Frequently Asked Questions

XactBev FAQs

General FAQs

XactBev FAQs

Why should I care about the gas I use for draught beer?

Gas – carbon dioxide and sometimes nitrogen – is a standard ingredient in beer and also is needed to push draught beer from the keg to the faucet. You must maintain the correct gas blend and pressure or risk severely damaging your beer by under or over carbonating it. This will result in the taste and appearance being unacceptable to the consumer.

Can I use the same gas from the cylinder I use on my stout beers for all of my other beers on tap?

No. If you use the 25% CO2 / 75% N2 blend used for stouts on all of your beers, it will cause them to become flat.

Beers are made to brewers’ specifications of precise amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide to meet a specific taste profile. It is the goal of any draught beer system to maintain that balance of dissolved carbon dioxide or carbonation from keg to faucet.

Stouts and other nitrogenated beers have low amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide and a high amount of dissolved nitrogen, so they require a 25% CO2 / 75% N2 blend to stay properly balanced.

Ales and lagers, on the other hand, have higher amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide, so they require higher levels of carbon dioxide to properly maintain the prescribed carbonation. Typically, these styles of beers will either use 100% CO2 – if they are pushed short distances – or they will use a 70% CO2 / 30% N2 blend – if they must be pushed long distances from the keg to the faucet.

Can I use my bulk carbon dioxide for my fountain soft drinks and draught beer beverages?

Yes. Bulk carbon dioxide from NuCO2 is certified beverage grade and is an excellent source of carbon dioxide for carbonating fountain soft drinks, and to preserve and push draught beer. It can be used by itself in low-pressure draught beer systems for your ales and lagers, or blended with nitrogen in high-pressure draught beer systems for all styles of beer.

Why is my beer too foamy?

There are several causes of over-carbonated, foamy beer, including: the beer temperature is too warm, the gas pressure on the keg is incorrect, the blend of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas is incorrect, or there could be obstructions in the beer line. Please consult NuCO2 immediately to help you resolve this problem.

If a beer has been subjected to too much pressure or too much carbon dioxide during its storage, it will become over-carbonated or foamy over time. Between pouring the foam down the drain and the inability to dispense all of the beer out of the keg, 8% of your keg – equal to 11 pints – is wasted.

Why is my beer too flat?

There are several causes of under-carbonated, flat beer, including: the beer temperature is too cold, the gas pressure on the keg is incorrect, or the blend of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas is incorrect. Please consult NuCO2 immediately to help you resolve this problem.

If the gas pressure or the carbon dioxide blend is too low, carbon dioxide escapes from the beer and the result is under-carbonation or flat beer. This results in more beer being poured into each glass of beer. This “overpour” could result in as much as 5% reduced profitability from each keg of beer.

At what temperature should I keep my beer?

Temperature is a critical factor when it comes to properly dispensing draught beer. Kegs should be kept between 34°F and 38°F in your beer cooler. If the beer is kept too cold, you risk it becoming flat. We typically see mistakes with temperatures being too warm. This causes carbon dioxide to break out of the beer and results in over-carbonated or foamy beer being served.


General FAQs

What is liquid bulk carbon dioxide?

Liquid bulk carbon dioxide is a safer, low-pressure alternative to high-pressure compressed gas cylinders. With the NuCO2 system, liquid bulk carbon dioxide is stored on the premises at a lower pressure in a stainless steel holding tank, and is automatically refilled on a regular schedule based on your usage pattern. Our tanks are permanently installed at your location, so you don't need to worry about the hassle of changing cylinders. We offer liquid bulk carbon dioxide systems in several sizes, ranging from 200 pounds to almost 800 pounds of carbon dioxide capacity, to fit the needs of your business. Our professional sales staff will help you to determine the system that is right for you. You can contact a NuCO2 sales representative at 1-800-472-2855.

Why is NuCO2’s liquid bulk carbon dioxide system better for my fountain soft drink or draught beer operation?

NuCO2 takes the guesswork out of deciding when to refill the carbon dioxide tank through automatic refills. Our dedicated service professionals will conveniently fill the tank from outside your location or back-of-the-house so your day-to-day operations are not interrupted.

