In this blog post we discuss an issue of general interest to many of us – beer! (Or in this case, beer flow meters or the dispensing & measuring of beer…)

Beer Flow Measurement & Flow Meters For Beer Dispensing

Beer Flow Meter Links:
Beer totalising Flow Meter
Beverage Flow Meter

Beer Flow Meters: How to measure a pint of beer?

In the UK weights and measures standards mean that for every half pint of beer served there should be a maximum error of ±3ml or around 1% per half pint (284.1 millilitres). Surprisingly a one pint is also to be served within ±3ml making this volume served potentially twice as accurate as the half pint. For general beer dispensing your average pub uses “brim fill” glasses these deliver the required volume when the beer is just about flowing out of the glass. This why staff often lose a good portion before it gets put on the counter and the reason the floor behind the bar becomes very sticky. In some areas of the country customers prefer a “head” on their pint and this results in rather less than a full pint being served unless the establishment uses 22 ounce glasses, a pint is 20 ounces. Such glasses have a line at one pint and space for the head. The variety of beer glasses and manual dispensing can often lead to short measures and a discussion with the person dispensing the beverage ! In practice the trade norm is accepted to be 95% beer and a maximum of 5% head.

beer flow meters in pub

Beer Flow Meters, by Titan

Dispensing Beer & Beer Flow Meters

Automatic dispense systems, such as those found in sports venues where rapid service is a necessity are a result of many customers all wanting to be served at the same time. Automatic dispense systems have to conform to the basic ±3ml specification. A measuring device (typically a flow meter designed for beer flow measurement – a beer flow meter) is incorporated inside the dispensing machine to ensure the correct volume is dispensed at the touch of a button which speeds up serving dramatically. Both in the UK and internationally – Titan beer flow meters have been chosen as the flowmeter of choice in such systems. It is quite a challenge to repeatedly deliver a pint of beer in four or five seconds within ±3ml and with an acceptable amount of froth. Beer at sporting events is typically served in squishy plastic containers. Such malleable plastic glasses are over-sized as it is impossible to carry the beer without pressing the sides slightly hence reducing the volume. The entire beer dispensing set-up has to be weights and measures approved. When Titan first tested its beer flow meters we used a calibrated flask similar to the one in the pictures below.

beer flow measurement flask

Beer Flow Measurement – Calibrated Flask

Beer Flow Meter Development & Approval

These calibrated flasks have a parallel, narrow neck and are marked with the actual volume and the permissible tolerances. As the beer is likely to be frothy we used a drop of surfactant to break the surface tension on the bubbles thereby enabling the volume accurately.

As well as beer, cider and Guinness dispensing – Titan has also been involved with designing and supplying flow meters for the dispensing of, red, rose, white and mulled wine and in other parts of the world spirits and cocktail mixes.

Contact Titan, for world-class beer flow meters