The Power Pack is used to refrigerate a mix of water and FDA approved food grade polypropylene glycol which is re-circulated through a trunk line at a temperature between 29 – 32˚ F. This is how a long draw draft system maintains a brewery recommended dispense temperature of 38˚ F. Glycol cooled systems are not designed to lower beer dispensing temperatures, instead the system is designed to deliver the beer the same temperature as in the walk-in-cooler.
Glycol cooled systems are installed for long runs with a maximum length of 500 feet. Connecting multiple beer dispensing stations in a single system makes a glycol cooled system highly functional and cost efficient.
Better Beer Revolution designs, sells, installs, and trouble shoots long draw draft systems. If your beer is hot, we can diagnose the problem, repair it, and get you on a maintenance program so it never keeps you from selling beer again!
Glycol System Troubleshooting
When your glycol system is broken, the quality of your beer will be negatively affected. Beer is more likely to pour foamy when the lines and tower are not being properly cooled. The easiest and least expensive way to prevent this from happening is to regularly maintain all parts of your glycol dispensing system–the glycol power pack, glycol trunk line, the bath, the hardware, and the glycol itself. Better Beer Revolution offers a preventive maintenance program (Perfect Pour Program Partner) for this reason.
If your establishment is currently experiencing issues with improper beer temperature or any other dispensing problem and you're looking for help, we’ve compiled this brief list of glycol system troubleshooting tips. This list is a good place to start.
Is the cover of your glycol bath closed?
If you leave the cover open, you risk allowing water vapor to dilute and weaken your glycol. If your glycol becomes too weak, your pump will freeze up and burn up your motor.
Is your glycol bath the right temperature?
We recommend regularly checking the temperature of your glycol bath (weekly is ideal, but no less than biweekly) to ensure that it’s within the optimal range as noted by the manufacturer. Many glycol chillers are equipped with a temperature gauge on the outside, but if you are experiencing issues, it’s worth your time to manually measure the temperature with a thermometer.
Is your glycol mixed properly?
You should always follow manufacturer specs for your glycol mixture, but typically, you’ll want to be in a ratio range of 35 – 40% glycol to water. Every few months, take a quick look at your glycol bath to check the viscosity and see if anything is noticeably amiss. At least once every year or so, test the freezing point with a refractometer or hydrometer and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance.
Is your beer being dispensed at the faucet at the right temperature?
Even if the chiller unit is reading the correct temperature, you should still check the temperature of the beer coming out of the faucet. This is because the length of the system could produce a drastically different temperature at the faucet than what is read and recorded at the chiller itself.
Is the motor running smoothly?
Observe your glycol chiller and listen for signs of distress from the motor. If you hear anything out of the ordinary or feel unexpected heat, call your draft beer technician at Better Beer Revolution.
Are the pumps operating correctly?
Ensure that the connections are tight and that all the insulation is accounted for. Much like the motor, the pump should always operate very smoothly, so any noticeable clanking, grinding, or other out-of-the-ordinary noise is a clear red flag.
Is the condenser free of dirt and other obstructions?
We recommend checking your condenser every three to five weeks and cleaning as necessary. The condenser won’t require a thorough cleaning with every check, but every so often, you’ll want to remove the grills to get access to the condenser fins. Scrub these fins with a stiff brush and/or vacuum inside the condenser thoroughly to remove built-up debris.
Is there any damage to your trunk lines?
When properly installed, your trunk line is very durable. However, over time, it’s possible to experience ice buildup due to insulation damage or glycol leakage. It’s a good idea to visually inspect your trunk line at least a couple of times a year, or whenever your system is experiencing issues.
As always, if you check your system against these troubleshooting issues and the problem persists, please feel free to reach out to our team of draft specialists at Better Beer Revolution and we’ll do what we can to help.