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Which beer faucets do you prefer and why?

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Which brand faucet do you recommend/prefer?

  • All Perlicks, all day!

    Votes: 26 37.1%
  • Intertap are clearly better!

    Votes: 35 50.0%
  • Neither, and I'll tell you why....

    Votes: 9 12.9%

  • Total voters
    70

Brooothru

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Critically important to have the "Perl" line up properly with the spout O-ring. It is easy to mis-adjust the faucet lever arm such that the "Perl" is too high or too low to hit the O-ring perfectly. This alignment can be visualized through the spout...

Cheers!
Now THAT makes sense. I had backed the knurled collar nut on the faucet lever off a quarter turn so that the taphandle would snug up square with the front of the kegerator. The Perl is likely misaligned with the front seal o-ring.

Is there an easy way to determine if the alignment is too high or too low? The leak is significantly less that now than before it was disassembled, so I assume my "eyeball alignment" during reassembly is closer to correct alignment.

I can't believe this didn't occur to me before. Thanks for pointing it up.

Brooo Brother
 

Brooothru

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THANK YOU @day_trippr for sharing that tip.
BTW, I'm ordering another Perlick. And two Intertap springs.

It was probably my fault it leaked; I did disassemble it and there was some hop residue in that beer. So long as I use closing springs I shouldn't have to worry about leaking.
IIRC you mentioned earlier that your Perlicks were non-FC, and you were able to use spring inserts to help keep the valve closed. I'm thinking that the springs wouldn't work on FC faucets since the compensator plunger would likely get in the way. Any insight?
 

GreenEnvy22

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I've got a Mish Mash :) just in the garage so I don't care that they don't match. I even have a piece of silicon hose acting as a handle on one of them while I build my wood chalkboard handles.


Here you can see my keezer doing double duty holding my hops dryer.
 

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day_trippr

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IIRC you mentioned earlier that your Perlicks were non-FC, and you were able to use spring inserts to help keep the valve closed. I'm thinking that the springs wouldn't work on FC faucets since the compensator plunger would likely get in the way. Any insight?
I think this was mentioned earlier, but neither Perlick not Intertap FC faucets are going to gain any function even if you can get the spring behind the compensator. The spring moves the shuttle or the "Perl" towards the spout, and compensators don't slide...

Cheers!
 

Brooothru

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Also- FWIW- I am a little OCD when it comes to cleaning. I clean my lines a lot. When I do, I pull the faucets open and closed a few time (quickly!) while pumping cleaning solution (and later with rinse water) through them. I do this just for the reason you described- since I cannot see what is inside of them, I want to get as many little nooks and crannies as possible.

I think it is fair to say either of the forward-sealing brands will be much cleaner inside than a traditional rear closing faucets... so there is that.
That was my cleaning process as well which is why I was surprised at how much crud there was inside the faucet when I took it apart. First time I ever tore down a Perlick. For sure I'll be doing it as routine going forward.

Forward seal faucets should be cleaner that rear seal, and easier to clean as well. The flow control mechanism adds a lot of complexity to the design however with a bunch of additional "hiding places" for gunk that will only get removed by breaking it down.

Brooo Brother
 

day_trippr

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[...]
Is there an easy way to determine if the alignment is too high or too low? The leak is significantly less that now than before it was disassembled, so I assume my "eyeball alignment" during reassembly is closer to correct alignment.[...]
"Easy" is too relative to judge, but I will say it's easiest to do with the faucet removed as it's easiest to look up the spout in good light.

This whole revelation occurred when I was fitting my faucets to my first keezer T-tower, and one of the six had a slow drippy leak. I fiddled with it, compared it to the other five, then finally took it off and really studied what the heck was supposed to happen. With good light I was able to watch the travel of the "Perl" ball and realized the bonnet had been over-tightened such that the ball was clearly arriving "too high" wrt the floating O-ring in the spout. I adjusted the bonnet to effectively lengthen the pivot arm which lowered the ball, and just tweaked around with it 'til it looked like it nailed the O-ring dead center.

Never had another problem...

Cheers!
 

Brooothru

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"Easy" is too relative to judge, but I will say it's easiest to do with the faucet removed as it's easiest to look up the spout in good light.

