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Co2 and Beer Lines

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  • Co2 and Beer Lines

    So I did the math and I know the proper length for my beer lines based off the temp I will be serving.....

    My question is, I could not find what the length for the Co2 lines should be. What should I set them at?

    Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr
    Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on FlickrUntitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

  • #2
    The CO2 lines only need to be long enough to facilitate the easy hookup to kegs. There's nothing to worry about as far as pressure vs. length, at least not at the lengths you'll be using. As for setting the pressure, what's the CO2 volume in the beer? The temperature of the beer? There are countless charts on the net showing the relationship between temperature/pressure/volumes of CO2. Just set your keg pressures to maintain the CO2 volume you have in the beer. Too low and the carbonation will start breaking out in the lines; too high and you'll slowly start over carbonating your beers.

    The other thing you might want to consider is a shadow box where the shanks go through the cooler wall. This helps to keep everything at the tap end the same temperature as the beer/cooler. When shanks go through the wall of a cooler, they can allow the beer to warm slightly,which will result in pouring some foam until the taps reach the right temperature. It might not be an issue, but if it becomes one a sure fix is a shadow box.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don

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    • #3
      How did you "do the math" without knowing your delivery pressure?

      Your choker line dia.s and lengths are to reduce the equalization pressure of the beer, plus the pressure needed to get it to the faucets to near zero at the faucets.
      Timm Turrentine

      Brewerywright,
      Terminal Gravity Brewing,
      Enterprise. Oregon.

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      • #4
        Not sure where you are trying to play stump the chump with Questioning my “did the math” and I am a newbie in this world but “Lagers, Ales, Ambers, most beers, 2.20 – 2.59 volumes CO2” using the 2.39 as a middle mark, Which I will accomplish in my brite tank at 40 degrees and 19psi until my headspace reaches the equilibrium of 19psi, starting lower and working to 19 so I don’t get scrubbing, puts me at using An average of 12 psi as my serving pressure, knowing I will be keeping my cooler at 42f, and that the beer line I am using is 3/16” ID, with center of keg to tap head 1’6” and a pint per hour flow rate of 10, puts me right at 10’3” for beer line....

        Sorry if I should have put the math in my initial post, I just needed to know does it matter the length for the co2, that’s all I asked
        Last edited by Brwd.By.Boucher; 03-30-2020, 08:10 PM.

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        • #5
          No, your CO2 line length doesn't matter--as long as you don't starve your kegs for CO2. Looks like you have plenty of regulators, so you're not putting too much draw on a single regulator. You can get away with up to 4 kegs/regulator as long as the line to the regs can supply the demand. I use 1/2" from our Dewars--hundreds of yards away as the pipe runs--and 3/8" CO2 line from the regs to the kegs. We're often drawing multiple faucets at once (two serving areas) and haven't had a problem since I built the system.

          I think you'll find that you'll need more like 14-15psi to get pours that don't take forever. My math and gut feeling (I've built a lot of tap systems) would have 6' of choker line, and that's at 3,800-4,000 ft elevation, which means more restriction. 14-15 psi at 38F gives you an equilibrium pressure of 2.75-2.85, but CO2 diffuses very slowly into a still keg. If your kegs last less than a week or so, you'll be golden.

          PS: Sorry about the snippy tone in yesterday's post. Tough day fighting a nightmare piece of equipment on the bottling line.
          Last edited by TGTimm; 03-31-2020, 08:58 AM.
          Timm Turrentine

          Brewerywright,
          Terminal Gravity Brewing,
          Enterprise. Oregon.

          Comment


          • #6
            Try this on for size...

            I've come to set up all beers the same way. Really haven't found a reason to dial in different carbonation levels for different beers--nitrogenated beers excepted. Timm's got my go-to numbers for most any draft setup. 13psi, 38F, and 6 feet of 3/16 ID Bevlex PVC line to faucet. Guaranteed to work every time. Fast, gentle pours of cold, fully carbonated beers with just enough foam. Although you may have a small issue with your shanks being uninsulated, and worse--thermally grounded to a large, thin, metal plate that will conduct heat into your faucet. Don't sweat the minuscule details on carbonation. Get up and running on the rule-of-thumb numbers we gave you and then dial it in further down the line if you absolutely have to. Bet you'll have loads of other issues that are far more important.
            Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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            • #7
              When I did the wall I lined the holes with silicon so that if I pulled the shanks out I wouldnt get constant styrofoam pellets popping out, and the shanks are actually super insulated, they are surrounded with styrofoam.

              Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr
              Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr
              Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

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              • #8
                Jeremy: It isn't so much the shanks warming inside the wall, it's the exposed part of the shank, the faucet, and that great big SS heat sink you have them mounted on.

                Try it out, and if you don't have foaming problems on your first pours every time the system sits for a while, then you have no problem. If yourself find yourself having to toss a couple of glasses of foam every time you let the system sit for a half-hour or so, then you need a shadowbox with a fan to circulate the cold cooler air right up to the ends of the shank.

                I like to see condensation on the faucets to let me know they're at or very near the beer temp.
                Timm Turrentine

                Brewerywright,
                Terminal Gravity Brewing,
                Enterprise. Oregon.

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