System requirements

Alongside a beer barrel and a CO² bottle, an additional wet cooler is required. For our three exhibition TAPTUBEs, we use a Cornelius CR50 wet cooler. The performance of the wet cooler depends on the number of TAPTUBEs. In order to set up the entire system correctly and thereby to achieve a smooth operation, it is strongly recommended that a professional tap system technician carries out the assembly.

Yes – both the pipe connection to the cooling, or rather to the beer flow, and the connection between the tap to the metal adapter, fitted with a G 5/8” thread in accordance with standard norms. However, we offer the complete tube system with the ‘Raffeiner Junior’ taps. This combination guarantees the perfect symbiosis between design and function. More information about which elements are required in addition to the TAPTUBE system to enable a smooth beer transition from barrel to glass can be found on our website under the heading ‘System requirements’.

In order to operate the TAPTUBE cooling system, a so-called ‘wet cooler’ is required, which can be retrofitted inside the bar. Its cool water container can also be used as a cooler for the beer, and the cooled temperature can be individually adjusted. It is important that the spiral in the wet cooler has an internal diameter of 10mm, so that the beer doesn’t foam up due to potential pressure changes. The combination of the glass pipe cooling and the beer cooling achieves a complete cooling system. Therefore a barrel cooler is not necessary. Dependent on the volume of beer and the wet cooler equipment, one or more kinds of beer can be cooled with one device. As a concrete example, our company’s own TAPTUBE system, comprised of three tap pipes, is cooled with a Cornelius CR50 wet cooler. Due to the low volume of beer used, this system, including additional beer cooling, is sufficient for three tap pipes. With a higher flow volume of beer, the system would either be reduced to two parallel TAPTUBEs or a higher performance wet cooler would have to be used. In order to identify the optimal cooling performance, it is strongly recommended to obtain advice about our TAPTUBE pipes from one of our tap system experts.

No – a separate cooling system is necessary for the glass pipes, because the cooling water in the Python tube contains to many particles of dirt and therefore isn’t appropriate for the transparent optics of the cooling system.

Hygiene/Cleaning

Dependent on the federal state, different cleaning intervals are prescribed, affecting all parts which transport food products. Due to the transparent nature of the glass pipes, sterilization is carried out with modern cleaning solutions with visible colour indicators (eg. DesanaMax). Connect the tap to the cleaning fluid container and allow the violet cleaning solution to stand in the glass spiral pipe for three minutes. If the cleaning solution changes colour from violet into a green-brown colour, then the process should be repeated. When the indicator colour remains violet, then it shows that the system is sterile. Before the spiral pipe is refilled with beer, it should be generously rinsed with water. This also happens when the tap head is reconnected to a cleaning container filled with water. However, if a hard foreign body is visible inside the spiral, it can be physically cleaned using a standard cleaning sponge ball designed for a 10mm beer pipe. Precise application descriptions can be seen on the system video on this website.

Distilled or ionized water is recommended for the cooling water container. Water purifying tabs (eg.Yachticon Aqua Clean 20 – 1 tablet is enough for 20 litres of cool water) can also be used. Pure tap water can lead to unsightly limescale or green algae deposits after about 6-8 weeks, depending on its hardness and quality.If the system has developed limescale or is otherwise dirty, a standard descaling product or a very weak acidic solution can be used. As a practical example: when the glass of our demonstration equipment shows signs of limescale in the cooled water circulation system, we carefully take the TAPTUBE out of the flange fixing and stand the glass pipe upside down, securely held. We then pour a mix of 25% acidity vinegar essence and water in the ratio 1:2 into the cooled water system using a funnel. We gently shake the glass carefully so that the mixture wets the entire glass surface. We leave the acidic mixture to work for about 20 minutes and then rinse it well with water. If distilled water is used for the cooling system, this rather time-intensive cleaning cycle can be avoided.

Our borosilicate glass DURAN® is resistant to acid, apart from hydrofluoric acid.

