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September 20, 2021

Building a Remote Beer Tap System The Right Way

A quality beer tap system is a great way to serve beer in large quantities. Beer taps work with or without a draft tower. In this setting, we will be talking about beer taps that are on a beer tower or glycol beer tower. Serving beer provides businesses with a means of making money. As customers buy more beer it's important to understand the key components of a remote beer system so the system maximizes keg yield.

 Breweries use remote beer tap systems because beer can be dispensed all over a property. Regardless of where the beer cooler is located. Remote beer tap systems consist of 8 main components.

Picture of a remote Beer system components

1. Beer Tap System Beer Cooler

 Beer coolers, or walk-ins. Are large refrigerators designed for storing beer, and will keep the kegs cold at all times. Beer coolers come in different sizes. And they typically come with a cooling compressor. The temperature needs to be set at 38 degrees for optimal pouring. Adding a glass of water inside the cooler with a thermometer validates the exact temperature.

2. Applied Pressure and How c02 Pushes Beer

In a bar or restaurant, a Beer Tap System dispenses Beer from a keg. In order for the Beer to flow properly through the beer system, it is important that you apply the right Applied Pressure. The Beer will not flow from the Beer faucet until there is enough applied pressure on the tap system.

For remote beer systems. Applying pressure of 12-14 lbs is what you would set your c02 secondary regs to charge kegs for most ales and lagers. 

To push beer through a long remote system using beer pumps. Set the regulator regulating the beer pumps to 20 psi. Watch the flow rate of beer coming out of the beer faucet until you have a steady flow of about 2 oz per second. If the flow isn't there or pouring foam. Increase the pressure until the ideal flow is matching 2 0z per second.

 

3.Cooler Equipment: Beer Fobs, Beer Pumps, Secondary Regulators, Keg Couplers

In order to have an effective Beer tap System, Beer Fobs, Beer Pumps, Secondary Regulators, and Couplers need to be in working order. Beer Fobs regulate the flow of Beer in Beer systems when kegs change. Beer Pumps push the beer through the system to the dispensing station without affecting the integrity of the beer. Secondary regulators regulate the right applied pressure to kegs in the cooler. They also regulate the pressure on the beer pumps. Keg couplers tap kegs so beer can enter the dispensing system.

4.Only Use Stainless Steel Equipment For A Beer Tap System

 Stainless steel should be your go-to for all dispensing equipment. Stainless steel products are easy to clean and when maintained will last a very long time. Routine cleanings using stainless steel products won't compromise beer integrity. Using stainless steel products is brewer and draft technician recommended.

5.Glycol Chiller

Beer needs to be cold when served. A glycol chiller help keeps the beer cold and taste better but more importantly, keeps the beer in equilibrium. In a remote beer system glycol chillers are responsible for keeping the beer cold from the beer cooler to the customer's glass. To do this Glycol runs with beer through a beer trunkline. Inside the beer trunkline, there is a supply and return hose that circulates cold glycol. This loop starts at the glycol chiller, runs through the beer tower and back. Ensuring that beer tastes cold and refreshing.

Picture of 1/3 Hp Glycol Chiller

Air Cooled Glycol Chiller W/ 1/3 HP Motor and Pump

6.Beer Trunkline

Beer Trunkline is a collection of beer lines that are wrapped with insulation. The trunkline connects the Beer Cooler with where beer pours. The Beer trunkline also has a supply and return hose running through it for glycol. The hose diameters in a beer trunkline bundle can range from 1/4"-3/8" I.d. With trunklines having 2+2 ( 2 products + 2 Glycol) Up to 20+4 ( 20 products of Beer + 4 glycol ). The added number of glycol lines in the beer trunkline ensure that the product lines are in constant contact with glycol.

7. Beer Tower or Draft Tower

Beer towers are extensions of the beer tap system that are installed above the bar. Beer towers make pouring draught beers easier because they are glycol chilled. Beer towers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the most important factors is making sure the tower is properly set up to stay cool with Glycol.

Picture of a Beer Tap Tower

Glycol Chilled Beer Tap Tower

8.Periodic System Cleaning and Maintenance

Periodic beer cleaning is important for Beer Systems. Beer Lines need to be cleaned every 14 days because of beer yeast, bacteria, mold and beer stones . Beer is a food product and if beer systems aren't cleaned routinely. Beer freshness and quality will suffer greatly.  Failure to clean draft systems will cause build up of mold bacteria, yeast and beer stones. The dispensing system won't pour right and you will be serving clients moldy beer. When cleaning these systems it's important to use a re-circulating pump to clean beer systems.

A re-circulating pump is 80x more effective than static cleans. Using a pump with a caustic solution of 2-3% every 14 days provides fresh tasting beer.  Follow that clean up with acid clean 1% every quarter to attack beer stones in the beer lines. Performing a regular clean on draft beer systems will ensure the craft beer you serve your clients tastes brewery fresh.

Checking the dispensing equipment and cleaning Faucets, Beer Couplers, Flojet Reversal Valves, Beer Pumps and Fobs. Will keep your beer tap system pouring right too.

Summary

When it comes to setting up the right remote beer tap system. There are 8 things that need to be considered to make sure your remote system pours great, maximizes keg yield, and will continue to do so for years to come.

  • A Beer Cooler that is set at 38 degrees
  • Understanding Applied Pressure of C02 used on The Beer System 
  • The Right Cooler Equipment and Set Up in The Cooler 
  • The use of Stainless Steel Equipment 
  • A Glycol Chiller To Cool Beer 
  • Beer Trunkline 
  • Glycol Beer Tower 
  • Periodic System Cleaning and Maintenance

For more information on draft beer dispensing check out my blog. If you have any questions about products or dispensing beer questions reach out here, and to check out draft tech recommended products click on the link.

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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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