Craft beer on tap at the parsonage!

In a couple weeks, I’m finally going to accomplish a dream I’ve had for many years. I am getting craft beer on tap at my house. For many, beer on tap represents the epitome of beer delivery, surpassing bottle and can. While I’d argue that a good, bottle-conditioned ale can be an excellent way to enjoy craft beer, draft beer is something that ever beer geek wants at their pad. When you throw in the possibility of kegging your own homebrew, however, the possibility becomes irresistible. Read more to find out what you need to get and do to get some quality craft beer in your man cave!

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As you can see, the Corny keg has two ports, called posts in this picture. The large lid makes it ideal for homebrewers.

So you’re planning on getting some draft beer at your place? First you have to decide whether you want to convert a fridge into a kegerator or buy a pre-built. Pre-built is a nice way to go if you don’t want the hassle of drilling holes in a fridge, and it contains all the fittings and equipment you need to tap a standard keg. If you’re homebrewing and kegging your own creation, however, you’ll want to make sure that you can get a ball-lock tap fitted on there when you need it, as homebrew kegs are what is known as Cornelius or Corny kegs. It’s got a different tap system that you will want to make sure you can accommodate. If you’re a tinkerer and want to convert a fridge into a kegerator, there are websites that sell kits with all the parts you need. If you have mini-fridge, you can get a tower that installs into the top of the fridge. Or, if you have a standard size fridge, you can get a faucet-style kit that installs into the door. Either kit will usually just require a single hole to be drilled into the fridge to accommodate the shank for the faucet. Still, it might be a tough sell to the significant other if it involves irreparably modifying a costly home appliance.

Once you have decided on your storage/delivery system, you will need to acquire a Carbon Dioxide canister, and a keg if you plan on kegging your homebrew. Corny kegs are a different kind of keg which has two ports out of the top of it. These are simply called gas-in and beer-out. In short, your CO2 canister delivers the gas into the top of the keg, and that pressure presses the beer down. At the bottom of the keg is a sort of straw that goes back up to the beer-out fitting. The CO2 presses the beer down and out the metal “straw” and out to your delivery mechanism. A standard d-system keg works in a similar manner, though the tap is quite different. A corny keg is filled using a larger opening in the top of the keg, and is really quite simple. The CO2 system also carbonates your homebrew, which is quite handy.

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A surprisingly professional installation on my fridge. Here's to hoping it dispenses as well.

Since we were getting a new freezer, we got a combo fridge-freezer with the understanding that the fridge was mine for a kegerator. I drilled the hole for the tap and installed it into the door. I have gotten a full CO2 canister (most places won’t fill your CO2 canister, but instead will exchange it for a pre-filled one, so if you have the option for a refurbished one, go for it), have my keg ready and waiting, and am just waiting for brew day so I can fill it with some tasty homebrewed beer.

Once I get everything put together and start dispensing my own homebrew, I’ll post a review of both the kegerator I built and the beer, itself.

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