Moving those high pressure cylinders around your store can become a hassle and can take up a lot of space. By contrast, Nitrogen generators are a safe, relatively compact machine which do the job better than the old cylinders. Nitrogen generators are also a reasonably cost-efficient source for ultra-pure nitrogen. They can maintain your keg quality by providing the correct CO2 and nitrogen blends for dispensing nitrogenated beers, ales, and lagers.
A nitrogen generator includes an air compressor and a separation device that leads to a stationary pressure holding tank next to the generator. The separation of nitrogen and air is done through one of two ways. The first method uses a replaceable membrane, this can be expensive due to the costs of replacing the membrane. The second and more popular option is using a sieve. This process results in nitrogen which is 99% pure or better.
The Perfect Blending Machine
For a Guinness beer the blend will be around 25% CO2 and 75% nitrogen. Most ales and lagers will be around 60% CO2 and 40% nitrogen. If you have a different blend you would like to use, the option for customization is usually available. This way you can establish your own mix to match your style perfectly.
Recent Updates to Generators
Nitrogen generators first hit the draft beer a little over a decade ago. Since that time, many bugs and malfunctions have been worked out of their systems. Not only do the machines work more smoothly and efficiently, the maintenance requirements are very minor, excluding the membrane changes for the generators that use those. They also have shrunk in size over the years now requiring less space than the original versions. Finally, the noise output has also decreased with recent innovations.
Leasing or Buying Generators
Bars and restaurants will often lease these generators along with bulk CO2. The outright purchase of a nitrogen generator is of course more expensive than a lease. In addition, the costs of self-maintenance will fall squarely on the shoulders of the owner. A manufacturer’s warranty should apply to some issues which many surface, but eventually the cost of repairs can be prohibitive compared to lease programs. The cost of either leasing or purchasing varies based on the size of the unit required for the volume of beer dispensed and current market prices. The leasing option can result in substantial savings with a surplus of gas and low maintenance.
Still thinking about just buying gas? Your money will leak away: much of the gas contained in cylinders is lost due to leaks. The combination of a nitrogen generator and bulk CO2 system create a much more efficient system for storing and using these expensive gasses. Surprisingly to some, the nitrogen can also be used for dispensing wine systems as well. If you are interested in adding a nitrogen generator to your establishment or would like more specific details please contact us. At Clean Beers in Milford, MA we provide expert knowledge, products, and service.