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Keg lines

Hey guys new to kegging. Getting all my duck in a row as we speak. The gas and product lines are what’s holding me up. What is the best size ID for each line? Also what should the product line length be?
I will be using a picnic tap at first (cash flow reasons) but will up grade to tap facuet later.

3/16" ID for the beve line. 6-7’ should be plenty, but start with 10’ and cut it down as needed. Search “balancing your lines” for more tips on this to avoid foam.

Most people go with 5/16" for the gas lines, but it doesn’t really matter. Personally, I’d go with 1/4" so that the standard 1/4" FFL connectors fit perfectly.

[quote=“FriendsR2Thirsty”]3/16" ID for the beve line. 6-7’ should be plenty, but start with 10’ and cut it down as needed. Search “balancing your lines” for more tips on this to avoid foam.

Most people go with 5/16" for the gas lines, but it doesn’t really matter. Personally, I’d go with 1/4" so that the standard 1/4" FFL connectors fit perfectly.[/quote]

Yeah, 1/4" gas for the cornys works. I have 5/16" going to a 1/4 Bbl, I think it’s standard for the commercial couplers (gas).

Thanks guys awesome!

so i was reading up on this balancing at this link from a past post…

[url]https://files.pbworks.com/download/PBOJyZvOTQ/draftquality/18182311/ch5.pdf?ld=1[url]

one of the charts cited 3lbs of restriction per foot of vinyl tubing @ 3/16". I was confused because the other sizes were way different…off by pounds in some cases.

I then read up on past posts where most are using between 6-8 feet @ 2.5vols. But following the links tables I would only need 3’9" at 38f. seems to be a huge difference.

Could you guys take a look at the link and give me your opinion or maybe suggest a better chart for balancing.

Thanks!!

I was going to post 10 ft of 3/16th line for the tap side.

But, the aspect that you are using a picnic tap(will come back to this) throws balancing equations
out the window for sure. The other thing I found when I started kegging is that
in a perfect world the balancing equations should be spot on for “regular tap heads” right?

Wrong, In my own suspicions and confirmations talking to actual draft line
maintenance techs with beer wholesalers tells me the working story.

The balancing equations just dont work with VERY short draft systems
such as what we all run. If your going upstairs/ downstairs out to the garage or etc… and running true trunk lines the equations work perfect. My guys suggestion was to double the number the
equation gave me and Ill be in the ballpark. In working the numbers I “should” only need 4-5 feet 3/16th line, well I always had issues with 5 foot, and so per suggestion simply installed 10 ft of 3/16th line. WhamO perfect pours every single time. I haven’t had problems since that realization.

Now, the aspect that is going to cause issue for you is a picnic tap. I never had one long so I cannot “pinpoint” a golden aspect for you. But what happens when you open these tap heads is they tend to want to let the beer degas as it flows out of the tap, its simply the design. So in order to slow the beer arriving at the picnic tap you will need more resistance to prevent degassing. I suggest at least 20 ft of 3/16th line, OR a epoxy “helix” or two inserted into the dip tube to help the restriction.

OR I do this with old ale kegs or other that are not in regular rotation. I have a short 1ft 3/16 piece of line on a picnic tap. The keg is carbed with the low and slow method (IE: 10-12 PSI @ 38/40f for a week or two.) and I release most of the pressure from the keg before pouring a pint
and I dont have a degassing/super foaming pour then I put the gas back on the keg until the next time I need a pour. Not a perfect answer but I’m sure others that use picnics on long term basis have found methods such as line length or how many helix’s etc… will keep the pour from degassing every time.

With gas side 1/4-5/16 whatever works with your barbs. 1/4 is most commonly used.

3/16th tubing has a very thick side wall and will never go on any barb/s “comfortably”
I find a quick cup or so of boiling water at the ready does wonders. Just immerse the end of
tubing you need to attach into the water for 60 seconds etc… Then slip/roll right onto the barb
like butter!

Now that I think about it I used to have root beer on tap and ran 10 ft of line, BUT had two epoxy helix’s in the dip tube at all times and I was able to dispense root beer @ 4.0 volumes without degassing or goofy pours, so in retrospect I would say just attach 10ft of 3/16th to your picnic tap and drop in two helix’s down the keg out “down tube” and I’ll be willing to say you’d be in the right ballpark to get a perfect pour off a picnic tap without 100’s of feet of line or dropping the keg back pressure all the time.

Here are photos of the epoxy mixing tubes that have a “helix” within them you simply pull out of the tube and drop right in your keg “out” dip tube to create restriction like said I used two in mine to dispense root beer at 4 volumes. The third photo fuzzed out some but I think you’ll get the drift.

On second thought, just using even one half of helix and 10ft of line might be a good way to go as I was at 4 volumes using 2 in the tube.
And then if the beers still degassing at the tap you can add one more half or a full helix to the tube with ease and slow the pour even more.

Cheers

BTW does anybody know if you can still edit post’s? I do not have any radio bar or option such as before.