This whole revelation occurred when I was fitting my faucets to my first keezer T-tower, and one of the six had a slow drippy leak. I fiddled with it, compared it to the other five, then finally took it off and really studied what the heck was supposed to happen. With good light I was able to watch the travel of the "Perl" ball and realized the bonnet had been over-tightened such that the ball was clearly arriving "too high" wrt the floating O-ring in the spout. I adjusted the bonnet to effectively lengthen the pivot arm which lowered the ball, and just tweaked around with it 'til it looked like it nailed the O-ring dead center.

Never had another problem...

Cheers!
I've gotten a lot of great advice on this forum over the last few years, but this is one of the best and most immediately helpful. Thank you!

Brooo Brother
 
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I will never say any thing bad about Perlicks. I have about 12 of them, and I've never had a drip or a failure. Recently I upgraded my main kegerator to the flow control taps. They are great. Highly recommended.
 

day_trippr

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Ugh. Re-reading my last post, while the end point remains - you want the ball to hit the spout O-ring dead nuts in the middle - I got the details backward.
You want to loosen the bonnet nut to get the ball to move "up" and tighten it to get the ball to move "down", relative to the spout O-ring...

Cheers!
 

jcav

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I love my Perlicks! I also have a Mircomatic Stout Faucet that I use on my nitro setup which is awesome as well! I use the springs on my Perlicks to keep the valve closed and they work great, but they are not the flow control model.

John
 

day_trippr

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[OT sidebar] I love my Micromatic stout faucet - but it has a known failure mode that can be user-aggravated.

Do not make a habit of pulling the faucet lever to its natural, ~90° stop, as that excessively stretches the rubber diaphragm and accelerates the fatal cracking thereof. When that happens, your stout will gush through the top of the body and there's nothing you'll be able to do to stop it save for popping its keg connector off. Bt/dt, total freak show with the wife trying to catch the gusher while I snuck an arm under the keezer lid to pop the QD :D

Anyway, here's the cure. I recommend buying one or two in advance(!)

1599187355096.png


Keep the travel to a max of 45° off vertical. You can observe there's a bevel, maybe 30° - on the front side of the lever arm - that literally does nothing functionally, but it is a decent reference...

1599187566609.png



Cheers!
 

adrichi

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Replaced one standard faucet with a Perlick 630SS a little over a year ago. Its been great so far, but still relatively new. It does look nicer than the one next to it. My faucets are 6 and 12 years old and starting to drip after a pour. Hoping this doesnt happen to the Perlick.
 

Brooothru

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Ugh. Re-reading my last post, while the end point remains - you want the ball to hit the spout O-ring dead nuts in the middle - I got the details backward.
You want to loosen the bonnet nut to get the ball to move "up" and tighten it to get the ball to move "down", relative to the spout O-ring...

Cheers!
So you're talking about the knurled "crown nut" that's threaded to fit on the tap actuation lever (attaches directly to the tap handle) or the "bonnet" nut that attaches to the faucet body and holds the faucet lever in place? It seems like if the bonnet nut was backed off (from tight) that you'd get leakage from underneath the bonnet. If the bonnet is too tight, the the tap actuation lever won't move back and forth.

Increasingly I can see that the likely cause of my leakage is the Perl not seating squarely on the forward seal 'doughnut' gasket. Just not clear on how to get that alignment DNO ("dead n__ts on").

Thanks for your patient indulgence.

Brooo Brother
 

day_trippr

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The bonnet adjusts the tension on the faucet lever pivot ball. Item 2 for the 6xx series...

perlock_600_series_parts.jpg

... and item 7 for the 5XX non-FC series...

perlick_525ss_part.gif


Anyway, we're talking about adjustments in tenths of a millimeter here, and all I can relate is one can optimally adjust the faucet lever without anything leaking...

Cheers!
 
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Jayjay1976

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The bonnet adjusts the tension on the faucet lever pivot ball. Item 2 for the 6xx series...

View attachment 696849
... and item 7 for the 5XX non-FC series...

View attachment 696850

Anyway, we're talking about adjustments in tenths of a millimeter here, and all I can relate is one can optimally adjust the faucet lever without anything leaking...

