Such thing as too long of beer lines?

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Jmarsh544

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I just built a 5 tap keezer and bought 100' of 3/16" beverage line. I figured I had extra so I might as well make the lines extra long to prevent foaming. I ran each line 15' long and the tails on my shanks are the super skinny tails that are like 1/8" almost. The problem is at 11psi and 42 degrees the beer trickles out. I would say it takes a good 20 second to pour a pint. This is very different from my two tap kegerator that I just graduated from, which did have some foaming issues. Has anyone experienced this? Is this normal or could something be wrong with my system?


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I think you answered your own question. Long lines won't affect the carbonation of your beer, but the line resistance will decrease flow rate.

I have 10' lines and I think that's about perfect. I keep my beer about 35F @ 12psi.
 
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Jmarsh544

Jmarsh544

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Thanks for the reply. I never thought the length would restrict the flow that much to where it's a slow trickle out of the faucet with CO2 pushing behind it. I'll trim off a few feet at a time and see if I can find the sweet spot for the system.


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cuda6pak

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I run 15' lines on a 3 tap keezer with no flow rate issues at all.
 
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Jmarsh544

Jmarsh544

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What is the ID if the lines you are running and what pressure are you pushing at?


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Hobbes88

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Interestingly enough I'm dealing with the exact opposite problem. I'm running 10ft of 5/16 beer line and anything above 2psi gives me nothing but foam. Here is an interesting blog about balancing pressure for kegs. Apparently 3/16 poly tube creates 2.2 psi per foot loss in pressure. 1/4 is 0.5 psi per foot and extrapolating that I estimate about 0.2 psi per foot for my 5/16 line. According to this blog the ideal pressure at the tap should be 1psi or so. In other words your hose is too long for the size of line you have (creating too much of a loss in pressure) and mine isn't long enough(not creating enough of a loss in pressure. I'm going to experiment with some 1/4" line in the near future to see if that solves my problem. The blog also describes some formulas for calculating the exact length of beer ling for your particular situation if you have the patience for some algebra. Also it mentions that gravity plays a factor and adds a calculation for difference in altitude as the beer travels changing the resistance along with the hosing. Probably not something to be concerned with in a Keezer though. Hope my ramblings help you.
Cheers
 

ShockedHop

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Ok I'm having a similar issue I just built my keezer, I've had a one tap mini fridge conversion for a couple years. In that I had 9' of 3/16" ID at 10psi. No issues there. But I seem to be having foaming issues with the keezer. I'm using basic chrome taps and the temp is 40* give or take 2*. Can't figure it out for the life of me.
 

chickypad

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Interestingly enough I'm dealing with the exact opposite problem. I'm running 10ft of 5/16 beer line and anything above 2psi gives me nothing but foam. Here is an interesting blog about balancing pressure for kegs. Apparently 3/16 poly tube creates 2.2 psi per foot loss in pressure. 1/4 is 0.5 psi per foot and extrapolating that I estimate about 0.2 psi per foot for my 5/16 line. According to this blog the ideal pressure at the tap should be 1psi or so. In other words your hose is too long for the size of line you have (creating too much of a loss in pressure) and mine isn't long enough(not creating enough of a loss in pressure. I'm going to experiment with some 1/4" line in the near future to see if that solves my problem. The blog also describes some formulas for calculating the exact length of beer ling for your particular situation if you have the patience for some algebra. Also it mentions that gravity plays a factor and adds a calculation for difference in altitude as the beer travels changing the resistance along with the hosing. Probably not something to be concerned with in a Keezer though. Hope my ramblings help you.
Cheers
1/4" lines are generally for long bar runs, 5/16" is huge for beer line. Do yourself a favor and get 3/16". Most of the calculators don't work well for home systems, although there is one that is pretty accurate out there that hopefully someone will link for you (cue JuanMoore or day trippr...).

Edit: found it, in a post down the page:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/high-co2-volume-problems-serving-476883/
 

day_trippr

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Here's the only line length calculator worth using.

ShockedHop said:
Ok I'm having a similar issue I just built my keezer, I've had a one tap mini fridge conversion for a couple years. In that I had 9' of 3/16" ID at 10psi. No issues there. But I seem to be having foaming issues with the keezer. I'm using basic chrome taps and the temp is 40* give or take 2*. Can't figure it out for the life of me.
- What line ID/length are you using in the new keezer?
- Is the problem a "first pour" problem or do multiple pours foam excessively?
- Do you have this problem with more than one keg?
- What type of kegs are you using? Commercial Sanke, home brew Cornelius style?

Cheers!
 

ShockedHop

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Here's the only line length calculator worth using.







- What line ID/length are you using in the new keezer?

- Is the problem a "first pour" problem or do multiple pours foam excessively?

- Do you have this problem with more than one keg?

- What type of kegs are you using? Commercial Sanke, home brew Cornelius style?



Cheers!

Using the same 9' length @ 10psi.

It does happen with first pours but that is to be expected with the tap being a little warmer than the beer. But seems like all the time.

Happening with the two kegs that are in there.

I'm using domestic sankey 1/6 barrels.

So since posting I dropped the psi to 8. That has seemed to work on one keg. The other was a keg that was given to me and he beer is flat so that may have to do with it over foaming.

I also forgot to recalculate the lengths needed. I was just using the same length from my tower kegerator. The rise is different from the keg to the tap so I'm gonna recalculate and see what I get.
 

ShockedHop

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Well I recalculated the lengths at 10psi and they came to 8.5 ft. So having 9 ft lines apparently isn't the issue.
 

day_trippr

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So the fact that you're having foaming problems with two kegs - and they're Sankes - should rule out a keg fitting problem. Unfortunately the fact that both kegs are foaming means you can't switch the keg couplers to see if the problem moves.

Your lines are the right ID but a bit on the short side imo - but only by a foot or two. I don't think that difference should cause profound pouring problems unless something else is contributing.

And that could be temperature stratification. Kegs draw from their bottoms, but the beer couplers and lines are up near the top of the cooler. If you don't have a small fan running 24/7 the temperature difference between the lines and the beer can get large enough that CO2 breaks out of solution and causes a cascade of foam at the glass.

One thing you can check is to see if your lines develop large voids from gas bubbles when they sit for awhile. That can be caused by warm temperature at the top of the kegs, or too low a dispensing pressure to maintain the carbonation level of the beer, or both...

Cheers!
 

ShockedHop

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I think that stratification was the issue. I took my tower cooler out of my old kegerator and put it in my keezer and the issue had pretty much left. Co2 was getting out in the lines pretty bad on one keg. This seems to have fixed the problem.

Thanks for all if the info.
 

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