Install a Draft Beer System in a Basement Bar

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Old working refrigerator
Tap handle and installation hardware
Surgical tubing
Hose clamps
Utility knife
CO tank
Pressure regulator
Beer tap disconnect
Power drill
Hole saws
Caulking gun
Silicon caulk
Rubber gaskets

A draft beer system is a great addition to your basement bar. They virtually guarantee that your friends will always be over and that you will be provided with cold, pressurized draft beer anytime you want it. No longer will you have to buy beer in bottles. Instead, you can drink it the way it was intended: on draft. It is best to have a space already allotted for draft beer so that you do not have to retrofit your basement bar. The space needs a small refrigerator, pressure tank and line, tap, and access to electricity.

Step 1 - Placement of Old Fridge

Find a place for your keg refrigerator, which is essentially an old kitchen refrigerator with the inside racks removed. The keg will sit inside of it, connected to both the tap and the pressure tank. Position it in a convenient location in your basement bar so it is easily accessible.

Step 2 - Drill Holes in the Fridge

The next step is to drill two holes in the refrigerator. Drill one in the front for the tap fixture and one in back for the pressure hose. Measure the size of both to determine the exact size of the hole. You will seal around the holes after the installation.

Step 3 - Install the Tap Fixture

Install the tap fixture into the front hole. Drill pilot holes for fasteners which affix the handle to the fridge door. Position the tap handle right side up and set in place with the necessary hardware. It should be attached to a length of tubing to reach the keg. Clamp the section where the tube meets the tap.

Step 4 - Install the Pressure Tank

The pressure tank attaches the pressure regulator, which should be kept between 10 and 13 psi for optimal pressure on the draft beer. Another length of tubing attaches to the regulator and is secured with a hose clamp. Run this tube to the keg and through the back hole you drilled in the refrigerator.

Step 5 - Attach Tubing to Tap

The tap disconnect screws onto the beer keg and opens the valve to release the beer. Attach the pressure tube to the disconnect as well as the tube leading to the tap handle. Once activated, the pressurizer forces the beer to rise through to the tap handle, requiring no pumping.

Step 6 - Seal Around Holes

Seal the tubing with caulk around the areas where you drilled holes in the refrigerator to prevent the cold air from escaping. An alternative method is to use circular rubber gaskets, but they must be installed before you feed the tubing through the drilled holes.

With your draft beer installation in place, your only future expense will be new kegs, pressure tank refills, and the occasional cleaning of the lines to ensure that the beer always tastes great.