Cheers!
This makes so much sense now. I'm pretty sure I screwed the bonnet on too tight after I took it apart to compare the build quality and machining finish to the Intertap. I'm always tightening things too much, I have huge pot roast hands with sausage fingers as my wife likes to say.
 

Brooothru

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This makes so much sense now. I'm pretty sure I screwed the bonnet on too tight after I took it apart to compare the build quality and machining finish to the Intertap. I'm always tightening things too much, I have huge pot roast hands with sausage fingers as my wife likes to say.
Over the holiday weekend I completely tore down and rebuilt four 650SS Flow Control Perlicks, replacing all the gaskets that came in the rebuild kit from KegWorks. After the first one, the next three were fairly easy to do. The one item that was not included in the gasket rebuild kit was the front seal donut gasket that the Perl closes against to shut off flow of the beer. That part is a little tricky to remove and replace, but does leave places for nasties to hide if you don't take the time to do it. I haven't found any place to order that OEM gasket from any of the usual sources, so if someone knows where please chime in. I'm also looking to find the common gasket that fits just inside the faucet where it mounts to the shank of the tower. It's a standard piece, identical to those found on virtually every faucet (flat washer coupling gasket, approx. ⅞" diameter x 1/16" wide x 1/16" tall); Item #8 on the above illustration for FC faucets and Item #4 on the non-FC faucet illustration).

Fortunately I didn't damage either of those gaskets while removing them, but did shred one of the coupling gaskets on an old Shirron MicroMatic front seal non-FC faucet I was also refurbishing. It was the first time I'd ever disassembled the Shirron faucets and was amazed at how similar the inside parts looked to the Intertap faucets, almost as if the parts were interchangeable. The removable spout pieces are not, however. Does anyone know if Shirron is still in business? Those taps looked almost new, even though they are some of my oldest ones.

Another project for the weekend was testing out a new Nukatap faucet from Intertap. It was pretty impressive, both in its performance as well as simplicity of design. Even though I was skeptical at first, the flow was extremely smooth and free of turbulence induced foaming. The "low thermal mass" feature also seemed to perform as advertised, not just bling/hype. The faucet and spout started showing signs of condensation almost immediately on the initial pour, while the adjacent Perlick FC didn't even start showing condensate until two consecutive full pours were complete and the tap sat for 30-60 seconds.

All things considered my "labors" were well rewarded on this Labor Day project. I got all my faucets cleaned, rebuilt and running smoothly. Beer is once again flowing from the taps. I got to try a new toy (Nukatap), and set up a rotation of faucets to prevent future disruptions. Time well spent.
 

Brooothru

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Ugh. Re-reading my last post, while the end point remains - you want the ball to hit the spout O-ring dead nuts in the middle - I got the details backward.
You want to loosen the bonnet nut to get the ball to move "up" and tighten it to get the ball to move "down", relative to the spout O-ring...

Cheers!
While rebuilding my 650SS faucets, I found that if I positioned the handle lever (the part that the Perl is attached to) in the full rearmost (closed) position and then fully tightened the compression bonnet that I could get the Perl properly positioned against the front seal shut off donut gasket. When you do this, however, the handle will be extremely tight and may not move at all (frozen in the fully closed position). If you then back off the compression bonnet just enough that you can barely move the handle lever, the Perl will be properly positioned at the correct height to seal against the donut gasket. Once fully assembled and installed on the shank with a tap handle on the handle lever, the additional leverage will allow easy actuation of the faucet and securely close it when finished pouring.

The only way to see this interaction is to rebuild the faucet by doing this step first and installing the flow control lever mechanism and compensator last. You can actually see it quite clearly lining up properly. The mistake I've always made before was to assemble the control handle and bonnet as the last step, positioning the control handle in a neutral position between 'on' and 'off' and then tightening the bonnet just tight enough that the control handle would freely move back and forth. This resulted in two (bad) things happening: the Perl was poorly positioned in relationship to the forward seal gasket (allowing it to leak), and the additional leverage of an attached tap handle would 'relax' to a neutral (partially opened) position after the pour, with insufficient friction to hold it in a closed position due to the insufficiently tightened bonnet. This condition was made worse when I put my new Big Honking Tap Handle on the faucet leaving it susceptible to creeping open.

