There are several different beer tap systems used to dispense draft beer, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Here are some of the most common types of beer tap systems:
Direct-Draw System: This is the simplest and most common type of beer tap system used in small-scale setups like home kegerators or small bars. In a direct-draw system, the keg is stored in a refrigerated cabinet or kegerator, and the beer is dispensed directly through a tap faucet attached to the front of the unit. It’s a straightforward system that offers convenience and ease of use.
Long-Draw System: Long-draw systems are used in larger establishments where the kegs are located further away from the tap faucets. In this setup, the beer travels commercial beer tap system a longer distance through insulated beer lines from the keg storage area to the tap faucets. To maintain the beer’s temperature, a glycol cooling system is often employed, circulating chilled glycol through the beer lines to keep the beer cold throughout its journey.
Multi-Tap System: A multi-tap system consists of multiple tap faucets connected to a single keg or multiple kegs. This allows for the simultaneous dispensing of different beer varieties or brands from a single station. Multi-tap systems are popular in bars or restaurants that offer a wide selection of beers and want to serve them efficiently.
Nitro System: Nitro systems are designed specifically for nitrogen-infused beers, such as stouts or nitro IPAs. These systems use a combination of nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide (CO2) to pressurize the kegs and push the beer out of the tap faucet. Nitro beers typically have a creamier texture and smoother mouthfeel, thanks to the use of nitrogen.
Counter Pressure System: Counter pressure systems are used for bottling or canning beer directly from a keg. These systems allow for filling containers without excessive foaming or loss of carbonation. The beer is dispensed into the container while maintaining pressure, preventing oxidation and preserving the beer’s quality.
Beer Engine (Hand Pump): Beer engines, also known as hand pumps, are traditional British-style tap systems that use manual pumping action to draw beer from a cask or keg. They create a smooth and gentle pour, allowing the beer to be served at a slightly warmer temperature than other systems. Beer engines are commonly used for serving real ale or cask-conditioned beer.
These are just a few examples of the different beer tap systems available. Each system is designed to cater to specific needs and preferences, whether it’s for home use, small-scale setups, or large commercial operations. The choice of tap system depends on factors such as the scale of the operation, beer variety, temperature control requirements, and dispensing efficiency.