View Full Version : How To Balance A System

10-30-2004, 10:02 AM
This is a long question, but requires a yes/no answer. I just read on a help regarding a balanced system. I have heard that it is important to have a 6 foot beer hose when serving draft beer. I have a kegerator and am using 6 feet of 3/16 beer line. I keep the beer at 34 degrees. As I read your directions for a balanced system, I think I am in need of shorting my beer line to 3.5 feet but I wanted to see first if I am correct. Here is my calculation.
My target guage pressure should be 11 psi because I have be temp at 34 degrees. My resistance with 3/16 would be 2.7 and my height from center of keg to faucet is 2.5 feet. In order to balance my system, I assume I would vary the beer line length to meet the target pressure on my regulator?
11psi=3.5 * 2.7 + 2.5 * .5
Would this be correct?
Thank you so very much for the information.

11-01-2004, 06:16 AM
Six feet of 3/16" ID will work great, relax and have a homebrew. If it comes out too slowly, try cutting off a foot at a time.

Sir Brewsalot
11-01-2004, 07:55 AM
Wow, that's a low serving temp - at least for my tastes.

I'll concurr with the last post, as one who has never measured a beer line for a home setup. I like them as short as is managable in the setup, as it's that much less to clean regularly. Haven't had a foaming problem yet, but I'm not saying you won't.

I'd just recommend trying short runs first, and adjusting up if there's a foaming problem.


11-02-2004, 06:22 PM
I forgot to say this in the original post. All I am pouring is a glass full of foam. I have tried averything else with no luck. The kegs that I have now were filled by a brewery. Also, It is that temperature at the bottom of the kegerator, about 4 degrees cooler than it is at the top. Thank you.

11-03-2004, 06:49 AM
Try this:

1. Set the regulator to 12 psi. Make sure the gas valve on the CO2 tank is wide open.
2. Start with 6 feet of 3/16" ID beer hose. Make sure there are no kinks in the beer line, and that the tap is fully engaged on the keg.
3. Pour about 2-3 ounces of beer, then shut the faucet again. Let the faucet sit for about five seconds. This will cool the faucet down to help minimize foaming.
4. Open the faucet ALL the way and pour the beer against the side of the glass with the glass held at about 45 degrees. Tilt the glass upright towards the end. The faucet has to be all the way open, trying to throttle the flow will make it foam much worse.
5. The beer should completely fill the opening of the faucet. If it is only half filling the opening of the faucet, youhave too much restriction for the 12 psi pressure. If so, cut about one foot off of the beer line and try again.
6. This way you will get it right without starting with too short a hose.

11-03-2004, 07:39 AM
Hey there,
It is important to balance the size of the lines (ID) with the distance traveled, and height the beer is raised to the tap with the CO2 pressure supplied. A good explaination can be found many places such as the following site: http://kegman.net/balance.html
Good Luck,

11-04-2004, 12:12 PM
Thank you, I will try your suggestions. I raised the temp to around 39-40. The faucet pours foam so there is no beer aven coiming out. I am now wondering if my beer went bad or the keg was not clean when I got it filled. But thank you for the tips, I will definately try them. Everything that was mentioned above has been followed except that my CO2 tank valve was not opened all the way.

Sir Brewsalot
11-04-2004, 12:34 PM
Also, make sure you bleed off the keg's pressure. At those lower temps, you were probably force carbonating the keg a bit if you had the pressure up in the system earlier in your trials. This may take a day or two for the CO2 to come back out of solution.

Good luck!