Perlick Perl 575ss Faucet
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A numberof months ago I was able to get one of the new Perlick Perl 575SS Faucets to try. I'm already a big fan of the forward-sealing faucets that have been on the market for years, but this is supposed to be the next big step in simplicity of design, with fewer moving parts. In addition to the basics, this exact model I have is the "creamer" model that has a valve to add foam to the pour if needed.

To start with, this faucet is beautiful. The high-polished stainless body has a nice finish and curving lines. The extra care in finish shows, and it looks much better than the Perlick offerings of the past.

The connection to the shank is the same as any other faucet, and so is the attachment of the handle as well. No news there. It also has a tang on the bottom that looks to be a point of attachment for a standard faucet lock to keep employees or others from tapping out drinks at will. Appearance aside, how does it work???

You'll see in the parts breakdown to the left that there is no sliding bar like every other faucet on the market. If you didn't know that it was not needed, you might think I left it out of the picture. If you see the ball at the end of the shaft, that is the only thing that seals the beer passage. The ball at the end of the shaft presses against an o-ring inside the faucet body, in the same way that the o-ring on the sliding bar on standard faucets did in the past. This is what makes this faucet unique. The o-ring stays captive inside the body, and the ball on the end of the handle shaft shuts off the flow. The designer basically removed the old sliding bar from the design.
The removal of the sliding bar seems to give the beer a path of less resistance and interruption on its way out of the faucet. That little change could possibly allow the faucet to pour a wider range of carbonation levels as there would be less disturbance and change in the flow from the beer line to the nozzle. What this means is that it may result in a smoother flow in a wider range of conditions that a normal faucet or even a forward-sealing faucet could offer. I'm not a fluid dynamics engineer, so I can only guess, and base my opinion on actual use.

As for the "creamer" feature, it is achieved by placing a tiny valve in the middle of the ball that seals the flow. In the photo the sealing surface is facing downward, and the valve and black seal is visible and pointing upward. This valve functions when the tap handle is pushed backward, pressing the sealing ball against the o-ring in the body, and when more than a normal sealing force is applied, the spring valve opens and a squirt of beer is allowed to flow through the tiny valve resulting in a shot of foamy beer.

So, why would someone want a foamy shot of beer at all? Well, if your pour comes up with too little head for the appearance you are looking to get, just give a quick shot of foam for the perfect head. If you are serving beers that are typically served with a notrogen gas mix, but you are serving with plain CO2, you might want this shot of foam to simulate that large puffy head that is characteristic of nitrogen serving systems. Most people won't ever know the difference, and we serve stouts in this fashion regularly. We used to just try and crack the faucet valve open and hope the spray pattern formed a good head, but with this faucet there is no reason you can't get it perfect every time. Have I ever needed this feature? No. I think that most people who are serving don't need gadgets or gimmicks to get the proper pour. It's a nice option, but never needed.
What about the pour??? OK, so I'm getting to that part. Flawless. Is that a good word?

I have tried this faucet on several styles of beer and soda water as well. Although it does not have a range of interchangeable nozzles like my forward-sealing models do, I think that with less obstruction in the flow path of the beer, it just pours nicer to begin with, and needs no tweaking. We have served stout, porter, pale ale, india pale ale, rye india pale ale, dopplebock, Belgian wit, hefeweizen, and a Fat Tire clone as well. We really never thought about the difference in carbonation levels of the different beers like we would have with some other faucets, so we are calling this one a winner. The trials were done on the same tower with the same ~6ft of 3/16" ID beer line each time at the same temperature, in a True TDD-2 commercial serving system.

Would I suggest this faucet to my beer geek friends and bar owners? Yes. The additional cost over standard faucets will ensure not only a better pour, but also gives a faucet that has less places for bacteria to build up, less moving parts to worry about, and the seals all seem to be standard o-rings, not special parts. Did I mention that for me it is already monogrammed with a "P" ?

The bad??? Well, the only comment I have is that the "return-to-center" is not very snappy at times and may need some attention to where the shutoff point of the faucet is. Seems because of that these faucets are not as resistant to being bumped and knocked in normal serving situations and may be able to get knocked open easily but briefly when reaching for a nearby tap when the taps are close together. Other than that I have not seen any real problems, and that part is very minor. It is probably due to the sealing surface being a single little area of the ball on the end of the shaft for the beer to press against, and the tap handle having a huge advantage in leverage. Maybe only an issue with bigger heavier tap handles. We were using standard handles such as the New Belgium handles, but I plan to try the generic little 4" black plastic handles if I remember one day :-)

I don't know how much more I can say. With so many beer geeks out there fighting for the limited supply of Ventmatic forward-sealing faucets, this is a real show-stopper and game-changer as far as I'm concerned.

While I won't be replacing all my faucets, this makes me sure consider it!

Email me at Dean_Palmer@jabil.com if you find errors, bullshit, or have questions.