There’s nothing like a nice cold draft beer, especially in the summer. Beer on tap is the way to go, because a good bar – whether it’s a craft beer bar or your favorite neighborhood dive bar, will usually put time into its draft selections. In a bar, draft should be moving faster than bottles, so it’s usually fresher too. But not many of us know what really goes into serving the perfect beer.
How Keg Beer Stays Fresh
A kegerator is a draft beer system that is housed inside a refrigerator. The main parts of a kegerator include the refrigerator, beer keg, CO2 tank, regulator, shank, draft faucet, beer line, and air hoses. The CO2 tank is the most crucial piece of kegerator equipment, as it’s responsible for keeping beer fresh and carbonated.
On the CO2 tank regulator, there will be either one or two gauges. If there are two gauges, one will be the low-pressure gauge that reads from 0 to 60 psi, and measures the amount of pressure that the gas is being dispensed, while the other will be a high-pressure gauge 0-2,000psi that shows how much pressure is left in the tank, indicating the amount of CO2 left.
When dispensing draft beer, the goal is to keep the CO2 level prescribed by the brewer. If the draft beer is dispensed with too low of a pressure, the CO2 that is dissolved in the beer will break out of the beer, initially causing small bubbles of broken out CO2 to float up the beer hose resulting in an extra foamy beer. And over time the low pressure will result in flat beer.
If the draft beer is dispensed with too high of a pressure, over time more CO2 will be absorbed into the beer. Initially, this will not cause any problems, but over time this will result in over-pressurized foamy beer.
You must constantly monitor the CO2 regulator gauge(s) on the tank or you risk running out of CO2, which will leave your beer flat and lacking the usual fresh flavor. CO2 maintains the carbonation of the draft kegerator beer. For most ales (including pale ales, IPAs, ambers, etc.) that come from the brewery with a carbonation volume of about 2.1 to 2.6, you want to set your regulator from about 7 to 13 psi. For lagers, a regulator set between 10 and 14 psi works best.
MIJA: Providing Gauges that Monitor PSI
MIJA’s new Critical Alert Universal gauge provides 24/7cylinder content monitoring and will alert you when the CO2 gets low. Don’t risk ruining your beer with low CO2 pressure. Our Critical Alert Systems provides gas solutions for a variety of industries. Learn more by exploring our products pages or reaching out directly today!