Should I shut the beer gas off each night?

Beer MisconceptionsThere are many misconceptions about draught beer.

One common misconception I hear frequently is that you need to shut the beer gas off at the end of each night.  I read this recently in a beer magazine targeting licencees. Ironically, the article was about draught quality and profitability.  #Frustrating.

The only time you should shut the gas off at the end of the night is if you know that you have a leak in your gas line somewhere.   Typically, if this is the case, you would have/should have called your draught service tech to come in and fix it and they should have done so.  Assuming that they are coming the next morning, it is ok to shut it off that night.

However, for the other 99.999999999% of the time, it stays on.  Here are the reasons why:

1. If the morning manager / bartender forgets to turn it on, your beer will pour too slow and foamy as the pressure will reduce. This increases spillage.

2. If you are using a beer gas blender or a blender generator, shutting off the cylinders messes with the balance of the blend. Your blender needs a constant supply of a minimum of 70 pounds of gas.  If you shut the regulators off instead, the switches on the regs are not designed to be turned on and off daily, so this is not good for the system either.

3. The pressure will remain constant in the lines, it doesn’t increase the psi in the lines by staying constant overnight. The gas regulator does just that – it regulates the amount of gas that goes into the system. It keeps it steady.

4. And the biggest argument is that the beer in the lines will become over carbonated.  If this is happening, the pressure is set too high and the kegs will get over carbonated.  They will get over carbonated during the 15 hours that they are tapped.  That’s just a poorly designed system and you have bigger problems.  Shutting the gas off each night is a work-around, not a solution.

We have a little saying in the draught beer world…”Set it and forget it.”  That saying relates to gas.  Problems happen when people who think they are experts start messing around with the gas system.

So my friends, there is no reason why you should be shutting off your beer gas every night. If you disagree, please feel free to email or call to discuss.

Cheers, Steve