If you are using picnic taps at first, the best way, since you are opening the fridge anyway, is to simply pull the relief valve before you pour. Assuming you are carbing at 10-12 psi consistently, when you want a couple pints, turn of gas, relieve some pressure and pour your beer. If you have lots of friends over and are pouring a lot, you may have to go through this cycle several times.

I use 3/16 line for the whole thing. Gas & beverage lines.

4 Perlick taps in a converted chest freezer.

38~ 40 F. Set at 11 psi.

After initially sealing the keg with 25 psi, a minute and a couple PRV pulls, I hook it up to the gas in for 1 week to 10 days at 11 psi. Set it and forget it.

10 feet of 3/16 per line to the tap and perfect pours. NO PROBLEM. 8)

Good Luck & Enjoy.

[quote=“Duder”]After initially sealing the keg with 25 psi, a minute and a couple PRV pulls, I hook it up to the gas in for 1 week to 10 days at 11 psi. Set it and forget it.

10 feet of 3/16 per line to the tap and perfect pours. NO PROBLEM. 8)

Good Luck & Enjoy.[/quote]

+1 to this

I suggest 5 feet of line for gas and liquid. I have 5 ft of 1/4" gas lines and 5 ft of 3/16" liquid lines. My kegerator is set at around 38-40F and the regulator is set as about 10-12 PSI. It balances pretty well I think.

This is exactly my process. 10ft of line in my kegerator would be way too much.

I don’t really try for the perfect carbonation for the style though. I like my beers on low side of carbonation no matter what the style.

Earlier it was said that using a picnic tap for now will throw off the length calculations and will cause beer to off gas room much at the 7-10 feet length.

Anyone else who can weigh in on this would be welcomed please.

If its too much of a problem I could try a squeeze out for atleast one facuet.

[quote=“jkerulusmc”]Earlier it was said that using a picnic tap for now will throw off the length calculations and will cause beer to off gas room much at the 7-10 feet length.

Anyone else who can weigh in on this would be welcomed please.

If its too much of a problem I could try a squeeze out for atleast one facuet.[/quote]

I have a picnic tap that gets some use from time to time, I can squeeze 3 kegs into my fridge buy only have 2 faucets, it has 5 ft of 3/16" line and doesn’t pour great but it’s not terrible either. If it were me I would just start out with quite a bit of line, 10-12 ft, see how that works and trim as needed until you get the pour just right.

I use picnic tappers on my keezer without issue. I haven’t noticed a difference between them and the old cheapy chrome faucet. Maybe I’m just not observant enough? I do need to press the picnic tap quickly and completely open, otherwise she’ll foam out. I usually keep my keezer at about 45F and use 5’ to 6’ of 3/16" dia for gas and liquid. I also naturally carb before hooking up to my system which is at about 10psi. In my case I “mounted” the picnic tappers where I will eventually put perlicks… so no opening neccessary. I have one liquid line that is 1/4" dia and about 16’ long which also dispenses pretty well, but is soon to be replaced with shorter 3/16" dia.
:cheers:

I think you should start with the 10’ length of 3/16" ID beverage hose for the liquid (I don’t think that the diameter or length for the gas really matters).

I have a faucet, but sometimes attach a picnic tap to fill growlers, and it doesn’t make a huge difference.

One thing to keep in mind–any time you make a tweak–whether it’s kegerator temperature, length of hose, or PSI, you are going to affect the carbonation, the speed of pour, and the foaminess. I’ve driven myself crazy making repeated changes before fully realizing their impact. So my advice is that whenever you make an adjustment, wait a few days to see what the results are before making any additional tweaks.

I don’t think the length of the gas line makes any difference. Maybe if you are running it 100’ or something crazy like that but, 3 ~ 8 ft probably doesn’t matter much. As long as the connections are tight. :shock:

I am very happy with 10 ft per beverage line. Pretty sure that is what some of the calculators recommended for my pressure / temperature / line diameter. Some / all also take into account vertical rises. Always better to err of the side of too long than too short.

As far as gas vs beverage size I just prefer to use the same size all around. I order 100 ft rolls for the price break per foot and it’s just soooooo easy to have the same size for everything. Same size oetiker clamps for all connections too.

What works for me may not work for all but, IT WORKS FOR ME. :lol:

Good Luck & Enjoy

I agree, length of gas line probably doesn’t mean much, but the diameter could . . . if you wanted to tap 6 beers at once, you’d probably want bigger dia or seperate tanks I suppose.

I have an old Draught Beer Guide (my Grandparents owned a bar and then my uncle) which ultimately came from Pabst Brewing Co. For vertical lift it says to increase pressure 0.5 psi per foot of height. I measure vertical height from the middle of the corny up to the taps.

Also says a balanced system will yield one gallon of beer per minute and internal pressure increases 6.5 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature rise. I also find interesting that it includes a chart that shows approximate number of glasses in a half barrel based upon type of glass, the size and whether you serve with a 1", 3/4" or 1/2" head.
:cheers:

That’s what I figured as well and also remember reading.

Agreed.

Good Luck & Enjoy

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