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Centennial Tap Beer Service, Inc.
33100 E. 160th Ave., Hudson, CO 80642
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Glycol Beer Systems
A glycol beer dispensing system is the latest and greatest in beer technology. A glycol system can dispense cold beer up to 600 feet away from the keg cooler and pour a perfect beer with little to no waste.
A glycol system consists of four basic parts. The dispensing head or tower, trunk or beer line set, glycol chiller or power pack, and the tapping hardware in the beer cooler.
Glycol towers come in almost any shape or style that a person could imagine. The most common towers are made out of chrome metal, stainless steel, or brass finishes and come with multiple faucets to fit many needs. Towers for glycol systems are designed for long draw applications and cannot be used on a direct draw unit or in air cooled applications. The glycol towers have stainless steel tubes running through them and are welded to the back of the shanks behind the cooling block behind the faucets. Glycol towers are also completely foam sealed to keep out condensation that would build up ice inside the tower.
Trunk Line or Beer Line Set
The trunk or beer line set is an insulated bundle of lines that the beer runs through from the keg cooler to the faucet on the tower. The trunk line consists of two to four glycol lines that the glycol is circulated through to keep the beer cold from the keg cooler to the faucet. The beer lines are taped to the glycol lines and then vapor wrapped to keep the beer lines in contact with the cold glycol lines the entire length of the trunk. The outside of the trunk is then fully insulated to keep the beer lines cold and also protect them from damage. The keg cooler side of the trunk is run into the cooler, then stripped of insulation, separated, and the lines are run around the inside of the keg cooler to the wall brackets above the regulator panels. The coolant lines are routed to the glycol chiller and connected to complete the glycol circulation loop.
The glycol chiller is a machine that will keep a bank of glycol and water cold and circulate the glycol mixture through the trunk lines to the tower. Glycol chillers will vary in size depending on the length of the system and number of trunks it will keep cold.
Tapping hardware is an inclusive term used to describe all of the parts inside the keg cooler that are necessary to pour keg beer. The beer lines come into the cooler and are attached to the wall brackets. The "jumper" line is attached to the other side of the wall bracket and run down to the keg coupler. Panel mounted secondary regulators are used to provide pressure to the keg.
Maintaining Your Glycol Beer System
The end user of the glycol beer system should have the beer lines cleaned on a regular basis, usually every two weeks. The line cleaner should run a circulating solution of warm water and line cleaning chemical for about ten minutes to ensure the lines are properly cleaned. The cleaning chemical is specially designed to remove the yeast and bacteria buildup that will occur over time. While the cleaning solution is circulating, the line cleaning tech will disassemble the beer faucets and brush them out. The tech will also check the condition of the washers and o-rings inside of each faucet. After the cleaning solution is done circulating, the tech will rinse the beer lines with cool water which will rinse out the chemical and also help the beer lines come back down to temperature so the glycol chiller doesn't have to work so hard to bring the beer lines back down to operating temperature. The beer tower can be wiped down with a damp cloth or you can use a mild metal polish.
Trouble-shooting your glycol beer system
The main causes of foamy beer is either temperature or pressure. If the end user is is experiencing problems pouring beer, they should make sure the temperature of the glycol chiller is at the appropriate temperature for their brand of chiller. Keg cooler temperature is also critical. Keg cooler temperature should be 34- 36 degrees. Every glycol beer system is designed to work at certain pressure whether you are using blended gas or beer pumps. The end user should consult with the glycol beer system installer for the proper pressure setting and troubleshooting any other problems that arise.
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