View Full Version : Size tubing for taps?

10-22-2012, 03:18 PM
I am in the process of cleaning and getting the equipment of a small brewery that has been closed for almost a year.

I've been ripping out the old lines from the CO2 and to the tap shanks as most of them were still connected to kegs that still had beer in them to various levels. Keg cleaning may be a challenge.

It looks like the CO2 lines were of 5/16" ID, and there were 3/8" ID lines connecting to the tap shanks, as well as 5/16" as well. There were numerous connecters to go from one size to another through the lines.

I am curious on the preference, if any, on what ID line to use for either CO2 to keg, and then keg to tap shanks? I understand the smaller diameter usually means higher pressure. I was thinking it be simpler if everything was the same is all.

10-22-2012, 04:25 PM
Seems like the beer line was 3/8 for most of the run with a 5/16 choker to control foaming at the shank. In theory, it would be nice to use one size but you might be short on your line to ensure proper restriction. The Brewers Association has a draft beer guide which is a good read, I would recommend reading it.

10-22-2012, 05:05 PM
Pulled this from the micro matic website:

"Beer hose is used to transport the beer from the keg to faucet and is also used to control how fast the beer pours from the faucet. The way this works is the length and inner diameter (I.D.) of the beer hose is calculated to "balance" against the CO2 pressure that is applied to the keg. This controls the beer flow and assures the beer dispensed from the faucet is neither too fast nor to slow. This is called "restriction" and the more restriction added to a system the slower the beer flows from the faucet.

For example, most beer towers have a 5' length of (3/16” I.D.) vinyl beer hose. This is because this size and length of tubing is the appropriate restriction for most keg refrigerators being dispensed with 12-14 lbs of CO2 pressure.

In applications where the distance between the keg and faucet is greater than 5' a larger size (I.D.) of hose should be used to balance the system. This is because 3/16” I.D. vinyl beer hose longer than 5' would cause the beer to flow too slowly, too much restriction is in the system for the amount of CO2 pressure. In some systems the CO2 pressure is then increased to overcome the restriction, although the beer will flow faster it is likely to become over-pressurized, resulting in foamy beer.

To assure the best glass of draft beer Micro Matic recommends setting the CO2 pressure to the Brewers specification and controlling the flow rate with the proper length and diameter of beer hose."


Ted Briggs
10-23-2012, 07:57 AM
get the BA's draft quailty manual- will answer all your questions

10-24-2012, 03:41 AM
Thanks, I've actually gone and ordered a hardcopy of the BA's draught quality manual.