Monday, April 11, 2011

So you decided to keg... PART 2!

Last week I went over some of the major items to building your own kegerator. Lets do a quick recap and dive right into this. Last week I mentioned you will need:

1) A chest freezer
2) A temperature controller
3) A CO2 tank (with CO2) & a regulator

That's all the expensive stuff, we're getting cheaper as we go along. I'm assuming you already have a corny keg full of beer so the next step to purchase is...

Step 4! Disconnects and tubing.

Corny kegs are actually leftovers from the era of soda distribution where the soda syrup was distributed in 5 gallon kegs. When the big companies switched from these kegs to the "bag-in-a-box," our market was flooded with these 5 gallon soda kegs, AKA Cornelius Kegs, or "Corny" Kegs. These kegs come in two flavors, ball-lock and pin-lock. The only difference it makes is the type of disconnect you get for the top of the keg. Ball-lock disconnects are much like a quick disconnect on an air compressor or garden hose, and are much more common. Pin-lock posts have little pins sticking out the side which you press and twist your disconnect onto. You need two disconnects for each keg, one for the gas port and one for the liquid port. These run you about 5 bucks a piece. You'll also need tubing for these disconnects. The gas tubing will be different from the liquid tubing. The gas tubing you'll get will have a mesh embedded in the tube so as to hold the pressure from the CO2. The liquid tubing is cheaper and is really the same stuff you've been using to siphon your beer.

Step 5... dispensing.

I could probably go into a completely separate posting or two on different methods of dispensing your beer. Like I said before however, we're going budget on this one. A picnic faucet will run you under 5 bucks. These faucets will bring you back to the days of your college keggers, because that's about all they are. It's the old fashioned plastic fits-in-your-hand beer dispenser. But unlike back then, now you don't have to pump!

And finally step 6. Miscellaneous stuff.

If you really went budget you got everything mentioned above with barbed fittings. This means you just slip the tube over the fitting and it fill maintain a somewhat decent connection. But you'll also need a handful of hose clamps, the kind you tighten with a screwdriver. You'll need two per length of hose, so by my count, for a single keg system you'll need 4 hose clamps. These are about 25 cents a piece. Anything you thread (CO2 regulator connections primarily) you'll need teflon tape for, and don't be shy with it. Teflon tape will also run you under a dollar. And finally keg lube! I didn't know it existed before my build either. This stuff, contrary to it's name, is sticky nasty stuff that you smear all over your keg seals to ensure the seals are nice and tight. Don't use it on anything other than seals though. Please.

There you have it! Slap it all together and you have yourself your very own kegerator! Depending on the size of freezer you got, you can fit anywhere from 2 to 6 to 12 kegs in it! Enjoy! For quick reference lets go down the prices one last time...

1) Chest Freezer $140
2)  CO2 Tank $120 + Regulator $70
3) Temperature Controller $70
4) Disconnects $10 + Tubing $15
5) Picnic Faucet $5
6) Lube $4, Clamps $1, Teflon Tap $1

Grand total: $366

Not bad. Especially since it holds more kegs than those one's you buy in the store. It isn't a centerpiece but it does it's job. And now you have a story to blog about.

Questions? Comments? Post! And if you haven't written you beereview yet, the deadline is April 22nd! Go and get your free shirt!

1 comment:

  1. A picnic faucet can help to save water, but, it has bad effect on the environment. Picnic faucet can damage the underground structure which can cause soil erosion.