The cure for your short hose troubles

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pjj2ba

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Well I finally had some time to test an idea for reducing foaming on short beer lines. I finally rigged up my kegerator with a second regulator so I can serve wheats and Belgians at higher pressures alongside typically carbonated beers. I was concerned about foaming at the higher pressures and have been thinking about ways around it without having to add more beer line in order to control foaming. There was a recent thread by Bobby_M about foam control and there was the suggestion of adding beer line to the end of the dip tube, thinking along the the lines of the homemade flow-gate on the Maltose Falcon's website. I thought maybe the epoxy mixer insert they used would fit inside a dip tube, rather than splicing it in the beer line. I'm pleased to report the fit is perfect!!!!

I tested the old set up at the new pressures (16 psi, 8ft line) and it took just 1 sec to pour 100 ml. I took the keg out, depressurized it, undid the connector, sanitized two(2) of the inserts, put them in the diptube and put the connector back on. I put it back on line and did a test pour. This time it took four (4) seconds to pour 100 ml of beer. Success!!!!!

I got the part from McMaster.com, part # 74695A58 Bayonet Mixer Nozzle, 5.3" L, 1/4" Blunt Tip $1.38 each

The beauty of this is it is easy to put the inserts in our take them out so one doesn't have to dedicate certain kegs for highly carbonated beers or have beer line/taps dedicated to a them. All I have to do now is when I keg up a beer I want to be more highly carbed I just need to put two inserts in at kegging time. Done, no foaming. Heck I might even try 3 or 4 inserts in the dip tube and see If I can then reduce some of the spaghetti in the kegerator, maybe then only 3 ft would be needed for a good pour at 12 psi

*UPDATE
One can also get the inserts from Grainger - in a 10 pack for a bit less than McMaster if you want a bunch

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/LOCTITE-Mix-Nozzle-3NVL6

Also, concerns about leaching from the Delrin inserts have been raised. Concentrated acids may cause some problems so that may be an issue when using StarSan. A safe alternative is to use ethanol or isopropanol
Here are photos of testing on an empty keg

 

Bobby_M

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Way to run with it. I'll have to add a few to my next mcmaster order. I have a slight concern with the additional surface area to keep clean between changeovers but I bet running sanitizer through the diptube under pressure is fine.
 

Jif

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Never heard of these! They look pretty sweet. They just sit in the dip tube? I've got relatively short lines, just the one that came standard from KegConnection.com. If I actually get my fridge working I might have to buy some of these.
 
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pjj2ba

pjj2ba

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Way to run with it. I'll have to add a few to my next mcmaster order. I have a slight concern with the additional surface area to keep clean between changeovers but I bet running sanitizer through the diptube under pressure is fine.
These do come in and out pretty easily so they can be taken out for a good soak before reusing. I was a little concerned the fit was too loose, but it works just fine. When I finally installed them I decided my fear about the beer slipping past on the outside, bypassing the insert, was misplaced as the gaps in the mixer itself are bigger than any gap at the outside so the beer will take the path of least resistance, which is through the mixer.

And yup, they just go right down in the dip tube.
 

McKBrew

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Sweet. Now we want to see some videos and pics of beer poured from this arrangement.
 

lamarguy

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Nice idea...Any issues removing the mixer stick from the dip tube (i.e., getting stuck)?
 

Evan!

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An easier method that doesn't involve getting the mixer out of the tube: use an x-acto to cut the flange and the fins off the back end, and on the output end, cut of the tip up to just after the first ring (go any further and the mixer will fall out). Now, take your liquid line that leads to the tap, and cut it in one place. Heat both ends up in warm liquid, and then do your best to push the flow gate into each end.
 
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pjj2ba

pjj2ba

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Nice idea...Any issues removing the mixer stick from the dip tube (i.e., getting stuck)?
As Goldilocks would say, the fit is just right, not to loose, not too tight. I tested it in two different manufacturers kegs and I could tip the tube upside down (for the bent one) and in would easily come out. If it was a little sticky a light blow of air worked it out. If it gets stuck, these things are pretty fragile so a little ram rod would mash it into pieces.

To get the insert out of the mixer, I just used a phillips screwdriver to push it out backwards.

The beauty of this system is you don't have to mess with the beer lines, no clamps to fail, no additional leak hazards. Before doing this I hadn't really done much breaking down of kegs for cleaning. Now that I realize just how easy it is to undo the connector and take the dip tube out I will now always do this. Plus it makes it much easier to scrub the inside of the keg with the diptube pulled out.
 

