When it comes to serving beer, having the right equipment is essential. One crucial piece of equipment that every bar or pub needs is a beer pump. These pumps come in different types, each with its own unique functionality. In this article, we will explore the two main types of beer pumps – fixed pressure and additive pressure – and delve into how they work.
Fixed pressure pumps, also known as traditional beer engines, are commonly used in British pubs for serving cask-conditioned ales. These pumps are designed to draw beer from casks stored in a cooler cellar below the bar. The beer engine, essentially a piston pump, allows the beer to be pulled or drawn up to the bar. This method is preferred for traditional ales, which are unfiltered and meant to be served fresh.
On the other hand, additive pressure pumps are becoming more popular in modern bars and pubs. These pumps deliver beer at a pressure independent of the pressure in the keg. This means that the beer can be served at the desired pressure, regardless of the keg's internal pressure. While fixed pressure pumps are becoming harder to find, additive pressure pumps offer greater control over the serving process.
Now, let's dive into how these pumps work. Both types of pumps require two operational regulator pressures. The first is the CO2 pressure on the keg, which helps maintain beer carbonation. This pressure typically ranges from 12-14 psi. The second pressure is the gas pressure to the beer pump itself, which propels the beer to the faucet. This pressure is usually higher, around 20+ psi.
To create the necessary pressure, the pump receives either CO2 or dry compressed air. The pressure is then used to push the beer from the keg to the faucet, allowing for a smooth and controlled pour. This process ensures that the beer is dispensed at the desired pressure, resulting in a consistent and enjoyable drinking experience for customers.
It's worth noting that when serving real ales using a beer engine, there is a potential concern for oxidation. As each pint is pumped out, an equal amount of oxygen enters through the vent. This could lead to a higher chance of oxidation, affecting the beer's flavor and quality. Proper cellar management and regular maintenance are crucial to minimize the risk of oxidation and ensure the beer remains fresh.
Beer pumps are an integral part of any bar or pub setup. The choice between fixed pressure and additive pressure pumps depends on the specific needs and preferences of the establishment. Understanding how these pumps work and the potential challenges associated with serving cask-conditioned ales can help bar owners and staff deliver the perfect pint every time.
What Are The Different Types Of Beer Pumps?
There are two main types of beer pumps commonly used: fixed pressure pumps and additive pressure pumps. Let's take a closer look at each type:
1. Fixed Pressure Pumps:
– Fixed pressure pumps deliver beer at the same pressure as the keg.
– These pumps do not have the ability to adjust or control the pressure being applied.
– Fixed pressure pumps are becoming less common in the industry due to their limited functionality.
– They are typically used in simpler setups or older systems that do not require precise pressure control.
2. Additive Pressure Pumps:
– Additive pressure pumps, also known as variable or adjustable pressure pumps, offer more control over the beer dispensing process.
– These pumps allow the user to adjust and regulate the pressure applied to the keg, providing flexibility in serving different types of beer.
– By adjusting the pressure, operators can achieve the desired flow rate and maintain the quality of the beer.
– Additive pressure pumps are the preferred choice for modern beer dispensing systems, as they offer versatility and precision in delivering the perfect pour.
It's worth noting that additive pressure pumps come in various designs and configurations to meet different needs. Some pumps may incorporate additional features like temperature control or gas blending capabilities, further enhancing the beer dispensing experience.
While fixed pressure pumps deliver beer at the same pressure as the keg, additive pressure pumps offer more control and flexibility in adjusting the pressure to achieve the desired pour. The latter type is widely used in modern beer dispensing systems due to its versatility and ability to maintain beer quality.
How Do Beer Pumps Work?
Beer pumps, also known as beer dispensers, are used to transport beer from a keg to a faucet for serving. These pumps typically require two operational regulator pressures to work effectively.
The first pressure is the CO2 pressure on the keg, which is used to maintain the carbonation of the beer. This pressure is typically set between 12 to 14 psi (pounds per square inch) to ensure that the beer remains properly carbonated.
The second pressure is a separate gas pressure that is used to propel the beer from the keg to the faucet. This pressure is usually set at a higher value, around 20 psi or higher, to provide enough force to move the beer through the pump and up to the faucet.
To achieve these pressures, the beer pump receives pressure from either CO2 or dry compressed air. The gas is typically connected to the pump through a gas line, which allows it to be pressurized and propel the beer forward.
When the beer pump is activated, the pressurized gas pushes the beer out of the keg and through the pump mechanism. The pump helps to control and regulate the flow of beer, preventing excessive foaming or overflow.
The beer then travels through the beer lines and up to the faucet, where it can be poured into a glass or container for consumption. The faucet is usually equipped with a handle or lever that can be pulled or pushed to control the flow of beer.
Beer pumps work by utilizing pressure from CO2 or compressed air to propel beer from a keg to a faucet, allowing for easy serving and enjoyment of the beverage. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the beer remains carbonated and is served at the desired pressure.
Beer pumps play a crucial role in the dispensing of beer, ensuring that it is delivered to the customer in the optimal manner. While fixed pressure pumps are becoming less common, they provide a simple and straightforward method of delivering beer at the same pressure as the keg. On the other hand, beer engines, or hand pumps, are specifically designed for traditional cask-conditioned ales, allowing them to be drawn up from a cooler cellar below the bar.
The operation of a beer pump requires two regulator pressures – CO2 pressure on the keg to maintain carbonation and a separate gas pressure to propel the beer to the faucet. This ensures that the beer is properly carbonated and delivered smoothly to the customer's glass.
It is worth noting that real ales, which are served using a beer engine, are unfiltered and meant to be consumed fresh. While the hand pump provides a unique and traditional method of dispensing these ales, it also introduces a potential concern of oxidation. With each pint pumped out, an equal amount of oxygen enters through the vent, increasing the risk of oxidation and potentially affecting the beer's taste and quality.
Beer pumps are essential tools in the world of beer dispensing, allowing for efficient and controlled delivery of carbonated beer to the customer. Whether it be through fixed pressure pumps or beer engines, these devices ensure that the beer is served in the best possible condition, providing a delightful drinking experience for beer enthusiasts.