Need help with long beer line runs

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Happy New Year everyone! When I was builing my original set up everyone here was great at helping me learn and answer questions. Im definitley a novice when it comes to kegging. I decided to change my current set up and I need help. I have a home bar on the first floor in my house, and want to keep the kegerator in the basement below. I need help on what size diameter line and how long. I tried to read all the charts on the internet but im more confused now then when I started. Here are my distance runs...

6' vertical from top of tap to basement
7' horizontal across basement ceiling
4' vertical from ceiling into kegerator
-----------
17' total

I have a glycol chiller so im not worried about cooling the beer lines between the kegerator and tap. I usually drink lagers and lite beer. Right now for my old set up my kegerator is set to 12 psi and the kegerator is 39 degrees. That stuff i can change but i need help with what size line length and diameter. Right now I have 3/16" line from my old set up which was 13' total. Is it a big difference adding 5'? Can i just use a stainless steel barb and add 5' of 3/16" hose and call it a day? Its really difficult for me to keep changing the line in the tap so i need advice to do it only once.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to help me!

Corey-
 
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day_trippr

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Have you tried using Mike Soltys' line length calculator yet? It's the only one I have any respect for.

I'm surprised you needed to go to 5/16" ID line and didn't need a ton of tubing to do so. I would have expected the solution would involve 1/4" ID trunk line, with perhaps some 3/16" choker" tubing to fine tune the pour speed...

Cheers!
 

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I would go small as possible...

EVA is 4mm or 3/16 I think. I would turn down the temps as much as possible without freezing the beer to help off set the length of run and temp rise in the standing lines. Adjust the psi to get the pour you want....meaning the carbonation and foam...being a home bar, the pour speed is not important.
 
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Ok I’ll try and use the minimum 3/16” hose to reach from tap to keg and see what will happen. I ran the new set up tonight. The beer line will be 17’
Thank you
 

superiorsat

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Have you tried using Mike Soltys' line length calculator yet? It's the only one I have any respect for.

I'm surprised you needed to go to 5/16" ID line and didn't need a ton of tubing to do so. I would have expected the solution would involve 1/4" ID trunk line, with perhaps some 3/16" choker" tubing to fine tune the pour speed...

Cheers!

I just tried that calculator and the beer line length seems to be determined by the variables above it. If I say the vertical distance is more it makes the beer line length less. It doesn't allow you to put a number in the length section like 17' for example. Am I missing something with this calculator?
 

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day_trippr

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You put in the parameters listed and it tells you how long the line needs to be to meet those parameters.
Then you decide if that works for your configuration.

For instance, if you were using 1/4" ID beer line (note the calculator assumes solid PVC for the roughness metric) with a 10 foot total rise at 12 psi CO2 pressure for a 10 second pint of 1.009 SG beer, you'd need just under 27' of tubing. In your case, that would reach from keg to tower.

Otoh, if you tried to use 3/16" ID tubing - just change that one entry in the calculator - the total line length is just under 7 feet, which definitely is not going to work for your geometry. The line resistance is simply too high to travel far enough.

Also, if you actually did try to use 5/16" ID tubing you'd need almost 75 feet of it to provide enough resistance to do a 10 second pint, hence my earlier surprise :)

So, what to do? First, forget about 3/16" ID beer line here, or anything close to that. Won't work, period, end of story.
Instead, consider running 6mm ID EVABarrier tubing - plug 0.23622" into the calculator and 20.5 feet is the result.
That's pretty darn close, but you could always add a foot or two of 4mm ID line at the end to empirically fine-tune the pour.
Alternatively, run 1/4" ID PVC line for most of your 17 feet but with some 3/16" as a choker, again empirically determined...

Cheers!
 
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You put in the parameters listed and it tells you how long the line needs to be to meet those parameters.
Then you decide if that works for your configuration.

For instance, if you were using 1/4" ID beer line (note the calculator assumes solid PVC for the roughness metric) with a 10 foot total rise at 12 psi CO2 pressure for a 10 second pint of 1.009 SG beer, you'd need just under 27' of tubing. In your case, that would reach from keg to tower.

Otoh, if you tried to use 3/16" ID tubing - just change that one entry in the calculator - the total line length is just under 7 feet, which definitely is not going to work for your geometry. The line resistance is simply too high to travel far enough.

