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Tap-A-Draft FAQ

 

TAP-A-DRAFT® from the U.S.A

Below is a list of FAQ. We recommend you read these as they will help you get the best from your Tap-A-Draft system.

I'm thinking of converting to kegging my beer....Is the tap-a-draft better than a larger keg system?

Each system has its advantages. Tap-a-draft can be used on its own or in combination with larger keg systems. The tap-a-draft will suit those brewers who wish to have on tap a variety of beers and who are looking at the advantage of transporting their cold beer easily. Each 6 litre bottle can be filled with a different beer type and matured ready for use. The portability of the tap-a-draft system is one of its great features.. You can take it to the beach, fishing, parties, barbecues or pool side. A blue ice tote bag ensures your beverage stays cold wherever you need a cold beer.
As many people don't have room for a larger keg system and dedicated fridge, they would find the tap-a-draft fits easily into their existing fridge.

Is the Tap-A-Draft expensive to run?

If you naturally prime your beer, then you will require 1 x 16gm C02 bulbs to give dispensing pressure. To force carbonate your beer you will need 2  or more cartridges  (depending on level of carbonation required) x 16gm C02 bulbs.   A lot of brewers who already have larger kegging systems can fill tapadraft bottles with already carbonated beer by using a Blichmann beer gun.  

Bearing in mind you will save money by not having to clean 30 bottles with hot water and cleaning compounds and not purchasing crown seals . You only need to clean 4 x 6 litre tap-a-draft bottles to bottle an entire brew...thats a huge time saving feature.


I have read that Tap-A-Draft bottles can explode..is that true

There are very few incidents of tapadraft bottles exploding and certainly a lot less incidents than glass bottles exploding.  In both incidents there are factors that would contribute to this happening.  Firstly it must be pointed out that plastic PET will NOT EXPLODE the same way glass does.  Exploding glass is dangerous. PET will not 'explode'  but bottles can fracture resulting in the beer spilling out..  The only way a tapadraft bottle will fracture is if the bottle has deep scratches or flaws in it that would weaken the composition of the bottle.  6 litres of beer spilled over the fridge and floor would give the impression that  the bottle had exploded.  If a tapadraft bottle ruptured, it still remains as one piece with a split in it..it would not cause injury like glass could.

Tapadraft bottles can be reused many times however care should be taken so that the bottles are not scratched. Deep scratches in the bottle will weaken the bottle.

There are two stages of storing and serving beer in the tapadraft bottle

1.  Initial bottling and maturing of the beer in the bottle creating natural carbonation.

If a bottle fractured during this stage it would be the result of A. damaged or overused bottle or B. Too much priming sugar or wild fermentation in the bottle

2.  Serving the beer from the tapadraft and charging with added C02. When the tapadraft tap is in place, it is virtually impossible for a bottle to fracture from excess pressure as the tap system vents the pressure.  If a bottle did fracture at this point then it would once again be because the bottle had a flaw in it.

Correct care and handling of the bottles will ensure they have  a long life...for example do not scratch the bottles, do not clean with harsh chemicals and do not use boiling water to clean the bottles..all these things can reduce the strength and integrity of the PET bottles.

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Can I charge the c02 with the bottle standing upright?

NO THE BOTTLE MUST ALWAYS BE LAYING DOWN TO CHARGE WITH C02, AND AFTER CHARGING WITH C02.This is extremely important for the safe operation of the bottles. It is safe however to store the bottles upright while the natural priming process is taking place (natural carbonation).  Beer should always be cold.

 

Why does the beer have to be COLD when charging with C02.

Co2 is only absorbed into COLD liquids. If the beer is warm it will not gas up correctly.

How long will the 6 litre bottles last?

The manufacturer suggest 10 uses from each 6 litre bottle however we have customers who have trebled this quota. To preserve the integrity of the bottles do not clean with boiling water, do not use harsh chemicals and do not scratch the bottles. 

How do I clean the bottles?

A mild diswashing detergent clean followed by a warm water rinse is all that is required to keep the bottles in good condition. Use only tepid/warm water. Use a soft horsehair brush if needed. Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals like brewers detergents. Do not leave the bottles with strong sterilising solutions or rinse free sterilisers inside. These have been found to affect the makeup of the PET and weaken the bottles which could lead to a bottle rupturing. Particularly if these chemicals are left or stored in the bottles. Do not expose the bottles to sun.   As there are no cracks or seams that can harbour bacteria it is not difficult to keep bottles hygenically clean without using harsh chemicals.  The only place where stale beer could collect is behind the O ring in the bottle lid, so clean this area really well.

Why are the tap-a-draft bottles so expensive..after all they are only strengthened PET bottles?

Unfortunately the bottles are manufactured in the U.S.A and are shipped from Colorado. Subsequently there is overland road carrier to closest sea port, International shipping costs, dock costs, FOB costs, Terminal handling charges , Custom clearance, fuel surcharges, insurances, and a list of import costs.  Also unfortunately one gets very few bottles to a shipping pallet!

When the tap-a-draft bottles arrived they were slightly dinted..will this have any detrimental affect.

Unless severely damaged in transit the bottles will bounce back to perfect shape. You can achieve this by blowing into the bottle or the first time you carbonate or charge with C02 they will resume their normal shape. This has had no effect on their reliability. While the bottles may appear flimsy..they are in fact very strong.They are actually stronger and safer to use than some small metal kegs on the market.

How do I clean the tap?

Hot water, not boiling, should be run through the inlet/outlet tube after use. Do not soak the tap in water. Periodic removal, cleaning and replacement of inlet hose and outlet hose is recommended. Keeping your equipment in good working order will ensure a long trouble free life.

I can't get the C02 to charge properly, the bulbs are not piercing?

Not all 16gm C02 cartridges are suitable for the tapadraft system.

Sometimes when I charge a C02 bulb, gas leaks from the top side of the unit, is this a problem?

The regulators on the tap are designed to vent 'excess' pressure. Always wait a while after charging with a c02 bulb before charging the second bulb...this allows time for the C02 to be absorbed into the beer. 

How much sugar should I use when naturally carbonating with priming sugar?

It is not necessary to use as much priming sugar as you would in beer bottles. You only need to create enough secondary fermentation to give a slight gas pressure...which is enough to preserve and mature the beer. You can make up any shortfall in pressure when you use the c02 bulbs.

 

Does natural priming give better results?

We believe that natural carbonation has many advantages, probably in part to the fact that the beer is left to mature longer when naturally primed. 

I have been naturally priming but have found that the screw caps leak?

You may be using the wrong caps for natural priming. You need the deeper white plastic caps with O rings.
These are reusable for the long term. 

 

What are the dimensions of the tapadraft system?

Measuements with tap fitted are 44 x 17cm. Once the beer is charge with the C02 bulbs the bottle must always be laying down.

Can I use the Tap-A-Draft for Ginger beer?

Absolutely..it is fantastic for Ginger beer. Virtually any carbonated beverage can be stored and served from the tap-a-draft unit.