In the pursuit of perfect homebrew, failure still makes beer.

MAN-ssion accomplished: Keg Acquired.

I have a great announcement: I’ve accomplished something on my man-goal list.

Usually anything on this list involves defeating a pack of wild animals, curing an infectious disease, space travel, surviving personal injury, growing enormous amounts of chest hair, or all of the above at the same time. But this accomplishment, however less it may seem in comparison to the aforementioned subjects, will cause envy, jealousy, and celebration throughout the man community.

I now own a personal kegerator.

Granted, it’s a homebrew kegerator. But the fact is that I can have draft beer at my own house whenever I want. I don’t have to run to the store every week to replenish my hard-day’s-work rewards; I can just pull a tap, like my own personal bartender. I’m one hot German girl away from Beerfest Headquarters. Maybe now I can start a bar in my basement. All my friends will come, and then they’ll all think I’m the God of Beer, Cider, and Good Times. Think about that! I’ll be a GOD!

Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll admit that it wasn’t too hard to set up. You can find refrigerator kits in any homebrew store, and all you need is a large fridge, a power drill, and some handyman skills to accomplish said goal. But I bought a fridge from a guy who already used it as a kegerator (first successful Craigslist endeavor ever) so I skipped the whole drilling part right to the parts assembly. I know a good DIY is here if you want to feel like I feel.

It’s extremely important to clean your Corny kegs between uses, and this includes all disassembled parts. Knowing your way in and out of a keg might be daunting, god forbid you take it apart and can’t put it back together. WikiHow helped me out with my keg dis- and re-assembly. Do everything it says to do – don’t cut corners because you’re thirsty. The finished product is the number one concern, and if you cut corners you’ll end up with a lesser quality beer. NOTE: This tutorial was only for a pin-lock setup. Look on Google for a ball-lock setup if that’s what you have.

Some things I’ve learned about the keg, its fridge, and serving:

  • CLEAN YOUR KEG. It prevents infection, hazy beer, and off-flavors from contaminating sources like old beer, molds, yeasts, and rusts.
  • Keep the fridge cold enough to serve refreshing beer, but not so cold you freeze the lines.
  • You can carbonate three ways in a keg: 1) Natural carbonation with yeast and sugar, which takes 2 weeks, 2) leaving the keg on 25 psi for 3 days, and 3) shaking the keg on 25psi live pressure for 5 minute intervals, once every hour for 3 hours, then letting it settle for 2 days. Choose which one is right for you.
  • I keep my CO2 cylinder inside the fridge with 10-12psi serving pressure. This can change on the style of beer you’re serving, and I’m serving a brown ale right now. Check your local Google for beer style carbonation levels, then pressurize accordingly.
  • What did I tell you before? CLEAN YOUR GODDAMN KEG.

Also, some problems I’ve encountered and wouldn’t mind solving:

  • Why do I have to dump the first glass of beer every time I go down after 24 hours? It’s wasting my precious homebrew!
  • People still insist on bringing bottles of beer to my house. What are you, dense? This thing is free. If I offer you to come over and drink my beer, it’s a) not going to hurt you, b) at no cost to you, and c) doing me a favor in the manner that I’ll have more space to brew more beer after you’re finished draining me of my last glass!
  • Hazy beer. This can be a result of a number of things, but I have yet to solve this, even in the keg. I was told gelatin will do the trick. If I try that, I’ll post the result.

Yahoo for pictures coming soon! To make you all that much more jealous.

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: World Beers Review » MAN-ssion accomplished: Keg Acquired. « RELEASE THE KRAUSEN!

  2. kevin

    You are getting foamy first pours because the lines in your keg tower are warm. There are kits for sale on ebay, or you can find some DIY instructions on the web. Basically, you need a project box, a computer fan and some flexible tubing to pump cold air into the tower to keep it as cold as the fridge.

    April 26, 2011 at 12:45 am

    • Thanks Kevin. I only have a through-door tap right now, but eventually I want to get a serving bar and tap tower – which I’ll use your DIY tips for! I actually found out that I was just really overcarbonating the beer (I left it on 22psi a few days too long) and my keg refrigerator wasn’t cold enough. Thanks for the feedback!

      April 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

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