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Centennial Tap Beer Service, Inc.
1930 W 41st Avenue
Denver, CO 80211
Standard beer line is poly-vinyl with an inner diameter of 3/16 for most home installations. 6.5 feet of beer line is required at 5280 elevations. This kind of tubing is unique to beer systems and can not be purchased at a hardware store. It is essential to have 3/16 beer line for proper restriction on any beer system. It is crucial for the correct balancing of any system long or short. 3/16 beer line may be used to step down from a 3/8 tubing size using splicers on some long draw systems.
Poly-vinyl beer line comes in many different sizes but the three most common sizes found in most beer systems is 3/16, 5/16 and 3/8. 5/16 is most commonly used on the air or pressure side of most beer systems. It can also be found being used as jumper lines. 3/8 is more common for jumper lines in longer draw systems.
The 3/16 inner diameter is used for restriction to slow the beer down closer to the faucet. To properly restrict and balance your beer system you must know the internal pressure of a new pressurized keg. Altitude plays a major part on internal pressure. At sea level less restriction is required than the higher elevations due to the different internal pressure of the kegs.
Cleaning your beer line
Cleaning your beer line is important. There are a number of cleaning solutions available to keep your beer line clean. An unclean beer line can get a buildup of yeast adhering to the inside walls of the poly-vinyl tubing and can cause off taste beer. The taste is almost a buttery flavor with dirty beer lines. Dirty beer line can also cause foaming issues at the faucet causing restricted flow and poor flow due to obstruction in the faucet. Beer line cleaner or Pervatrate are two examples of cleaning solution. To clean a long draw system you need a cleaning pod. On short draws you can use a hand pump to run the solution through the beer line. Long draws are a little tougher to clean and require an electric pump or a cleaning pod that taps in just like a keg using the systems Co2 supply to push the solution through the beer line. Electric pumps are a little more complicated to use because you need to clean two lines at the minimum. When using a pump you will also need jumper lines and a dual flusher to accomplish the tasks with an electric pump.
Trouble-shooting your beer line
Trouble-shooting your beer line, in most cases, a visual inspection is efficient. Check for split lines visually and inspect for leaks. You can also pressure check each line individually by tapping one keg at a time and check for leaks as you go looking at each line one at a time.
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