Installing a bar keg and draft-beer system is a great addition to any basement bar, providing you and your friends with cold-draft beer whenever you want. It will also be a lot cheaper in the longer term than buying bottled beer in the supermarkets and it is a great way to impress your friends when they visit your home. Provided that you already have an adequate-sized space allocated in your basement for the beer keg installation, you can do the job without having to make major modifications to the room. You will need space for a CO2 tank, a refrigerator and the keg wiring and tap. You will also need to have an electrical outlet.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Beer keg
- Hose clamps
- Tap and handle hardware kit
- Pressure regulator
- CO2 tank
- Silicone sealant
- Rubber gaskets
Step 1 – Install the Fridge
The refrigerator that you use can be any old kitchen fridge that you no longer need for any other purpose. Remove all of the racks inside the fridge. Place the fridge in an easily-accessible location. Remember that you will need to be able to fit the keg into the fridge.
Step 2 – Make Holes in the Fridge
The keg inside the fridge will need to be connected to both the CO2 tank and the tap hardware. To make way for the connections, you will need to drill an appropriately-large hole in the back of the fridge for the CO2 line and one in the front of the fridge for the tap connection. They should only be a little-bit bigger than the tubing which needs to run through them. You will be sealing this later on.
Step 3 – Install the Tap Hardware
The tap hardware needs to be installed with the connections running through the hole in the front of the fridge. The tap handle should be placed on the door of the fridge, right side up. Use the hardware that came with the kit to attach it in place. You will then need to connect tubing on the inside which will attach to the keg. Use a hose clamp to attach the tube to the tap.
Step 4 – Install the CO2 Tank
The optimal pressure for draft beer should be between 10 and13 PSI and this will be measured and monitored by a pressure regulator. This needs to be attached to the CO2 tank. Also attached to the pressure regulator should be a length of tubing secured with another hose clamp. The tube should run through the back of the fridge where it will also be connected to the keg.
Step 5 – Attach the Tube to the Tap
Attach the tap disconnect to the beer keg. Attach the CO2 tube to the disconnect and the tap handle tube. When switched on, the CO2 will pressurize the beer causing it to automatically flow upwards from the keg when the handle is turned without needing any pumping.
Step 6 – Seal Holes
Use a thorough application of sealant around the pipes leading through the holes in the fridge, blocking the gaps from any escaping air. You can also use rubber gaskets though these need to be installed before placing the tubes through the holes.