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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Elkhart. Indiana
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    Antique Draft Root Beer Machine Question

    I have a 1965 Draft A & W Root Beer Machine (Made by Sinco in La Port Indiana) that I have used for 30 years. My service tech has passed away and no one in the Tri State area will work on it. It looks like a very simple beverage system with old parts. The system has two motors with procon pumps. One pump moves the root beer syrup and the second pump moves the water to a common output tube (containing root beer and water combined not carbonated yet). This tube leads to the input of the 48 oz carbonator tank that has a 3/4 inch hole for the probe (probe has two stainless steel rods one 2 5/8 inches long and the second rod is 4 inches long extending into the carbonator tank). Two wires leave the probe and go to a liquid level board that turns the two motors on and off. Before the service tech passed we used the last back up liquid level control board and he commented that he could not find anyone to rebuild the boards. Now the board is bad or the probe or maybe both. I don't want to use the old technology and would like to scrap the board and tank and go with a McCann Big Mac carbonator. I have talked to McCann and they are not sure the float system in the tank will work properly with root beer / water coming into the carbonator. They have only used water as the input and added syrup to the carbonated water thus getting root beer. The old timers have told me the reason A & W carbonated the root beer syrup and water at the same time was the secret to the great tasting root beer. Since we have done this for 30 years with a great deal of success .... I would like to continue this way. Has anyone updated old equipment like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Raleigh, NC
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    I wouldn't think carbonating the root beer with the water, or just the water first and mixing it with syrup after would have any effect on the taste of the final product. You should do a blind taste test!

    As to trying to using the McCann carbonator; All the modern McCann's that I have seen have a physical float with a magnet in the tank, and there is a reed switch inserted into a well through the center of the float. The switch assembly is not exposed to the inside of the tank. You can remove it without depressurizing the tank. Because of this, I can't imagine there being any problem with using it with syrup in the tank, since it is just a physical float that would be in contact with the syrup. I mean, I guess there is some chance that the syrup could gum up the float and physically jam it, but this should be impossible without the presence of air inside the tank, right?

    You might also see if you can get the control boards repaired on your old carbonator. They are pretty simple boards. If it works well when it works, you might save some money.

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