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Running beer line from Kegerator in basement to kitchen on main floor?

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Kevin K

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Hear me out guys...

I've got an extra single tap tower, I've got two extra cornies, I've got new kitchen cabinets coming in a few months, and I've got a kegerator in the basement.

Is it feasible to run an insulated line/pipe of some sort up to the kitchen cabinetry, and install that tower up there?
(Emphasis on budget here, I don't want to explore the idea of glycol lines etc...if it can't done (reasonably) cheap, I don't want to do it.)

I've seen the Sanyo conversions that show a small fan keeping the beer line cold - what would be required to make this work?

I'd be talking about 12' of line from the fridge in the basement to the tap on the main floor...



Any ideas? :D


Kevin
 

2nd Street Brewery

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A friend of mine did this with a Sanke set up. Had the fridge in his basement and ran the line up throught the floor and counter and to a tower. I'm not sure what he insulated the lines with but it worked. probably a 10ft pull straight up if I recall correctly. Just remember to dump the first pull of the day. That beer gets warm sitting in the line overnight.
 

Jonnio

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The experts may overrule me quickly on this, but I would think if you use a decent size pvc pipe, insulate it VERY well, and then pump cold air through a tube up into your tower you might be able to get it to work I am thinking that if you get the cold air up to the top of the tower, convection will make it sink, and then it will have a good "flow" of air.

The other option I can think of and this is going to sound kind of odd, but it might just work - put a decent size bucket of cold water down in your kegerator with a pond pump in it. Pump the water up through a 1/2 copper pipe. At the top you will want to have it go into a second 1/2 copper pipe that has the beer line running through it (obviously some caulk would be needed where the beer line comes out to keep the water in a closed system. That copper pipe would run back into the bucket, so you have kind of an upside down U that would pump cold water up to the tower, inject it into a copper pipe that houses your beer line back down to the kegerator....enclose said contraption in insulation.

You are going to have another issue with serving vs. kegging pressure that that big of a height difference and hose length I would think too.
 

jdoiv

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Is it straight up to the kitchen? If so the PVC pipe idea sounds good. A bucket in the kegerator with a pond pump and glycol (it's fairly cheap) running up through the pvc with the beer lines would probably do the trick.
 

mr x

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I don't think it will work if you aren't interested in running cooling lines, so I'm all out of ideas.
 
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Kevin K

Kevin K

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Thanks anyway guys.

I've learned to pick my battles, and I figure that I can probably squeeze in another tap and a few extra cornies a lot easier than trying to get this past upper management.
I'll leave it be for now. :)
 

sirsloop

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Use this... http://www.micromatic.com/part-pid-CDI232.html



Check out this site... http://www.crazypc.com/products/cooling/reservoirs.htm#pumps

Its all PC related water cooling, but can be modified to pump glycol through your lines. Rig up a reservoir and small pump to the lines... place the reservoir in your fridge, fill with glycol and pump it through the hose. This may be a good source for smaller pumps... if they are 12V you could possibly run them off the light bulb outlet in your fridge. Some of the pumps have flow control so you can dial in the speed in which the glycol is going. I'm guessing if you are running the thing wide open throttle it'll be kinda loud and pump too much. Dial it back so you are getting a trickle, then leave it on 24x7.

Install the tower upstairs and hope you can get a decent pour out of 12-14psi using CO2... otherwise you're lookin' at beer gas to get the beer up there without being super carbonated.
 

bgrand281

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oh no, don't give up yet. You have a good idea using the pvc as a pipe chase. I would run say 1" or 1.25" id pvc with pipe insulation wrap around it. You fit the pvc inside the fridge to keep the air in the pipe. It will be a little warmer but after the first half of a pint it would be fine. probably would never notice. use annealed copper to run to the tower for ease of getting it up there if it is a fairly straight run
 

Jonnio

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I agree bgrand - these seems like a very doable project with minimal risk. You can start with the most basic and if that doesn't work then slowly add in complexity.
 

5 Is Not Enough

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I'd like to do something like this once I finally get a keg system. I was going to do the glycol thing. I was thinking about using copper tubing inside of pex tubing or pvc. I figured it'd be just like a counterflow chiller with a submersible pump inside of a tub of glycol in the freezer. I was guessing:
copper - $25
pvc or pex - $20
cheap pump - $10

I think I'll spend more on the shanks and faucets than the chilled lines.
 

bgrand281

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i know, i know, but hey its easy and cheap. And as it goes, you can have it anytime, you get different just because
 

dsquire

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To the original post, I did a setup very similar to this and it works great.

I have a full size fridge in the basement, directly underneath my wet bar upstairs. I drilled a 2" hole in the side of the fridge and put in a short piece of PVC and siliconed it in place (both sides of fridge wall). Then I took a length of flexible pool hose, 2" inside diameter and ran that from the rigid PVC to the upstairs into the bar cabinet. In the countertop, I drilled another 2" hole and ran a short length of rigid PVC through that hole into my tower. I attached all junctions with hose clamps.

This flexible PVC was from Home Depot in the plumbing area. Not too expensive. It's rather thick sidewalls (maybe 1/4"?) Self-insulated and the flexibilty really helps when navigating turns, etc.

For the beer line, I calculated the rise and length and have a combo of 16' of 5/16 ID hose plus another 2' of regular 3/16" ID. I run my kegs at 12psi and it taps just fine. On a side note, I also have a tap outside the fridge door and run a 6' of 3/16". Sometimes I run 2 kegs; sometimes I hook it up to run the same keg upstairs as out the fridge door. It is balanced perfectly.

I don't do any forced air cooling or liquid cooling. The first 1/3 tap is a little foamy but it is ideal after that. I keep my fridge at 36F.

I toyed with the idea of liquid cooling but I haven't found it necessary when running such a large diameter hose. The trick I found is the flexible PVC. With the 2" diameter, I think that helps too.

Good luck.
 

5 Is Not Enough

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5 Is Not Enough said:
I'd like to do something like this once I finally get a keg system. I was going to do the glycol thing. I was thinking about using copper tubing inside of pex tubing or pvc. I figured it'd be just like a counterflow chiller with a submersible pump inside of a tub of glycol in the freezer.
In hindsight, I wouldn't use copper for the inside tubing. I think I'm going to use some of the, now, more readily available SS tubing...
 

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