Taps on the wall...beer line length

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oysterhead

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I looked but could not find good info to answer my question....

I want to put taps on the wall in my kitchen. Just on the other side of that wall is a closet where I could put a small fridge. (I'd drill holes through the wall to run the lines to the fridge)

The beer line length would be about 6 feet between the fridge and the taps.

Is that too long?

Do I need to refrigerate the lines?

For the "in between" pulls volume, I calculate a volume of [pi*(5/16*1/12)^2]*6 = 0.002 ft^3 = 45 mL of beer. That doesn't seem too bad.
 

Chello

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thats not to long for the lines, but you'll probably want to refrigerate the lines. If you don't then you'll end up discarding the first pull if it's not used every hour or so.
 

conpewter

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You've calculated the amount of beer that will warm up in the lines but you also have to consider that the line itself will be warm and the beer will warm up as it goes through those lines.

Cooling the lines all the way to the shanks (and cool them too) would alleviate this issue but it's not easy to do from what I've read if you go for liquid cooling.

If your closet is just exposed studs and you are putting the shanks right through a layer of drywall it may be possible to box in the area with the lines and cool the air in there, but you'd need to watch out for condensation and rot/mildew from that.
 

Bobby_M

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It's a bit of extra work but I'd run the lines though some 3" flex duct into a boxed out area behind the faucets. Then run a similar duct by itself into which you'll install a computer fan blowing up into that box. It will circulate fridge temp air to keep everything cool.

The line length is the least of your problems. I run 10' from keg to faucet.
 

conpewter

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That's a great idea on how to cool the length of the lines and the shanks as well. I'd probably insulate the 3" pvc and the lines to help keep the cool in.
 

Donasay

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Line length is a function of how high the beer needs to travel, the pressure applied to the keg and the diameter or amount of resistance in the line. granted cooling is going to be a big problem for you, but you should balance your system and figure out how much line you will need before worrying about cooling. There are formulas on the internet and in several homebrew books that will give you a good idea bout the length.
 

pjj2ba

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Bobby_M said:
It's a bit of extra work but I'd run the lines though some 3" flex duct into a boxed out area behind the faucets. Then run a similar duct by itself into which you'll install a computer fan blowing up into that box. It will circulate fridge temp air to keep everything cool.

The line length is the least of your problems. I run 10' from keg to faucet.
This is what I did, and mine is enclosed in at 2" of styrofoam on every side. I'd also recomend flexible tubing over PVC as it is much easier to manuever and work with.
 

Bobby_M

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I personally think cooling is mandatory. I'd just start with 10' of line per faucet and coil the extra in the fridge. If you find the pours to be dreadfully slow, take 10" off. No big deal. If you don't cool the lines and shanks, you'll have foam problems anyway because the warming is going to force CO2 out of solution.
 
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oysterhead

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Thanks, this makes sense, though it doesn't sound easy!

But it will be soooo sweet to have taps on the wall.

I have a hard time envisioning such a large hole in the fridge for the flexible tubing. I'll likely end up with a fridge with a freezer on top, so I imagine I'll only be able to drill through the door....I guess I can make it work, I just need to leave enough "slack" for the flexible tubing when I open the door. Unless I can somehow squeeze a 3-4 inch hole in the side or the top....

After a little more searching I found this place:
http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/air-cooled-cid-130.html

But I bet I could Home Depot it for significantly less $$.
 

wildwest450

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It's a lot easier if you can get a small chest freezer then put a wood collar around the top, then you can cut all the holes you need. I just ran a piece of flex tubing inside plumbing pipe for mine, cooled by a $3 computer fan. Also micromatic is a good site, they may be a bit pricey but their stuff is top quality.

 

pjj2ba

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Micromatic is good for ideas. That's where I started in my design process. I made two 2" holes (hole saw after first drilling a small hole and probing with an ice pick for any coolant lines. I then caulked in some 2" PVC to give me something to clamp the flexible tubing to.


The fan BLOWS into the fridge, pulling the coldest air in over the beer lines. I also caulked around the fan so air couldn't leak in there and had to come from in the loop
 
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oysterhead

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so i guess my question ihas become this:

what is the longest length of line between the fridge and wall that one can run without having to refrigerate the lines?
 

pjj2ba

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+1, Yup not very far. Micromatic has some great info on the what's, why's and how to's of remote dispensing. This link also gives step by step directions.
http://www.micromatic.com/beer-questions/set-up-beer-regulator-aid-106.html

Unless you are going to be pouring lots if beers in a row, I don't think you could get away with more that 1 ft of uncooled beer line. The link provided says the even 5 ft of cooled and insulated beer line is about the max. for a small blower (12-15 cfm)
 

mmb

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oysterhead said:
so i guess my question ihas become this:

what is the longest length of line between the fridge and wall that one can run without having to refrigerate the lines?
From reading on here, folks have foaming problems from uninsulated draft towers. We're talking under 18 inches.

Seems to me a couple feet of PVC, some pipe insulation, and a small blower fan wouldn't break the bank and will help keep the foam down. Add the risk of warm beer getting nasty in the hoses and faucets and it seems like a no brainier to me.

:confused:
 
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oysterhead

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word.

sounds like it's either a fan and lines for taps on the wall.....or just a kegerator.
 
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Can you drill a hole in your cold storage and use say an insulated pipe to feed your lines through then use a small fan to blow cold air from the cold area into you line?

I do this with my 4" diam. beer tower.
 
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