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Meet Our Staff: Todd Fleming

Todd Fleming was born into a Midwest farming family in St. Paul/Minneapolis. As a young boy, he relocated with his family to the Pacific Northwest when his Dad was transferred to Tacoma and then to the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters in Federal Way, WA. 

As a kid, Todd got into music and soccer. He was good enough on the soccer pitch to be scouted with his teammates by the Tacoma Stars indoor soccer team. After graduating high school, Todd studied music and business at a local community college and started two businesses, a music production company called Destiny Productions, and Practice Pads Unlimited, which served the emerging indie music scene in Seattle and the Puget Sound region in the late 80’s & 90’s. Todd played keys, horns, percussion, sang vocals and played electronic instruments in side bands, and toured for a bit around the Northwest. He was a kitchen manager in his early 20’s managing a couple of Mexican restaurant chain units for a few years, worked as a chef on the Seattle waterfront at “Charlie’s Shilshole Bay Marina”, worked at The Spar, opened The Victory Club and Jillian’s Billards Club among others.

Todd moved to Portland in 1996 and helped open The Alameda Brewhouse during the height of the first craft brewery boom in the United States. He also ran various music venues in Southeast Portland, and ended up working part-time for BridgePort Brewing.

Given Todd’s prior experience, he was soon managing the brewpub at BridgePort and executing festivals and off-premise events for the brewery.  He helped renovate BridgePort and its original building, built in 1889, as the Pearl District transformed around it into a shopping and dining destination.  

Todd ended up becoming the cellar master managing many departments during his 20+ years with his team under Carlos Alvarez, the CEO of The Gambrinus Company, who bought BridgePort from the founding Ponzi family in 1995. Todd hosted customers and visitors from around the world at BridgePort, and gained vast branding & marketing knowledge while watching the parent company operate and market many brands like Shiner & Moosehead and Trummer Pils. For the launch of Trummer Pils, Carlos teamed up with an eighth generation, Austrian family operated mother brewery, and began to brew the original family recipe in Berkeley, CA in 2004.

In his current role at FH Steinbart, Todd is helping the company further deepen its connections to the commercial segment of the brewing market. “Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s a whole new ballgame for everyone in the industry and the path ahead is very murky right now,” Todd says. “But the fundamentals remain the same. Everyone still needs to take it a day at a time, roll up their sleeves, and get done whatever is needed.” 

Todd points out that as a company that’s been around for more than 100 years, FH Steinbart knows a thing or two about doing what it takes to help customers make it through, from making adjustments to accommodate social distancing and contactless ordering to providing recommendations for installations of the most intricate draft systems in restaurants and bars that are slowly starting to reopen. “Commercial customers can tap directly into a lot of institutional knowledge around here,” says Todd. “Let us know what you’re working on. We’re here to help.”

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Portland Area Line Cleaners and Draft Service Providers

It’s important to thoroughly inspect and clean your beverage dispensing system correctly prior to re-use after long periods of sitting idle. Here’s a list of just some of the many professional line cleaners in the Portland area that can help get your dispensing systems back up and running safely as you come out of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

A+ Tap Services, Chad Diaz, chad@aplustapservices.com

Clean Right Tap and Coil Cleaning, Bill Palmer, (503) 236-7300

Gorge Draft Service, Judah James May,  judahmay@hotmail.com

Hood River Draft Services LLC, 541-490-3904

Linework Tap Cleaning Services, Luke Potter, lineworktaps@gmail.com,  971-275-2980

NW Draft Technicians, Nick Klein, nick@nwdrafttech.com (503) 447-3620

PDX Draft, Andrew, contact@pdxdraft.com, 541-525-5174

Perfect Pour Services, James Ameeti,  support@perfectpourservices.com, (503) 714-5020

Tap That Line Cleaning, Andrew Berube, tapthatlinecleaning@gmail.com

TapWorks NW, Patrick Schmitz, patrick@tapworksnw.com, (360) 768-3276 (Vancouver)

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Commercial Customer Spotlight: Coopers Hall

A shot of the interior of comercial customer Coopers Hall, courtesy Adam Rack of Coopers Hall.

Coopers Hall is about wine. Coopers Hall is about sustainability. Ergo, Coopers Hall is about the best ways to combine the two.

Like many hospitality spots that focus on sustainability, Coopers Hall has relationships with local farmers, bakers, and other sources. Beyond that, though, they focus on almost entirely on wine on tap. Kegs are more environmentally friendly than bottles, more easily reused, and the production cost of draft wine can be much lower than bottled wine, making wine more affordable for everyone. Coopers Hall also (usually) fills growlers from their taps, which means a single container can have many lifetimes.

