This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert. Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer. Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.
NukaTap Beer Faucet
There are several different beer faucets to choose from when equipping your keezer. The most basic type differentiation is forward sealing versus rear sealing. The rear sealing are the most common type you will find in bars, with a sliding piston visible that comes out through the front of the faucet. Those faucets don’t do well unless you have a continuous flow of beer like is found in a bar. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you pour a lot of beer so the rearward sealing faucets will be fine. They’ll gum up and stick and you’ll be cursing that decision! So the popular homebrew faucets are forward sealing.
The long-time favorite forward sealing faucet for homebrewers was the Perlick brand, but they were expensive. Kegland introduced Intertap – Hands on Review – with a design variation of the forward sealing faucet and a more affordable price. Now Kegland has improved on their Intertap design with the new Nukatap faucet. As everything I’ve tried/researched from Kegland, they take a product and then engineer specific improvements to it- either to make it available at a lower cost or for specific improved homebrew functions.
With the Nukatap, Kegland focused on improving/reducing the propensity of beer to foam while being poured. Beer foaming is simply the act of dissolved CO2 coming out of the beer and then converting to gas at the surface of your beer. Cold beer can hold more CO2 than warm beer, so as carbonated beer warms, it causes CO2 to come out of solution and thus create foam. Similarly, beer under pressure can hold more CO2 than beer that is not under pressure. So as beer goes from the pressurized keg and into your unpressurized glass, this also causes CO2 to come out of solution and create foam.
Nukatap on Left, Intertap on RightNukatap on Right, Perlick on Left
The first design action Kegland did for Nukatap was on the sealing mechanism. One big challenge at fighting beer foam is how to get the beer around the sealing mechanism inside the faucet. Perlick faucets use a ball to seal and shut off the flow. As beer passes by the ball, the flow creates a low pressure zone on the backside of the ball, and thus beer goes from high pressure to low inside the faucet, creating an opportunity to foam. Intertap faucets use a football-shaped shuttle inside the faucet. This shape is less prone to the low pressure zone like a sphere has. Nukatap has a variation on the Intertap football shape, and Kegland kept tweaking it to keep the flow calm as it passed around the sealing shuttle inside. The shape ended up looking like an old-school atom bomb, and hence the “Nuke tap” name was born.
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NukaTap Faucets come in three variations. Stainless, Stealth (Matte Black) and Flow Control. All feature stainless steel construction, forward seal design and all the other NukaTap innovations.
I’m also linking to Intertap faucets and accessories where applicable because all Intertap spouts work with NukaTap