You have many choices when creating your draft beer system. While you may be faced with a seemingly difficult decision, the answer is simpler than you realize. Stainless steel is your best choice for sanitation, strength and durability.
Stainless steel is a low carbon steel that contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. The addition of chromium is what gives stainless steel its ability to resist corrosion. Stainless steel is low maintenance and doesn’t require the use of harsh cleansers to maintain its attractive appearance.
Stainless steel has the unique ability to heal itself. The chromium content creates an invisible film of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel. Damaged stainless steel becomes self-healing when exposed to oxygen.
Stainless steel is an environmentally friendly choice. It is 100% recyclable and most new stainless steel contains 50-80% recycled materials. Also, it lasts much longer than other materials reducing the amount of waste sent to our landfills.
Stainless steel is used in many applications in a variety of different industries. It is extremely resistant to both high and low temperatures. Stainless steel is often used in environments where preventing the growth of bacteria is important. This makes it an ideal choice for moisture-prone environments like restaurants and bars. Also, because of its long life cycle stainless steel is the most cost-effective choice for beverage systems.
In draft beer systems, stainless steel ensures optimal durability and taste. It will not impart taste on your beer like other materials might. Using all stainless steel parts guarantees that your beer remains in top quality all the way from the keg to the glass.
It’s the unique properties of stainless steel that make it the material of choice among brewers and retailers. Stainless steel lasts much longer than brass or chrome-plated brass parts. Using other materials can interact with your beer, creating an underlying metallic taste.
Brass is far more porous than stainless steel. The carbonation and low pH of most beers make brass highly susceptible to corrosion and leaching. Chrome-plated brass isn’t much better. The chrome tends to erode off quickly, exposing beer to the porous brass. This is a major issue since lead is often added to brass to improve its machinability.