What is a nitrogen generator?

Nitrogen generators separate nitrogen from the other components of air on site at your establishment, eliminating the need for nitrogen cylinders.

There are various technologies used for this separation, and NuCO2 utilizes state-of-the-art membrane technology. In our nitrogen membrane system, air is forced over the membrane, where nitrogen is separated from the other components of air and is moved to a storage tank for use. This results in a gas that has less than 0.2% oxygen that is in contact with the beer. Less oxygen means less adverse effect on beer quality. Our XactN2 nitrogen generator produces a nitrogen gas purity that meets draught beer quality requirements.

NuCO2’s offering of nitrogen generators is branded XactN2. XactN2 performance far exceeds any other offerings in the marketplace. XactN2’s unique design can produce 32 SCFH of nitrogen, or the equivalent of the nitrogen requirements to push 15 kegs of beer per hour.

Why should I use a nitrogen generator?

Customers that sell high volumes of draught beer can benefit from the use of an XactN2. Producing nitrogen on site eliminates the need for high-pressure nitrogen cylinders. This reduces the stocking and handling of cylinders that can lead to safety concerns and accidents as a result of mishandling.

Producing nitrogen on site also reduces the chances of running out of nitrogen gas and interrupting the pouring of beer. Should nitrogen gas run out, the proper gas blend can no longer be produced and the beer could be ruined.

What is a gas blender?

Depending on the style of beer and the nature of the draught beer system, different gas blends using nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide are required to preserve the level of beer carbonation as determined by the brewer.

Beers are made to brewers’ specifications of precise amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide to meet a specific taste profile. It is the goal of any draught beer system to maintain that balance of dissolved carbon dioxide or carbonation from keg to faucet.

Stouts and other nitrogenated beers have a low amount of dissolved carbon dioxide and, as such, use a 25% CO2 / 75% N2 blend to keep that balance. Other styles of beer, such as ales and lagers, have higher amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide and require a higher amount of carbon dioxide in gases used to preserve the beer in the kegs and push the beer to the faucet. In high-pressure, long-draw draught beer systems (more than 15 psi), these styles of beers typically will use a 70% CO2 / 30% N2 blend. In low-pressure, short-draw systems (less than 15 psi), these styles of beer can use 100% CO2.

NuCO2 has you covered. NuCO2 has two styles of gas blender offerings for draught beer dispensing and providing 100% CO2 for fountain drinks, frozen drinks or condiment dispensing. The XactMix 30H is designed for high-pressure draught beer systems in which a 70% CO2 / 30% N2 blend is required for lagers and ales along with the capability to supply a 25% CO2 / 75% N2 blend for stouts at any pressure. The XactMix 30L is designed for low-pressure draught beer systems where 100% CO2 is required for lagers and ales along with the capability to supply 25% CO2 / 75 N2 blends for stouts at any pressure.

XactMix blends carbon dioxide and nitrogen using McDantim technology to give consistent, precise gas blends. The unique In Line Leak Indicator allows easy determination of any leaks in the fountain soft drink or draught beer system to reduce losses from improperly carbonated drinks or interruptions from running out of gas. The XactMix blenders have the capacity to mix the proper gas blends for 15 kegs per hour, per blend.

XactMix is the heart of any beverage gas system and offers a central point for monitoring and controlling gas performance. In a NuCO2 beverage system, all gases for fountain soft drink carbonation and draught beer dispensing go through the XactMix. A quick observation of the pressure and flow indicators at a time when no fountain or beer products are being dispensed will tell the operator the condition of both systems.

The XactMix is flexible in that any type of nitrogen or carbon dioxide gas supply can be utilized in its operation.

How does leak detection help me?

Undetected leaks in a gas system can cause a loss of gas product that is a costly waste and a safety risk to personnel.

While small leaks are inherent in any gas system, those of significant size raise the level of economic and safety risk.

The XactMix uses leak indicators that let the operator know when there are leaks of significant enough size to be a concern. This easy-to-follow troubleshooting with NuCO2 24/7 Customer Care Center support leads to fewer business interruptions and increased sales.

