Often, we don’t give secondary regulators much thought. Their job is simple: provide CO2 or mixed gas to the keg at the right pressure, as needed. The service calls and troubleshooting experiences we’ve had left us wondering if some challenges could be related to regulator performance, so we decided to do some testing. The suspicion was that many of the secondary regulators used in beer dispense may not be as sensitive as the job requires. Upon testing, we found that the pressure drop needed for gas to flow in the system was a variable in system design that hasn't been incorporated in our industry.
Notes on Hydraulic Pressure and Draught Beer.
After years of service call mysteries, philosophical theorizing, and careful observation, we’ve concluded that whenever the hydraulic pressure exerted on the beer in the line is less than the ideal keg pressure for 100% CO2, bubbles will begin to form in the beer line. This eventually causes excess foam at the faucet and the glass. Lowering of hydraulic pressure is caused by a variety of issues, including:
- Lift: When beer lines are higher than the keg or tank.
- Line Restriction: When beer is flowing through the lines, the friction between the liquid and the tube results in pressure loss. This varies with tubing size.
- Temperature: When beer lines are exposed to temperature variances, these changes require higher pressure to keep CO2 in solution.
- Regulator Inconsistency: When the regulator is unable to maintain constant pressure under flow conditions.
Hydraulic pressure issues are the driving force behind the testing. The ability of a regulator to maintain its set pressure under the constantly changing flow requirements is exactly what a perfectly functioning draught system requires.
Because of this, we decided to design and manufacture our own secondary regulators: McDantim Secondary TruRegs™. Our regulators are more sensitive to gas flow, and the pressure drop required is much less than most common regulators on the market. Not only do our regulators have a higher performance scale, they are also ideal for field replacements. We designed our regulators to have a base manifold and cartridges for replacement so you don't need to shut down your whole system if a regulator fails.
View Our Secondary Regulator Testing Summary Herepicture_as_pdf