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Author Topic: Balancing pressure for kegging  (Read 1460 times)

Offline Chris Craig

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Balancing pressure for kegging
« on: January 05, 2012, 01:59:51 PM »
In preparation for setting up my keezer, I decided to try to figure out how to balance the system before I even got it  :mrgreen:

I've done a lot of reading, and it seems to me that you have to vary the beer line inner diameter and length from style to style in order to get a good pour.  That is...unless I'm missing something.

Here's what I've learned (right or wrong):

1. You need to maintain consistent CO2 pressure on the keg at a consistent temperature to maintain the proper volume of CO2 in the beer for a given style.  (eg. An English bitter at 38F needs a constant pressure of 6PSI to maintain 2.0 volumes of CO2)

2. In order to get "the perfect pour", your systems resistance needs to equal your serving pressure.  If I have that same English bitter at 6PSI at 38F to maintain 2.0 volumes, I need 6 PSI resistance in the beer line and tap.

3. If I want to serve 2 different styles (or 2 different beers at different carbonation levels), assuming I can set the pressure on each keg independently, I'm going to need to change the line length or inner diameter in order to achieve that "perfect pour"

Does this seem right, or have I missed something?

Offline Kyle

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Re: Balancing pressure for kegging
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 03:12:18 PM »
I've done a lot of reading, and it seems to me that you have to vary the beer line inner diameter and length from style to style in order to get a good pour.  That is...unless I'm missing something.

Not really. For beers that will be of approximately the same carb level of 2.2-2.8 volumes, I use a 10' beverage hose with a 3/16" inside diameter.
For wheat beers, sparkling water, and other things that are highly carbonated, I use 15 feet of the same hose. Note that either line is fine with normally carbed beers, but I would get foam with high carbed stuff on the shorter hose. I use Perlick taps and serve both lines at 10psi.


Here's what I've learned (right or wrong):

1. You need to maintain consistent CO2 pressure on the keg at a consistent temperature to maintain the proper volume of CO2 in the beer for a given style.  (eg. An English bitter at 38F needs a constant pressure of 6PSI to maintain 2.0 volumes of CO2)


Essentially, yes. Your biggest concern is keeping the keg stationary. If you pick it up and move it around, give it a few hours to settle before re-attaching the C02.

Also, personally, I tend to carb in the fridge at 30psi for 2 days and then test, usually it needs a few more hours, sometimes not.


2. In order to get "the perfect pour", your systems resistance needs to equal your serving pressure.  If I have that same English bitter at 6PSI at 38F to maintain 2.0 volumes, I need 6 PSI resistance in the beer line and tap.

Yes... but, the tap also has a huge impact, generally: picnic taps give loads of foam if you don't turn the C02 right down, standard taps may give some, and Perlick taps provide an excellent pour, even on beer which is slightly over or under carbed.

3. If I want to serve 2 different styles (or 2 different beers at different carbonation levels), assuming I can set the pressure on each keg independently, I'm going to need to change the line length or inner diameter in order to achieve that "perfect pour"Does this seem right, or have I missed something?[/quote]

Pragmatically this is much less of a concern with a properly cooled tower and good quality taps.
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: Balancing pressure for kegging
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 03:50:17 PM »
Thanks for the advice Kyle.  I guess I should just buy a few lengths of 3/16 ID and see which works best for my system. I am ordering Perlick taps BTW.  I think I might get shot if I did anything else :D

Offline HappyHax0r

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Re: Balancing pressure for kegging
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 04:08:45 PM »
Quote from: "ChrisCraig"
Thanks for the advice Kyle.  I guess I should just buy a few lengths of 3/16 ID and see which works best for my system. I am ordering Perlick taps BTW.  I think I might get shot if I did anything else :D


If you get shot can I have your beer? :D
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: Balancing pressure for kegging
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 04:13:29 PM »
My wife has instructions to bury it all with me in the event of my death.

Offline HappyHax0r

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Re: Balancing pressure for kegging
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 04:25:11 PM »
Quote from: "ChrisCraig"
My wife has instructions to bury it all with me in the event of my death.


Damn...

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