This belief in allowing a bottle to be repeatedly refilled explains why the only bottles Coopers Hall uses are the Oregon BottleDrop Refillable bottles. This is a relatively recent addition to their winery, and they pay the $0.10 deposit on the bottle, not the purchaser (because wine is excluded from deposits). Customers who return the bottles get the deposit back, though. These choices are based in the idea that “recycle” is good but “reuse” is even better. These wine bottles are 500 mL and are sold in their online store and at a variety of shops around town.

Back Up. You Said Kegs?

Rosè wine in a wine glass under a tap system to illustrate kegged wine or draft wine.

Yes. Clearly, you’re thinking, “Never go in for a 500 mL bottle when KEGS are on the line!” Which, of course, is completely reasonable. And we can confirm that having wine on tap is fabulous. However, depending on the wine, it can require a bit more than just throwing a sixtel in your kegerator and hooking it up. What you need for draft wine depends on if you are looking to pour red, white, or rosè. Luckily, we have any supplies you might need and Coopers Hall is happy to give tips and advice for the particular wine(s) you want.

Coopers Hall During Covid-19

During the current weird times sitting down at Coopers Hall isn’t an option. So how to acquire their delicious food and beverage? Is food even an option?

Yes. Cooper’s Hall has maintained their aforementioned partnerships with local producers and is offering food. But with a twist. It’s butter or it’s produce or it’s a meal that’s yours to prepare. But not without guidance; they offer spices and recipes with their chef-curated CSA box. You’ll have to cook, but cooking with wine is a delight.

As for wine, you can buy a number of their wines in 500 mL bottle on their online site, and soon you’ll be able to order growler fills as well. They also offer a mystery wine box, called Joel Thinks You Should Drink This. An adaptation of one of the most interesting parts of their menu to the current times, this is three bottles of excellent wine from local producers without storefronts. For kegs email them (info@coopershall.com) for pricing and availability.

For more on Coopers Hall and any updates, please visit their site.

Details:

Coopers Hall Taproom

404 SE 6th Ave, Portland Oregon 97214

503-719-7000

info@coopershall.com

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Eliminate Product Spoilage and Minimize Bacterial Growth By Properly Preparing It For Shutdown

Here are a few tips for safely shutting down a Beverage System for an extended period of time of one to several weeks. Everyone’s circumstance is different, so these are only suggestions on how to extend product quality and maintain healthy draft systems.

    • Contact your local Line Cleaning Company for a cleaning cycle and shut down preparation. If you clean your own lines or a local service is unavailable, here are a few guidelines that may help:
    • – Flush all product out of beverage lines with water. Prime lines with a half & half mixture of food grade glycerin and water and keep lines full of mixture during shutdown to reduce product spoilage and bacterial growth. Product will spoil if left in lines for extended periods of time.

 

  • – Untap all kegs and keep refrigerated.
  • – Turn off all gas supplies at tank or appropriate shut off.

 

  • – Glycol coolant systems: If you choose to shut down your glycol systems during closure periods, you may experience expansion or freezing of connections and/or coolant lines. Prepare to check for damage or leaks before expecting to return to normal operating conditions upon restart.

Other Resources:

Brewers Association Draught Quality Recommendations During Extended Bar/Restaurant Shutdown

System Shutdown Pitfalls to Avoid: 

  • Do not leave chemicals in draught beer lines, as this creates a safety hazard and could damage the tubing. 
  • Do not leave couplers or any other hardware on the floor or any soiled area. 
  • Do not leave couplers attached to kegs. 
  • Do not shut off glycol power pack. Turning off glycol could result in overflow or system failure. 
  • Do not cap or cover faucet openings or keg valves. 
  • Do not increase temperature of or turn off keg cooler.
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Green Zebra Grocery

Draft Kombucha and Nitro Coffee Systems:

FH Steinbart Makes It Happen At Green Zebra Grocery 

The handiwork of the FH Steinbart Draft Department is featured front and center at the newest Green Zebra Grocery store, which opened in February 2020 at SE 50th and Division in Portland, Oregon. Green Zebra’s small-footprint natural-minded convenience stores allow the company to serve communities where big stores can’t fit. Just like FH Steinbart, they get to know their neighbors, and they take pride in supporting a thriving community.

Draft technicians from FH Steinbart designed and installed a custom 11-product Draft Kombucha System and a four-product Nitro Coffee on Tap dispensing unit located near another entrance to the newest Green Zebra store.

