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Perfect Home Bar System...almost.

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  • Perfect Home Bar System...almost.

    I recently moved into a house with two bar taps built into the kitchen butler's nook. I was ecstatic at first, but then realized the system as some serious issues, which I think I'm 90% of the way to resolving, I just need some help on the final bits.

    The system is basically this - dual tower in the butler's nook, running down roughly 35 feet of glycol cooled trunk line into a fridge in the basement. The fridge was originally a Haier standalone kegerator, and the builder of the system used the hole on top to run the trunk line in, then drilled another similarly sized hole for the loop. It's all rather clever, is well insulated, and seems to do an excellent job of keeping two 1/6 BBL cool and on tap for the faucets.

    The problem is pushing the beer up to the kitchen. 35 feet of run is an issue they just didn't account for. I'm a newbie at all this, so the first thing I did was (after cleaning the entire system thoroughly) got a CO2 tank filled, installed a dual regulator on it, hooked that up to new couplers and lines (the lines from the coupler to the trunk line), adjusted those to the recommended specs for my beer (8-10 PSI) and went upstairs to pour a glass.

    What happened next is totally predictable - massive CO2 breakout. No chance 8-10 PSI is going to push beer up a 35 foot run. I got full glasses of foam, every time. I asked the previous occupant how in the world he got it to work, to which he replied that he turned his CO2 regulators up to 18-22 PSI to account for the extra push, but that his beer was still consistently foamy. It seems he never really solved the issue before moving out of the house and my moving in. If I constantly keep the kegs at 18-22, I'll over-carbonate them in short order, and I'll still have foaming. This will not do.

    Here's what I propose to do to fix this - and this is where I need the help in finding out whether I'm crazy or not. I want to mount beer pumps (flojet G56) inside the Haier fridge where the CO2 canister currently lives. I want to move the CO2 canister out of the fridge and onto the counter above, drilling a new hole in the fridge to run 2 CO2 lines in to apply the manufacturer recommended pressures directly to each keg. I then want to hook up an air compressor and use compressed air to drive the two beer pumps, each on a separate regulator, with a vent coming out the top of the fridge.

    Essentially, I'd need to run 4 lines into the fridge (2 CO2, 2 compressed air) and one line out of the fridge (vent). I'd need to mount the pumps inside the fridge (I think there's room). THEN, and only then, do I think I can get the beer pumped up to the kitchen butler's nook, without foaming, and without over-carbonating my precious Modus Hoperandi.

    Thoughts? Criticisms? Ideas?

  • #2
    Personally I don't think your idea is gonna work. Either I missed how your keeping the beer cold in the trunk line or you didn't say.What size beer line? Also a few pics of this set up would help explain a few things.
    What I got:
    Beverage Air #BM23
    with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
    -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
    -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
    -MM S/S Keg Couplers
    YouTube video of the goods

    Comment


    • #3
      The system has glycol cooling system for the trunk line. MicroMatic MMPP4301-EP. It works fantastically, keeps the beer in the trunk line any temp I want. The fridge is a Haier HBF05EBSS. Beer line is 5/16 ID at least into the trunk line.

      I'll put up pictures this evening. This system seems like it's just ALMOST really great...and clearly someone put quite a bit of $$ into it already.

      Comment


      • #4
        Funny that the guy spends that much on a glycol chiller but buys a low end refrigerator to store the kegs.

        Would of thought 1/4" trunk line would be better on a straight co2 system..? I'm sure a long draw system guy will chime in soon.
        Last edited by PointPleasantNJBeerguy; 05-11-2015, 11:43 AM.
        What I got:
        Beverage Air #BM23
        with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
        -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
        -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
        -MM S/S Keg Couplers
        YouTube video of the goods

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PointPleasantNJBeerguy View Post
          Funny that the guy spends that much on a glycol chiller but buys a low end refrigerator to store the kegs.

          Would of thought 1/4" trunk line would be better on a straight co2 system..? I'm sure a long draw system guy will chime in soon.
          My thoughts exactly. Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm incredibly confused by all the expense of the glycol chiller, the cost it must have been to install all of this, and the complete lack of thought for the fact that it's a long draw system and pushing with straight CO2 just isn't going to work as a long term solution.

