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Jockey Box Question

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DLV

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Post Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:14 pm

Jockey Box Question

I am investigating jockey boxes. I store my beer at 36*. If I want to have beer other than out of my kegerator, I would put my keg in a tub / bucket / cooler or whatever, ice it down and dispense. Now if I wanted to go the route of a jockey box, I just put ice in it and don't worry about the keg - right? No matter how warm it is, I don't care because of the JB. Won't this screw up the carbonation?
Dave
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nyakavt

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Post Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:39 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

In principle that's how it works, the beer is cooled in line by the JB using a cold plate or a coil so you don't need to keep the keg cool. But a warm keg has a much higher equilibrium pressure for CO2. If you have to turn the pressure down to avoid a foamy pour, then over time the warm keg will start to become less carbonated. I haven't used a jockey box, but my guess is that brewers typically consume all the beer in the keg in one day anyway so they don't worry about the unbalanced CO2 load. I don't know, maybe jockey boxes have enough resistance to dissipate 30 psi before the tap?
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irod

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Post Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:00 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

You will need to not only add ice to the jbox but also water. Might even add a bit of rock salt (sort of like making ice cream).

I've got a jbox with 120-feet of sst tubing inside. With that much length of tubing, you can pour ice cold beer from a warm keg all day long without fear of ever pouring a warm beer. However, if you go with shorter amount of tubing, you may end up with a warm beer every few pours. Depends on how quickly you are pouring pints. I've also used a bucket with ice to stand the keg in while using the jbox. Again, no issues with warm beer.

I haven't used a plate chiller, so I'm not familiar with that type of jbox. But if pouring cold pints quickly is an issue, I would certainly look into sst coils of sufficient length. Maybe plate chillers have different sizes for this purpose?

I'm using about 12 psi on my kegerator for my kegs. When i use the jbox, I'm using about 30 psi. Seems to pour just fine at that pressure, with no foam.

I"ve taken partially empty, warm kegs from the jbox and put them back in service in my kegerator, at 12 psi and had no issues with foam or whatever. This is after a day of jbox use. Longer time on the jbox could present a problem, but I'm not familiar with that situation.

:cheers:

Irod
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DLV

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Post Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:58 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

When you say that you are pouring pints quickly, just how quick? I agree with the SS tubing in lieu of the plate type in concept. They appear to come in 50', 70', and 120' tubing lengths. Why would you want anything else other than the longest one?
Dave
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irod

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Post Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

DLV wrote:When you say that you are pouring pints quickly, just how quick?


We were serving at a wedding reception. Figure a few folks in line for a beer. Beertender is pouring maybe 3 or 4 in a row. I wanted to make sure the 4th pint was as cold as the 1st. Would a smaller chill plate have done that? I guess I'll never know....but I do know that 120' of sst did the job beautifully.

DLV wrote:Why would you want anything else other than the longest one?


Cost comes to mind. Premade jboxes with sst tubing are expensive. Want more than one tap per box and the cost skyrockets.

I would say for general purposes, the 50' lengths probably work for most applications.....poker games, small parties, etc. If you want to be sure you are serving cold pints everytime, and you've got about 100 folks drinking beer, the more chilling capacity the better.

:cheers:
Irod
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Robbimus Prime

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Post Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:08 am

Re: Jockey Box Question

Gonna try and revive an old post here rather than start a new thread. Hope that this gets some attention.

SO, buddies and I are planning on doing some striper fishing this summer, which means homebrew on the porch/beach/all over the place. I've been crunching the numbers, and have decided a few things.
1: I have a spare tap, and numerically, buying a pre-made jockey box is stupid.
2: It would SEEM that plate chillers are the cheaper option, but after reading some of these posts, I'm not so sure.

So, question time. Testimonials? What do people use? Could one, if one were so inclined, make coils from 3/8" copper tubing?
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rawlus

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Post Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:38 am

Re: Jockey Box Question

i think using a faucet adapter right on the keg, your co2 connection of choice and cooling the bottom half of the keg in a bucket of ice, a cold drinks cooler or an igloo ice cube cooler is ultimately cheaper and more portable than the whole jockey box setup. i think the only advantage to jockey boxes is when its an event-type setting, you're pouring from several kegs and you need constant temp control.

for faucet adapter right on the keg, id use a few matrix mixers in the dip tube until you had the pour you wanted at the service pressure you wanted.
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SmokeEater

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Post Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:40 am

Re: Jockey Box Question

I have a 4 place jockey box using cold plates. I've got 2 cold plates in the bottom of the cooler, both of them run 2 lines each. They were originally for Pepsi...my neighbor is a service tech. I just ran bev tubing off the cold plates and through holes in the top to picnic taps. I left enough line that after pouring a beer, you just let the extra tubing slide back into the hole. Works great. We poured all night at a party from it with no problems. If you were serving at a reception or something, I don't think it would keep up. A group of guys fishing? No prob.

The last party we used it was around 100*. We did put the kegs in a tote with a couple bags of ice around the base for insurance.
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MrNate

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Post Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:44 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

I have a jockey box, so I will say a couple of things here:

First, higher pressure seems to work better. I imagine because the warmer the beer, the more CO2 comes out of solution, therefore more head pressure helps keep it in. Maybe. But it seems to work better.

Second, beer does not warm up nearly as fast as you think. 2-3 degrees per hour in a 70-72 ambient.

Third, Even if your beer is around 60-70f, the cold plate will knock it down to 40-45f.

Fourth, As far as "keeping up" goes, you're only looking at a 3-4 degree temp increase pulling pints as fast as you're able vs. waiting 30 seconds between pours.

It takes some fiddling, but I like the system.
"Showing us possible nipp is like giving a monkey a gun. When the monkey shoots someone, and you know he will, do you blame the monkey, or the person that gave him the gun?" - Weazletoe
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MCJUG

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Post Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:34 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

Is it better to have the kegs @ room temp? Last Oktoberfest I put all of my kegs in the lager tank at about 36 F for two or three days prior to the event. They were all charged to about 30psi. My tap pressure was about 10 psi. I got a lot of foam and it was a pain in the ass. It was my first try with a JB with a cold plate.
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Legman

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Post Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

rawlus wrote:i think using a faucet adapter right on the keg, your co2 connection of choice and cooling the bottom half of the keg in a bucket of ice, a cold drinks cooler or an igloo ice cube cooler is ultimately cheaper and more portable than the whole jockey box setup. i think the only advantage to jockey boxes is when its an event-type setting, you're pouring from several kegs and you need constant temp control.

for faucet adapter right on the keg, id use a few matrix mixers in the dip tube until you had the pour you wanted at the service pressure you wanted.

I with ya on that. Jbox is just too expensive to have unless it would be used a lot. And I'd probably say that most portable systems do not get used but once in awhile. I'm just guessing though.
I looked into a Jbox several years ago and I just couldn't out weigh the cost of it. I ended up making a portable kegerator from and icecube cooler.
Here are several ideas on this thread: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=77879&hilit=portable
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MrNate

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Post Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Jockey Box Question

MCJUG wrote:Is it better to have the kegs @ room temp? Last Oktoberfest I put all of my kegs in the lager tank at about 36 F for two or three days prior to the event. They were all charged to about 30psi. My tap pressure was about 10 psi. I got a lot of foam and it was a pain in the ass. It was my first try with a JB with a cold plate.


30 psi seems a bit high. And by "a bit high" I mean, "good god, man, what were you thinking?"
"Showing us possible nipp is like giving a monkey a gun. When the monkey shoots someone, and you know he will, do you blame the monkey, or the person that gave him the gun?" - Weazletoe

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