The Draft Kombucha System that FH Steinbart installed has dual pressure ranges to accommodate the varying levels of CO2, due to kombucha being a continually fermenting product. It can also handle different amounts of CO2 in the chemical makeup of the liquid, which varies from brand to brand. 

FH Steinbart draft technicians also needed to provide the client with the ability to connect into different types of kegs, whether a kombucha producer uses Sankey D or Ball Lock style connectors. The Ball Lock connectors feature a Steinbart designed check valve component. Since 2017, FH Steinbart has also done smaller jobs at other Green Zebra locations around Portland. 

Green Zebra Grocery was founded by Lisa Sedlar, who had been CEO of New Seasons Markets for several years. New Seasons is a regional, high-growth natural foods grocer in Portland, with 13 retail locations and revenues exceeding $300 million.

Lisa points out that Portland consumes 70% more kombucha than any other US metro market, putting Portland way ahead of the curve. The fact that Lisa’s two personal passions, which are kombucha and a fresh drip approach to coffee, are highly featured elements of the newest Green Zebra store, puts FH Steinbart in a beautifully crafted position as the “Trusted Company for Design and Implementation” for the systems “driving her ideas and delivering her products.” Her little coffee corner idea is destined to become one of the busiest stops on one of the most heavily pedestrian trafficked corners in Portland.

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Customer Profile: Perfect Pour

 

Helps Deliver Better Product and Reduce Beverage Costs

Here’s the next in our occasional series of profiles of customers who do business with the Draft Department of FH Steinbart.

Perfect Pour Services was born in 2008 in Portland, Oregon and now serves the entire Pacific Northwest. Perfect Pour provides a full range of draft system services including design, installation, maintenance, repair and tap cleaning. Perfect Pour helps make sure beverage systems at bars, restaurants, offices, homes and sports stadiums are set up and functioning as efficiently as possible, delivering a better product to customers and reducing beverage costs.

Perfect Pour owner James Ameeti says anyone serving beer should remember that clean is clean, and dirty is dirty. “If you don’t clean the entire system, including faucets, couplers, and hosing, your beer travels through a dirty system,” Ameeti says. The Brewer’s Association recommends cleaning every  two weeks. A lot of people hold off on cleaning. I compare cleaning schedule to cooking a pot of beans. just because you don’t eat the beans doesn’t mean that bacterias are not still growing.”

Some line cleaning companies will just “pot soak” beverage lines by letting soap sit in the lines. Perfect Pour technicians utilize pumps to circulate safe and effective chemicals that break down organic build-up in lines and equipment. Ameeti says this circulation technique is proven to be up to 80 times more effective than pot soaking.

Regarding choices made for beverage system components, Ameeti says, “Stainless will last a lifetime. Brass is guaranteed to fail. Start off right on a draft system and you’ll have many fewer problems in the future.”

Ameeti likes to do business with FH Steinbart because Steinbart is a local provider with roots in the community. “Having parts on hand locally means systems get back in use and repaired in the same day rather than waiting weeks for parts. With a team of professionals, answers are readily available and projects move forward,” he says. “With Steinbart’s access to a wide range of vendors, an assortment of options becomes available, while many online retailers stick to just a couple different providers of equipment and parts. Quality matters.”

https://www.perfectpourservices.com/
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What is a GLYCOL CHILLER

What Is A Glycol Chiller and How It Works Best

A glycol chiller is an electrically powered unit, often also referred to as a power pack. It serves as the power source for circulating a liquid coolant mix with water to keep beverages at optimum temperature when dispensing and serving. Current models use Propylene Glycol, a food grade coolant, similar to anti-freeze.  Older models still be in operation may use Ethylene Glycol, which is typically pink in color. Ethylene Glycol is not considered food grade, and is hazardous/poisonous if consumed in significant quantities, so it is to be avoided. We would also advise against using standard anti-freeze in many units, depending on manufacturer, as it may tend to jell in the system and cause operational failure.  

Like many refrigeration units, including refrigerators and walk-in coolers, glycol chillers have compressors that use various types of refrigerant. Our chillers use R404A gas refrigerant. 

The ratio of the propylene glycol/water mix is often one part glycol to two parts water, but that may not always be the optimum ratio. Always refer to manufacturer’s specifications. Some smaller units might use equal parts water and glycol. Do not use pure glycol or pure water in a glycol chiller.

