Nitrogen Generators for Dispensing Draft Beer
Bars and restaurants are fed up with moving high-pressure cylinders around, and their cost may have an alternative. Nitrogen generators are a safe, economical source for not only ultra-pure nitrogen, but they can also maintain your keg quality by providing the appropriate CO2 and nitrogen blends for dispensing nitrogenated beers as well as ales and lagers. What’s not to like – lowering costs while increasing sales.
A nitrogen generator is a relatively compact machine that encompasses an air compressor that feeds a filter or sieve that separates the nitrogen from the air. This 99.8% pure or better nitrogen is then placed in a stationary pressure tank near the generator. The generated nitrogen, along with a CO2 source, supplies an onboard McDantim dual gas blender. The blends are normally 25% CO2 / 75% nitrogen for nitrogenated beers such as Guinness and 60% CO2 / 40% nitrogen for most ales and lagers. Custom blends are obtainable. The nitrogen can also be used for dispensing wine systems as well.
There are two methods of separating the nitrogen from the air:
Through a replaceable membrane or a PSA (pressure swing adsorption) carbon molecular sieve. Both are very proficient, although the PSA sieve method tends to be more popular as it is self-cleaning, resulting in low maintenance. The membrane can be expensive and must be replaced once it has become congested.
In conjunction with bulk CO2, the generator is commonly leased by bars and restaurants for an average of $200/month. This varies based on the unit's size required for the volume of beer dispensed (up to 400 kegs/month) and market conditions. This can result in substantial savings with an endless supply of gas and low maintenance. Nitrogen generators can be purchased outright but can be costly. The average pricing is around $6,000. Maintenance is the requirement of the owner. Most certainly, warranties apply, but eventually, the cost of repairs can be prohibitive compared to lease programs. These machines have come a long way since they were first introduced over a decade ago to dispensing draft beer. The quirks have been worked out, and the maintenance requirements are minimal less the membrane change for that type of generator. They require nominal space and are quieter than ever.
The majority of gas from cylinders is lost due to leaks! With a combination generator/bulk CO2 system, these leaks tend to be less painful. If you are tired of pinching fingers between cylinders, changing regulators, downtime from running out of gas, high cost, and danger of cylinders, the nitrogen generator may be a solution. Above all, the nitrogen generator provides “Best Practice,” protecting your keg inventory with an endless source of mixed gas. Convenient, safe, and affordable while encouraging the resale of a very profitable product – draught beer.
Raise a Glass to Draft Beer Sales!
For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.