Coastarine

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Mine arrived today, installed in minutes, and the pour is now idiot-proof and I can properly carbonate my belgian and fruit beers! I gotta recommend this to anyone who kegs. Free at last!
 

ajwillys

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They also make something called "Insta Balance" that go on the shanks. I've never used them before so I can't recommend them. Here's a link, scroll down...
BEC_Beer_Shanks


Also, I know Kegman.net and SuperProd.com sell them as well.
 

gtweath

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Holy Crap...perfect pour. I just cut all my beer tubing from 9ft to 3ft after adding these plastic devices to all my dip tubes. What a quick de-clutter of my 8 keg keezer.
 

amishland

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interesting, I want to hear more about the $1 mixer as well as the $14 insta balance
 

eschatz

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This might help your "short hose troubles". MAXODERM :rolleyes:

Seriously though. I'm getting a few of these. This sounds like a great find for anyone out there that is serious about having the best possible beer served at the proper levels.
Great find mr. tuba. :D

:off: I'm playing Rachmaninoff 2 and the tuba and bass trombone are crushing my skull :rockin:
 
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pjj2ba

pjj2ba

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:off: I'm playing Rachmaninoff 2 and the tuba and bass trombone are crushing my skull :rockin:
Our last concert included Mars and Jupiter (Holst). Man, was I peeling some paint off the walls. Didn't get the hand either.

Back OT. I've got a short 3 ft. line with a picnic tap on it that I use to taste samples. This is typically when I have guests and more kegs than taps. Of course, this always foams terribly. I also bought some smaller epoxy mixers, that will fit inside a 3/8" beer line. In the next couple days, I hope to very carefully put these inside the picnic tap line. This is much trickier than putting the bigger size in the dip tube as the fit is much tighter. I'm a little afraid I won't be able to push a second one in. My plan is to put three inside (they are shorter) but I may have to punt and go with two, and just put one inside each end. I'll take some more pictures when finished.
 

Reverend JC

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I guess im confused. You guys all use perlick taps or something similar right? I can see why you would need something if using a picnic tap, but if you are serving out of regular taps why not just buy more hose? its cheap.

I have 10' coiled sitting on top of each keg in my fridge and it came out perfect from the very first pour.

Not trying to be contrary, just trying to figure out your mission.
 

BierMuncher

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I guess im confused. You guys all use perlick taps or something similar right? I can see why you would need something if using a picnic tap, but if you are serving out of regular taps why not just buy more hose? its cheap.

I have 10' coiled sitting on top of each keg in my fridge and it came out perfect from the very first pour.
I have a long hose system too. But I think the point here is for those who already have a system set up...to not retool everything.

Plus, this insert would make adjusting certain beers to certain finished carbonation levels, easier than using specific length hoses for certain beer styles.
 

conpewter

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Also this is useful for a traveling setup, so you can put the tap right on the keg and still have it at 10-12PSI while serving.
 

Bobby_M

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It seems to me that even after you have 10' lines per faucet, you'll eventually replace them. When I do, it will be 3' per faucet, just enough to go from the keg to faucet and then a 18" piece of 1/8" ID tubing inside the diptube. I'm pretty sure that was a successful way of adding resistance and the price is about the same.
 
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pjj2ba

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OK, I tried two (all I had) of the smaller inserts in a 3/8 beer line hooked to a picnic tap and a disconnect. The results were mixed. The total beer line length was only about 2.5 ft. My test beer was a keg at cellar temp (52 F). While the pour was nice and slow, it did foam more than I cared for. I think the major reason was that you still need some back pressure from a length of hose after the inserts. When I opened the tap, the inserts moved about 8 in. down the tubing making this problem worse. I could see the bubbles forming around the inserts. So it appears as though there is a minimum length of beer line that will be needed after the insert. Of course the beer being relatively warm I'm sure made this issue worse. I'll have to try it on a colder keg.
 

Buford

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Does this work well with one of those adapters that just connect a faucet to a keg QD? I've never used one of those out of fear of foaming from hell so I usually use a 5 ft line with a picnic tap if it's being served outside of a kegerator.
 
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pjj2ba

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I don't know, but based on my finding last night with the picnic tap line, it will definitely pour slower, but you'll still get foam, maybe less than without, but still foam. Granted my test with the picnic line was not the best (everything "warm"). For a Keg QD set up, Bobby M's idea of using 1/8 in ID tubing (3/8" OD?) instead of the epoxy insert, might work better as I suspect it might offer less foam forming spots.

