Draught Beer

Draught Beer Refrigerator Conversion Kit

Going to the local bar or pub for your favorite beer on tap isn’t always feasible, which is why many people have invested in home draught beer dispensers, which can be installed into your refrigerator.

Draught beer is typically purchased in barrels and is not pasteurized, highlighting the importance of keeping your beer at the proper temperature.

The beer should be kept cold (36-38 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times, and should never warm up beyond 45-degrees, as such a change could alter the taste, making your beer sour and cloudy.

Be sure to base your draught beer purchases of a half or quarter barrel over a period of approximately 30 days. If the beer can’t be served within one month, it may not be wise to serve draught beer at home.

The following are the dimensions of a standard barrel size:

1/6 Barrel: 30 inches in height (tapped) 23.5 inches in height (untapped), weighs 50 pounds, 9.5 inches in diameter, and 5.16 gallons/660 ounces. Makes 55 fourteen-ounce cups and is equivalent to 2 ¼ cases.

¼ Barrel: Is 20 inches in height (tapped), 14 inches in height (untapped), weighs 87 pounds, is 16.06 inches in diameter, and 8 gallons/992 ounces. Makes 82 fourteen-ounce cups and is equivalent to 3 ½ cases.

Slim ¼ Barrel: 30 inches in height (tapped), 23.5 inches in height (untapped), weighs 87 pounds, is 11.5-12 inches in diameter, and 8 gallons/992 ounces. Makes 82 fourteen-ounce cups and is equivalent to 3 ½ cases.

½ Barrel: 30 inches in height (tapped), 23.5 inches in height (untapped), weighs 161 pounds, is 16.06 inches in diameter and 15 gallons/1,984 ounces. Makes 165 cups and is equivalent to 7 cases.

Keg Buying Rules of Thumb

Buy one ½ barrel for every 150 people for a four-hour period with other alcohol

Buy one ½ barrel for every 100 people for a four-hour period without other alcohol

How to Get the Perfect Pour- Every time

It may sound simple, but there’s definitely an art to achieving the “perfect pour” when it comes to beer and glassware.

Of course, step one to the perfect pour is simple – make sure you’ve got a clean glass on hand! Otherwise, you might not get the proper amount of head foam, and that would be tragic, especially for the true beer connoisseurs in your life. For maximum flavor and aroma, a good pour is of the utmost importance.

From The Tap:

Once you’ve got the right glass, begin by holding it at a 45-degree angle, without letting the glass touch the faucet.

Next, open the faucet to pour the beer in a quick, smooth motion, while aiming for the middle of the slope part of the glass. Don’t be afraid to pour at a good rate of speed, or to allow a little air between the bottle and the glass, either.

As soon as you’ve hit the halfway point, straighten the glass to a 90-degree angle and continue pouring, which will help to create the perfect one-inch foam head on the top of your beer.

From the Bottle:

Pour the beer right down the middle of the glass. Doing so allows the beer to agitate, which releases natural carbonation. It also allows aromas to escape so you can taste the true flavor.

Without releasing the carbonation, the beer may look flat and taste gassy, leading to a bloated feeling after drinking.

Just lower the angle of the bottle as it’s poured, reducing the rate of flow and creating the perfect one-inch head of foam.

A good head will allow for better aromatics and make the beer looks that much more impressive to your guests. Good foam is the sign of a well-poured beer- and a clean glass.

So drink up, and don’t forget to pass on the knowledge because you might be on the other side of the coin next time!

For more information, visit the Beer Advocate website.

Keep Those (Beer) Glasses Clean

Whether the best choice is a pilsner, chalice or stein, finding the right glass is one of the most often overlooked parts of the beer-drinking experience.

The simple act of having a clean glass ready to go is also important, as Dr. Michael J. Lewis, Professor-emeritus of brewing science at UC-Davis has noted.

A high quality beer always contains a proper head of foam when poured into a glass, but if the foam doesn’t last long, it’s likely a sign that you’ve just poured your beer into a dirty glass. Something has likely reacted with the head with it and killed it.

