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50' vs 120' - Does coil length matter?

Coil style jockey boxes can pour beer at a faster rate over cold plates and one of the most common questions we receive is "do I need a 120' coil?" For all but the rarest occasions the answer is no. Below we will compare the temperature results of beer dispensed through a 50' coil and a 120' coil during different pouring scenarios. 

Liquid volume in coils

Coil Length Outer Diameter (OD) Inner Diameter (ID) oz/ft Total Volume Ideal Setting
50' 5/16" 1/4" 1/3oz 17 oz Pouring pints of craft beer at an outdoor beer festival
120' 3/8" 100'
1/4" 20'
5/16"
3/16"
1/2oz
1/6oz
53 oz Pouring pitchers of a macro lager at the Daytona 500

 

Proper beer temperature

All beers should be served between 38º-55ºf depending on the beer style. Craftbeer.com has an excellent interactive website dedicated to each style and provides the recommended serving temperatures. 

You will never have exact control over your beer temperature with a jockey box like you do in your brewery, but it will be close. Beer dispensed from a 70º keg will pour between 34ºf - 43ºf depending on your pouring scenario (see video or chart below) with a 50' coil. 

 

Full pint ready to pour

When you pour a beer through a jockey box, the liquid entering the coil comes into contact with the cold stainless steel immediately and as it flows towards the faucet it will continue to decrease in temperature. This heat exchange will take place until the liquid reaches the same temperature as the coils. A 50' coil will drop the temperature in a matter of seconds and with a full 17 oz held inside the coil, you will always have a full pint ready to pour. 

Serving PSI

To overcome the resistance of the coils and to get a proper pour, the serving pressure must be increased. 50' coils allow you to keep the pressure increase to a minimum and lowers the risk of over carbonation during a long festival.

  • 50' coils = 25-30 PSI
  • 120' coils = 35-40 PSI

Tap more kegs

50' coils allow us to put up to four (4) coils into a 48-54qt coolers. Making them the ideal length for bars and breweries that need a lot of taps in a small space.

 

Pouring Scenarios

Our keg was at room temperature (70ºf) at the time of testing. If the ambient temperature will be above 70ºf kegs can be iced to help minimize the ice melt inside the jockey box. With any outdoor event, it is important to keep the coils completely covered in ice and the kegs out of direct sunlight.


 Coil Length Pour Size Pour Type # of Pours Temperature
50' 12 oz Control 1 34.1ºf
120' 12 oz Control 1 34.1ºf
50' 5 oz Continuous 6 37.4ºf
50' 12 oz Pause (30 sec) 2 37.7ºf
50' 12 oz Continuous 4 43.8ºf
120' 12 oz Continuous 4 42.8ºf

 

 

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