and a pale ale on tap. Pale Ale serves at 10psi, 14ft hose. Ginger ale (soda) serves at 30psi with 30 or 35ft line. Both are nothing but foam! Used the calculators at a psi drop of 0.85psi/ft. Kegs and lines are at 38 degrees.

Will report back on how 3/16" lines treat me.
 

Indian_villager

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3/16" polyethylene line is available at hardware stores on the cheap and is foodsafe. I use it on my kegerator and have no plastic flavors.
 

monathedog

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Changing to 3/16" line definitely helped to remove huge coils of tube in my kegerator, and also solved about 50% of the foam problem. I took apart the tap amd faucets and cleaned/sanitized them and now everything is working well. There was a minimal amount of buildup on the faucet plunger and on the small plastic tri-star thing on my standard tap...which is evidently enough to foam up your day.

In the end this was just a reminder to me how imprtant it is to clean out the lines, taps, and faucets. I think the tube diameter is second in importance to sanitation. I hope this helps someone else!
 

day_trippr

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Sanitation is definitely Rule 1 - always - in all things beer.
But wrt to pour quality, it's a distant second to proper diameter beer line...

Cheers!
 
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