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November 6, 2022

The Draft Wine System…All You Need To Know About Owning One

Wine systems are a great way to store and serve your favorite vintage without having to worry about oxidation. With a draft wine system, not only do they keep your wine from spoiling, lessen our carbon footprint, the cost savings, but they can also make premium wine taste better! In this post, we'll teach you everything you need to know about building your draft wine system, and what you will need to pour fresh wine, and draught wine.

What is a Draft Wine System and How Does it Work

Picture of a Draft Wine System

A draft wine system is an environmentally friendly way to store and serve wine using a tap system, similar to draft beer. Draught wine is stored in bags or stainless steel tanks, which are kept at the perfect temperature, cost effective, and pressure for serving. There are temperature-controlled units for both white and red wines. With red wines set at 55° and white wines set at 45°. Some units have dual temperature control inside for the wine kegs. Wine poured from the draft towers will be fresh from the first glass to the last.

 Draft Wine System vs Bottled wine

Draft wine systems offer several benefits over traditional bottle storage. They eliminate the need for opening and re-corking bottles, reducing oxidation and preserving the taste of your wine, and helping it stay fresh. They also save space, kegged wine can be stored in one compact unit like a wine kegerator. Plus, they offer a unique and impressive way to serve wine at parties or events.

The Different Types of Draft Systems Available

There are 2 main types of draft systems available for wine dispensing.

Remote or Long Draw Dispensing

Remote Dispensing or Long draw dispensing systems use a CO2 gas mix to push the wine from the keg to the tap in a wine tap system. This type of system is popular in bars and restaurants.

Direct Draw

Direct Draw Dispensing Direct Draw Dispensing systems are easier to use and install than remote dispensing systems. These are very popular and bars are easier to use, simpler to maintain, and not as expensive as remote systems.

Image showing a direct draw beer system
Diagram of remote beer system and parts

How to choose the right system for your needs

When choosing a draft wine system, you need to consider your needs and budget. Remote dispensing systems are more expensive but offer more features and options. The main advantage is dispensing wine to bars in areas away from your walk-in cooler.

If you just want a basic system that is easy to use and install, then a direct draw system is a good choice. Think of a back bar kegerator at a bar or space is limited in your establishment. These direct draws excel in these situations.

Pros and cons of each type of system

One advantage of remote dispensing systems is that they offer more options for customization and allow products to be dispensed farther than a direct draw system.

However, they also require more maintenance because of the added pieces and can be expensive to install.

Direct draw systems are easier to use and maintain. Excel in small spaces but may not have as many features and options as a remote system.

Choosing The Right System For Your Needs

The first question you need to ask yourself is what do you envision your draft wine system doing? How many bar stations will there be in your restaurants? Where are the taps or bar relative to the walk-in cooler? How many Draft Wines am I going to serve? What's my budget?

If you have multiple bar stations, a remote dispensing system may be more convenient as kegs can be placed in a central location and tapped at each station. However, if you only have one bar station or the bar is close to the walk-in cooler, a direct draw system may suffice.

Additionally, consider how many draft wines you plan on serving. If you have a limited selection, a direct draw system may be better as it can handle smaller kegs and thus allows for more variety in your draft wine offerings.

Lastly, budget is always a factor to consider. Remote dispensing systems tend to be more expensive but the convenience and efficiency may outweigh the cost for some businesses.

Ultimately, it's important to assess your specific needs and weigh the pros and cons before deciding on a draft wine system.

Installing Your New Wine System With The Right Equipment


Use 304 Stainless Steel

So let's now talk about the equipment needed to run your draft wine system. First, all dispensing equipment needs to be 304 stainless steel or food-grade plastic to ensure safety and cleanliness. This will also save money in the long run by having 304 stainless dispensing equipment ( couplers, faucets, shanks, etc.)

Stainless Beer Coupler
Standard Beer Faucet
Picture of stainless Steel Beer Shank

Stainless Steel Beer Shank for Beer Cooler 6 1/8"

Next, depending on the type of system you choose, there will be different equipment needed for installation.

Remote dispensing systems require blended gas to dispense the wine. If gas comes into contact with the wine.

