Air Cooled or Glycol Cooled Towers
At no point in its journey from keg to tap should the temperature of beer be allowed to fluctuate and this is why the towers that hold your faucets need be cooled. If the temperature of your beer goes above 38ºF it will foam when poured and you’ll be wasting valuable beer! There’re two options when it comes to cooling the last part of a beer’s journey to the glass: air cooled towers or glycol cooled towers. These two products are, unfortunately, not interchangeable, so getting the one that’s right for your system is critical.
Air Cooled Towers
Air cooled towers are used on kegerators, direct-draw systems, and can be used in long-draw systems, up to 25ft in length however, in the long-draw situation, it only really works for systems of up to 3 lines. In air cooled systems air is blown through ducts which contain the beer lines by a blower located in the kegerator. The towers used in air cooled systems are larger than those used for glycol cooled towers, needing to be at least 2.5 inches in diameter, because they require space for air to circulate around the tap.
Glycol Cooled Towers
Glycol cooled towers are best for long-draw systems, and can be much better at maintaining a consistent temperature than an air cooled system. There are two options for cooling glycol cooled towers and these are either using the glycol that cools your beer to cool the towers or by getting a separate glycol pump dedicated to cooling your towers. In a glycol cooled system the glycol is looped through an aluminum cooling block at the base of the shank, ensuring that the beer is perfectly chilled at the point of pouring. Because there’s no space required for air to circulate, as the glycol runs in tubes, glycol cooled systems can use much slimmer towers.
If you have a 100ft long-draw system with half a dozen taps then you’re going to need to use glycol to cool your towers. If your kegerator is located directly behind your bar then air cooled towers will be sufficient for your needs. You can substitute air cooled towers into a glycol system but it does not work the other way around. This is why it’s important to ensure you buy the right tower. Head over to Kegerator Online to check out our selection of Air cooled towers and Glycol cooled towers and see the large variety of styles available to you!