Keg Systems For Home Bar

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Keg Systems For Home Bar

Keg Outlet is your one stop shop for home kegging supplies, kegging equipment and keg accessories. We specialize in home keg equipment and keg supplies for homebrew, as well as commercial keg taps, parts and accessories. We have a wide variety of keg starter kits from basic kits with easy to use party taps, to refrigerator conversion kits! Start enjoying the great taste of draught beer from the comfort of your own home and start kegging your home brewed beer today! Whether your are a home brewer and need keg supplies for your home kegging systmet, or a restaurant or bar looking for keg equipment for your facility, chances are we carry the kegging supplies and kegging equipment that you are looking for! We carry a wide variety of keg kits (both commercial keg kits and homebrew keg kits i.e. corny kegs). Home brewers looking to get started pouring draft beer at home, we got you covered with our all inclusive Basic Keg Kits! Brewers looking for more of that restaurant/bar feel, we got you covered too, with our multi-tap beer towers and refrigerator conversion keg kits. These kits will allow you to have up to 6 different beers on tap!

Keg Systems For Home Bar

Back to that keg party. See how the keg is stuffed into a bucket and packed with ice? Beer needs to be kept cold not just so that it tastes good, but also to prevent spoilage and warm, foamy pours. But there aren’t any keg buckets in the backs of your favorite bars and restaurants either. Most restaurants have walk-in coolers that can keep a whole slew of kegs cold at once. This is where your beer’s journey begins.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

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Your beer resides in kegs: this you already knew. Kegs come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, but beer made in the US is usually packaged in 5 gallon, 7.75 gallon, or 15.5 gallon kegs made of stainless steel. From the outside, you can see a valve on top. This is the hole where gas flows in and beer flows out. Inside the keg, there’s a long tube of metal extending from the valve to the vessel’s bottom. To get beer out of the keg, gas pressure is applied to the top surface of the liquid, which presses the beer from the bottom of the keg up through that metal tube and out of the valve.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

Woohoo! The beer is on its way to you! On the trip from keg to faucet, beer travels through vinyl or polyethylene tubing measuring about a quarter inch in diameter. In systems where the beer has a long distance to travel from keg to tap, this tubing may be chilled to ensure the beer stays cold on its journey to your face.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

Those keg party taps aren’t as effective because the gas they use to pressurize kegs comes from your hardworking pumping action. So instead of using pure bottled gas, you’re pumping the air around you into the keg to build pressure. Unfortunately, the air around you is packed with oxygen and wild yeast and bacteria that will quickly spoil your beverage. And one more thing: the imprecise, varying pressure applied by that pumping action will allow the bubbles in your beer to be released. This is why kegs only last one wild night when they are poured from a party pump—by morning the beer is oxidized, flatter than it should be, and down the road to spoilage.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

A kegerator has to be at least as big as a keg, of course, so you’ll need about two to three square feet of floor space (more for a multi-keg system). Many kegerators have a draught tower on top that can bring the height up to around four feet, so keep that in mind when scouting for a spot.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

Don’t stress too much about the CO2 tank. I picked a nice small 5 lb tank which is plenty of gas to carbonate and dispense 5+ kegs of beer. This small talk also fits easily into the keezer, so there are no gas lines running outside the system. I suggest that you buy a refurbished tank. Most gas fill places (large liquor  stores and welding shops) will just exchange your empty tank for a full one for the price of the gas (at least in Ohio). Kegs can be purchased new or refurbished. Most homebrewers use old soda kegs (exactly 5 gallons) for their systems. Mine were refurbished and in great shape except for a few cosmetic scratches and dings. Once the kegs and the tank are in the keezer, you just need to hook up the hoses. Beer lines go from kegs to faucets. Gas lines go from the gas regulator to your keg. You’ll figure it out. To top it off, I added a couple oversized bar mats on top to catch any dripping beer. These just get rinsed as needed. Don’t put them in the dishwasher. They might warp a little. Learn from our mistakes.

Keg Systems For Home Bar

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The system detailed above is held in a delicate balance, hinging on the amount of pressure that’s applied to the keg as it relates to the resistance imposed by tubing, gravity, and other hardware like faucets and couplers. The temperature and amount of carbonation in the beer matter too. So it’s actually super easy to screw up. A system with too much or too little applied carbon dioxide pressure will produce foamy pours and kegs that are overcarbonated or super-flat—all things that cost the bar or restaurant money and leave the customer with a less-than-perfect beer.

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I chose to use a chest freezer based on the aesthetic I was going for (something that would pass as furniture in the house and not be banished to the basement). Picking the appropriate freezer might be the hardest part of the whole project. You need to look at internal dimensions of the freezer compared to the dimensions of your kegs (especially the height of the keg plus an inch of clearance of the disconnects). I found that most 5.0 cubic feet freezers will fit 2 kegs and a CO2 tank easily, and most 7.0 cubic feet freezers would fit a tank and 3 kegs. You are able to squeeze a few more kegs in if you build a collar, which is a wooden piece that adds height to your system. I really didn’t want to do this. It seemed like it would end up poorly insulated and take a lot of work to gain the aesthetic I was going for.

In any draft system, you’ve got six main components: cooler, keg, coupler, gas, tubing, and faucet—it can get more complex, but that’s the basic setup. These six pieces all work together in a delicate harmony to ensure that the beer served to you is properly chilled and carbonated, with an appropriate foamy head. Here’s how it all breaks down.

All of this wouldn’t be too much of an issue if you could just crank up the bottled carbon dioxide pressure as high as you’d like. If the necessary pressure is pouring beer too fast, you can just lengthen the tubing between keg and faucet to add resistance, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Let’s say you’ve found space in the garage, basement or kitchen. Is it easily accessible? No one wants to be hauling a half-barrel keg up or down stairs, or maneuvering it around tight corners.

Tip for Tap: I currently have a refrigerator for my keg system, but I have not made any holes…yet. Someday I’ll get around to installing some faucets on the door, but until then, it works fine just the way it is.

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