It is best practice to have a daily routine of observing the XactMix at a time when there is no dispensing of fountain soft drinks or draught beer (i.e., when the establishment first opens for business).

The first observation should be of the pressure gauges of the inlet nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas. Should these pressure gauges read “very low” or “zero”, there may be an out-of-gas situation. These pressures should be very similar to the pressures observed at the appropriate gas source. If there is a significant difference, there may be a leak in the lines between the gas source and the XactMix.

The next observation should be of the floats in the leak indicators. With no fountain soft drinks or draught beer being dispensed, these floats should be lower than the first line (0.1) on the indicators. If one or both are higher than this first mark, there could be a leak in one of the gas systems.

The leak indicators can be used to isolate where that leak might be. By selectively closing the gas-out valves to the fountain soft drink system and the two draught beer gas blends and observing the reaction of the floats, operators can identify the system with the leak. If after closing a gas-out valve, the float for that gas sinks to the bottom of the indicator, that is the gas system with the leak.

If the operator cannot find and fix the leak (i.e., empty bag-in-box or keg coupler unhooked), call NuCO2’s 24/7 Customer Care Center at 1-800-472-2855 for assistance.

What is different about beverage quality carbon dioxide and why is it important to my customers?

A cold fountain soft drink or draught beer beverage is usually your customer’s first and defining experience upon entering your establishment. Without a continuous and reliable supply of quality carbon dioxide, your customer's experience is at risk. Carbon dioxide is a key ingredient in carbonated beverages and helps to determine the taste, aroma and level of carbonation – not all carbon dioxide is made equal.

NuCO2 delivers bulk carbon dioxide that is certified to be CGA-2000 I Grade, or “beverage quality.” NuCO2 is focused solely on the quality and integrity of carbon dioxide for fountain soft drink and draught beer beverages. The product we deliver to you has been put through rigorous testing before we deem it to be suitable for beverages. Alternatively, some distributors provide the same carbon dioxide that you use in your food service operation to other customers for use in metal fabrication, cleaning and solvent extraction, the production of pulp and paper and other applications.

What solutions do you have for draught beer?

NuCO2’s XactBev technology is designed to deliver perfect carbonation for fountain soft drinks and draught beer that results in great taste and zero waste. XactBev is comprised of three components: XactCO2™ certified beverage grade carbon dioxide, XactN2™ draught beer-grade nitrogen generator and the XactMix™ beverage control system.

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What if I already have liquid bulk carbon dioxide with another company?

Contact a NuCO2 sales representative today and he or she will help you coordinate the transition of service to NuCO2 upon termination of your present service. You can contact a NuCO2 sales representative at 1-800-472-2855.

What if I already own my liquid bulk carbon dioxide system?

NuCO2 offers a per-pound carbon dioxide plan for establishments that own their own equipment. Alternatively, we can arrange to purchase your equipment from you so that you will have a well-maintained tank to help you ensure that you provide your customers with the highest quality carbon dioxide.

Will a liquid bulk carbon dioxide system be compatible with my fountain soft drink or draught beer system if I currently use high-pressure cylinders?

The liquid bulk carbon dioxide systems supplied by NuCO2 are fully compatible with all fountain soft drink and draught beer beverage dispensing systems.

Who is using NuCO2 liquid bulk carbon dioxide systems?

Major national and regional restaurant and convenience store chains, movie theater operators, theme parks and sports venues enjoy the quality service provided by NuCO2's liquid bulk carbon dioxide system. Click here to see our customers.

What if my liquid bulk carbon dioxide system malfunctions?

NuCO2 provides 24/7 access to the NuCO2 Customer Care Center. Our Customer Care Center is staffed with highly qualified technical personnel who are able to identify problems and provide troubleshooting tips over the phone. If necessary, we can dispatch a service technician to your location. Our advanced communications system enables service requests to be handled promptly. Our goal is to prevent or minimize an interruption of your service. If you need technical support, call NuCO2’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-472-2855 (select Option 2). Alternatively, you can view our troubleshooting guide for helpful tips.