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Old 01-07-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
eyebrau
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Default Tap-a-draft question

Hi there. I've read many a helpful thing on these forums just coming in via Google, and until now, I don't think I've had a question for which I couldn't find a definitive answer. So here goes.

Looking for help from anybody with experience using the TAD system.. I just transferred an ordinary bitter into secondary, and want to put it in the tap a draft. The style obviously calls for low carbonation, as all English styles do. Any suggestion on how to do this?

For what it's worth, I have the newer version of the system that takes the bigger CO2 cartridges. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:03 AM   #2
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Easy, just naturally carbonate the TAD kegs... If you have a 5 gallon batch and thus will be using 3 TAD kegs, just add whatever amount of priming sugar to the 5 gallons that you need to achieve your low amount of carbonation before racking to the TAD kegs.. The CO2 cartridges are just for pushing with the TAD, not carbing (although I do recall reading somewhere that people use multiple CO2 to carb in TAD as well... )

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:50 AM   #3
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I don't know for sure, but I was under the impression that the built in regulator on the TAD is set at a fixed pressure. I know it is on my miller home draft systems, which is pretty much the same thing as the newer TAD. That means that even if you carb it naturally like suggested above, as soon as you crack the seal on the cartridge you'll be applying whatever pressure the regulator supplies, which will eventually carb the beer to whatever level that corresponds to. If that's the case, the only variable you'll have any control over that affects carbonation is the temperature. My guess is that the regulator supplies ~10 psi, so you could use a carbonation chart to see how warm you'd need to store it to keep your desired carb level.

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
I don't know for sure, but I was under the impression that the built in regulator on the TAD is set at a fixed pressure. I know it is on my miller home draft systems, which is pretty much the same thing as the TAD. That means that even if you carb it naturally like suggested above, as soon as you crack the seal on the cartridge you'll be applying whatever pressure the regulator supplies, which will eventually carb the beer to whatever level that corresponds to. If that's the case, the only variable you'll have any control over that affects carbonation is the temperature. My guess is that the regulator supplies ~10 psi, so you could use a carbonation chart to see how warm you'd need to store it to keep your desired carb level.
Yeah, I think the thing is pushing at at least 10 psi. I have the old system, with two cartridges, and the side valves are supposed to vent pressure over 15 psi. I would often get the thing venting a small amount of pressure when hooking up a cart to a new/full bottle.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:11 AM   #5
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Yeah, I think the thing is pushing at at least 10 psi. I have the old system, with two cartridges, and the side valves are supposed to vent pressure over 15 psi. I would often get the thing venting a small amount of pressure when hooking up a cart to a new/full bottle.
Yeah, now that I think about it it's likely higher than 10. Probably set to give the same 2.7 vol as BMC at standard fridge temps.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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I had a couple thoughts on how to do it. The temperature wasn't one, so that is a good consideration... Standard bitters should be served at cellar temps anyway. I know that to force carb with the (new) TAD, you use 1 cartridge to carb, wait 2 weeks, and then use another to serve. What if I used 1 cartridge and then drank it within that 2 weeks? Obviously
I couldn't fully control the carb level, but I would think this could help keep it lower. If CO2 level is around 2.5 volumes w/ TAD, bitters should be half that or lower...

Would this work?

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Bottle conditioning: melomel, English barleywine
On tap(a draft): citra SMaSH pale ale
Secondary:Collaboration RIS, "Odd Bruin" blended Brett concoction
Primary: Scottish 80/-
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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Another option is to carb it with CO2 or sugar and then push it with nitrous oxide cartridges. On the old system they suggest using one CO2 and one NOS cartridge to get a pour closer to a nitro tap. In my experience, that only kind of works and often only for a couple of pints. However, it is possible to pour using just the NOS cartridges, assuming you can find them in the right size for the new tap. The old one takes the standard whip cream NOS carts. So, they're not hard to find. One other issue though, it doesn't seem like the NOS cartridges have nearly as much oomph to them. You'd probably go through more of them in the process.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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Yea, I've looked into them. The big ones are out there but not many people make them, and they're pricey. I've considered figuring out if I can put something into the cartridge holder to see if I can boost the small ones up to use them instead. A friend gave me a bunch of the small ones to try out (CO2), but I haven't tried yet. If I can make that work, getting the small N2O cartridges could be possible. Shrug.

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Bottle conditioning: melomel, English barleywine
On tap(a draft): citra SMaSH pale ale
Secondary:Collaboration RIS, "Odd Bruin" blended Brett concoction
Primary: Scottish 80/-
Up next: ?

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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I have been reading a bit on TAD here today, it looks like a cool option for people like me who don t have space for a full keg system.

On one of the posts, a guy mentioned he was using 8g carts with a 16g setup, he simply cut a 16 cart and put the 8 in it (in order to centre it properly) and added some stuff to make up for the length
It was in the topic about first impression on TAP. This could be a way to save money, especially on NO2 carts since 2 8g seem way cheaper than one 16g.

And the more I read about it, the more I think the TAD is going to be my next purchase.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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The main problem I had with mine is that the plastic is fairly fragile, and the pour speed is glacial. But if you can live with that, they do work well enough.

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