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1/4" Od Beer/gas Line?

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voodoobrew

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I'm just on the finshing stretch with my new keezer and it's now time to plumb all the taps and kegs together.

Up until now i have simply had lines running from a reg to the gas disconnect and from the liquid to a pluto gun. These were in the 5/16" John Guest line (5mm ID, iirc).

All my gear is terminated with 1/4"MFL threads and so I need a heap of JG connectors to hook it all up. 5/16" fittings are fairly hard to find outside of the usual brew shops - and there they are hideously expensive (ie $7 for $3 fittings).

1/4" OD John Guest fittings on the other hand are really cheap - they get used everywhere for water filter systems etc. In fact I can just run up the road to my local water filter shop and its all there and nice and cheap.

So here comes my question... does anyone have any experience with the 1/4" OD line? From what I have read on the JG website you only lose 0.5mm in diameter. I should also mention that I'm running Perlick 545's with flow control and intend having ~1m lines. Will the reduced diameter turn my taps into an old man with a prostate problem?
 

pk.sax

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Make sure all the fittings are available. Also, with the flow control taps, keep line lengths short.

Figure out if you can get 1/4" nrv for the gas line/s.

Pneumatic supplies (air compressors) usually have a bunch of 1/4" fittings. Considering they are for compressed air they seal well too.

Btw, since u will be getting flow control taps, there is no point in balancing, just use short runs.
 

voodoobrew

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Make sure all the fittings are available. Also, with the flow control taps, keep line lengths short.

Figure out if you can get 1/4" nrv for the gas line/s.

Pneumatic supplies (air compressors) usually have a bunch of 1/4" fittings. Considering they are for compressed air they seal well too.

Btw, since u will be getting flow control taps, there is no point in balancing, just use short runs.
My 4-way manifold has NRV's built in to each outlet.

My line lengths will be ~1m because that's essentially the length of run from keg to tap.

Here's a piccie of the keezer as it stands at this stage of the build...



Really I was just wondering if the reduced size of the line would be an issue. Surely 1/4" OD lines being so cheap and readily available would have been used by someone already? Here's the JG specs which show how they match up. Standard 5/16" OD tube is 0.187" ID whereas this 1/4" OD stuff is 0.17" - that reduction of 0.4mm diameter equates to a ~15% reduction in cross-section area.

Thoughts, comments?
 

pk.sax

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That is the most sweet looking keezer I've seen!!!

5/16 is 8mm OD. 1/4 is 6mm OD. From just looking at it, my 1/4" OD has a bigger inner dia than my 5/16" OD (the 4mm id version). It's the white jg branded 1/4" id tubing vs the keg king 4mm id beer line.
 

NickB

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I think personally, that if you can source the JG fittings cheaply, then go with it for your gas setup (as long as, as mentioned, you can fit a NRV to your line), because for mine, ID/OD of gas line is meaningless as long as you're getting the pressure you want at the kegs. Beer line, however.... I'd look at the 'standard' (Flexmaster II) for the JG fittings as they honestly seem to work best (have used barbs, cheap line etc in the past - no competition) and just spend as much as you need to. Don't scrimp, and you'll be a happy camper. And as others have mentioned, if using flow-control taps, just use as much line as you need to reach the keg.

Cheers

EDIT: MMMMMMM, SHIIIINNNNYYYYY :p
 

voodoobrew

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That is the most sweet looking keezer I've seen!!!

5/16 is 8mm OD. 1/4 is 6mm OD. From just looking at it, my 1/4" OD has a bigger inner dia than my 5/16" OD (the 4mm id version). It's the white jg branded 1/4" id tubing vs the keg king 4mm id beer line.
Thank you! It has been a wonderful excuse to consume copious quantities of tea in the garage of an evening.

So if keg king line is 4mm ID and the stuff that I'm looking at is 4.3, it should be alright assuming that people get on okay with 4mm keg king line. What are people's experience with 4mm KK - generally positive or negative?
 

voodoobrew

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I think personally, that if you can source the JG fittings cheaply, then go with it for your gas setup (as long as, as mentioned, you can fit a NRV to your line), because for mine, ID/OD of gas line is meaningless as long as you're getting the pressure you want at the kegs. Beer line, however.... I'd look at the 'standard' (Flexmaster II) for the JG fittings as they honestly seem to work best (have used barbs, cheap line etc in the past - no competition) and just spend as much as you need to.
That's very true. Most of the fittings are actually taken up on the gas side of house (my shanks are barb-terminated, and I have space for 4 kegs and 3 taps). So there's only a handful needed for the beer side.

Certainly just doing the gas with the slightly smaller, but way cheaper, fittings would save quite a bit. Great suggestion!
 

voodoobrew

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Okay, just a quick update for the sake of completeness...

I ended up having a chat with my local water filter supplier. They were super helpful and willing to order in some JG parts in the sizes that I wanted. While not quite as cheap as 1/4" fittings, they still ended up being wayyy cheaper than LHBS. I think my bits worked out at about $4.50ea (compared with $7+). Chris at Truwater was even keen enough to put some of these items up on their website - and would be willing to support homebrewers in the future. (so I thought you should know)

I also sprang for some JG fittings for my tap shanks. I wish I had done this from the outset because again they ended up being really no more expensive than SS barbs and backnuts. (If anyone is keen for some barbs and nuts let me know! I have three I could throw in the post if some coin graced my palms...)

So for simplicity I kept 5/16" throughout. One of the problems I needed to solve was to work out how to pass my gas hose through the wall of the keezer collar, if I wanted so put the 4th keg in there. I ended up doing this by making up two plates with grommets from Bummings (I used some old ipod packaging, iirc).



And here's how the inside looks... On the lid is some black coreflute with yoga mat behind it to provide a little insulation. It's just a press fit.

 

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