Draft Tower – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Beer Equipment Glossary

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What is a Draft Tower?

A draft tower, also known as a beer tower or tap tower, is a vertical column that sits on top of a bar or countertop and is used to dispense draft beer. It typically consists of a hollow tube that runs from the keg to the faucet, allowing beer to flow through and be poured into a glass. Draft towers come in various shapes and sizes, with some featuring multiple faucets for dispensing different types of beer.

How does a Draft Tower work?

Draft towers work by utilizing a system of tubing and components to deliver beer from the keg to the faucet. The keg is connected to the draft tower via a series of hoses and fittings, with the beer being pushed through the lines by either CO2 or nitrogen gas. When a customer orders a beer, the bartender pulls the faucet handle on the draft tower, allowing the pressurized beer to flow through the lines and out of the tap into a glass.

What are the different types of Draft Towers?

There are several types of draft towers available, each with its own unique design and features. Some common types include:

– Single Faucet Towers: These towers have one faucet for dispensing beer.
– Double Faucet Towers: These towers have two faucets, allowing for the dispensing of two different types of beer.
– Triple Faucet Towers: These towers have three faucets, ideal for bars or restaurants that offer a wide selection of draft beers.
– T-Towers: These towers are shaped like the letter “T” and are designed to accommodate multiple faucets in a compact space.
– Glycol Cooled Towers: These towers are equipped with a glycol cooling system to keep the beer lines cold and prevent foaming.

What are the benefits of using a Draft Tower?

There are several benefits to using a draft tower for dispensing beer. Some of the key advantages include:

– Improved Taste: Draft beer poured from a draft tower tends to have a fresher and more flavorful taste compared to bottled or canned beer.
– Faster Service: Draft towers allow bartenders to pour beer quickly and efficiently, reducing wait times for customers.
– Customization: With multiple faucet options, draft towers offer the ability to serve a variety of beers on tap, catering to different tastes and preferences.
– Aesthetics: Draft towers can add a stylish and professional look to a bar or restaurant, enhancing the overall ambiance.

How to properly clean and maintain a Draft Tower?

Proper cleaning and maintenance of a draft tower are essential to ensure the quality and taste of the beer being served. Here are some steps to follow:

– Regular Cleaning: It is recommended to clean the draft tower at least once a week to prevent bacteria buildup and contamination. Use a cleaning solution specifically designed for draft systems.
– Disassemble Components: Remove the faucet, shank, and beer lines from the draft tower and soak them in the cleaning solution. Scrub the components with a brush to remove any residue.
– Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse all components with water to remove any leftover cleaning solution. Allow them to air dry before reassembling.
– Check for Leaks: Inspect the connections and fittings for any signs of leaks or damage. Replace any worn-out parts to prevent beer from leaking or foaming.
– Maintain Temperature: Keep the beer lines and tower at the proper temperature to prevent foaming and ensure a consistent pour.

What are some common troubleshooting tips for Draft Towers?

Despite regular maintenance, draft towers may encounter issues that require troubleshooting. Here are some common problems and solutions:

– Foamy Beer: Foaming can be caused by warm beer lines, improper pressure settings, or dirty components. Check the temperature of the beer lines, adjust the pressure, and clean the components to resolve the issue.
– Low Beer Flow: Low beer flow may be due to a clogged faucet, blocked lines, or low CO2 pressure. Clean the faucet, check for obstructions in the lines, and adjust the CO2 pressure as needed.
– Off-Flavors: Off-flavors in beer can be caused by dirty lines, old beer, or improper storage. Clean the lines, replace old beer with fresh kegs, and store beer at the correct temperature to eliminate off-flavors.

By following proper cleaning and maintenance procedures, as well as addressing any issues promptly, draft towers can continue to provide customers with fresh, great-tasting beer for years to come.