3/8# Beer Line Experience

A forum to discuss the various ways of getting beer into your glass.
Post Reply
tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:59 pm

Hi all

Used to post in here but not done so in a while, hence the new user !

I am currently setting up my first kegerator and bought the dual kegs from Keg Kingdom and this has been supplied with 3m of 0.375 or 3/8# beer line.

I am looking to 'balance' my system based on what I have been reading online and setting up your kegs and it looks like I will require around 240ft of beer line for my system when I use any online calculator compared to around 9ft if I use 3/16 line. Surely the 3/8 beer line must be commonly used and the 3m length has been deemed more than adequate by Keg Kingdom for general Kegerator builds ??

The beers ill be pouring will be mainly APA's, Lagers and IPA's so all will be fairly carb'd and cold. The height distance from keg to tap is appx 1ft.

I'm wondering if I should even bother setting this up using the 3/8 beer line or just get some JG reducers to fit to my connections and some 3/16 line ?

Cheers in advance guys

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7560
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by Kev888 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:17 pm

Things can be made to work with a few meters of 3/8" line - provided carbonation and pressure are low enough and preferably if the lines and beer are kept cool. But you won't be able to properly balance it; if that is what you want then 3/16ths is the way to go IMO. I forget the exact numbers now, but it is magnitudes more restrictive - not just twice as one may think from the sizing.
Kev

tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:38 pm

Thanks Kev

Lines are all inside the fridges so everything will be nice and cool. It seems like 3/16 is the way to go for a 'generic' set up.

User avatar
IPA
Under the Table
Posts: 1205
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:29 am
Location: France Gascony

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by IPA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:05 am

Ignore all the line length/diameter calculators and get your carbonation right and you will not have a problem. Have you ever seen a bar with kegs under the counter use these ridiculous line lengths? You can serve beer from a cornie using a tap with flow control attached directly to the out post.
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin

1. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming... "f*ck, what a trip!"

tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:42 pm

Thank IPA

I'll get some 3/16 just incase its not working so I can have a play around.

On another note, my tap shanks come with the barbs for directly inserting the beer line, does anyone else use barb fittings on their beer line ? The majority of vids or tips I have seen is to use another JG fitting.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7560
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by Kev888 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:17 pm

Barbs are good in some ways (assuming they're the right size), they generally make a good reliable fit that should last even longer than JG fittings. Though the down-side is that it can be harder to get the tube on and off, so not so good if you chop and change tubing a lot.

Many taps these days are built into towers with short lines already attached (often using 3/16ths). They rarely if ever get stripped down to the point of having the immediate line replaced, so with the right cleaning regime there isn't need to routinely take the lines on and off.

I doubt that you'll regret the 3/16ths whether you intend to balance properly or not. Its lots more flexible and far more suited to short runs IMO. It is restrictive enough that it can either be used alone, or (as IPA says) even shorter lengths can be used with flow controls if you have them. They both just restrict the flow of beer so no magic going on, FWIW I just find a gradual restriction from the line works somewhat better, your preference may differ. It isn't even a sensible option with 3/8" though, the lengths needed are just excessive
Kev

tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Thanks Kev

I have no flow control taps and I have just realised the beer line is in fact only 1.5m in length x2 hence the dual keg set up from Keg Kingdom.

3/16 it is I think.

tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:45 am

Morning all

Reviving this thread to help with a query instead of starting a new one.

So my kegerator is up and running and I'm delighted after almost 3 years of bottling. Beer is carbonated and tasting really good, however my pour is a little on the slow side. Gas is set to 11 and beer is at 6c.

Am I right in thinking I just need to reduce my beer line length in order to obtain a faster pour ? If so can I just unhook the beer out line, clear the line as much as I can then get cutting ?

I also read that I should up the PSI but will that not over carb my beer ?

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7560
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by Kev888 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:34 am

Generally the pressure/temperature balance should be set according to the carbonation that is appropriate for the beer, then the line length (or flow control) set to get the rate of pour required. The two are related but different, and (as you realised) if you change the pressure to adjust flow rate then the level of carbonation will also change whilst dispensing, which often isn't ideal (though the amount of change depends on the situation).

Disconnect the line and just cut a modest portion off and reconnect it to test the result. Aim for as slow a pour as you can reasonably accept, as this will also give you the best chance of avoiding foaming.

Just to mention, it can seem to take a long time to pour a beer when you're stood there doing it. But it should be quite a sedate and careful process, so don't let perception mislead you. If in doubt, it might be helpful to watch some experts (live or on youtube etc) and maybe use a clock to compare.
Kev

tuffty22
Sober
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by tuffty22 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:57 pm

Thanks Kev

Iv looked at a couple of vids and it seems like between 10 and 12 seconds to pour a pint. I'll time mine later and see how it compares.

If say my pour takes 20 seconds does that correlate directly to half the amount of beer line needed ? I wouldn't have thought so but cant too much info on the actual physics of things.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7560
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: 3/8# Beer Line Experience

Post by Kev888 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:16 pm

I wouldn't really trust the maths myself; just cut it back by a small proportion at a time and test it. Partly in order to look out for foaming beginning in the lines, not just the pour rate.
Kev

Post Reply