Floating dip tube length (3 gal)

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Elsebridge

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Hello all, I recently picked up my first keg (a refurbed Coke model) and got a floating dip tube for it. The length of the tubing is obviously a lot longer than the keg height as it’s usable in 5 gal kegs too. I’ve searched and can’t find any advice on whether I need to cut it down or if it will work ok as-is; and if I do need to cut it down how long should it be?

Help appreciated!
 

VikeMan

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I haven't used a floating tube in a short keg, by here's what I'd probably do:

Measure from the top of the threaded beer outlet to the bottom of a 5 gallon keg. Do the same for your short keg. Compute the difference and remove that much of the hose.

You might get away with using the tube as is, but I could imagine it getting hung up due to having a more severe bend.
 

micraftbeer

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There were instructions on a FLOTit floating dip tube I got that said tubing length = length from where you attach the tubing to bottom of keg + 3/4 the diameter. That sounds kinda annoyingly complicated, but it captures the concept. I've played around with these a lot and there are some weird failure modes. You want it to be long enough to provide adequate weight/pull to ensure the pickup tube end sits below the ball as much as possible.

And when you're down to the dregs in bottom of the keg, you want it making an 'L' shape so the pickup tube end sits as flat as possible. If it's too long, you could get a 'J' shape and the tip could sit higher, sucking air sooner.
 
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Elsebridge

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There were instructions on a FLOTit floating dip tube I got that said tubing length = length from where you attach the tubing to bottom of keg + 3/4 the diameter. That sounds kinda annoyingly complicated, but it captures the concept. I've played around with these a lot and there are some weird failure modes. You want it to be long enough to provide adequate weight/pull to ensure the pickup tube end sits below the ball as much as possible.

And when you're down to the dregs in bottom of the keg, you want it making an 'L' shape so the pickup tube end sits as flat as possible. If it's too long, you could get a 'J' shape and the tip could sit higher, sucking air sooner.
This is a super helpful answer, thanks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a 5 gallon as this is my first keg so can’t compare; this formula provides a nice guideline for me. I’ll get it sized up!

Edit: it now sits in an L shape with a little bit of curve in the tube. Got a batch on the boil now I’ll be transferring to ferment in the keg later so this came just in time!
 
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lablover

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You want to cut it so it unfolds and hangs pretty much straight down to the bottom. I bought this one and it was easy to measure out by holding it in the keg a cutting off a 1/4 inch or so at a time. dip tube
 
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