How to Keg Drinks
Your customer’s favorite drinks are at their fingertips.
With so many options to pour, what’s the process for kegging beverages?
How to keg wine
We have all heard about tapping and kegging beer, but what about our other favorite beverages like wine? Well, you can keg wine and implement your own wine tap system – and it’s an affordable and sustainable option!
“Draft wine” is essentially wine that’s stored outside of the bottle. This process gives wine lovers the excitement of pouring a glass from the tap system and allows them to become their own sommelier!
Wine Tapping Equipment
There are two mainstream concepts for drafting your wine — selecting the gas you’ll use during kegging and serving the wine. Both of these ideas are relatively simple and remain cost-effective, but both are essential to the process.
Exposing your wine to different kinds of gas will result in varying tastes across the still and sparkling spectrum. With a gas tank and regulator, still wines typically revolve around argon or nitrogen, and sparkling wines require further exposure to carbon dioxide.
Steps to Kegging Wine
Before you experience pouring a glass of wine from a tapping system, a few steps must take place. Crafting wine is both a science and an art, so great attention to detail is a necessity.
Following these guidelines will make it easier to understand just how PourMyBeer installs our units.
- Clean and sanitize the keg: You don’t want any bacteria or materials to alter the taste or safety of your wine. Clean stainless steel tanks are ideal for tapping and storing mass amounts of wine.
- Deposit the wine: Siphon your wine into the keg and place a lid on top.
- Eliminate oxygen in the keg: This step is known as “pushing out.” It’s done by connecting a gas disconnect and pushing gas in and out of the keg.
- Listen for gas hissing through the keg: Completing this process several times for good measure is the recommendation.
- Enjoy: Your wine is then ready for serving or further carbonation.
Still vs. Sparkling Wine
Kegs reduce oxidation. Large stainless steel tanks get sealed airtight, which eliminates the chances of air flowing in and altering the taste of the wine. Assuring that taste stays the same each night is dependent on catering to the types of wine your customers enjoy.
Still wines should be stored cold and within temperatures of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparkling wines require you to force and push gas through kegs to make the drink bubbly by nature. If your customers enjoy sparkling wines, remember to keep yours refrigerated during the process and shake solutions before consumption.
You can keg practically any beverage of choice with the proper care and attention to detail. You can accomplish that goal by adding carbon dioxide and eliminating oxygen within keg tanks. A general rule of thumb for kegging alcoholic beverages is that temperatures need to stay low so that the drink stays cold.
Tapping cocktails is similar to a science experiment in that this concept requires professional hands to pinpoint taste, quantities, and mixtures. Underestimating ingredient ratios is a mistake, but fortunately, PourMyBeer makes tapping cocktails simple to understand. Take note that kegging cocktails is a slightly more in-depth operation than kegging wine.
A Quick Note Before Starting to Keg Cocktails...
Recognize that this practice demands constant cleaning and upkeep. Many cocktails infuse citrus blends and other ingredients that can clog tanks or expire. Food industry codes will require workers to monitor these pieces of equipment regularly before serving customers.
The process for kegging any cocktail calls for similar equipment as used for storing wine.
Cocktail Kegging Equipment
If kegging cocktails is a proper fit for your bar or restaurant, here’s a look at the equipment you need to get started:
- Cornelius keg with ball locks: These kegs come in much smaller sizes compared to the ones used for wine.
- Nitrogen/carbon dioxide tanks and regulators: These tanks will give you the option to serve both still and carbonated cocktails on tap.
- Stainless steel drafting towers: Towers will come into play once you decide where to store your cocktails. Some restaurant layouts call for walk-in storage rooms, while others leave room for drafting towers right under taps.
