You love your kegs, but how well do you really know them? Kegs have cold, steely exteriors, and they try to hide what’s inside them, but it is there. To be a pal to your kegs, and to provide the best beer you can, you need a more intimate look inside. At the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, MicroStar demonstrated one such powerful way to do this, using a RoTech diagnostic keg and a quality assurance manager.
Chris Nimptsch, CEO of PROFAMO, walked us through the setup. A RoTech diagnostic keg is equipped with three temperature sensors (neck, middle and top — all at least a millimeter off the walls so as not to be affected by the temperature of the metal), a level sensor, a pressure sensor and a clamping sensor. The keg is sent down the line, cleaned, sanitized and filled. The sensors then report back to a computer to generate a chart, like the one below, that details how smoothly and efficiently the process went.
The results can be invaluable. Nimptsch gave a few examples, some of prominent breweries, where the diagnostic keg approach saved what would have been hundreds of flawed fills. Maybe your steam isn’t running as hot or as long as it used to, and previously sterilized kegs are now only barely disinfected. Big difference. Or maybe steam is erroneously being left or sucked into the keg just before filling takes place. There is a list of at least 30 different operations that could be off or in need of optimization that would all be nearly impossible to see without the diagnostic process.
This presentation was also a demonstration of MicroStar’s new commitment to holistic keg service. We all know MicroStar’s keg sharing business model, but after acquiring Tosca, a keg repair and maintenance operation, MicroStar is making a huge investment into what it’s calling MicroStar Quality Services. You may not get your kegs through MicroStar’s pooled assets program, but you could still use some quality assurance advice or keg/keg line repair work. This is the investment MicroStar is making with this new quality services division. With Tosca’s expertise on board, the company is poised to become the leading, on-the-street solution for keg maintenance and quality assurance.
For more on what’s happening at MicroStar these days, be sure to check out our interview with MicroStar CEO Michael Hranicka at the top of the post. For other great keg maintenance information, check out the links below.
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