Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homebrew Home Improvement Part II

This is a big post, not just in size but in what it means to me as a homebrewer. At the end of this post I would have completed the list from this post and completed the first Homebrew Home Improvement post. This post also represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning. Being able to have multiple taps pouring delicious beer has been a pipe dream ever since I started. In other words, this is kind of a big deal. So without any further interruption let’s get started!
The goal of this post was to rig my fridge to dispense, not one batch of homebrew but four. In order to do this I would need four kegs, a way to run air from a central CO2 tank to all four kegs (via a four way manifold), a tap for each keg, connection for the in and out lines and the hardest part, the lines themselves. I know this is a little difficult to imagine so I have included a great picture from Keg Connection:

Unfortunately, I did not by this kit and it did not come fully assembled. This was a bit of a problem since I had never attempted anything like this.
The first and most obvious issue I ran into was that the beer line is 3/16 of an inch, the metal barb that it needed to fit over was 1/4 of an inch. For those like me, the issue is that 3/16 is smaller than 1/4. So how do we fit this? The fine folks at Homebrew HQ suggested dipping the ends in hot water to make them more flexible to fit around the barbs. After 3 or four attempts there was zero success. Then my beautiful wife had an idea, what about a hair dryer? It sounded crazy but the concentrated heat made the hoses into putty, easily fitting over the barbs.

Soon enough all hoses were connected. All that remained was to hookup up the newly redesigned system to the CO2, turn it on and cross my fingers there were no leaks. With the gas on the most wonderful noise was heard, absolutely none. With the gas good to go it was time to install some new taps.
The tap installed similar to the first, simply drill a hole in the fridge door and attach the hose. This was just as simple as the first time and soon enough the second tap was installed.

It was at this time that I had a revelation, why install taps for beer that isn’t there? Since I currently only had one keg in the fridge with another on the way I would not be using any of the other taps soon. So I put away my tools and called it a day. There would be more to do soon as I had to fill a keg for my new tap. Till the next post, Prost!

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