Keep in mind that most cocktails are served at cold temperatures. Still cocktails will give you room to play with storage temperature, but carbonated drinks should remain in a storage location of about 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kegging Cold Brew
If you want to serve coffee from the tap, cold brew is the way to go. Cold brew coffee will maintain a consistent flavor profile over time and can be stored in a keg for up to three weeks without losing any of its initial flavors. The chemistry of cold brew coffee doesn’t change as it cools because it’s never been hot in the first place — that’s why its taste remains fresh for weeks. Coffee concentrate that’s produced from cold brewing can be 70% less acidic than hot brewed coffee, which makes it easier on your stomach and teeth. You can also keg iced coffee and nitro brew coffee if you know how to keg cold brew.
How to Keg Cold Brew Coffee
When you’re crafting cold brew, you only need two things: coffee grounds and a simple cold brew system. Kegging cold brew coffee involves a few carefully planned steps:
- Mix ingredients: Combine coffee grounds and water inside your simple cold brew system. Let this mixture sit for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.
- Drain: Siphon the coffee concentrate through the filter into your container
- Store in a cool place: Refrigerate the coffee concentrate for two to four weeks.
- Serve and enjoy: Before serving, dilute the water. You can do so by heating water in a teapot before pouring one-third cup of coffee concentrate into a two-thirds cup of hot water from the teapot.
Benefits of Kegging Cold Brew Coffee
Once you know how to keg cold brew coffee, you’ll be able to keg nitro cold brew easily. There are many benefits to learning how to keg cold brew coffee, including:
- Adding freshness: Cold brew’s contact with air is restricted after being sealed in a keg. This setup slows the oxygenation process responsible for flavor changes and allows the cold brew to stay fresh for three weeks.
- Boosting efficiency: When you keg cold brew coffee, you’ll be able to serve more customers in a shorter amount of time and with less hassle.
- Allowing for kegging nitro cold brew: You also have the choice of nitro brewing draft coffee. Kegging nitro cold brew requires the right kind of pressure and a faucet. Nitro cold brew creates a rich, velvety texture with a creamy head.
Cold Brew Coffee vs. Nitro Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee and nitrogen cold brew differ in taste and texture. Cold brew coffee tastes less acidic than hot coffee because it’s brewed with cool water. Heat tends to pull the intense, aromatic chemicals out of coffee beans, making them acidic and slightly bitter. Cold brew, on the other hand, is milder, sweeter, and less acidic than average coffee. Unlike average coffee, cold brew coffee retains its freshness over time and requires about twice the amount of coffee grounds than traditional coffee. For this reason, cold brew can cost anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar more than regular iced coffee.
Even though cold brew coffee wasn’t on menus five or ten years ago, it has gained popularity in recent years in restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops across the U.S.A. Nitrogen cold brew delivers a rich, smooth body with a foamy top that’s similar to beer. To make a nitrogen cold brew, you need to first make cold brew coffee and pour it into a keg. It’s then infused with nitrogen bubbles and routed through a pressurized valve.
Nitro cold brew drinks tend to be pricier due to the expensive equipment needed to make them, but they can offer several benefits. Nitro cold brew offers a creamy, adventurous taste, and it doesn’t require all the added creamers and sweeteners of regular coffee. This difference is great if you’re hoping to cut down on sugar or try something new and exciting.
Kombucha is one of the fastest-growing commercial beverages on the market today. According to a report by Grand View Research, it’s expected to grow by 23% through 2025. Kegging kombucha seems to be the most efficient solution to its rise in popularity. Doing so saves time and requires less packaging. You’ll have the option to force carbonate the batch to your tastes rather than relying on priming and conditioning sugars.
Kombucha Tapping Equipment
To keg and carbonate kombucha, use a 5-gallon Cornelius keg. The next step before you can pour kombucha is to hook it up to a draft system.
How to Keg Kombucha
If you want to dispense kombucha on tap, you’ll first need to learn how to properly keg it:
- Filter your kombucha to remove excess ingredients: Eliminate any SCOBY, sediment from yeast, and any flavoring agents that might build up in the coupler or lines and cause foaming issues in the future.