Someone with one of the keg QD ought to try this for us.
 

avaserfi

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Just dropped two of these in my dip tube. Great pour. I will probably try one next time because I think it is pouring a little too slow, but now I can drink the beer that comes from my keg.

42*F - 10 PSI - 3/16" lines - 5ft long for those who care.
 

nathan

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am I understanding correctly that it is desirable to have high pressure on some beers (wheat, saison, etc.) but that with the normal kegorator setup, this results in foamy beers. So the solution for you is to add resistance in the keg in this manner.

You can't turn down the psi, because you want the high level of carbonation.
you can't just have a multi-pressure setup, like the daisy-chained gauges some people have, because you still would need to put 10psi into the keg to keep it carbonated right, and it's the outflow at 10psi that causes it. (though multiple pressures would be good for other reasons, like low carbonation brews).

So the ideal would be a multi-pressure setup, so you can give the right psi to each keg, and then for highly carbed beers under higher pressure, to provide resistance in the dip tube appropriate for that psi or beer style?

If that's the case, has anyone considerred recording their psi settings, and different insert methods, and tracking over time, sharing the info, and seeing if maybe we could make a table that could serve as a rough guide for folks?
 

diatonic

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I'm going to give these a shot, as well as Bobby's suggestion of adding smaller I.D. tubing in the dip tube. I think some people are a bit confused... this WILL NOT affect the carb level of the beer on tap, but can help balance the system. Your carb level will be the same whether you use these or not (based on the temperature and co2 pressure), these just help slow the beer down before it comes out of the tap, reducing foam.
 

BierMuncher

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foaming isn't an issue with that wondrous invention of yours. At least not that I've seen.
Right, but maybe we wouldn't need to reduce the pressure so much to fill bottles.

I just went home for lunch and found my order on my front porch. I ordered these things yesterday at 4:00PM. :ban: <<< [Mod Edit]I order to you dance Mr. Banana. Dance or I'll ban your ban.
 

nathan

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I eagerly await your testing! my multi-pressure setup is a ways off, so $1 solutions to ease things up in the mean time sound good!
 

BierMuncher

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I eagerly await your testing! my multi-pressure setup is a ways off, so $1 solutions to ease things up in the mean time sound good!
Before I left the house, I yanked a charging corny out of the Sanyo upstairs and dropped one in the dip tube. It should be drinkable tomorrow. It's my "Panzy Ale". A very low ABV (3.3%) beer for the SWMBO who loves her yellow fizzy beer. It has to be really carb'd up for proper taste and mouthfeel (ala light lager).

Hopefully I can keep the gas around 15 and still serve a highly effervescent beer without a 3" head. The other keg in the Sanyo is soda water. :(
 

nathan

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haha, 3" head! I'm pouring a bohemian pilsner that is more head than beer. I've got to pour, stick finger in head and stir angrily, wait, pour, repeat until I give up on a full pint, drink through head that refuses to die (not bad if it's only 1/4"), then go refill.
 
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pjj2ba

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OK, I tried two (all I had) of the smaller inserts inside a 3/8 beer line hooked to a picnic tap and a disconnect. The results were mixed. The total beer line length was only about 2.5 ft. My test beer was a keg at cellar temp (52 F). While the pour was nice and slow, it did foam more than I cared for. I think the major reason was that you still need some back pressure from a length of hose after the inserts. When I opened the tap, the inserts moved about 8 in. down the tubing making this problem worse. I could see the bubbles forming around the inserts. So it appears as though there is a minimum length of beer line that will be needed after the insert. Of course the beer being relatively warm I'm sure made this issue worse. I'll have to try it on a colder keg.
OK, I did some more testing and I think the problems I had with foaming was with the just the one keg (over carbed). Warrior stopped by on Friday to drop off some grain so of course we sampled some homebrews. On Thursday I moved 4 kegs out to the garage to cool them down so I could pour some samples from kegs that I didn't have room for in the kegerator. I had three kegs set up on 12 psi and they all poured just lovely with the picnic tap on the ~2.5 ft of 3/8 beer line with two of the smaller inserts. These beers were at 40 F, so I think temperature was also an issue with my first test. The 4th beer was my IPA that was just kegged on Wed. and then forced carbed. Even at 20 psi this beer poured very smoothly. Warrior had to leave before I tapped into this beer. Next time.

On Sat. we were heading out to visit my cousin so I quick filled some bottles from these kegs BMBF style by cramming a 12" tube in the end of the same picnic tap. It worked like a charm!
 

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