Anyone know of a dispenser system? I'm looking for either a soda type gun or something like a beer tap to mount on top of the bar so we can eliminate baristas bending over to get milk from an under counter fridge. I know Intelly is useing something like this is it commercially available.
We have a refrigerator, provided by our dairy service, that holds two 5-gallon cases of milk, with lever operated nozzles underneath. Unfortunately, it's so bulky that it has to be set away from or behind the bar, leading to a lot of hectic spinning about on the part of our baristas. I'd love to see a more efficient set-up.
We have the same system as jacob... our bar is down the counter from the register with about 12 inches of counter space beyond before it Ls toward the back wall. Our "cow" sits on that L, with our grinders adjacent, perpendicular to the bar. With the grinders and cow sitting next to each other it is a little easier because you can grind/dose while pulling up on the milk handle.
i would talk to someone who makes other dispensers and see if it is possible. the problem i see with something in terms of a soda gun or beer tap would be that they usually dispense carbonated or otherwise gaseous beverages- would pressurizing milk have adverse affects in terms of the texture you get in the pitcher(extra bubbles to texture out)?
They're no problem to keep clean, the 5-gallon milks are sort of a bag with a plastic nozzle attached that go in re-usable plastic crates. There isn't really any part of the machine that needs cleaned outside of shining up once in a while, since everything that touches milk is disposable.
I think it's possible to do the beer tap system that you're thinking of, the question is whether or not you're ready to commit to that level.
Milk is a difficult and rather disgusting product when it turns rancid - and guaranteed, the milk will turn rancid. Most dairies utilize stainless steel for tanks and lines making it easy to clean and sanitize. Beer tap systems utilize braided hoses.
The concerns for you system is keeping the lines clean and keeping them cold enough to hold the milk. Invariably, the milk will sit in the lines at some point in time due to traffic flow. That milk needs to stay cold otherwise you'll end up blowing through it and tossing it (like warm beer).
The difficult part is keeping everything clean and avoiding contamination. Visit any dairy and they strip the line down daily and sanitize - are you and your crew ready for this level of commitment? You'll have to clean and sanitize the supply tank, pump, lines and tap every night before closing, easily adding an additional hour of labor just for that task - or risk contaminating the milk and doing physical harm to your customers which can result in lawsuits, fines, penalties and the like.
As a community, we seem to have pretty low standards for cleanliness and sanitation, this approach would mean a complete revamping of your practices and the strict adherence to those practices. Is that something you are ready for?
I think the approach you note is elegant and worth investigating. I just don't if it's worth the effort and vigilance.
Thanks for your input, I know its an undertaking. The risk of contamination is why I'm really hoping to come up with an NSF certified product. We are working on a project that will have volumes high enough to justify a system like this but it just may not be tenable. I've got a customer that's an engineer that i'm going to talk to about this.
It seems that what you are talking about is a custom job, which almost certainly negates the time, effort and expense to have one unit NSF Certified. If NSF standards are a concern, consider working with a fabrication house that does and understand NSF Standards. They should be able to build whatever system you design to conform to NSF standards without the arduous task of NSF certification.
I would start of by visiting your local dairy and asking them for a tour. Tell them what you're up to and maybe they'll be helpful and give you suggestions on how you might design your system. Also, you'll want to discuss with them the method of milk delivery for your system. Will you buy the cow bags, gallon jugs and transfer them into a holding tank, etc.?
As you design, remember accessibility and cleaning. The more accessible the components are, and the easier they are to break down and reassemble, the easier it will be to keep staff on top of cleaning and sanitizing the system. Make it difficult and chances are that your people will skip it.
Jay you misunderstand me and are right at the same time. When I said come up with I meant find a standard product already in production. As far as if we have to build one of have it fabricated you are spot on. I think this would have to be a custom piece and keeping cleaning simple will be our first priority. I'm thinking that we could just use 5 gallon bags so there is no container to clean. I have to figure out a way to extend the lines that would be easily cleanable. I think there are a couple of ways you could provide enough pressure on the bag to flow up a couple of feet to the counter top. Maybe even just make a bag holder that allows you to stack a bag on top of the one dispensing I'll bet the 30 or so lbs would be plenty of pressure... this may actually be doable.
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