For the longest time, I thought that Nitrogen was the best gas to push wine. I also heard that argon was the go-to. After years of setting systems up and talking with folks at wineries and equipment manufacturers, it's been proven "Guinness gas" is the best gas to use for wine. The wine stihas a little bit of carbon dioxide in it. And the mixture of 25 percent co2 to 75 percent is the best gas to use on wine. Also known as "Guinness Gas".

Use a Nitrogen Separator or Gas Blender


Nitrogen Separator

A nitrogen separator is a piece of equipment used in a remote dispensing system to separate nitrogen from CO2. This is important because pure nitrogen does not interact with the wine and can be safely used to push the wine from the keg to the tap.

Additionally, a nitrogen separator allows you to adjust the blend of gases to create the perfect mix for dispensing wine. Having this level of control is essential for maintaining the quality and taste of your wine. Also, having a separator will save you money in the long run because you won't have to purchase nitrogen cylinders anymore.

picture of a nitrogen separator

Overall, a nitrogen separator is an essential piece of equipment for any remote dispensing system and helps ensure that your wine is dispensed flawlessly and with great flavor.

Gas Blender

A gas blender is a device used to mix two or more gases. This type of device is often used in the beverage industry. They are used to produce the right mix of gas on the property. All owners need to do is purchase a co2 cylinder and nitrogen cylinder and the blender will take care of the rest.

Use Flavorlock Tubing or XFM

The use of barrier or flavorlock tubing is recommended. Do not use Vinyl because it's way too porous and your wine will soon have a plastic taste to this. Another type of tubing that works well is XFM tubing from Micromatic.

I would recommend XFM tubing because it's more flexible than flavorlock barrier tubing. Also, once installed, xfm will last 10 + years.

Picture of XFM Tubing

How to Use and Care For Your New Wine System

Now that you have your new wine system installed, it's important to know how to use and care for it properly.

First, make sure to inspect your draft wine system. Check the cooler connections with the keg couplers. The glycol chiller if it's a remote system. The faucets where wine is poured, and also the gas blender or separator used to push the wine.

Next, be sure to check the regulator pressure regularly and adjust as needed. The correct pressure for dispensing wine is between 12-14 psi on a direct draw system.

For a remote system, the pressure will vary. Additionally, be sure to clean all of your equipment regularly. This will help ensure that your wine tastes great every time.

It's also important to clean your draft wine system quarterly and use recommended wine cleaner for your system.

Following these tips will help ensure that your draft wine system runs smoothly and provides consistently delicious wine for you and your customers to enjoy.

Picture of WIne Cleaner

Troubleshooting Tips for Common Problems

If you're experiencing problems with your draft wine system, here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you out:

Problem: Wine is coming out foamy or cloudy

Solution: This is likely due to improper cleaning. Be sure to clean all of your equipment regularly.

Problem: Wine tastes bad or off

Solution: This could be due to bad gas mix, dirty lines, or incorrect pressure. Be sure to double-check the gas mix and adjust as needed. Also, clean your lines regularly and check the regulator pressure.

Problem: Wine is not flowing properly or at all

Solution: This could be due to a dirty faucet or clogged lines. Clean the faucet and check for any blockage in the lines. If this doesn't solve the problem, there could be an issue with the keg coupler or gas blender/separator. Be sure to inspect these components as well.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you should be able to solve any issues with your draft wine system and continue serving delicious wine to your customers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when choosing a draft wine system, it is important to consider your needs and budget. Remote dispensing systems are more expensive but offer more control over the perfect mix for dispensing wine. Direct draw systems are easier to use and install than remote dispensing systems. The use of barrier or flavorlock tubing is recommended to prevent any loss in taste or quality of your wine. Be sure to inspect all components of your new wine system and follow these tips for troubleshooting common problems.

For more information on draft beer systems or wine systems I encourage you to read my blog. For Recommend Products And Dispensing equipment click on the link. And if you have any further questions reach out to me here.

Cheers!

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About the author

I've been a draft beer technician for over 10 years  building, designing, and installing large commercial beer systems. Through the years I've worked on breweries, tap houses, casinos and stadiums around the country.

I enjoy sharing my passion for draft beer dispensing by talking about it, recommending dispensing equipment I've used in commercial installs, or private settings. 

Cheers!

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