Are You Sick of Bars? Move the Tavern to Your House!
Are you tired of always having to go out to a bar for a couple of cold beers when you really just want to take it easy and relax a bit? Have you ever thought about how much money you spend when drinking out in public? For anyone who’s had to put off their car payment for another week just because of last Saturday night, the solution is simple; beer taps right in your own home!
Buying draft beer by the keg not only costs much less but the quality and experience goes up as well. A draft beer system is a fairly simple way to enjoy great beer without going anywhere. A draft system uses gas (usually CO2 or a blend of nitrogen and CO2) to push beer from the keg right out of the beer tap handles and into your glass. Beer must remain in between 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit for two reasons: for proper pouring and to maintain the freshness of the beer, as it is not pasteurized. It can be a bit more complicated with multiple beer taps, but the basics remain; consistent temperature and a proper pressure level of gas.
At home beer taps are fairly simple in design. A small tank of CO2 attaches to a regulator, which reduces the pressure down to 10-12 psi. A hose goes from the beer tap handles to the keg. There are a variety of beer tap handles that go along with certain kinds of beers. All beer tap handles have a screwing or keyed fitting that hooks up to the keg and another hose that runs to the faucet where the beer is poured out. Tap handles usually run anywhere from -0, depending on what style and brand you choose.
Most of the domestic keg coolers are designed to hold a pony keg, or about ¼ of a regular sized keg. Some larger coolers are made for restaurants that hold ½ of a keg. There are also conversion kits where you can actually turn your old refrigerator into a keg cooler. It is a good idea to test out the size of the keg you’ll be using with the fridge before building it to completion. Local beer distributors will more than likely loan you one for a small deposit down. After that, it’s as simple as measuring a frame around the keg to make sure your cooler is big enough to hold the size keg you want.
A five-pound tank of gas is usually enough for about 5-7 half kegs and is relatively inexpensive (between -) to refill. Regular cleaning should be done to maintain proper flow through the system and to keep the taste of the beer great. This can be done by regularly running clean and hot water through the lines every couple of weeks or so. Whatever system you go with, there’s a lot to be said about being able to stay in your own home and still being able to enjoy your favorite draft beer just like at the bar.