No – for example, the beer is fed directly into the glass spiral through a food-safe silicon tube, and exits through a stainless steel tap. The tap is sealed to the glass with a 10mm silicon ring. The connection between the silicon tube and the glass pipe passes over a screwable 10mm stainless steel olive. The spout and the silicon sealing ring are easily accessible and can at any time be cleaned or replaced. So, there is no contact between the food and any other plastic or glue materials.

Beer foam

This can have several causes:

  • The beer is too warm – check the cooling temperature.
  • Turn the small compensator tap to the right of the beer tap so that it is horizontal = slower beer flow.
  • The beer has been longer than two days in the tapping (carbonating).
  • The gas pressure is too low – the gas pressure must be higher than the beer’s gas pressure.

For a simple description of the pressure calculation formulae and hygiene regulations for beer tap systems click the following link:

Download: Broschüre Fassbierpflege Maisel

Glass properties

Everyone knows about the problem of white, mat glass surfaces, so-called glass corrosion. Normal soda-lime glass (eg. all typical drink bottles found in shops) have only a limited resistance to hydrolytic water. On the 5-part hydrolytic resistant glass scale, this ‘soft glass’ is ranked 3. The borosilicate DURAN ® glass that we use, produced by the German manufacturer Schott, is laboratory-quality ‘hard glass’ and has the highest resistance ranking of 1. Glass corrosion is therefore not an issue. After decades of use, the glass will still be gleamingly transparent.

Yes – transparent glass reduces the UV light, but nevertheless the beer-filled spiral should be kept out of direct sunlight. In uncertain cases, the beer can be covered with the antibacterial artificial leather insulating jacket that is delivered with the TAPTUBE.

Risk of glass breakage

There are hundreds of different glass compositions,whichcan have totally different mechanical properties, like melting or processing temperatures. Our borosilicate DURAN® glass falls into the ‘hard glass’ category, with the highest physical strength. The TAPTUBE pipes can be loaded with several tonnes in weight, although the tensional load is 90% lower. So, for example, if a horizontal load is exerted on the vertical pipes, the practical limit is about 350kg (see the video of our breakage test). A clear weak point of our pipe construction is the tap attachment, which reaches towards the bar staff. This can resist a tensional load of 107kg. The main problem with glass is a heavy impact with a hard object. Even a relatively soft blow with a metal took can cause the glass to splinter, meaning that is damaged and must be exchanged.

Particular care during transport is necessary! The horizontal glass is very sensitive to shock vibrations. The reason for this is the internal glass spiral, which has very few points of connection to the outer pipe. This ‘spiral accordion effect’ is achieved through a laborious blowing process, which allows tension caused by different temperatures within the spiral to be compensated for. However, the spiral is sensitive to shock vibrations. This is the reason for the most protective packaging and for the compulsory freight delivery (parcel delivery services are not acceptable). Installation of the pipes must be done with care, gently inserting and fixing them into the proper hole. After this, the risk of a blunt load is considerably lower due to the vertical position.

In summary, the glass that is used, as well as the size and thickness, achieves the highest statistical breakage limits for glass and has been designed for continuous use over decades.
However, should a breakage occur, the piece can be returned to the manufacturer, who will exchange it at cost price.

Who doesn’t know about this – a glass beer jug with a handle which suddenly breaks where the handle is attached to the jug?  It is a classic, which can actually always be traced back to a too sharp edge formed during processing, or rather a deficient glass ‘relaxation’ phase.  Breakages like these are theoretically grounds for complaints, even after years of use.  Our beer tap pipes have many tension spots in the manufacturing process, and so during the production and above all immediately afterwards, the glass is heated to 545°C in a so-called relaxation oven, kept at this temperature for about one hour, and then usually slowly cooled overnight back down to room temperature.  This achieves a tension-free glass body.  If the TAPTUBE should break, analysis with polarized light can reveal whether the cause is tension within the glass or a physical impact.  Weinmayer guarantees that all TAPTUBE glass elements are tension-free.

The TAPTUBE system is compatible with standard fittings and their limits. It is recommended that the pressure is limited to 3 bars. The spiral glass pipe has a 3-4 times higher pressure resistance, due to the proportions of its diameter and thickness.

