Electronic Test Keg

Whenever precise process values within the Keg are required, then the electronic test keg is the solution.

Benefits of the electronic system typically are;

Examine steam quality (closeness to saturation)
If it is not saturated, you can readily analyse for the superheat or steam/air/gas mix.

Check contact times

Set brewery targets for contact time and temperature. The software automatically calculates actual times.

Provide instant simple visual checks
You pre-set a range for as many important parameters as you wish (e.g., disinfection temperature, contact time, wash temperature, final top pressure, etc.).

The software will show immediately if parameters are out of range - anybody can look at the record - no knowledge of programs or cycles or anything is needed for this.

Disinfection Cycle
The other elements of any disinfection cycle are temperature and contact time. The electronic test keg’s unique software will automatically calculate contact time above any given temperature, as set by brewery standards.

Control of Filling
The objective is a fast, low-fob(froth), meter-controlled fill.

Is the counter-pressure correct at start of fill?, during fill?, at end of fill?
Most lines use pressure balance to control beer flow. Proper management of counter-pressure is vital for controlling fill speed and for keeping gas balance in the beer. Loss of pressure at start of fill, and poor control during fill, are responsible for most filling problems. The Electronic Keg will show you precisely what is happening, and enable you to correct and verify without guesswork.

Is there much fobbing (frothing)?
Fob/froth means loss of gas, filling difficulties, and loss of taste and poor presentation when the beer is served to the customer.

Is the meter working?
If you are over-filling your kegs, in addition to giving away ‘free’ beer, the top pressure at the end of fill is not in control and could be almost anything — this will affect the gas balance in the beer and the taste and presentation when it is dispensed.

What are fill times? Is the fill profile control working?
The standard Electronic Keg will give you intermediate and final fill times - use these to check the fill profile and follow cycles of slow-fast-slow fills.

In addition, the level-sensing option will continuously give actual liquid contents, and instantaneous rates of filling or emptying.

Maximise Thoughput
Maximum throughput is controlled by the longest combination of cycles on a head, plus transfer time on lane rackers. The principles of increasing throughput are straightforward — minimise all delays and reduce unnecessarily long cycle times.

The Electronic Keg shows clamp and release on each head, and the start and finish of every cycle can be checked to within less than a second. With this information, every opportunity for cutting delays can be identified and used. It is quite possible on many, many filling lines to increase filling by at least 10% without any risk to quality or disinfection, and at little or no cost to implement.

Maximise Efficiency
Energy and utilities are very costly, and a prime use of the Electronic test Keg (and commercial justification) is to reduce energy costs — without any risk to quality; rather with an improvement in most cases.

Many rackers use excessive quantities of wash utilities and steam in a mistaken (or unrecognised) notion that ‘more is better’. In many, many cases the very opposite is true - cutting steam consumption by 20-50% can actually bring substantial improvements in wash quality, and at the same time cut consumption of detergent and rinse utilities, and remove risks to keg hygiene and seemingly inexplicable occasional high counts. And the cost to implement is often just some re-setting/re-programming.

This is an extraordinary win-win-win situation. In a large racking operation, the savings in energy alone can pay for the Electronic test Keg in a month or two; and it is possible only because of the availability of actual, reliable, in-keg data. Can it be real? - absolutely, we have dozens of examples.

Isolate Problems
The Electronic test Keg will diagnose a host of other actual or potential line operating problems and obscure faults. For example:

Poor washing: If wash liquors pool in the keg, the lower walls and dome will not be scoured.

Air/O2s in the beer, regular or occasional. This can be caused by inadequate or marginal steam/gas purging, and can easily be identified.

Condensate in the beer; potential taint problems - can be caused by inadequate purging, and can be easily identified.