Understanding the External Shank
Firstly, what is an external shank? In the realm of draft beer systems, a shank is a crucial component that connects the beer line to the faucet. In a mobile bar, external shanks are mounted on an exterior wall or panel, offering a streamlined and accessible way to serve beer. This setup is particularly advantageous in mobile bars or beer trailers, where space and efficiency are key.
The Benefits of Going External
Why opt for an external shank setup? Here are a few compelling reasons:
- Space Optimization: Mobile bars have limited space. External shanks reduce internal clutter, making more room for kegs and other equipment.
- Ease of Access: Servicing and cleaning shanks becomes a breeze when they're externally mounted.
- Aesthetic Appeal: External shanks can be arranged in visually appealing ways, adding to your bar's allure.
- Temperature Control: By minimizing the length of beer lines exposed to warmer temperatures, you ensure a consistently chilled beer.
Installing external shanks requires precision and planning. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Choose the Right Spot: Identify where on your mobile bar you want the shanks. Consider ease of access and the bar's layout.
- Drill with Care: Once you've marked your spots, carefully drill holes for the shanks. The size of the hole should match the shank's diameter.
- Secure the Shank: Insert the shank through the hole and secure it with a locking nut. Ensure it's tight to prevent the faucet from spinning.
- Connect the Lines: Attach the beer lines to the back of the shank. Use quality connectors and a beer washer to ensure a secure fit.
- Test for Leaks: Before going live, test your setup with water to check for any leaks.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Maintaining your external shanks is crucial for ensuring the best beer quality and longevity of your equipment:
- Regularly clean the shanks to prevent buildup of beer residue and bacteria.
- Check for and promptly address any signs of wear or leaks.
- During off periods, keep the beer lines clean and purged with CO2 to prevent contamination.
Customizing Your Setup
The beauty of external shanks is their versatility. You can choose from various styles and lengths to suit your mobile bar's theme and functionality. Experiment with different faucet types – from standard taps to more elaborate European styles – to add personality to your setup.