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome to the family! Kudos for the creative solution, and in theory it will work. Why not use blended gas instead of the straight CO2? If you can purchase blended gas, 70% CO2/30% Nitrogen, in a canister, you can run your beer at 20psig to get to the faucet and not over carbonate your kegs. You need to match the primary regulator to the gas canister, here in Virginia, most blended tanks are nitrogen canisters. DO NOT use 25%CO2/75% nitrogen! This blend is ONLY for nitro beers and will make your beer flat very quickly.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              I have the sense that you feel your foam is a product of pushing the beer up hill, I strongly doubt this is the case. I suppect you will find you have temps. changing too drasticly along the length of your run causing the foam.

              As you likely know 35' is the upper limit of Co2 beer line run, but that length can as does perform well as many people on this site have done it. Of that 35' you are only changing 15' of elevation, 10' the height of the basement and 5' more for the countertop and tower height. This is well within the range of functional dispensing.

              I don't see any good coming out of adding pumps either. They will likely churn up the beer and should not be needed to make this small rise in elevation.



              Type "Help with Remote Draw system - Foam/Off-Flavors" into search and read the thread.
              Maybe try to connect Members "DCullender" or "spdbump" for their aid they are both well versed in this type of setup.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pvs6 View Post
                I have the sense that you feel your foam is a product of pushing the beer up hill, I strongly doubt this is the case. I suppect you will find you have temps. changing too drasticly along the length of your run causing the foam.

                As you likely know 35' is the upper limit of Co2 beer line run, but that length can as does perform well as many people on this site have done it. Of that 35' you are only changing 15' of elevation, 10' the height of the basement and 5' more for the countertop and tower height. This is well within the range of functional dispensing.

                I don't see any good coming out of adding pumps either. They will likely churn up the beer and should not be needed to make this small rise in elevation.



                Type "Help with Remote Draw system - Foam/Off-Flavors" into search and read the thread.
                Maybe try to connect Members "DCullender" or "spdbump" for their aid they are both well versed in this type of setup.
                I wondered about the temp thing myself, but there's insulated micromatic trunk line the entire length of the run, from fridge to the faucets. The glycol unit consistently reads 39 degrees and is on 24/7. Condensation is always present on the tower/faucets, and they are cold to the touch. The fridge, at least according to the thermometer I put in there, maintains a consistent temp as well.

                I like the idea of using blended gas, but I don't know if I can get it in my area. I also, fundamentally, don't like the idea of using pumps either, but I don't know if I can leave the kegs pressurized at 18-22 PSI and not over-carb them after a week or two. This is a home bar, and I'm the only person who will drink out of it, and as bad a day I might have from time to time, it takes me awhile to work through a 1/6 BBL keg of IPA.

                If I did use a blended gas, I could theoretically amp the pressure up to 18+, push the beer to the faucets over the length of the run, and not run the risk of over-carbing over time. Thoughts?

                Comment


                • #9
                  jpeterferrell,
                  Ideally as DCullender (Dennis) says you can amp it up to 20+, because Nitrogen is an inert gas, beer won't absorb it, only the CO2, so if you apply 20 PSI to beer, only about 13-14 PSI will be absorbed into the beer.
                  Do a search using your Zip code and "AirGas", if you can't find one, go find a bar (yes force yourself) that serves Guinness and ask them who supplies their gas, they should be able to make a blend that you can use.
                  Honestly I don't see anything wrong with the Haier as a cooling unit, maybe the original owner used only 1/2 kegs and couldn't lift kegs into chest freezer, simplest solution with limited space is any of these small refrigerators (expect for the original Danby).
                  KB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jpeterferrell View Post
                    I wondered about the temp thing myself, but there's insulated micromatic trunk line the entire length of the run, from fridge to the faucets. The glycol unit consistently reads 39 degrees and is on 24/7. Condensation is always present on the tower/faucets, and they are cold to the touch. The fridge, at least according to the thermometer I put in there, maintains a consistent temp as well.

