June 27, 2012
Homebrewing: Kegging My Beers (Part 2)

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…and then there were four. 

A few weeks ago, I picked up a two-tap kegerator. However, I had already brewed my 3rd and 4th beers. So, I had a dilemma. Do I bottle the other two beers or do I buy another kegerator? Initially, I was looking at a dorm-room style fridge that fit two Cornelius kegs. There were kits and pre-made kegerators with a total investment of about $500. I like variety and I’ve really enjoyed brewing so after brewing my first two beers, i did two more but luckily, the kegerator I bought was a converted full-size fridge. This meant you could put a commercial full-size keg in there or 4 homebrew soda kegs. 

I got on a chat with Midwest supplies. Those guys have been great through this whole process. I’ve bought everything through them because their customer services rocks. Two hours after sitting in a chat room with a sales rep, I pulled the trigger on the equipment to add two more taps to my kegerator bring the total to four. It’s a very cool setup actually. 

  • Four Reconditioned Corny Kegs. I replaced all of the O-rings and lids with new parts.
  • 5lb CO2 tank
  • Dual CO2 Regulator with two pressure dials for each tap
  • A four-hose separator so I can easily hook up 4 kegs to one regulator hose and each hose has its own on/off valve
  • About 80 feet of tubing
  • Four stainless steel faucets
  • A crap load of various clamps and connectors
  • Two of the Ball-Lock connectors have screw releases so I can unscrew the barbed homebrew tubing and put on the tubing connecting to a commercial keg. Now, if I want I can get a commercial quarter keg and hook it up with just the twist of a wrench. The kegerator I bought came with an empty quarter keg and 4 Sankey locks (2 US and 2 European)
  • Four sockets that go through my fridge that connect to the liquid line hoses
The one thing I was asked while on with the sales representative is why I was going for a dual regulator when I had a 4-line splitter for the CO2. I’d like to have the extra tube available to force carb beers after kegging. I can simply kill the CO2 to all but one keg via the 4-tap splitter’s valve controls and change the hose to the new keg then up the power but I had the extra money to get a dual regulator and can now easily force carb a keg while the other 4 are still plugged in and serving. At the very least, I can purge the O2 from a newly kegged home brew if I don’t yet have capacity to hook it up to the kegerator since all 4 are still with beer in them.

It took about 6 hours to take apart the fridge, clean and then get everything setup. I also had to test for leaks and any pressure issues since it was all being built by hand. I didn’t order tap handles but I’m taking my time on what to use for those. I could make my own or perhaps get some ones I find interesting. My beers are always changing so maybe chalk handles? I’m not sure yet. 

Everything fit in the fridge perfectly and, with trial-and-error, I dialed in on the right carbonation to serve. I had already force carbed the beers with the previous single regulator a few days before and some priming sugar. 

So, that’s the update on things. Basically, I have 4-beers on tap on my deck in a full-size fridge and a freezer full of glasses and serving pitchers and, of course, bagged hops. I don’t believe in serving beer in chilled mugs but a lot of friends who drink my beer have requested them and many people think it’s how beer is served. For them, I have 15 or so chilled mugs for them to use. I still drink my beer in the wine glasses that allow for better beer clarity and scent (for my reviews and enjoyment).

I was asked privately and on here to review my own beers. I’m going to do that soon. Maybe this weekend. I’m letting them clear up a bit, letting some of the hops settle and overall, just letting the beer balance out a bit. The friends who have had them love them which is nice. Now, some photos!

4-Faucets Installed

Adding 2 more Faucets to my Kegerator

4 Corny Kegs installed

Carbonating my beers / checking for CO2 Leaks

Filling my keg with an American Pale Ale

New CO2 Regulator and Splitter is configured

Installing a Keg Shank

New Corny Kegs Arrived

Setting up my 4-Tap Kegerator

My First Homebrew

Setting up my Kegerator