Cellar Cooling Problems

Cellar Cooling Refrigeration Technical Help

Facts, Problems, Solutions. Cellar Doctor

  • Cellar cooling should maintain the cellar at 12°C, range 11-13°C.
  • UK Beer dispense systems are designed for beer to be stored at 12°C. It can take a keg or cask 48 hours to cool to 12°C.
  • Beer Cellar cooling should be turned on at all times, cellar fan should run continuous.
  • Ensure that all the grills are clean and not blocked. Blocked grills will increase the running cost by up to 40%. Typical running costs are nearly £1500 a year for an average pub, so in good condition could mean savings up to £800 a year.
  • A regular maintenance contract will ensure that the system runs at its most efficient, often twice a year is required.
  • New legislation called “FGas” has recently become UK law concerning maintenance and you are responsible for it.
  • Do not leave the cellar door open.
  • Do not switch off at night, if cellar is cold enough it will switch itself off as required.
  • Never stack items around or cover up the outdoor condensing unit, it will overheat.
  • The indoor cellar fan should always run continuously for an even temperature.

Most Common Faults:

  • The system is switched off while staff work in the cellar as it is generally noisy and blows out cold air (as it is designed), staff then forget to switch it back on.
  • Cellar doors are left open so that the cold air escapes, warm air enters. (above ground cellars benefit from strip curtains) This can also cause excess frost on the evaporator that the defrost mechanism cannot cope with, a manual defrost may be required which involves switching of for 24 hours.
  • Grills are obstructed by other items such as food boxes and bottle stock which should not be stored in the cellar.
  • Most systems remove the heat in the cellar to a fan outside the cellar (usually on an outside wall). The grill on these often can also become blocked due to lack of maintenance.
  • The outdoor condensing unit has been switched off from its electrical isolator (Normally when units are in an alleyway or beer garden) Or often covered up with items that should be stored elsewhere.
  • On older Qualitair units the on/off switch has 3 settings  off-Fan only-On

In an ideal world, the beer cellar should be situated directly below the bar – which ensures the shortest possible distance between the barrels of beer and the beer taps in the bar. The cellar itself should be kept at a temperature of 12°C. Modern cellars are generally fitted with a cooling system, operating on the lines of an air-conditioning system ensuring the temperature remains relatively constant. It goes without saying of course that the cellar must fulfil modern health and safety regulations – it must have adequate drainage, be easy to clean, have a suitable water supply and lighting, etc. The cellar should also be large enough to hold at least a weeks supply of beer.

  • Improve the cellar layout-keep you beer cool
  • Put any heat-producing equipment such as line python coolers for beer and soft drinks, cooling cabinets and icemakers outside the cellar in a well-ventilated area.
  • Install thermal insulation PVC strip curtains & draught stripping
  • If heating pipes have to pass through cellars, pipes & fittings should all be insulated and draught stripping applied in places where pipes pass through walls.
  • Beer Cellar doors and hatches should also be draught-proofed and insulated. Access doors should be self-closing and shut immediately after deliveries.
    Replace lighting
  • Replace standard tungsten bulbs with LED or fluorescent strip lighting. Turn off lighting whenever you can to avoid excess heat production.
    Check refrigeration equipment is working well
  • Make sure that pipe work circuits are kept as short as possible and that the condensing unit is in a well-ventilated location.
  • Try to place cooling system temperature sensors at barrel height and away from the evaporator.
  • Set cooling system controls to the recommended cellar temperature, usually between 11°C and 13°C. Use a thermometer to regularly check this temperature is maintained as overcooling the cellar by 1°C can increase cellar energy costs by up to 10%.
  • Undertake regular maintenance
  • Ensure equipment is properly maintained so that it operates efficiently.
  • Regularly clean evaporators and heat rejection coils to allow free airflow – that way they’ll run more economically.

Qualitair Invicta have now ceased production but we stock suitable spare parts call to order If you have cooling problems with Qualitair coolers we can help you, nationwide solutions to all beer cooling systems, Marstair stockists and installers.  Ask for details for your pub cellar.

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