NOT QUITE SO CHEAP BEER ENJOYMENT UNIT
For almost ten years I bottled every batch of beer
I brewed. While I really enjoy the brewing process, bottling
the homebrew is a laborious task which I find quite unpleasant.
I found that I'd let my beer sit in secondary
for months on end, aging past its prime, just because I'd procrastinate.
Face it - bottling
beer sucks. After years of admiring other people's kegging
systems & putting it off because of the sheer expense, I
found a good deal on used kegs. My sister was moving across
the country and didn't want to move the chest
freezer, so I bought that off of her. I made a collar
for the freezer out of 2x8's which I painted with some mildew
resistant white paint. This allows me both the direct the temperature
controller’s probe cabling and CO2
line into the freezer without drilling holes into it, and
also allows me to place an additional corny keg on the compressor
hump in the freezer. The collar is mounted over the freezer
with the used of some galvanized plating, and the edges were
some kitchen grade caulking. Without the collar, there would
not be enough height to allow for it. I keep the freezer at
48°F most of the time, which is the serving temperature I prefer.
This also allows for a primary fermentation
of a lager.
While other homebrewers mount beer taps on the outside of their
fridges or freezers, I have decided to stay with cobra head
taps held inside the freezer. This is mainly due to the cost,
but another advantage is that the taps themselves remain refridgerated,
which helps reduce bacteria growth in my taps. It saves me a
great deal of time in cleaning. At the moment, I have four sets
of dispensing hoses, and a manifold
capable of splitting the CO2 among four kegs.
Some day I may decide to finish the bar
that's roughed into my basement and set up some real beer taps,
but I'm happy enough with this setup for now.