Premixed Gas Blends or Gas BlendersThe gas used for draft beer is made up of carbon dioxide, CO2, and nitrogen, N2. Carbon dioxide is an essential element of beer and direct draw systems are pressurized with pure CO2. Long-draw draft systems, however, require more pressure than that which can be provided by using pure CO2. As a result many long-draw systems use a mix of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Nitrogen is used because it is a neutral gas and doesn’t infuse into the beer. Therefore, it increases the pressure in a system but doesn’t affect the carbonation level or flavor of the beer.
If you have a long-draw system that requires a mixed gas blend there are two options for mixing your gases, either buying them pre-blended in canisters, or by buying yourself a gas blender. But what are the pros and cons of buying blended gas bottles or using an onsite gas blender
Blended Gas Bottles
Purchasing these bottles is easy, they’re dropped on your doorstep and you just use them as is. This is where the benefits really end. Compared to the purchase of pure gas these bottles contain a comparatively low volume. This is because of the different properties of the two gases being blended. These differences also mean that the gases don’t mix properly in the head of the bottle, resulting in over or under carbonated beer, decreasing the beer quality in your location.
Blended gas bottles come in only 2 different blends, and these are intended for use with nitro beers. They are quite expensive and if they’re used for regular, carbonated beers the beer will end up flat in 3-5 days. If you do find someone to provide you with a custom blend to suit your system’s needs the price will be even higher.
Gas blenders mix pure CO2 and pure N2 together onsite at your location. They can provide up to three different blends for you to use with your draft system, providing you with the opportunity to mix the perfect blend to match the needs of your system. Because they mix the gases onsite you can have different carbonation levels for different beers, as well as a dedicated nitrogen blend for nitro beer. Gas blenders are much cheaper than blended gas bottles and purchasing a blender often sees a payback period of under a year, compared to the recurring purchase of expensive blended gas bottles.Gas blenders have very few cons compared to blended gas bottles, being cheaper, more specialized and often easier to get ahold of. If you have a long draw system and are currently using blended gas bottles you may want to look to upgrading and saving yourself money by choosing a gas blender from Kegerator Online’s selection of gas blenders