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Keezer Beer line length

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Twotaureanbrewing

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Does the length of the beer lines matter? I read on a LHBS website that the beer lines should be 6ft to minimize foaming. Is this true? Seems a little long. Does length of the beer line effect foaming?
 

VikeMan

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Does the length of the beer lines matter? I read on a LHBS website that the beer lines should be 6ft to minimize foaming. Is this true? Seems a little long. Does length of the beer line effect foaming?
Yes, it definitely matters. For any given beer temperature, you'll need a specific CO2 regulator pressure (PSI) to maintain the level of carbonation you want. That specific PSI will need a certain amount of resistance to slow the flow down enough for a good pour. So, depending on your beer line material (some are smoother/rougher than others) and inner diameter (smaller ID is more resistive), you'll need more or less line length (longer is more resistive). There are lots of charts, calculators, and brewing programs out there that can help with all of this.
 

jddevinn

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jddevinn

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+1 on using EVA Barrier lines instead of anything else!
When using EVA Barrier 6' is long enough for most applications, as it has a small internal diameter (4mm).
I have an old commercial Perlick tower that has loops for glycol cooling, I use a 2-1/2 gallon bucket with a temp controller and two pond pumps to actively cool the tower. I've had Accuflex 225 lines for about 7 years and always had issues with the first pour being 1/3-1/2 foam. Opening the freezer and looking at the lines you could see where CO2 had come out of solution in the ~12' or so of the lines, no matter what I did with fans the top of the freezer was always slightly warmer then the rest. Changing to 7' EVA lines a few weeks ago completely fixed the foaming issue.
 

odie

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I think the 6ft is kinda a general rule of thumb. longer lines slow the flow and thus keep the foam down. Will also depend on the style of beer and desired carbonation. If in doubt I would err on the longer side and accept a slow pour over a short run and foamy beer.

I recently converted to EVA lines. I bought a bulk roll and only had 3 taps. So I think mine are all 10' lines. Probably overkill but it pours fine.
 
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Twotaureanbrewing

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This will be for a Keezer, all lines will be at beer temp. So that eliminates 1 potential issue. I've been reviewing calculators and articles all morning and have come up with line variations, from 1ft to 8ft. And different styles of beer may need different lenghts depending on carbonation requirements. All I know is I'm never going to get specific enough to switch lines dependent on style. Yes there is science behind these calculations but I can't believe the length variation of 1-2 ft will not make or break a beer, in the scheme of things, a beer being poured in my living room. I'm going to buy more line than I need make some different lengths and see what works best. After all its only .99 a ft. I've spent more on terrible beer at the store. Best advice so far is err on the long side. In my industry saying is "you can always cut off more, you cant add it back".
 

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I use approximately 1' per PSI. I have my beer around 39 degrees, 12psi for 2.5 volumes of CO2=12' of line. You will need to consider that your lines will be warmer if they are near the top of the keezer as warmer air rises warming the lines. A small fan installed in the keezer helps keep things circulating. The foaming issue I do have is when the cold beer hits the warm tap but once the tap cools the foaming lessens
 

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I also tend to use 1 foot of (3/16" ID) Bevlex per 1 PSI of serving/CO2 pressure. I did the same length for the lines feeding my stout taps (for nitro/co2 mix). Currently my beer lines are 12 feet long (one is about 14-15 feet long due to it being the end of what I had on hand and didn't want to cut it unless needed). I did this when I was using the older beer fridge with the taps through the door. Same line lengths for the keezer.

I'll be ordering more beer line in the next few weeks to have enough on hand to change out the lines (for when needed).

For reference, I have a target/set temperature of 38 degrees (F) for my keezer. With what I brew, I'm running at 10psi for my ales. Bigger beers will be at a lower PSI rating since they get less CO2 volume levels. I'm not going to cut down my lines. I've had the two different ranges on the same length (sized for the higher PSI) without any issue in the past.
 

VikeMan

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All I know is I'm never going to get specific enough to switch lines dependent on style.
If you plan to carbonate your beers to different levels based on style, but don't want to change line lengths, consider flow control faucets.

I used to switch out my lines with each keg (depending on its CO2 volumes), but switched to Perlick flow control faucets a few years ago. You turn a lever to increase/decrease resistance and dial in the pour, which is equivalent to changing line lengths.
 

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If you’re at the stage of building your keezer, put some serious thought into Eva barrier lines with duotight fittings. They’re very nice. I agree with most everything said in replies so far. I used to use the 1 ft per psi rule and it worked just fine.

Now I use Eva barrier lines at 4mm inner diameter and you don’t need line that long. 6-7 feet is enough. Again, longer is fine but you won’t ever need to go over the 1 foot per psi rule. Using Eva line, 12 feet is pretty long.
 

jddevinn

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This will be for a Keezer, all lines will be at beer temp.
Experience has shown me that in the several different freezer/keezer setups I've used the lines at the top will always be a degree or two higher then the bottom of the keg. Active cooling is on the sides/bottom of the freezer, so there will always be more heat loss on the top. A degree or two is enough for some CO2 to come out of solution over time.

And different styles of beer may need different lenghts depending on carbonation requirements
I used to have two taps that had longer lines for high carb beers. Now 7' 4mm EVA lines work well for everything.

can't believe the length variation of 1-2 ft
Say you have 3/16" ID line and a flow rate to fill a pint in 10 seconds, then 1ft of line has a 1.125psig pressure drop. At typical carbonation levels that's about 10% of the serving pressure.🙃 It won't make or break a beer..... but beer coming out of the tap way too fast will be foamy every pour. Purpose of the line length is to add pressure drop and slow down the pour. If you don't want to mess with line length at all you can get a flow control faucet and induce the pressure drop there.
 

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I've been using the swivel nuts with oetiker clamps forever. I have plenty of both fittings and clamps on hand to change them out without worry. I also have a ratcheting Oetiker tool that makes compressing them crazy easy. I have a couple of the regular/manual type that I use more for removing the clamps (or cutting zip ties ;)).

I have some items with the duotight connection types on them. Those are only on my spunding valves, no place else. I know, in theory, they're good and leak free. I've just had issues wit PTC type fittings not sealing 100% if the hose/tubing isn't exactly right. Not an issue with how I've been doing things.

I suppose anything is better than the worm clamps though. ;)
 

TheBluePhantom

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Thee 1 ft per psi rule works well with 3/16" line. I have all mine at 12' for beer, never a foam issue. I have soda lines at 25', the regulator is set for 25psi. The sodas only foam if they are still carbing, a week or so later they are fine. I use velcro cable ties to keep things manageable. If the line is a bit long, it just pours slower, doesn't ruin the beer. worst case on too long is you have to splash the pour a bit to get a head in the glass
 

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I just moved the longer line to the porter (on nitro mix). It's about 15' long. I'm going to play around with the pressure levels there a bit and see if I can get the pour I want. Looks like I could be ordering more line sooner than I had expected so that I can have up to 25' on those recipes. Very glad I have the size keezer I do now. :D
 

VikeMan

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I just moved the longer line to the porter (on nitro mix). It's about 15' long. I'm going to play around with the pressure levels there a bit and see if I can get the pour I want.
Adjusting pressure isn't really the way to get a good pour, because the change in pressure will eventually cause a change in carbonation. Line length or flow control is the way to dial in your pour.
 

Golddiggie

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I changed the pressure to change the carb level. Will see how the slightly longer line does with it too. Went from about 12' to 15' so not a drastic change. Also found that the line has a restriction rating of 2.2#/foot. So even at 12' it would have been good/OK for the PSI level.

This is my first time using nitro mix with a brew. So I'm still in the learning curve.
 

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