I Can’t Pour: Barbershop Kegerator Edition (what?!)
Here’s a fun one… So Emily, our Engineering Techician, and I did a presentation for the Pink Boots Society Montana Chapter about CO2 and Beer. If you don’t know, the Pink Boots Society is a group for women in the beer and brewing industry focusing on promoting education and inclusion for women in this industry. It’s rad, we love it. Anyway, our presentation’s main goal was to give the PBS members in Montana some information/education they may not have to increase their toolbox for their jobs. Troubleshooting a system can be so difficult if you don’t have a barometer with which to measure, and I know it took me months to be even REMOTELY comfortable to help someone on the phone after the “Do you have gas?” inquiry.
Pressure and temperature fluctuations are the largest culprits for issues with a draught system and we wanted to give several examples to show the ladies a glimpse of what could happen to your system when those two variables are funky. We’re going to talk about pressure right now.
Emily’s dad’s barbershop has a kegerator; my hair salon sometimes gives me wine, so I feel shafted. Their kegerator had an almost empty keg, and was pouring straight foam (maybe wine isn’t a bad idea.) So Emily’s dad called her to see if she could help with the issue. Now, Em is still learning the ins and outs of tech calls, but with all her math-nerdiness, she knows the questions to ask. I bet tech calls are MUCH easier when it’s your dad, or I could be super wrong. He told her the set pressure of the regulator for the kegerator: 20psi. Now, Em, armed with her EasyBlend app at 100% CO2, can EASILY see that 20psi is way too much pressure for a direct draw kegerator; no wonder it’s all foam! Our EasyBlend app recommends 13 psi for that specific dispense system, so they change the pressure and switch the keg. “The beer is just dribbling out, and it’s just foam,” her dad says. I bet engineers love when the math should add up but then it doesn’t, like when I split an inifinitive in an email and Grammarly gets on my butt about it. So Em asks her dad to send a picture of the set up, because 13psi should work. Then we get the picture. Here it is.
Notice anything weird or out of place? Take another look, I’ll wait.
Oh, is it the 25 FEET OF UNUSED, COILED-UP TUBING THAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM?! Of course, that was problem. The restriction of the system because of that tubing needed 20psi to be able to get through that damn coil. But, 20psi on a keg with 100% CO2 means that the beer was just getting over-carbonated, up to 3.14 v/v!
Solution? Cut the tubing down to, you know, not 25 extra feet, and set that bad boy up to 13 psi. And use the EasyBlend app to make sure the math is right!
Our EasyBlend app is free and downloadable on the App Store or Google Play Store, and it is such an amazing tool for quick troubleshooting.