                    I like the idea of using blended gas, but I don't know if I can get it in my area. I also, fundamentally, don't like the idea of using pumps either, but I don't know if I can leave the kegs pressurized at 18-22 PSI and not over-carb them after a week or two. This is a home bar, and I'm the only person who will drink out of it, and as bad a day I might have from time to time, it takes me awhile to work through a 1/6 BBL keg of IPA.

                    If I did use a blended gas, I could theoretically amp the pressure up to 18+, push the beer to the faucets over the length of the run, and not run the risk of over-carbing over time. Thoughts?
                    39F is a little high for the bath temp. I would check consistency of solution. Or solution is old. Maybe time for a flush and refill of the glycol bath.Should be in the 29F range I believe.
                    What I got:
                    Beverage Air #BM23
                    with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
                    -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
                    -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
                    -MM S/S Keg Couplers
                    YouTube video of the goods

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PointPleasantNJBeerguy View Post
                      39F is a little high for the bath temp. I would check consistency of solution. Or solution is old. Maybe time for a flush and refill of the glycol bath.Should be in the 29F range I believe.
                      Aaahhh, well that I can reset. I set the glycol unit to 39 degrees, thinking that was right on. I can re-set it back down to 29, no problem.

                      I'll call the gas distributor I've been getting CO2 from and see if they can get me a 70/30 blend of CO2/N2. Talk about a MUCh cheaper option than buying pumps and all that!

                      I've attached photos of the setup. You can see the stuff in the basement, the faucets in the butler's nook, the glycol unit, the inside of the fridge, and the fridge with two 1/6 BBL kegs in there!

                      So, it seems the consensus is that I can use a 18-22 PSI push of 70/30 blend, get the beer to the faucets without gas breakout, and not over-carbonate the beer over the month or so it will take me to drink it?IMG_8185.jpgIMG_8186.jpgIMG_8187.jpgIMG_8189.jpgIMG_8196.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What kind of temps is the haier holding at? That could be part of your issue too.
                        What I got:
                        Beverage Air #BM23
                        with a "Sexy" Double Faucet Tower and Celli Eurpean Faucets
                        -MM Premium Double Guage Primary Regulator
                        -MM Premium 2 Product Secondary Regulator
                        -MM S/S Keg Couplers
                        YouTube video of the goods

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PointPleasantNJBeerguy View Post
                          What kind of temps is the haier holding at? That could be part of your issue too.
                          I will definitely check - I have it set to "normal" - which according to the manual should hold it at 38. I have an IR thermometer I can use to check it, though. I'll take a couple of readings in it and see where I'm at. I guess I could also take an IR reading of the beer I get out of the faucets to see if what I'm getting out is within the acceptable temperature range.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            jpeterferrell,
                            Normal is normally the middle setting, try and push to about 1/2 way between normal and full (max).
                            Couple things about Haiers, it frosts over quite a bit, try using an appliance timer to turn off unit for 2 or 3 hours in early morning hours (1 hour here and another hour there), probably need to put a fan inside.
                            Get a decent submersible tip thermometer, IR good for keg and tower temperature but to balance you need actual beer temperature.
                            KB

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the pictures. Nice setup to walk into. Little things to do: 1) Wrap the "U" bend inside the fridge with a couple layers of insulation tape. This will eliminate condensation inside the fridge. 2) The power pack looks pretty dusty. The coils probably need to be cleaned. Also, hopefully you have 3 - 6 " of space between the brick wall and the back of the power pack for air circulation.

                              Put thermometer in a water bottle, punch hole in cap, this will give you an easy close estimate on liquid temp inside the fridge. Much more accurate than air temp.

                              The power pack set point is 28 degrees. It will operate between 28 and 32 degrees. Once at this temp, check the solution reservoir to make sure the glycol isn't freezing. If it starts to freeze, you need to replace the glycol.

                              Get blended gas, 70/30 or 60/40 CO2/N, either will work for your needs.

                              Invite us over for a beer!

                              Cheers!

                              Comment

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