Common impurities include soap traces and grease residues, but proper cleaning can help you to avoid these problems. Here’s how to make sure your next glass comes from a glass worthy of the beer it’s designed to hold, according to Lewis.

First, examine your glasses and throw out any that are old and riddled with tiny scratches, as beer-killing compounds can end up in these minute spaces.

Next, let your dishwasher run through its cycles with soap before placing all of your beer glasses inside and washing them out twice with soap. The washing should return them to a clean state more suitable for rediscovering that perfect head you’ll only find at the best establishments.

If you do see droplets or other spots remaining, you’ll need to wash the glasses again.

After the washing, make sure to keep your beer glasses separate from the rest of your dishes, and don’t use them for anything except beer again.

When you’re ready to pour your next glass, you may consider holding it under cold, running water just before pouring, as bartenders do in Belgium.

Overseas, bartenders have to deal with customers who are much less willing to accept anything but a clean glass filled to the brim with billowing foam.

Luckily, that same beer drinking experience is available from home, if you follow these tips, that is!

For more information, visit the ibabuzz website.

Tapping a Keg for Your Next Party

There are several things to remember when bringing a keg to your next party or picnic to make sure the beer is as fresh and enjoyable as possible for your guests.

Luckily, it’s easier than you think. Follow these steps next time you need to tap a keg:

1. Temperature: Draught beer is a perishable product and must be kept cold at all times so it doesn’t spoil or pour improperly. The ideal temperature is between 36-38-degrees, which can be achieved by adding ice or keeping refrigerated.

2. Icing Your Draught Beer: It will take approximately 50 pounds of ice to maintain proper dispensing temperature. Since beer is drawn from the bottom of the barrel, approximately 20 pounds of ice should be placed at the bottom of the tub. Just place the barrel in the tub on top of the ice and add the remaining ice up the sides of the tub and replace as needed.

3. Tapping the Barrel: Tapping a keg can be intimidating, but there are just a few simple steps involved –

  • Place the tap into the opening at the top of the barrel and turn one-quarter turn clockwise until firmly in place
  • If it is a lever-handled tap, pull the handle out and press down until it locks in place
  • If it is a T-handled tap, turn the handle clockwise until it locks into place.
  • You are now ready to draw a beer!

4. Troubleshooting: If the beer pours slowly, pump a few times. Only pump when the flow of beer begins to slow. If the beer is foamy, it is an indication that the beer is too warm, so check your ice levels.

5. Cleaning the Tap: After each use, the tap will need to be cleaned. To clean, invert the tap and place it under warm, running water. Open the beer faucet and let water thoroughly rinse the inside and outside of the tap while simulating the tapping and untapping action.

Know Your Barrels

Half Barrel: Contains 161 16-ounce servings. 15.5 U.S. gallons or 6.88 cases of 24 12-ounce bottles or cans. 161 pounds when full and 32 pounds when empty.

Quarter Barrel and Slim Quarter Barrel: Contains 80 16-ounce servings. 7.75 U.S. gallons or 3.44 cases of 24 12-ounce bottles or cans. 87 pounds when full and 23 pounds when empty.

Sixth Barrel: Contains 53 16-ounce servings. 5.166 U.S. gallons or 2.3 cases of 24 12-ounce bottles or cans. 58 pounds when full and 16.5 pounds when empty.

Beer Ball: 5.166 U.S. gallons or 2.3 cases of 24 12-ounce bottles or cans.

Draught Troubleshooting

Foamy Beer

  • Warm draught cooler
  • Frozen glasses
  • Beer drawn improperly
  • Faucet broken
  • Too much pressure
  • Dirty faucets

Flat Beer

  • Cooler or dispensing system too cold
  • Glasses are not “beer ready”
  • Not enough CO2 in barrel

Cloudy Beer

  • Beer over-chilled or frozen in dispensing system
  • Beer has frozen in the barrel
  • Beer hose in poor condition
  • Beer lines not cleaned properly

Off-Tasting Beer

  • Air compressor used for pressure
  • Beer lines not properly cleaned
  • Oily, greasy kitchen air
  • Old draught, beer not rotated
  • Glasses not “beer ready”