If the glycol-to-water ratio is wrong several problems may occur. If too much water is in the mix, ice will build up in the reservoir and potentially block the circulation of the mix. If too much glycol is in the mix, the unit may not be able to get to down to standard operating temperature. Each circumstance may ultimately cause operational failure.   

Our chillers utilize a sealed glycol reservoir in various sizes, from the smaller ones to largest. ( 1 U.S gallon to 12 U.S. gallons.). Sealed reservoirs are considered superior to models with open reservoirs, because sealed reservoirs prevent dust and foreign objects from contaminating the glycol mix. We recommend that the blend be replaced every 1-2 years. A clean mix, properly maintained, is essential for operation and will provide years of trouble-free service.

One or more rotary vane pumps constantly circulates the glycol/water mix through copper or polyethylene tubing. One line serves as the outlet, the other line serves as the return. They are looped together at the end, inside of towers, shaft boxes, or any similar pouring station, where beer or other beverages are dispensed. These are often simply called glycol lines. Product lines are wrapped and insulated around the central glycol lines, so that cold temperature can be maintained from one point to the end. Recommended temperature of the glycol mix will vary from manufacturer anywhere from 27* F – 32* F.   

Two glycol lines are sufficient for bundles of eight product lines.  When additional products are needed, more glycol lines must be added. The idea here is that each individual product is in contact with the glycol line. For example, four glycol lines are used in bundles of eight to16 products, and six glycol lines are used in bundles of 17 to 24 products. Lines are wrapped with moisture barrier tape and sponge rubber insulation with a vinyl exterior. Insulated bundles are also referred to as beer conduit and trunkline.     

Glycol chillers are designed to function in conjunction with walk-in coolers and are somewhat dependent upon proper function and limited in their capacity. In other words, kegs must still be kept refrigerated. A chiller cannot be the sole source of cooling, nor can it be used to chill a warm keg down to correct temperature. If the walk-in cooler is too warm, your chiller will most probably not be able to compensate and you’ll have foamy beer at the dispenser. When properly designed with the correct expansion valves, these units may be installed outdoors or inside a walk-in cooler. If kegs are stored at room temperature a flash chiller would be required.

Like any mechanical machine, glycol coolers are best utilized when operation is at or below normal room temperature. Improperly stored, refrigeration units may get too warm during the summer months and experience pump, motor or even compressor failure. We recommend they be installed in a room or area with excellent ventilation, on a level surface and kept under 75* F. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GLYCOL CHILLERS

Why would I ever need a glycol chiller?  

At your brewery, restaurant or other facility, you may want to serve beer and other beverages to a remote serving location from your kegs or other vessels. In some circumstances where your may have a relatively small number of products that need to be pushed only a short distance, proper function can be achieved through use of an air circulation system. Blower fans push cold air from the walk-in through an insulated air shaft around the beerlines, to the remote serving station and back to the walk-in cooler, creating air circulation at refrigeration temperature, sufficient to keep the beer cold enough that it doesn’t foam. Those systems are limited in capability to approximately 25-4O ft. You will need to compensate for heat generated from the electric fans. Once again they are dependent upon a good refrigeration source. Most beers will foam, even at low carbonation levels, when internal temperature rises above 40 * F, no matter what you try, since CO2 in solution and in our atmosphere becomes more active the warmer it becomes.  At some point it becomes much more worthwhile to utilize a refrigerated glycol chiller system when more products are desired and/or when longer distances are required.  

What glycol chillers do we stock?

1/5 h.p., 1/3 h.p., 5/8 h.p., 5/8 h.p. double pump. They each have a distance range respectively of 150 ft., 225 ft., and 375 ft. They are pre-set and should not be modified with any form of flow control. If you have many products at greater distances, or multiple locations, requiring larger units, 1 h.p. units are available upon custom order request. 

Would I need a glycol chiller for beverages other than beer?

Perhaps and perhaps not. The rule of thumb is if the beverage is carbonated it can be dispensed cold and consumed at a warmer temperature. Many craft brewed beers natural flavors develop at that higher range 45 * F or more, yet still dispensed under 38* or lower. Glycol chillers are traditionally designed for beer. However we firmly believe they’ll work wonderfully for any carbonated beverage containing alcohol or not. Mead, cider, hard seltzers, kombucha and keifers are all growing in popularity and you may wish to use beer equipment to dispense them. Much will depend upon the producers recommended consumption and volumes of CO2 in solution. Beer is probably the most difficult beverage to properly dispense. For example sparkling wines and sparkling meads can be stored at slightly higher refrigeration temperatures, and moved through separate lines with less insulation at different pressure. Some experimentation may be required. Many red wines do not require refrigeration at all and should be pushed with a suitable inert gas, such as Argon or Nitrogen, outside of the beer conduit. Ciders should be kept refrigerated and dispensed at equal levels of pressure to maintain volumes of carbonation as the keg/vessel empties. Products with low levels of carbonation will dispense well, most probably even easier and allowed to warm in the glass. Products with very high levels of carbonation have a tendency to overly ‘spawl or spray’ out of the spout, when moving through a standard beer faucet, and a flow control faucet may be required for best results.  

