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Balancing question....sorry!

I searched and couldn’t find a topic that directly covered what I’m after, so I apologize in advance if this has been covered elsewhere…

My problem is simple: almost everything I serve is somewhere is the range of 1.8-2.5 vol C02, and I’m able to use beverage lines of about 6 feet and get pours that I’m perfectly happy with.

However, I’ve done a couple beers that wanted to be 3.5ish, and things really went to hell for me. I believe what I did was use too long a beverage line (about 15’). I calculated it a long while back and was convinced it was about right, but my pours were total crap–lots of intermittent foam, just awful.

One issue I have is that if I use the standard equations, they don’t seem to add up for what obviously does work for me for my standard beers. You see all kinds of different numbers for hardware (shank, faucet, resistance/ft of line, etc) so I am just not convinced I can do it on paper with any degree of confidence.

What makes sense to me is…I know that carbing and serving at ~12PSI with my standard beverage line length works great. I also know that I want 20 PSI for the Belgian Golden I want to make.

I can hack up some numbers for pressure drop of my hardware, gravity and line, adjust the length of the line accordingly and give it a shot. My preliminary calcs indicate that this would give me maybe 11-12’ of line.

However, I know I’ve seen threads about people serving highly-carbed belgians with like 25 or even 50’ of line or inserting those paint-stirrer things to up the resistance, which sounds nuts to me, but I don’t recall for sure what hose diameter or carb level they were talking…

Any thoughts?

Well now I apologize if I seem too simple, but I still use picnic/cobra head tap and I have a belgium golden strong that I can git a lot of bubbles and a meringue head. I can git close to my fav Duvel. Sneezles61

No apology necessary! I tend to overthink things, but if simple works I’m all for it.

Just out of curiosity, what’s your carb level/pressure? You using the standard picnic-tap length, or are you running it longer?

A golden strong ale is what I’m making, and I’ll be really disappointed if I can’t get the carbonation and pour right :).

My picnic tap is less than a foot. I do over carb at 30 PSI and keep adding, I will pull a pint from time to time until it is clear. After that I will pour until the foam and brew about equal out in the glass, I will put the CO2 on and with it turned down, will start to turn it up to match what I feel is correct for my taste. See its over carbed, so when I add CO2 at lower pressure, I just turn it up to match what I like. Just play with it you’ll find yer sweet spot. Sneezles61

Cool, thanks! Just to make sure I have the details right, you carb to a full 30psi, as opposed to using the high pressure for a short time in order to speed carbonation at a lower pressure, yes?

Assuming that’s correct, your process sounds like simply setting the serving pressure to whatever gives you a decent pour given your hardware and your beer with ~4Vols CO2 (depending on your carb temp, of course), which certainly seems like it would work fine.

If I have that right, you crank the pressure back up to 30PSI when you’re not serving?

Yes, you have it as how I prefer my belgium goldens. If you think about it, seems as tho when the belgiums are charging their stout little bottles, they must use 1-1/2 times sugar and yeast of most normal brews. So thats why I set mine high, pour and you find the sweet spot and adjust yer reg to that if not just a bit higher. When not serving crank it up, it will keep in foamy belgium bliss. Sneezles61

Also, I don’t leave my keg hooked up to gas either. I will charge and disconnect, and even when its a new keg while its absorbing CO2, I will put the tank on, gas it till it stops and leave it, and repeat. Sneezles61

That doesn’t sound that simple. Going back and forth with the regulator for me would be a pita if you have more than one keg on carbonation. I’ve always wondered how I could carbonate at different levels with one tank.

I see you have a new avatar @sneezles61. Are you sitting in front of a giant beer, I can’t quite see.

Ive tried doing that and did find it a bit painful, but if I can’t make it work so that it pours correctly at carb pressure, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Thanks sneezles–the fact that you can get a good pour even with 1ft of beverage line is a very good datapoint, and tells me there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to make mine work one way or another.

BTW, when I had one regulator/tank I did something similar to Sneezles. The beers I was carbing weren’t that far apart in terms of carb levels, so in the end I think I decided to just do them the same. It’s doable, but it requires some effort.

In the end I decided to get a double body regulator for beers that are way far apart :).

That would have been my suggestion. Pricey but will give you better control over two different carb levels.

Maybe not obvious, but I had problems coming up with a good serving method with only one keg running at a time with very high carb levels :blush:.

It’s been a while, so I’m trying to remember what I did that ended me up with such bad results. I had a very long line (~15’), but I think I may also have dropped the serving pressure down.

I don’t remember having especially slow pours, but I think basically my line was too long for whatever serving pressures I tried. Somehow I convinced myself that wasn’t the case at the time, but I think that has to be it.

Do start orginal carbonation at 20psi for three days. Than reduce. It to 12psi let it stand for 10 days. Than atach it to the tap. Once i do poor a pint. Perfect clear and nice foam head. And can see co2 bubbles in the glass. This seems to work for me.

Fermenter with blow over! Sneezles61

OK, but this is a process for quickly carbonating to 12PSI. That’s essentially what I do for almost all my beers and I’ve never had problems with beer carbed in that range. My issue is carbing to 25-30PSI and trying to come up with a combination of beverage line length and serving pressure to make it work.

Anyway, the thoughts so far in this thread have given me ideas about how I’ll approach the problem this time around.

Google this:
Cm Becker in line flow control compensator

You’re welcome! :wink:

1 Like

Thats awesome. Screw math!!!

That’s pretty nifty but would get pricey for multiple kegs.

@dannyboy58, you’re not a kiddin’! Might be interesting to check out though and just run enough tubing as needed rather than 7’-10’.

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