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Beer line lenght

 
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sandovalch



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Guatemala

Working on: Irish Red Ale, American Amber Ale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Beer line lenght Reply with quote


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I have one question about running beer lines. Is it possible to run a beer line from a large keezer in one level of the house to another tower dispenser at 4 meter height above the keg? Given you can keep the line cold enough along the way.
Is this possible or would the CO2 pressure in the keg be too high ?
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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1508
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as the length of the line, you should be fine. I don't know about head height though. 4 meters seems like a lot. However, If I recall correctly, my favorite Tavern stores their beer in the basement in a cooler. It can be done. Just don't know if it takes special industry equipment to get it elevated...
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joe89



Joined: 27 Feb 2015
Posts: 17
Location: Yorkshire, UK


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You shouldn't have any problems, you probably just need to use a larger ID tubing to give less resistance. As long as the pressure you need to serve doesn't cause the beer to over carbonate you should be fine.
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the Beer Line Length Calculator at this address. http://www.mikesoltys.com/?p=1005
Based on this calculator with 1/4" tubing, 13ft lift (4 m), and a pour rate of 10 seconds / pint, you would need 22 ft of 1/4" tubing.

If you need even higher lift (or a longer run) you can use a gas mix of CO2 and Nitrogen. The carbonation is based on the percentage of CO2 in the mix. If you used a 50/50 mix you can double the pressure on the beer (say 24 psi instead of 12 psi) and maintain the same carbonation.

David

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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1508
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David_H wrote:
Check out the Beer Line Length Calculator at this address. http://www.mikesoltys.com/?p=1005
Based on this calculator with 1/4" tubing, 13ft lift (4 m), and a pour rate of 10 seconds / pint, you would need 22 ft of 1/4" tubing.

If you need even higher lift (or a longer run) you can use a gas mix of CO2 and Nitrogen. The carbonation is based on the percentage of CO2 in the mix. If you used a 50/50 mix you can double the pressure on the beer (say 24 psi instead of 12 psi) and maintain the same carbonation.

David


There's credence to this... I asked my friend last night who owns the Tavern (T&P Tavern) in Fort Worth, TX. He pushes all his beer up from the basement coolers via trunk lines using a Nitro/CO2 mix so as to not over carbonate the beer in the kegs. He said you can actually use beer pumps and de-foamers but those are pretty pricey.
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sandovalch



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Guatemala

Working on: Irish Red Ale, American Amber Ale


PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the lenght he is using from the basement to the tap?
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sandovalch



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Guatemala

Working on: Irish Red Ale, American Amber Ale


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, If I would need nitrogen, is there a CO2 / nitrogen mixer? How does it look like?
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Diveralan



Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 28



PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would buy the gas premixed. A 70/30 blend is what many bars and home brewers use for stout. Many gas suppliers can blend it to your exact needs.
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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1508
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's commonly called beergas. I would suppose you would carbonate to a low volume, like 1.0 or so. Then the low ammount of CO2 in the beergas would finish off the carbonation. Sorry, I don't know the head height he is pushing from the basement.
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By the way, If I would need nitrogen, is there a CO2 / nitrogen mixer? How does it look like?


There are mixers, but they are mainly commercial and very expensive. You would just specify the mix percentage.

As soon as you start adding Nitrogen to the mix you will need to get a Nitrogen specific tank. It's basically the same tank with a different style valve and you will need a Nitrogen regulator. Search on Nitrogen Taps or Beer gas to get more information on the net. You will also want to talk to your gas supplier. You can just order "Beer Gas" and get what they give you (30/70 or 25/70) or you can specify the mix percentage that you want.

The CO2 pressure you put on your beer will control the amount of carbonation on your beer, measured in Volumes of CO2. There are numerous sites that will give you the combination of Temperature and Pressure to get the desired carbonation. These are all based on 100% CO2 gas. As soon as you mix the gas the carbonation level is a function of the percentage of CO2 in the mix. The Nitrogen is inert for the most part not go into solution with the beer and will not affect the flavor of the beer. CO2 goes into solution and creates Carbonic Acid which does affect the flavor (mostly on purpose).

The trick to balancing a beer distribution system is to create a "back pressure" due to friction loss in the lines so that the pressure on the beer for carbonation is reduced down to about 1-2 psi at the faucet "nozzle" such that the CO2 comes out of solution at an appropriate rate, ie foam / head. If the pressure is too high then you get all foam/head or too low you get no foam/head and slow pour rates. Typically this line length for 3/16 ID line is in the range of 4-10 ft. As soon as you add a large vertical lift to the equation you need to reduce the friction loss (larger ID) or increase the pressure. If you increase the pressure with 100% CO2 you will over carbonate. Therefore you reduce the percentage of CO2 to maintain the desired carbonation and add an inert gas to make up the difference and "push" the beer. There is about a 0.5 psi drop in pressure for every foot of lift, so based on you original post you have a lift of about 13 ft. Therefore you need about 6-7 psi just to push the beer to the upper floor. Now you need to consider the line length and the friction loss to balance out the rest of the pressure you have on the beer. If you are carbing to a very low level, say 8-10 psi you might not have enough pressure to overcome all of the friction in the lines. One thing to note the line friction is a function of fluid velocity, ie pour rate. As the pour rate deceased so does the pressure loss in the line.

Kind of long winded, hope some of it makes sense.

David
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David_H wrote:
There are mixers, but they are mainly commercial and very expensive. You would just specify the mix percentage.

Yup - I remember looking and they were over $1000 or so. Seems in the US it's not that common to get it pre-mixed, or it's more expensive to do so, so bars that go through a lot would save money by buying full tanks of CO2 and Nitro and mixing themselves.

Up here where I am the place that fills my tanks (a place that mostly does fire extinguishers) can do any blend of Nitro/CO2 you like. Same price whether it's 100% CO2 or 25-30% CO2 and the rest Nitro. So for me a blender makes absolutely no sense.

I suppose if you wanted to play with the blend from keg to keg it would make sense to get a blender but I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that. Beer gas is usually either 25/75 or 30/70 if I remember correctly. (Most Nitro of course).

+1 to everything David_H wrote. (Good informative post!)

Kal

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huaco



Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1508
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm learning a lot here too... I just purchased a NitroTap last night for my kegerator build I'm in the middle of. Naturally, I'll be using beergas to push that keg. Thanks for the info David_H.

Kal, down here in the States, at least where I'm located, most welding gas vendors can, and do, offer custom mixes. Of course their standard "BeerGas" is 70-30 N/CO2. Tuesday was Stout night at my Homebrew Club meeting. I brought my Jockey Box so club members could serve their kegged samples to the club. A buddy brought his nitro tap setup and we changed over real quick... man, it was NICE.
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pedalbiker



Joined: 22 Dec 2015
Posts: 1
Location: south west PA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brewers association has a really nice draft beer manual at this site. Should answer all of your questions. Chapter 5 is where I would start to answer your question. http://www.draughtquality.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DQM_Full_Final.pdf

Mug

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