Components in Draft System

Whether your self-pour taps are offering the most common beverages such as beer, wine, and cocktails or are offering novelties such as cold brew or kombucha, any beverage will go through your draft system in the same way as long as they are kegged.

Learn more on how to keg drinks such as kombucha, cold-brew, wine or cocktails in the page below.

In order to have your PourMyBeer setup work properly, you will need a fully functioning, well-balanced draft system with proper cooling and restriction to ensure that the liquid coming out isn’t foamy, especially for beers! Who would enjoy getting a glass full of foam?

no foam with PourMyBeer

Now without further ado, let’s dive into what is a draft system and what are its components. 

What Is the Draft System?

To put it simply, it is the magic responsible for your beverage getting from the keg all the way to your glass and to explain it more technically, the draft system is a liquid dispense technology that allows you to pour any beverages coming from kegs. 

It’s important to understand the 2 types of draft systems before you try and wrap your head around where self-pour beverage technology comes into play in this equation and how it connects its powers with a draft system technology.

What are the 2 types of Draft Systems?

If you are more of a visual learner, watch this video FIRST

1. Wall Mounted Direct Draw Dispense System (Dispensing Directly Through A Cooler Wall)

This is when the faucet that pours the liquid is directly connected to the cooler where the beer, wine, cocktails (and all the other fun stuff) are being stored. In the direct draw, there is no glycol involved in this equation, making it cheaper for the operator to build. 

Real quick, what is glycol? Think of this magical chemical as antifreeze that runs along the beer lines if the beer has to travel any distance.

For a direct draw, a walk-in cooler stores the kegs, beer lines, and PourMyBeer valves and flow-meters. The shank and tap/faucet is mounted directly through a wall to the customer on the other side, where your PourMyBeer system will be shining!

2. Long Draw Glycol Cooled Dispensing System

This is where the cooler is from 2 feet to 150+ feet away from the taps. In some cases, you can have the cooler right next to the taps and you’ll see them still use glycol to flash chill the product. Long draw systems differ from direct draw systems due to the taps/faucets being further from the keg cooler. Think cooler in the basement and self serve beer wall on the ground floor. These systems use a secondary refrigeration unit (called a power pack or glycol chiller) to maintain draft beer at the proper temperature all the way from the walk-in cooler to tap. This is done by the power pack chilling and constantly circulating an anti-freeze (glycol) solution next to the beer tubing all the way from the walk-in cooler to the tap.

Components of the Draft System

Our friends at Micro-Matic have a great illustration of the 10 components of a draft system – HERE 

There are benefits to both and in most cases, depending on space, Direct Draw isn’t an option. We’ve seen beer systems in the basements and in other rooms. If the beer lines are traveling to the wall above the taps, we require you to have a cooler near the wall where all of our components are for two reasons. 1) easy to access for service 2) ensures that you never have phantom pours  – A phantom pour means that someone could pour beer without using an RFID card.

What is the difference between a regular draft system and a self-pour draft system?

There are 2 main types of draft systems: 1) direct draw where the faucet is connected directly to the shank inside of the cooler and 2) Long draw where a glycol chilled beer line is run over longer distances. The pour my beer equipment is compatible with both the valves and meters connected to the shank on a direct draw or spliced into the beer lines on a long draw.

Equipment Need For Your Self-Pour Set-Up:

PourMyBeer Screens

The primary customer interface of your system. It communicates with the Valve and Flow-meter and writes data to the RFID card. These 9″ purpose-built, commercial grade screens are durable and reliable, unlike the consumer-grade, cheap tablets other companies use. PourMyBeer worked to reduce connection points to optimize up-time in the production environments and if you want to learn more about why PourMyBeer over the others, you can do so here.

Drip Trays

As the name indicates, this is a special tray that mounts to the outside wall, right below your self-pour taps to contain any spillage.

Flowmeter

This is a small component joining the party in the cooler. The flow-meter has a pinwheel in it and as liquid spins the wheel, it sends a pulse to our system letting everyone know in real-time how much liquid is being dispensed.

Valves

The best buds of our flow-meters. In its default position, the solenoid valve is closed, which prevents any liquid from being dispensed unless our system says it is time for the party! And gives the valves signal that it can open.

Unlike any other company in this space, we’ve developed our own proprietary valves for both long draw and direct draw systems. These custom valves reduce interruptions in the beer that would normally create foam.  

How PourMyBeer Valves & Flowmeters work together?

Now, when these two best buds meet in the cooler real magic happens. When a customer places their RFID beer card on the RFID reader, it sends an electronic signal to open the valve, allowing the flow of liquid to pass through the flow-meter. 

Unlike other companies in the self-pour market, we give our customers the ability to individually calibrate every line at the screens. We do this for them during the installation, but they can adjust them at any time to ensure that when a guest gets charged for 4.3 oz, they are actually pouring 4.3 oz. We take pride in ensuring that your customers have a great experience and are getting every tenth of an ounce they pay for.

PourMyBeer self-pour fan Hoppy

PourMyBeer Tip: 

We recommend a dispense rate of 1 ounce per second since you’re dealing with novice pourers for the most part!

Here When You Need Us

Whoa! We know that reading about tech is not exciting for everyone and oftentimes there are a lot more questions that pop up, but we are here to help. Whether you are going to go with a direct draw or a long draw draft system, we are here in every step of the process and will be happy to share the experience we have with our customers aka PourMyBeer family members in your area. Don’t hesitate to contact us at cheers@pourmybeer.com or (312) 416-9989!

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