The Beer Tap
Beer tap is one of the most common type of kitchen appliances. They are used to dispense your favorite beverage from a large plastic bottle or glass bottle. These types of bottles and caps come in different sizes and styles such as tall skinny tall wide and so on. You can use any kind of beer tap that will fit into the sink’s outlet hole.
These kinds of faucets are commonly found in bars and restaurants. Most popular brands include:
1) Coors Light (Coors Brewing Company) – A light colored beer with a high alcohol content.
It is sold at many grocery stores and convenience stores.
2) Budweiser (Budweiser Brewery) – A dark brown color beer with a low alcohol content.
3) Miller Lite (Miller Brewing Company) – A lite version of Coors Light.
4) Stella Artois (Stella Artois Brewery) – An amber colored beer with a low alcohol content.
5) Pilsner Urquell (Pilsener Urquell Brewery) – A light colored beer with a medium alcohol content.
A kegorator is a refrigerator modified to store and dispense beer on tap. In addition to beer faucets and a beer tower, you will need a kegerator conversion kit. This kit will include:
1) Draft Beer Faucet – This includes the tap handle and lever.
2) Draft Beer Tower with Shank – This will hold your beer in the keg.
3) CO2 Cylinder and Regulator – Used to push beer out of the keg.
4) Beverage Tubing and Tailpiece – Hose that connects the faucet to the shank.
The Draft Beer Faucet
There are several types of beer faucets:
1)Pub Style – These faucets resemble the handle of a ceramic coffee mug. 2)Swan Neck – These faucets feature a neck that resembles the long neck of a swan. 3)Hand Pump – These faucets are operated by hand. They are commonly found on barrels.
The Draft Beer Tower with Shank
Beer towers with shanks vary in size and shape. The size depends on the size of the beer bottle or can used. Some of these towers have plates or screens at the bottom to prevent debris from entering the beer. Most beer towers are round but some are made in a square shape to accommodate cans. Beer towers with shanks are removed during the cleaning process.
The CO2 Cylinder and Regulator
The CO2 Cylinder is used to fill the beer keg. It is sold with a regulator that maintains the proper pressure of the beer. Once attached to the keg, the pressure can be adjusted using the regulator. Too much pressure will cause the beer to foam uncontrollably. Too little pressure and the beer will not pour properly or flavor will not be dispersed properly.
The Beverage Tubing and Tailpiece
These attach the beer faucet to the shank and exposed beer hose inside the kegerator. They come in a variety of colors to better coordinate with your decor.
The Draft Beer Filter
Some people choose to use a draft beer filter between the CO2 Cylinder and Regulator. These filters are not required but will remove any particles or sediment that may be in the beer. It is recommended that you replace the filter after 25 kegs of beer.
How to Set Up a Kegerator
The process of converting a refrigerator into a kegerator is relatively simple. The basic steps are as follows:
1) Disassemble your refrigerator and thoroughly clean all parts including the interior, exterior and door seals.
2) Attach the tower and faucet to the shank.
3) Assemble and mount the shank assembly inside the refrigerator.
4) Mount the exterior tower trim kit.
5) Connect beer tubing and air line to the faucet and shank.
6) Connect CO2 Cylinder and Regulator.
7) Fill beer lines with water and bleed air from lines.
How to Dispense Beer
You have many options when dispensing beer from your kegerator:
1) Hand Pouring – This is the traditional method of beer dispensing.
Just lift the handle on the faucet and pour until the glass is full.
2) Straw Dispensing – This is similar to hand pouring but eliminates heavy lifting.
A long plastic or stainless steel straw is used in combination with the faucet handle.
3) Shank Mounted Faucet – This is a newer style of beer faucet that is stemless.
It is attached to the shank and can be swiveled in any direction.
4) Beer Guns – Also known as a line cleaning guns, these devices are used to clean draft lines.
They attach to the faucet and use pressurized carbon dioxide or nitrogen to push out any particulate matter that has built up in the beverage tubing.
How the System Works
The CO2 cylinder is connected to the regulator, which reduces the pressure from 1000 psi to around 14-50 psi. The reduced pressure is then used to push carbon dioxide into the beer keg. The flow of gas is controlled by the handles on the faucet. When you pull the handle forward, it opens up the valve to allow pressurized gas to flow into the beer. As you sweep it back, it shuts off the valve.
When you put a glass under the faucet and pull the handle forward, it starts the flow of beer. As long as you continue to pull the handle forward, beer will flow from the faucet. When you release the handle, beer flow stops. This allows for precise control of the draft beer pour without having to use excessive force to hold a heavy handle forward.
Sources & references used in this article:
The HBD Palexperiment-Lab Analysis (Part II) by LK Bonham – morebeer.com
Beer Color Demystified by R Daniels – morebeer.com
Systems for monitoring and displaying information for beverage dispensing systems by RLE Miller – US Patent App. 14/280,409, 2015 – Google Patents
Self-contained, portable beverage dispensing system by WR Williamson, RF Rohlfing – US Patent 6,010,043, 2000 – Google Patents
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association by BCBB Day, A Sat, SC Festival – ovha.net
Multi-purpose keg tapper by TA Painchaud, RA Sinapi – US Patent 5,129,552, 1992 – Google Patents
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association by D Heisler – ovha.net
Sixtel Keg Tapping and Stacking Apparatus by SE Cole – US Patent App. 14/857,800, 2016 – Google Patents
Beverage cooler by TR Lowman – US Patent App. 11/789,810, 2008 – Google Patents