Also, if you actually did try to use 5/16" ID tubing you'd need almost 75 feet of it to provide enough resistance to do a 10 second pint, hence my earlier surprise :)

So, what to do? First, forget about 3/16" ID beer line here, or anything close to that. Won't work, period, end of story.
Instead, consider running 6mm ID EVABarrier tubing - plug 0.23622" into the calculator and 20.5 feet is the result.
That's pretty darn close, but you could always add a foot or two of 4mm ID line at the end to empirically fine-tune the pour.
Alternatively, run 1/4" ID PVC line for most of your 17 feet but with some 3/16" as a choker, again empirically determined...

Cheers!

Absolutely awesome information. I have another question. It’s not that I don’t want to do the work I just don’t completely understand. Also my mind in going in all directions. My questions is it would take me a whole day to take the bar and tap apart. Seriously it will because it’s all custom copper tap and a nightmare to remove and feed the new beer tube because it’s all enclosed and soldered together down to the basement . Would it be possible to cheat a little? Can I leave the 8’ existing 3/16” line that runs from the tap to the basement and add 9’ of 1/4” the rest of the way to the keg? And you are right I tried to pour a beer with 17’ of 3/16” line and it takes about 15 seconds to pour a beer it’s very slow. I’m hoping I can get away with 8’ of 3/16” and 9’ of 1/4”?!?! If you can please answer that calculation it would make my day!!! I’m tired of working on this project!! I need a beer!
Corey
 

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Instead, consider running 6mm ID EVABarrier tubing
I'll join the choir and say you definitely need EVABarrier (or BevSeal Ultra) tubing for a long draw system. Ditch the old line and get a length of 6mm ID EVABarrier as @day_trippr suggests. Ditch the barbs and switch to John Guest or similar push-to-fit fittings. I would get 25' of 6mm ID EVABarrier and coil the excess inside my keezer. If the pour is too slow, trim the line half a foot at a time until you get a good pour. Don't increase the pressure in your keg to compensate for a slow pour, or you'll over carb your beer.

Take a read through these threads, which might be helpful:



 

day_trippr

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Do I understand correctly that you are running beer through copper tubing between keg and faucet?

I do believe there is a "blend" that would work, I just don't know how to calculate it, or perhaps how to use Mike's calculator with some input pre-processing, like using the average diameter adjusted for the length ratios. My strong suit is digital design - 1s and 0s - this analog stuff is outside of my wheel house ;)

You might just go ahead and give your idea a try. What's the worst that could happen?

Cheers!
 

duncan.brown

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I just don't know how to calculate it, or perhaps how to use Mike's calculator with some input pre-processing

The pressure drop is linear, so you can just calculate the loss in each section independently and add them together to get the total drop to balance the system. Start with the pressure in the keg and subtract the pressure drop from each section. You want to end up with about 2 psi at the tap for a volume flow of 3 l/min.

I suspect the OP means that his beer tower is a custom copper setup with lines inside it that are hard to remove. Pictures of the taps would help. Copper beer lines would be a first.
 
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Hi guys, it’s a copper tap with a 3” copper pipe that runs all the way through the bar to the basement ceiling. It looks awesome but a bad design for changing the line. The line is 3/16 rubber beer hose not copper. It’s just to hard for trial and error each time. If I can come up with something that will work for sure I’ll do it.
 
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day_tripper suggested this…so I can basically do one of these methods below.
1) 20.5’ of 6mm EVA Barrier for my 17’ run and coil the rest in the kegerator
Or
2) Just run 17’ of 1/4” beer line with a foot or so of 3/16” choker

At this point I’m going to need to change how my line is run at the tap for convenient maintenance in the future. I just need to come up with a suitable method for line and length and just attack it from there.

Quote above from Day_trippr…
So, what to do? First, forget about 3/16" ID beer line here, or anything close to that. Won't work, period, end of story.
Instead, consider running 6mm ID EVABarrier tubing - plug 0.23622" into the calculator and 20.5 feet is the result.
That's pretty darn close, but you could always add a foot or two of 4mm ID line at the end to empirically fine-tune the pour.
Alternatively, run 1/4" ID PVC line for most of your 17 feet but with some 3/16" as a choker, again empirically determined.
 
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I have a really stupid question. Does the beer line length and inside diameter only adjust the correct speed of pour and that’s it?
 

day_trippr

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Yes, that pretty much sums up what "line resistance" means and why we respect and exploit same...

Cheers!
 

duncan.brown

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Does the beer line length and inside diameter only adjust the correct speed of pour and that’s it?

