what is the fastest pour: Kegerator or Jockey Box
We are having Peak Organic for my son's wedding reception but I am afraid that there will be lines of people waiting at the keg (250 guests and/or that the beer won't be properly chilled. In looking at rentals and coolers for sale, I see only Kegerators and Jockey boxes (coolers with taps). Any suggestions or experience with either, and what would you recommend. We are using Pilsner glasses.
I've had lots of experience using both. Jockey boxes are great in the way that you don't have to have the keg chilled (if it's less then say, 85 degrees out) and you will still get a decent pour that's cold. Throwing the keg in a tub of ice will definitely give a less foamy pour more consistently. For an event like that I would use a jockey box for the portability benefits. Some tips:
Put ice in the cooler after there is beer in the lines - or you can have occasional problems with the lines in the cooler freezing.
As far as CO2 pressure goes, if it's foamy, turn it down not up. Often times if there is too much pressure in the keg then as soon as it goes into the lines the CO2 will leave the solution giving a foamy beer.
Do you have any specific questions regarding either of the equipment?
Also, the Jockey Box can give a faster pour due to the longer lines (needed to cool the beer) requiring a higher pressure to pour properly.
Also, a quick tip - when pouring you want to try to snap the tap open, and then snap it closed nice and fast. Half open gives a foamy pour. I like to hold it near the base of the tap handle, rather than at the top.
I would suggest getting some pitchers - especially to be prepared for the initial rush for the first drink. They also help if you have foaming problems you can't fix.
Don't know what's available for you to rent, but most kegerators I see for sale provide a beer line that's too short and too wide of diameter - which ends up sending beer out too fast due to lack of resistence and causes foaming issues unless you turn the pressure way down - which would then cause it to pour too slowly for your purposes. The coils in a jockey box should provide enough resistence to pour at maximum velocity without foaming. Keep the kegs cold for best results.
Peak Organic has some excellent recipes - and will be good if you have a higher tolerance for diacetyl (buttery flavors) which seem to be more and more common with this beer company.