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Parts of a Draft Beer Dispensing System

Draft beer dispensing system

If you are looking to install a draft beer dispensing system in your Buffalo- or Rochester-area bar or restaurant, it’s easy enough to hire a professional to do the job (and we strongly recommend that you do just that).

But while you’re doing that, it’s also a good idea to study how your draft beer dispensing system actually works. To help you do that, here are basic descriptions of some of the key elements in a commercial draft beer dispensing system.

If you have any questions about beer dispensing set-ups, contact the Irish Carbonic Beer Division today.

Draft beer dispensing elements

Here are the parts of a typical beer dispensing system:

  • CO2 or mixed gas tanks – Pressurized gas– either CO2 or a blend of CO2 and nitrogen – is what propels your beer from the keg to the faucet. When this pressurized gas is pushed into the keg through the coupler, it forces the beer out into the beer line until it reaches the tap.
  • Primary regulator – Gas inside a storage tank is under great pressure, which must be controlled if your want to avoid a foamy pour; that’s what the primary regulator is for. This regulator usually has a high-pressure and a low-pressure gauge to make it easy to troubleshoot problems with your system.
  • Air lines – Air lines help transport gas from the tank to the rest of your dispensing system. Typically, they attach directly to a nipple on the regulator with a clamp. Air lines are often colored red to distinguish them from the (usually orange) beer line.
  • Gas blender – Different beer recipes call for different gases – either CO2, nitrogen, or a mix of the two. A gas blender allows you to easily dispense beers that use different gases by mixing their gas blends on demand.
  • Secondary regulator – If you need to dispense multiple kegs from of a single gas tank, you will need a secondary regulator to control pressure for each keg.
  • Keg coupler – A coupler attaches directly to the keg with an airtight seal. It has two nipples—one for the air line (to push gas into the keg) and one for the beer line (to push beer out of the keg). Keg couplers come in a range of shapes and sizes that correspond to those used by beer manufacturers. The most widely used coupler is the US Sankey (D System).
  • Beer line – A beer line is a vinyl hose that transports beer from the keg coupler to the faucet. They are usually orange in color.
  • Glycol trunk line and chiller – A glycol system allows you to draw beer across lines with distances of up to 500 feet (from a cooler to your draft beer tower, for example) at a steady, perfectly chilled temperature. A glycol chiller (or “power pack”) includes an air-cooled compressor, glycol bath, and a pump for glycol recirculation.
  • Draft beer tower – A draft beer tower houses your beer lines and faucets. Towers can be configured to match any number of dispensing needs or décor.
  • Draft beer faucets – Faucets are the levers you pull to pour beer. They range from simple to advanced designs that control texture of the beer, pour speed, and more.
  • Dip tray – A dip tray controls spills under pours, making cleanup easier for your servers.

Ready to install or replace a new beer line system in your bar or restaurant? We can help! Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a custom beer line installation for your Buffalo- or Rochester-area hot spot!

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