In this post, I am going to talk about the beer gas blender. Why the blender is important to a commercial draft beer system, the pros and cons. As, well as comparing blenders in the industry, and my overall recommendation.
After reading this you’ll understand how to use a beer gas blender, and the most efficient way to use it. Let’s go.
What is a Gas Blender
A beer gas blender is a piece of equipment that blends gas together for a beer system. It does this by taking in C02 and Nitrogen through its inputs. Then blends the gas to the right mix.
Finally, dispenses the prescribed blend downstream for a beer system.
The blended gas comes in different mixtures or blends. With some blenders being able to mix up to 3 different blends for a beer system.
How Does The Draft Beer Gas Blender Work
The blender will have two inputs somewhere on it, usually, it’s at the bottom of the unit on either side. This is the nitrogen input and C02 input. You should be able to see these inputs clearly. Most of the time they're labeled.
When connecting the gas sources to the blender. It's best to use a high-pressure braided airline. 3/8" I.D hose with sized 16.2 otiker clamps work great for this.
Gas blenders require a minimum pressure for their inputs. That pressure is around 50 psi. So the C02 and Nitrogen need to have at least a pressure of 50 psi going into the blender. There is usually a max pressure of around 150 psi.
If the input pressure is too low or too high the beer gas blender won't function.
Some blenders might have different mins and max when it comes to the pressure. Before turning on the gas inputs. Double-check with the manufacturer to verify the right min and max pressure.
Beer Blender Trouble Shooting
Now, if the blender doesn’t have gas leaving the unit. Check to make sure all the right valves are in the open position. Make sure the appropriate pressure into the blender is set correctly. Lastly, check the C02 tank and Nitrogen tank to make sure there’s still gas leaving them, and they aren't empty.
One thing to keep in mind after you've hooked up the nitrogen and c02. You’ll want to set the outgoing pressure heading to your draft beer system. I like to set this somewhere around 50 PSI if possible.
You'll want make sure this pressure is set on the blender if it has an adjustment knob. If it doesn't have an adjustment knob. Blenders come pre-set with an exiting pressure of 47 PSI.
McDantim Blenders will have a knob and some Micro-Matic blenders will too, but most Micro-Matic come as a preset blender.
For more information on how blended gases are used in draft beer systems check out the link
Beer Gas Blender Set Up
Gas blenders come in a few different setups. Some will have just one blended gas, while others have multiple blends.
These blenders will have just one blend coming out of them and usually it will be the 70 percent C02, 30 percent nitrogen. This is a very popular mix for beers, ales, and lagers because it allows the establishment to increase the applied pressure up to about 24 lbs.
This blender is normally used when the applied pressure of gas exceeds 16 psi. C02 pressure that is applied at a higher pressure will over carbonate the beer. Which will then lead to foaming and loss of product. Next is the double mix blender.
Just like the single mix above a double blend will carry the 70 percent C02 / 30 percent Nitrogen for ales and lagers. The other blended gas on this one is usually “Guinness Gas”. Guinness gas is 25 percent C02 / 75 percent Nitrogen. It’s designed for stouts and lower carbed beers in the range of 1.3-1.7.
With this additional mix an establishment can pour other products like Nitro beers, and draft wines. This gives the business a little more flexibility on products to offer their customers.
Just like the previous two blenders, a triple mix will most likely have a 70/30 mix, a Guinness Gas mix, and will also include a 60/40 mix. 60 percent Co2 and 40 percent nitrogen.
The 60/40 Blend is sometimes not used correctly on draft systems. Yes, it’s designed for ales and lagers, but only at high applied pressure.
The other thing to be aware of is it’s heavy with Nitrogen and over time will cause beers to become flat if left for a longer period of time.
Built-In Leak Detectors
One more thing, these blenders have the capability to include leak detectors. These are great for beer systems because sometimes you may have a small leak somewhere. With these leak detectors, you’ll know not only that you have one, but when you actually fix the leak. I’ve used these in a few installs over the years.
The leak detectors are found on all blender mixes. They cost a little more when they're added to a blender, but justify the extra cost. They can be purchased separately at Mcdantim.
Reviewing Best Beer Gas Blender Brands
Micro Matic Blenders
Not much to say other than these guys are the industry standard when it comes to draft beer dispensing needs. I’ve use Micro Matic blenders for a few jobs over the years and I have to say these guys are on point If you are looking for the best. These are guys. They have been doing this for a long time and these guys are my go to for commercial dispensing needs.
I would put these guys just behind Micro Matic. Which is fine, but don’t let that fool you these blenders from Mcdantim are solid and great. I’ve used these guys as well in the field for a few projects and they worked great. One difference is Mcdantim gives you the choice to set the downstream gas to the respected pressure which is great. Micro Matic doesn’t have that...they have pre-set gas controls
In closing, there are a few blenders out there and both Mcdantim and Micro Matic brands do a great job. But If I was to recommend a blender, I would recommend the Trumix 2 Blend from Micro-Matic. It's actually a McDantim Blender that Micro Matic sells. Best of both worlds.
One blend 70/30 C02- Nitrogen Mix and the other for Guinness Gas 25 percent C02/ 75 percent Nitrogen.
This type of blender will give you all the variety you would need to power an effective draft system. While offering numerous kinds of beers for customers, and the peace of mind to know your blended gas mix is perfect so you can pour perfect pints.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact me here and follow our blog at Draft Beer Dispnese.