One more thing: vertical height matters.You’ll notice that the line calculator @day_trippr linked has “Vertical height between keg and tap [ft].” The pressure (force/area) is doing work to lift the beer against the gravitational force pulling the beer down which causes a pressure drop between the keg and the tap. This can be significant, so don’t neglect it.
 
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Sounds good. I’ll report back with results. Thank you everyone for your help! It is greatly appreciated!
Corey-
 

day_trippr

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Height is indeed significant! In this case enough to render 3/16" useless on its own :)

Cheers!
 
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I can only find 1/4” beer line locally. I bought 25’ of that and will trim accordingly to adjust for pour. I’m going to take everything apart and run 1 continuous 1/4” beer line from tap to keg. How does that sound?
 

day_trippr

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The calculator suggests just under 27' of 1/4" ID tubing will work. I wouldn't start out with less...though I suppose at that length you'd only be short 1/25th of the whole. Probably not going to make much difference :)

Cheers!
 
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Happy New Year everyone! When I was builing my original set up everyone here was great at helping me learn and answer questions. Im definitley a novice when it comes to kegging. I decided to change my current set up and I need help. I have a home bar on the first floor in my house, and want to keep the kegerator in the basement below. I need help on what size diameter line and how long. I tried to read all the charts on the internet but im more confused now then when I started. Here are my distance runs...

6' vertical from top of tap to basement
7' horizontal across basement ceiling
4' vertical from ceiling into kegerator
-----------
17' total

I have a glycol chiller so im not worried about cooling the beer lines between the kegerator and tap. I usually drink lagers and lite beer. Right now for my old set up my kegerator is set to 12 psi and the kegerator is 39 degrees. That stuff i can change but i need help with what size line length and diameter. Right now I have 3/16" line from my old set up which was 13' total. Is it a big difference adding 5'? Can i just use a stainless steel barb and add 5' of 3/16" hose and call it a day? Its really difficult for me to keep changing the line in the tap so i need advice to do it only once.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to help me!

Corey-
I just got a 5 gallon keg system and as I have been testing it out just by carbonating plain water, I found a problem with the out line. The hose that disppenses the beer from the keg stores liquid in it and when removing the line and pressing the spicket thing, the liquid does not flow out, but stays in there. I know I could force the liquid out with an empty keg and some co2 force, but when there's still beer in the keg, I don't know how to purge out the remaining liquid from the line. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
 

day_trippr

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Both ends of the beer line must be open for the liquid therein to be drained.
So, pop the beer quick disconnect off the keg post, push on the poppet therein with a finger, and use the other hand to open the faucet.
Beyond that gets into cleaning apparatus and techniques...

Cheers!
 
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I re-configured and put everything back together. My beer is pouring to fast with all 1/4” beer line. If I choke it down to 3/16” which end do I choke it on the keg end or tap end? Also would 1/4” line cause more foam then the 3/16” line?
 
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Correction. I hit the psi gauge with my arm and turned up the pressure. I set it to 12 psi. Slowed the pour down but it is very foamy. So I wonder if the foam going from 3/16 short run to 1/4 long run???
 

day_trippr

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Theoretically you can put the choker tubing at either end.
A too-fast pour is its own problem, which could happen with too little of any size line.

I don't get this question: " So I wonder if the foam going from 3/16 short run to 1/4 long run??? "
after saying you replaced all of the line with 1/4" ID tubing...

Cheers!
 
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Basically I was wondering with the proper amount of line with a balanced system does 1/4” line cause more foam since it holds more beer and c02 in the line then 3/16” line. Just curious…
 

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Basically I was wondering with the proper amount of line with a balanced system does 1/4” line cause more foam since it holds more beer and c02 in the line then 3/16” line

If your beer is fully carbonated, then the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide reaches a pressure-temperature equilibrium. For example, if your keezer is set to 42F and your regulator at 12psi, the beer will be carbonated to 2.4 volumes, meaning 1 liter of beer contains 2.4 liters of carbon dioxide in solution. So your 1/4” 20’ beer line will contain more carbon dioxide than a 3/16” 20’ beer line, as there’s more volume of beer (and so more volume of carbon dioxide).

That’s not why your beer is foaming, though. Either your beer is warming up in the line and the carbon dioxide is coming out of solution or your pour is too fast.
 
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Thank you day-trippr and Duncan… I’ll check what’s going on. Good to know the problem is not the bigger line. I was nervous!!! Really nervous after running everything new from start to finish
 
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