Pleased to report that all appears well, if the last three days of drip-free operation are indicative of future performance. Fingers crossed.
 
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grum

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My old 4-tap kegerator has Perlicks. My new 10-tap tower has Intertaps. I love the way the Perlick's I had kind of "clicked" closed, and I do prefer their design. On the other hand, I love the interchangable spouts and shuttle design of the Intertaps. I don't think I'd be able to choose a favorite.

The "low thermal mass" feature also seemed to perform as advertised, not just bling/hype. The faucet and spout started showing signs of condensation almost immediately on the initial pour, while the adjacent Perlick FC didn't even start showing condensate until two consecutive full pours were complete and the tap sat for 30-60 seconds.
I was very bummed when the Nukatap came out (to the US) about two weeks before my new system was complete, and this was the reason why. Thanks for confirming my bummedness. ;) Oh well!

Speaking as someone who is aesthetically trained I can say with some authority that the Nukatap is a hideous design, and don't get me started on that matte black option. I'd hide those inside the keezer like picnic taps.
I definitely agree that the Nukataps look... strange. I think the Nukataps are truly a utilitarian's faucet (well, except the price, I suppose): low thermal mass and improved laminar flow, with the tradeoff of looking like an Intertap that's taken too much steroids and is perpetually flexing.
 

Jonakr

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Since 2016, I've had a kegerator, with picnic faucets inside. I had too many leaks just setting them on top of the kegs, so in 2017 I got 2 Intertap regular faucets with the spring and 1 Intertap flow control. In 2018 I got another flow control.

I've never had problems with the Intertaps. I could probably play around with line length and the flow control, but just haven't bothered.
 

cheesebach

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I see that the Nukatap FC faucets are due out later this year. I may give one of those a try to see how it compares to my Perlicks, but the Intertap FC I bought to try out was basically useless in terms of actually being able to control flow. Unlike the Perlicks, dialing back the flow with the Intertap FC just made for a glass full of foam. The ball lock and stout adapters would be nice features to have, but a working flow control is more important for me.
 

Brooothru

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I see that the Nukatap FC faucets are due out later this year. I may give one of those a try to see how it compares to my Perlicks, but the Intertap FC I bought to try out was basically useless in terms of actually being able to control flow. Unlike the Perlicks, dialing back the flow with the Intertap FC just made for a glass full of foam. The ball lock and stout adapters would be nice features to have, but a working flow control is more important for me.
Agree, with similar motives. I was getting frustrated with increasing foam regardless of the FC lever position and the developing problem of post-pour leakage from the faucets. I hadn't had any experience with Intertap products, but when I saw the Nukatap at a sale price, it scratched an itch that had been bugging me for over a year. I decided to rebuild my existing Perlick FCs but also wanted to get some 'hands on' with what the competition was offering. I was (and am) sold on the flexibility of flow control faucets but wasn't into a whole-sale abandonment of the Perlicks for an unknown with Intertap FCs. The Nukatap caught my attention at just the right time.

I must say I was impressed with the faucet. If the rebuild of my Perlicks had not resulted in returning my faucets to like-new performance, I'd likely be awaiting delivery of some new Nukatap or standard Intertap FCs right now. I agree with either JayJay or Day_Tripper who commented on the aesthetics of the Nukatap, but am more concerned with the appearance of what's in my beer glass. So far the Nukatap non-FC is providing less foam and smoother flow than my side-by-side Perlick 650SS FC rebuilt, both tapping similar beers of the same general age, type and carbonation being pushed at the same pressure through the same CO2 tank, regulator and manifold. If I was buying for the first time, I'd have to think long and hard about not going with Intertap, even though I do like my Perlicks and have gotten quite a few good years out of them. The jury is still out with regards to Intertap durability. Time will tell.
 
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Jayjay1976

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I use EvaBarrier 4mm ID tubing, 6'6" long is all that is needed at that small size to reduce foaming to a reasonable level.

BTW, I ordered another Perlick 630SS from Amazon and it turned out to be a counterfeit. Needless to say, its going back to Amazon and a real one is arriving today from Morebeer. Photos detailing the telltale differences to follow.
 