- Add your kombucha to a keg: Add kombucha to a new or refurbished 5-gallon Cornelius keg after the first fermentation.
- Allow your kombucha to carbonate naturally: Add sugar or force carbonate your kombucha to taste with CO₂. To force carb your kombucha, chill your keg to 38 degrees and then hook up to CO₂ at a PSI between 20 and 30. Let it sit at this high PSI until it reaches your desired carbonation level. This process may take up to four or five days.
- Hook up to a draft system: Once you’ve kegged and carbonated your kombucha, you need to hook it up to a draft system.
- Pour kombucha: You can use a kegerator or a compact refrigerator with direct-draw dispensing equipment for up to two kegs- corny or pony kegs. Or, you can use a draft system with a more significant number of taps or a long-draw system for commercial clients. If you decide to use a long-draw system, glycol-cooled or air-cooled lines are essential to ensure the kombucha’s temperature is maintained from keg to faucet.
- Store your product: You can store kegs of kombucha and dispense at 38 degrees. Kombucha will more easily take on carbonation at this temperature. You’ll have foaming issues if the temperature rises above 42 degrees.
- Enjoy: Pour kombucha at a PSI between seven and ten. Use 100% CO₂.
Drinks Served on Tap
There are probably more drinks to serve on tap than you initially thought possible. The food and beverage industry is approaching a time when consumers are looking for the latest ways to enjoy their food and drinks. Tapping your beverages cuts down on employee time spent, and customers can grow interested in the idea of pouring their drinks in a matter of seconds.
Aside from wines and various cocktails, PourMyBeer is introducing the means to tap other beverages, including Kombucha, cold brew coffee, iced teas, and soft drinks. If your customers demand mixed drinks, you’ll be happy to know that quite a few common cocktails can be served on draft. From Daiquiris and Tonics to Manhattans and Margaritas, the options are endless.
Why Should I Consider Tapping Beverages?
Incorporating the ability to tap your beverages will keep customers happy, products fresh, and the experience unique. If you’re resistant to tapping technology, perhaps it’s time to reconsider what makes this system so impactful.
Working with PourMyBeer, you’ll find that we carry the determination to eliminate waste. If you start tapping, you’ll be getting rid of a great deal of cardboard, bottles, marketing labels, plastic, and materials that go into shipping wines and ingredients. Tapping your beverages at bars and restaurants is a greener approach to operating a business.
Additionally, kegs stay fresh for an extended time. Depending on the beverage, some refreshments, such as wine, remain fresh in tapping storage for up to two months. In a restaurant setting, you can go through that amount of wine in a shorter amount of time.
Cutting Costs and Keeping Flavor
Kegging will ultimately allow you to avoid the chance of overheating and oxidation across your beverages in a bar or restaurant. As a result, you can keep flavors consistent since drinks are never exposed to oxygen until right before serving. Most restaurants can make up for the costs to install tapping technology within just six months, which should give you a chance to place orders for fine wines and ingredients in no time at all.
While working with kegged cocktails, your business can push exclusive offers and allow customers to try samples.
With cocktails available on tap, there’s no need to prepare a mixed drink right on the spot with varying results. The perfect cocktail solution on tap will provide delicious taste and influence customers to try new drinks.
Getting Involved With PourMyBeer
There’s nothing better than a full crowd enjoying their night out on the town while making new memories within your bar or restaurant. Hard work goes a long way toward making their night enjoyable, but what if you gave your customers a new experience they couldn’t forget?
Of course, we’re talking about PourMyBeer and our self-serve capabilities. You can free your team of running around to refill refreshments to refocus efforts on customer service and engagement. With the help of a few “splash-proof” tablets and our Tap-Technology, customers can have fun while they drink at your bar, venue, or restaurant.
PourMyBeer wants to assist you in transforming your bar or restaurant. With just a few tablets and installations, you can revolutionize the customer experience. If you’re interested in learning more about our products and systems, feel free to visit our FAQ page for additional information.