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I'm in a potentially very exciting position of opening a bar.
The focus will be on good beer but I've got space constraints for a big chiller room.
I have herd and done a little research of 'icebank chillers' which seem to enable beer to be chilled at (or just below the tap) from ambient temperature kegs, at what seems like very reasonable prices.
Can anyone tell me if this does justice to good beer?
Is it able to deal with porters to pilsners etc?
Any other pitfalls of such a system?
Exciting to be part of such an enormous assembly of beer aficionado's!
Feels like i've come home.
we've been using an 8-tap Icebank at Hashigo Zake since 2009. We've had no real problems. We've had a couple of advantages:
1. the ambient temperature never gets that high. They can reportedly struggle if they're pouring a lot in summer.
2. we generally empty a keg within a few days.
3. we tend to pour beer that's a bit stronger and more robust than the average.
1. I'm told that the temperature they cool to has to be quite cold - you can't adjust it up by a couple of degrees or the water around the coil doesn't ice up and the whole system doesn't work. The temperature that our beers come out at is slightly colder than we'd like, but plenty of bars serve them even colder.
2. As a consequence of (1) you can't choose a different temperature for a different beer. But then if we used a cold room we'd have the same problem.
3. If you put on a keg that's already cold then the icebank cools it even more and the resulting beer is extremely cold.
Overall ours has worked as well as I hoped and we're pretty satisfied.
Icebank is actually a brand, and that's what ours is. Not sure of the model. It was supplied second hand by Lion, of all companies. The refrigeration side is maintained by Absolute Control and everything else by 24/7 Beverage Services.
Hey Craig, another option is to build a chiller cabinet under your bar, and run your taps up to the font.
If you can make it work its cheap, simple and lets you control your temp.
Come check out my craft beer mega warehouse when in AK next www.hopscotch.co.nz
One of these could be handy:
Otherwise - Dominic has one of these (with attached refrigeration unit):
Concur with Dominic re in line chillers.
Our brewery bar runs on in line chillers (6 taps) as well as many outlets we pour through. The warm beer storage at our bar can get up to 30 celcius in summer which is higher than I would like but our turnover is high. As a brewer I have no issues with in line chillers if the turnover is fast and the line cleaning is often. Neither is an issue with our system and I will clean the lines every three days at the height of summer.
Our kegs are neither pasterurised or sterile filtered and bulk storage is refrigerated.