Glass adhesion

This adhesive technology has been used by the Weinmayer glass blowing workshop for over 10 years and has been successfully installed in thousands of water pipe systems with 6 bars of water pressure and temperature fluctuations of between 10-70°C (www.wasserforschung.de). It can be classified as permanently durable. One underpinning surface on both the metal and the side of the glass guarantees active adhesion. It is only dissolvable through high temperatures, and so temperature of over 80°C should be avoided. The slightly yellowish transparent colour is characteristic for this high-tech adhesive.

Customisation

No – not currently in series production. The height of the tap pipes were chosen to enable the spiral cooling to have a certain level of effectiveness, so that the beer can chill and so that the lights look like a sculpture.

Yes – even the glass pipe itself, as well as the stitching on the back of the protective cover, can be customized with a logo. As an optional extra, the tap handle can be replaced by a glass handle with an individually moulded interior (see tap handles).

Basically, yes. The glass pipes should be used for cooling and not for heating. At temperatures of over 80°C (for example, with mulled wine) the adhesive could dissolve!

Use with very cloudy liquids (eg. fruit juices) would limit the effect of the lighting, because the light would appear dark after a few turns in the spiral.

Origins

The Weinmayer glass-blowing workshop is known for its arty lighting effects combined with functional circulatory systems. In 2015 Gerhard Hochmuth and Bernd Weinmayer thought of building a 100-litre brewery totally out of glass, and in early 2016 they met the master brewer and equipment expert Robert Prinz in a brewery in the Wildschönau valley in order to discuss its feasibility. A standard glass spiral condenser made Robert think that they had brought along a sample tap pipe with them, and he explained that every second open draught beer contains germs, giving enormous potential for development in this area. This was confirmed later by Dr. Ing. Tippmann of the Technical University in Munich/Weihenstephan, which provided the final impetus for the development of glass tap pipes. Hochmuth, Weinmayer and Prinz agreed that the Weinmayer glass-blowing workshop should take on this challenge, and in the autumn of 2016 the first series-ready prototype was presented. A year later and finally all the necessary tests and certifications for series production should be finished.

Sustainability

It is possible to dissolve the connections between glass and metal, and to exchange the faulty part, therefore incurring only the cost for the necessary part.

Yes – the high-quality type IP 67 ProledInground Emitter (built-in emitter for outdoor use) can be re-ordered at any time.  We only use emitters with the colour temperature 3000 K (warm white).  The different amber-coloured tones should only be produced from the colour of the beer itself, in our opinion.  Technical drawings and data sheets referring to the light source can be viewed and printed out from the Downloads section.

Yes – all TAPTUBE parts can be ordered individually at any time.

The TAPTUBE dispensing system has been designed for a practically unlimited operating lifetime.  As long as the glass pipes are kept free from scratches and are regularly cleaned, there should be no reduction in the functionality even after decades of use.  The use of parts which are made exclusively in Bavaria, Tyrol and South Tyrol ensure the highest quality standards and guarantee ecological and fair production processes.

Sales & Dispatch

When the glass pipes are stored horizontally, the danger of breakage from shocks or impacts is particularly high. Therefore, Weinmayer has developed a transportation system which protects the complete system from shocks. The professionally made flight boxes are designed to be reused, and so are delivered on payment of a deposit but can then be returned. This is the reason for the packaging sometimes showing scratches or evidence of prior usage. The TAPTUBE deliveries can only be done by freight companies (not parcel delivery services). On delivery, the recipient should immediately take the glassware out of the packaging and shake it gently in order to check whether glass shards can be heard. The recipient confirms with his/her signature that the transport was completed properly and the goods were received in perfect condition. Any breakage during transport by the freight company should be recorded and the sender informed.

For price-related enquiries, please contact our partners:

Austria:
Fa. Zapfdoktor GmbH, Am Berg 26, A-4274 Schönau, www.zapfdoktor.at

Germany and internationally:
MISA-Vertriebs-GmbH, Boden 1, D-85646 Anzing, www.misa.de

We recommend that TAPTUBE systems are obtained from our sales partners or tap equipment experts. They will provide the correct combination of components and proper installation.

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