22 Feb 2021

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and arrival of lockdowns, beer and cider drinkers across Scotland have been seeking out draught experiences that they can enjoy at home.

There’s nothing better than a freshly poured pint of your favourite beer and it’s great to see some of the lengths that people have gone to in order to have one - we have loved to see some of the home bar set-ups that people have been using our keg ranges for.

It’s fair to say that for some it has probably been an eye opener to the expertise that goes in to your local being able to deliver that experience. This has been reflected in the number of queries we have received about keg product quality.

If you have gone down the keg route at home or are thinking about doing so, please note that pouring issues are very rarely to do with the product quality of the keg. You must make sure that your set up is in check. Typically, this means making sure the line is clean and that you have the gas temperature and pressure correct to get the pint tasting just right.

Keg Returns

Where kegs are returned, please note that credit is not issued automatically and per our standard terms will be returned once obtained from the brewer.

This can be a lengthy process of days or weeks - the keg must be processed at our depot and returned to the brewer. They will assess the keg for issues, including conducting checks on how much liquid has been taken from the keg.

Your statutory rights are unaffected but be aware that if there are no product issues or it is determined that a significant amount of liquid has been used then the brewer will not return a credit.

Therefore it is all the more important that your set-up is correct and and it is your responsibility to make sure it’s just right before making the keg purchase.

Getting A Draught System Installed

If you haven’t yet picked a system or are looking to have one installed then we can provide a full install service for you to enjoy our keg beers in the comfort of your home.

Our engineers are specialists in keg installations and bring a wealth of experience to ensure that you can pour the perfect pint with every pull.

See our beer retail site The Beer Town for more information.

Dispensing Draught Beer

There are a number of different ways to get draught beer from a keg to your glass.

A typical system pumps carbon dioxide gas or a mixed gas blend of CO2 and nitrogen in to the keg which forces the beer out through beer lines to a faucet where it is poured into what must be a clean, dry glass.

There are a variety of dispensers on the market for the ‘at home’ market that come equipped with different components or advising suitability to plug and pour. 

Whatever route you go down, it is important to note that your keg will connect to the system via a coupler of which there are a variety of types. Systems may come supplied with one particular coupler type or more or without one at all. Different brands use different coupler types, so before purchasing a keg you should check if you have the right coupler type for your favourite products– a quick Google search will return results for most major brands.

Some solutions are better suited to more temporary use – a keg tap or pump is the most basic short-term method and will typically use oxygen which is hand pumped in. This doesn’t preserve the beer like CO2 and will cause the beer to go flat and spoil quickly.

Some beers require a special configuration – notably Guinness and Nitro beers.  These are dispensed using a nitrogen/CO2 blend and it is this that gives Guinness the signature creamy mouthfeel and tight head.  In order to achieve Guinness on draught at home, you need the special blend of gas, a nitrogen gas tank and a stout faucet and a U-system keg coupler to connect it.

A few tips

Cleaning and Maintenance

After installation and set up, you can’t just forget about your system.  It needs TLC and should be properly cleaned and maintained, at least every couple of weeks or any time you change the keg. 

Bacteria, mould and yeast can form on any part beer touches but particularly, lines, faucets and keg couplers. This can affect the flavour of the beer or cause it to foam on pour.   Clean regularly with cleaning solution or detergents specifically created for cleaning draught systems – you can find Country Range Sterilising Beer Line Cleaner available by the 5L to add to your Dunns order under product code 9712. Take care when handling these chemicals and ensure to properly flush the system.

If your draught beer is pouring foamy, and cleaning your draught lines hasn’t helped then most problems are caused by incorrect temperature or pressure.