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Keep Beverage Lines Clean With Desana

What’s the payoff if dispensing equipment is kept in its cleanest possible condition? Customers obtain quality beverages, and the supplier saves money

Desana Max

Desana MaxTM is the smartest heavy duty alkaline beer line cleaner in the world. During the cleaning it changes color from its original purple to green or yellow if residual organics are still left in the line. If the color changed from its original, it’s a reliable sign that the lines were still dirty. As simple as that.

Line cleaning & hygiene check with TM DESANA MAX IC using the recirculation method (with electronic pump).

Desanacid ICTM is a powerful acid line cleaner and descaler designed to clean all kinds of water dispensing systems and ice machines. Breaks down oxalates during deep-cleaning procedures in beer dispensing systems. Learn more. . Desana Max has been successfully used and tested by satisfied customers and institutes for more than 10 years. Check out these videos to see how the process works.

Line cleaning & hygiene check with Desana Max using the static-soak method (with pressurized pot).

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Install Peace of Mind with GovReg™ Secondary Regulator System

Imagine a world without huge banks of secondary regulators mounted in a long line along a wall of your walk-in cooler, with gauges that can fail or get damaged and dials that at any time can be adjusted or re-set without your knowledge. The GovRegsystem is one that brings some peace of mind. Seamlessly insert your regulator right before your keg coupler, set at the perfect pressure that you want. Thread it on with a hex nut and let it do the rest! Here’s a look at some of the equipment to make it happen.

Secondary Regulator
Must run in-line behind a primary regulator. Never connect directly to a CO2 tank. Made of  durable stainless steel. Its patented technology accurately maintains desired pressure. Tamper-proof. Set it and forget it! Convenient design saves space. Attaches direct to 5/16″ gas line and standard threaded keg couplers without any adapter. No mounting on cooler wall, so no drilling necessary. Swift installation time saves effort and expense. High precision and lasting durability.


Starter Kit
Adjuster tool & 2 secondary regulators. Set your primary to higher pressure. Each secondary is preset to 12 p.s.i. Maximum inlet pressure 150 p.s.i.

Adjuster Tool
Adjuster tool with gauge comes with easy to read instructions. Have your primary set to higher pressure. Connect secondary regulator to open end and secure with standard hex nut. Adjust to desired pressure. 0-45 p.s.i.

Call the Draft Equipment Department at F.H. Steinbart Co. to discuss your application.

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Tri-Clover Fittings Are Easy to Clean and Install

Tri-clover (or tri-clamp) fittings are a 3-part clamp system. They are stainless steel sanitary fittings used in breweries, dairies, and certain other food processing industries. Their design makes them easy to clean and sanitize, are easy to use, form a great seal and seldom leak when properly installed.

Sizes include 1.5 in, 2 in, 3 in, 4 in and 6 in. for large scale operations. By connecting two equally sized hose ends with a gasket in between, and secured with a clamp, they can then be threaded tightly by hand to ensure no leaking.  Here’s a look at some typical applications:

 

Commercial Breweries & Wineries

Tri-clover fittings are perfect for moving high temperature liquids with little risk of contamination. They’re commonly used because of their versatility. The chore of connecting hoses to various vessels, fermentors, or other tanks makes connecting easier, and they can also be easily removed for rigorous cleaning, inspection and repair if needed.

 

For Homebrewing

They’re far less likely to leak & easy to clean, because they contain no “o”-rings, sharp edges, springs, internal cavities, or other nooks and crannies that can resist your cleaning efforts while trying to maintain sanitation. Other quick release fittings can harbor residual wort which may generate off flavors.

FH Steinbart Co. currently stocks EPDM gaskets, PTFE gaskets, silicone gaskets, clamps, caps, butterfly valves, beer thread connectors, ¼, 3/8, ½, ¾, & 1-inch hose barb connectors., 3/8 mnpt, 3/8 fnpt ½ mnpt, ½ fnpt, and larger for 1.5 in. size fittings.  Contact us to talk about your application.