Introduction: Homemade Portable Tap Box for Homebrewed & Kegged Beer
After deciding to brew most of the beer for an annual ski trip, I was faced with a dilemma regarding how to serve said beer without dragging a kegerator along. The device had to be portable and capable of dispensing two different beers from independent Corny kegs (aka Corneilus or Soda kegs) without being flimsy or crappy looking. :-)
If you are lucky enough to have a homebrewing supply store near you, chances are good that they'll have all of the taps and associated parts readily available for purchase. If not, try looking for a restaurant supply store as they normally carry a vast variety of commercial and small system components. If that fails, there's always the internet. ;-)
Please be kind as this is my first instructable :-)
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Materials you will need:
- A box or small chest to attach the taps to
(I found this one at Target; http://www.target.com/Decorative-Storage-Box/dp/B0043E2Q7O/ref=sc_qi_detailbutton)
- Two (2) Tap faucet and shank assemblies
- Two (2) Tap Handles - Your choice of style
- Two (2) Beer Hose Nipples (your choice on ID, depends on what beer tubing you are using)
- Two (2) Beer Wing Nuts
- Two (2) Rubber Washers
- Four (4) Hose Clamps (your choice of type, I used plastic pinch clamps)
- Two (2) Lengths of polyvinyl tubing (matching the ID of the hose nipples)
- Two (2) Corny Keg Quick Disconnects (choose either ball lock or pin lock depending on your kegs)
- Drill (preferably drill press but handheld will work too)
- Small drill bit for pilot holes (I used a 3/16 bit)
- Hole saw for the OD of your tap's shank (mine was 1")
- A few old towels (to lay the box on while working on it)
I acquired all of the kegging hardware shown in the pictures from a local company called Rochester Store Fixture here in Rochester, NY. Their website looks shady but they do have a PDF version of their beverage catalog and they do ship orders. Check them out at (http://www.rochesterstorefixture.com/beveragecatalog.html)
Step 2: Safety First
Be sure to take all standard safety precautions as you will be drilling for this project!
Step 3: Plan Your Tap Locations
Its a good idea to quickly draw up plans for the project to ensure you have enough room for the taps. Here are a couple of this to look out for if you are using a different box:
- Leave enough room between the taps so they don't appear "crowded"
- Mount the shank high enough so the "Beer Wing Nut" can spin unimpeded
- Don't make the hole too close to the edge of the box or you'll risk cracking it
- Take into account the thickness of the base when making your calculations
Step 4: Drill the Pilot Holes
After marking the box with a pencil according to your plans, use the 3/16" drill bit to make the two pilot holes. Making the smaller pilot holes will help guide the larger hole saw in the next step.
Notice the use of the rubber band in the third picture. This will help keep the box closed during the drilling.
Step 5: Drill the Big Hole
Using the hole saw, drill out the big holes using the two pilot holes from the last step to "guide the bit".
Step 6: Repeat the Process on the Back of the Box
Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the back of the box. These will be used for the tubing that goes to the keg.
NOTE: I used the same size as the front of the box which ended up being too small. I will be widening them out later on so that I can pass the beer wing nut through them without having to disassemble the tubing every time in order to clean them.
Step 7: Attach the Taps
Self explanatory. Insert the shank and screw on the nuts. :-)
Step 8: Finish the Plumbing
Attach the rest of the plumbing parts as you would for any other corny keg system.
Step 9: Mounting Options
My original idea was to mount this on top of two corny kegs that are side-by-side, so I just attached it to a small 16" long plank that will be zip tied to the top of the corny kegs. If you have plan on using this tap box in a fridge as a kind of "no drilling kegerator" just be sure to make your lines long enough to attach to the kegs.
Thanks for looking and best of luck for those trying to follow my first instructable!