I built this banquet tap tower for Michelle’s office christmas party in December. It’s a simple block of CVG Douglas fir with a hole straight-thru for a beer spigot and a partial groove in the bottom that allows it to be attached to a desktop with a C-clap. It started out as a part of a jockey-box, but after reading a fair amount, I decided that for the purposes of a party (or a wedding), the 5-gallon kegs usually get finished before they can cool down, and having the keg under the desk in a bucket of ice would be cheaper and less foamy than trying to get a jockey box dialed in.
Anyway, it worked well, looked nice, and was fun to make with some scrap I had laying around. I re-sawed some of the CVG fir to glue to the sides so that it would be CVG all the way around. It seemed a shame to have only 2 pretty sides. I didn’t finish it – and I probably should given the wet nature of beer – but unfinished fir just looks so lovely. Personally, I like it better with the short tap-handle. Next step will be to make a matching handle.
Kegerator version 2, that is. Ever since I had to leave the previous kegerator with our old house, Iâ€™ve been pining for its replacement. It was not an easy task though, because Iâ€™m a bit frugal and tend to wait a long time to make any decisions. Recently, with a porter in secondary and no desire to bottle, I hit craigslist again with new clarity.
Finding a top and bottom fridge in good shape at a reasonable price can be a bit of a challenge. I managed to find a relatively new (<10 years old) Amana that was energy efficient for $180 and pounced on it. There was a pronounced thawed fish smell that occurred between when I purchased it and when I got it home (24 hours outdoors will do that) which I was able to wash out. And I had to remove all the doors and brackets to get it in to the basement, but itâ€™s a nice fit, itâ€™s quiet, and it now has two taps in the door.
This time around I ordered the kegging equipment online from Micro-Matic, which has both inexpensive parts and a wealth of information on kegging and conversions. Iâ€™m really impressed with their site and the deliverables. I got my equipment quickly, and the conversion kit came with a very useful set of instructions. The only problem I found was that the instructions suggest using a 1â€ hole saw bit, then using a piece of PVC pipe as a spacer, but the PVC they included has a 1â€ inside diameter, not outside, so it doesnâ€™t actually fit. Iâ€™m going to bring this up with them. I donâ€™t particularly care, but they probably want to fix that.
Something is currently wrong with my regulator, so my porter didnâ€™t carbonate quite right, but I was still able to pour a growler to take over to dinner at my parents. Iâ€™m very pleased with it. The porter, that is. But Iâ€™m also quite pleased with K2. Itâ€™s larger, quieter, frost free, and has 2 taps. By this weekend I should have a pumpkin beer on tap as well. I only had 30 minutes to make the conversion before going to dinner, so I didn’t have time to take pictures of the process. I don’t think I could have improved on the instructions in the Micro-matic manual either.