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Centennial Tap Beer Service, Inc.
33100 E. 160th Ave., Hudson, CO 80642
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When a beer system requires more than twenty pounds of pressure to dispense the beer at the faucet, the beer has a chance to over carbonate. There are several methods used to avoid this including the beer pump.
Mixing Air With Co2
Mixing compressed air with Co2 requires a blender box to mix the two at a certain percentage. Using compressed air on a draft beer system is not recommended for several reasons. First, the air compressor will build up condensation in the storage tank and will eventually rust the metal of the storage tank. As this water stagnates, it will also give the beer an off taste.
Air compressors take in room air to operate and will pick up any odors that are in the air and these odors will end up in the beer.
Breweries recommend that air not be used to dispense beer because the compressed air will cause secondary fermentation of the beer and it will lose carbonation.
Mixing Compressed Nitrogen With Co2
This is a better way to dispense beer at a higher pressure. This is accomplished with a cylinder of compressed Nitrogen and a blender box to mix with Co2 at the necessary percentage. The drawbacks to this method is the cost of the Nitrogen. Compressed Nitrogen cylinders can cost twice as much as Co2, so your beer pour cost will increase.
A Nitrogen generator works on the same principle as the air compressor, except that it produces it's own Nitrogen. The Nitrogen generator also has it's own blender box integrated into the unit. The drawbacks to a Nitrogen generator is the cost of the system and the cost of electricity to operate the unit.
Beer Pumps are the preferred way to pour beer that requires a higher pressure. The beer pump is Co2 or compressed air driven. Compressed air will work in this application because the gas or air that drives the pump will never reach the beer. The beer pump will pull the beer out of the keg and pump it through the beer line to the faucet.
Installing your Beer Pump
Find a suitable spot in your beer cooler that is within 4 to 5 feet of the keg you want to pour. Find the mounting holes on the pump and secure to the cooler wall with sheet metal screws. Next, find the inlet fitting on the pump and attach a piece of 3/8 vinyl beer tubing to the inlet fitting and secure with a worm gear clamp or pinch clamp. Attach the other end of this line to the top of the keg coupler and secure with a worm gear clamp or pinch clamp. Find the outlet fitting on the pump and attach the line that goes out to the beer faucet and attach it to the inlet fitting with a worm gear clamp or pinch clamp. The next line to hook up is the Co2 or compressed air line. You can run a 1/4" Braided high pressure line from the Co2 or air source, or have your Co2 supplier run it for you. Attach the line to the gas inlet fitting on the bottom of the pump and secure with a worm gear or pinch clamp. Last, but certainly not least, you must connect a piece of tubing to the pump vent and run that line out of the cooler. This is extremely important, especially when Co2 is used to drive the pump. If the Co2 is not vented to an open area, the Co2 could cause oxygen displacement inside the cooler and create a hazardous environment inside the beer cooler. Oxygen displacement can be very dangerous and every effort should be taken to avoid this situation.
Once the Co2 or compressed air supply is turned on to the pump, and you have set the operating pressure above 25 PSI, you are ready to put it to use. Attach the keg coupler to the keg and check your beer pour at the faucet. If the flow is too slow, gradually increase pressure to the beer pump until the desired flow rate is achieved.
Cleaning your beer pump
The professional line cleaners that normally clean your beer lines will take care of cleaning the beer pump.
Trouble-shooting your beer pump
Pump Does Not Function:
- Check gas supply and make sure it is turned on.
- Make sure beer keg has beer in it.
- Uncouple keg and make sure the checkball in the coupler is not stuck
- Check to make sure the supply line to the beer pump is not frozen
- Pump needs to be replaced
Pump Does Not Shut Off:
- Check the keg to make sure there is beer in it
- Uncouple keg and make sure that the checkball in the coupler is not stuck.
- Open the beer faucet to make sure there is not a pocket of air in the line.
If you are out of beer and the beer pump is continuously running, you can shut off the air or Co2 supply to the beer pump that is running. If you have multiple pumps and only want to shut off the one that is running, you can pull out the gas inlet fitting simply by sliding the retaining clip to the right and remove the fitting. The inlet fitting has an automatic shutoff, so the gas will not continue to run.
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