LittleRiver

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... The "low thermal mass" feature also seemed to perform as advertised, not just bling/hype. The [Nukatap] faucet and spout started showing signs of condensation almost immediately on the initial pour, while the adjacent Perlick FC didn't even start showing condensate until two consecutive full pours were complete and the tap sat for 30-60 seconds....
I have zero doubts that a lower mass faucet will foam a bit less on the initial pour (what percentage?). However I'm unconvinced that signs of condensation on the faucet represents better overall performance. Thermal transfer is a two way street.

The benefit of a lower mass faucet cooling down quicker for the initial pour is offset (by what degree?) by the fact that it will also warm up faster (due to its low mass) after that initial pour, when compared to a faucet of higher mass. It seems to me a faucet with a bit higher mass is going to be more stable, in both temp & foaming, when its performance is viewed over multiple pours. Think of the extra mass as insulating the only portion of the mass that matters -- that portion which touches the beer.

I run Intertap FC faucets, in an 80F environment, serving 40F beer. For the initial pour I first pull off an ounce or two, which of course foams due to the 40F temp differential. I drink that, then fill up the glass with no foaming issues. A half hour later I can pull off a second pour with no foaming issues -- without the need to first pull of an ounce or two like I did with the first pour. A lower mass faucet is going to be at a higher temp for the second pour.

I'm going to remain a skeptic on low mass faucets until I see some unbiased test results -- preferably tests that factor in multiple pours.
 

Brooothru

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I can see your point and can see how the issue can cut both ways. Typically in warm weather like the past two days, I'll pull a half pour followed by another half pour in 5-10 minutes when the first one's gone. I've been alternating pours between the two taps recently (total 2 beers, but four pours) one from the Nukatap and one from the FC Perlick. Each pull is probably 10-15 minutes between, so one pull with a 20-30 minute time between each tap.

All I can report is my totally anecdotal and unscientific experience. The low mass Nukatap consistently had less foam than the high mass FC Perlick, same CO2 tank, same regulator, both beers brewed the same way with very similar recipes 2 weeks apart. Initial pours and subsequent pours.

I really don't have a dog in this fight since I own four times as many Perlicks as Nukataps, and have a much bigger financial investment in the Perlicks and prefer the FC faucets to non-FCs. Just reporting my experience.

Brooo Brother
 

day_trippr

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My only concern is having a proprietary wear item in a beer faucet. It's bad enough with the diaphragm on my stout faucet, but that's just one faucet.

My half dozen first-gen 525SS faucets can get by on McMaster-Carr buna-n 'rings if my supply of Perlick 'rings ever runs out (unlikely in my lifetime :)) but nobody but Micromatic sells that diaphragm and the same thing will be true of that rubber shuttle...

Cheers!
 

Brooothru

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Good point. Perlick has been around for a while and there is a large world-wide installed base of their equipment. Not so much for InterTap. High wear items could likely be hard to replace in the future.

Brooo Brother
 

Brooothru

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My only concern is having a proprietary wear item in a beer faucet. It's bad enough with the diaphragm on my stout faucet, but that's just one faucet.

My half dozen first-gen 525SS faucets can get by on McMaster-Carr buna-n 'rings if my supply of Perlick 'rings ever runs out (unlikely in my lifetime :)) but nobody but Micromatic sells that diaphragm and the same thing will be true of that rubber shuttle...

Cheers!
Do you know if McMaster-Carr carries replacement front seals for Perlick faucets? Mine looked OK, but 'looks' can be deceiving.

Not too lazy to look myself. Just waiting for my wireless mouse to recharge, and I hate trying to surf on my phone.

"Somebody" forget to plug in MacMouse last night.

Brooo Brother
 

duncan.brown

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Nice tower. Where’d you pick that up? Gorgeous.
Thanks, it's the BDT-BR4V from Czech Brewery Systems. It's manufactured by Varia-Plus. It is probably the single most expensive piece of brewing equipment that I own, but it's beautiful! My only niggle is that the tap labels that came with it are plastic and kind of cheap looking, especially when compared to the tower, so I don't use them. At some point I might upgrade to one of the better options that Varia-Plus have. The side pull faucets are manufactured by Lukr but also came from Czech Brewery Systems.

Czech Brewery Systems' customer service is great, so I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. Their online shop is at Czech Brewery System.
 
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