Setting up your draught beer system on your own
Before you read the below, why not watch our how to video here:
- Make sure you have all the kit you need:
- Gas bottle
- Gas regulator
- Keg coupler
- Beer font (Also known as tap or pump)
- 10mm beer line
- A sharp tool appropriate for cutting the beer line
- Spanner or grips/wrench
- Gas splitter (if running 2 kegs from the same cooler)
- Clamp down the keg coupler to start the beer flow
- Turn on the cooler
- Turn dial on the top of the gas bottle anti-clockwise to start gas flow, one turn is fine
- Turn on cooler at the plug and pour half a pint of product immediately
- Leave cooler for half an hour to reach ideal temperature (1 hour + for a water cooler)
- The first couple of pints will be a little frothy but as the cooler keeps cooling this will improve rapidly.
The upper 2 inputs on a water cooler are only used when cooling down a branded beer font which has in and out water connections for a recirculation line. This is used to cool the actual beer font itself which also causes condensation on the font. These Fonts include: Carlsberg, Fosters, Kronenbourg, etc. To connect the recirculation line to the font, simply connect both recirculation ends of the branded font to both recirculation ends on the water cooler. If you are running recirculation lines for more than one branded font, simply daisy chain the lines to create one big loop from the cooler through the taps. Do not forget to insulate the lines.
When using a water cooler it is essential that the cooler is filled with water before turning on, fill through the input located at the top of the unit (Sometimes covered by a plastic cover) until overflow spout pours out excess water at the front of the unit.
Setup Diagram for Draught System
Setting up a Real Ale System
- Real Ale Hand pump or Tap
- Wooden Peg
- Drip Tray
- Stillage (a cradle for the cask to lay in)
- Cooling Coil
- Cooling Jacket
- Beer Cooler
To tap the barrel:
- Stand the Barrel on its end.
- Place the pointed end of the Tap into the recess in the wooden bung and hit it firmly with a wooden or rubber mallet until its securely driven into the Barrel. Please do not use a metal hammer, as the tap will shatter. If you only have a metal hammer, please place a piece of wood over the end of the tap before hitting it.
- Position the Stillage on a convenient and sturdy table with the springs at the back.
- Lift the Barrel onto the Stillage, making sure that the other wooden bung is at the top of the Cask. Please take care when lifting.
- Place the wooden peg into the wooden bung and hit firmly with a wooden or rubber mallet, making sure that you are able to take the wooden peg out later.
- Place the Cooling Coil over the Barrel and then the Cooling Jacket on top.
- Place the Beer Cooler below the Barrel and attach the pipes into the Cooling Coil and the re-circ pipes on the cooler (upper pair of pipes).
- Fill the beer cooler with water through the hole on the top of the cooler. Remove the overflow bung from the front of the cooler. When water starts coming out of the overflow it is full.
- Connect the Beer Cooler into a power socket and turn on. If there are any leakages, turn the cooler off, stop the leak and try again.
- Place the Drip Tray on the Tap.
- Leave the Keg to settle and condition for 24 hours. This must not be moved, as the sediment will be disturbed making the beer cloudy.
- Remove the wooden peg whilst serving and put back afterwards.
A 9 gallon Firkin weighs around 50kg, so the table must be sturdy.
There must be room to get your glass under the tap, so you can’t put it on the floor!