Introduction: Tap a Draught Keg Inside Your Fridge
Several years ago, 5 liter kegs hit the market. Soon after, manufacturers developed mini fridge systems which keep the keg cold and provide a tap for convenient dispensing. Initially, the price for these appliances was prohibitive, and the system required the use of ample counter space as well as constant power to maintain the beer at a proper temperature.
The goal for this project was to have draft beer at home but without the typical trappings of a kegerator system (dedicated fridge, CO2 tanks, and electrical expense) or a dedicated appliance type of dispenser system (counter space & electrical expense).
Although the DraughtKegs are a great solution, the included dispenser requires that the keg be placed towards the front of the fridge so that you and your glass can reach the plastic spigot. This instructable provides details of how to attach a standard beer tap to your mini keg for added convenience and enhance the draft beer experience without a dedicated kegerator.
Another advantage of this setup is that the rig it is not affixed to the refrigerator and can be made into a mobile draught keg. Check my next Instructable called 'Make Your Draught Keg Mobile' to do just that:
Step 1: Supplies Needed
For the basic setup you will need the following items:
Mini Keg's included dispenser
Standard refrigerator faucet (details of the tap pictured below: polished brass faucet with a 1/4" shank that measures 4 1/8" long. Includes barbed 1/4" nipple and black handle.)
About 2 feet of Micro Matic tubing 1/4 ID x 1/2 OD (internal & outer diameter)
Step 2: Remove Rubber Bumper
To make room for the thick supply line, we must first remove the rubber bumper located on the base of the mini keg's provided dispenser. The rubber piece can be separated from the base by simply pulling the two apart.
Step 3: Seperate the Included Spigot
The spigot provided with the mini keg is actually made up of two pieces. The long stem needs to be pulled apart from the small elbow piece (see pictures).
One important item to note is the small hole on the bottom of the elbow piece (circled on the second picture). It is very important that when we connect our supply hose to this elbow piece that we cover up this hole with the hose. Otherwise, beer will flow freely from this hole and make a big mess.
Step 4: Fashion Hose to Elbow Dispenser
The elbow piece removed in step 3 must now be attached to the supply line. Make sure to push the entire elbow's barbed nipple into the hose as shown below. The hose should fit very tightly over the nipple and as described in step 3, should cover the small hole which is on the underside of the elbow.
User caution - It is critical that you have a tight connection here otherwise you will have a mess on your hands.
Step 5: Connect Hose to Keg
Per the instructions included with the mini keg, connect the dispenser base to the keg and then connect the hose inside the base. Keep the dispenser tap in the off position as pictured below until the faucet has been attached to the other end of the hose - which is the next step.
Step 6: Connect Refrigerator Faucet and Switch On!
Finally, connect the other end of the hose to the faucets 1/4" barbed nipple and assemble the rest of the taps components. Again, I caution that the connection between the hose and the barbed nipple needs to be very tight.
At this point I need to add a small disclaimer: Before flipping the mini keg dispenser to the 'On' position, make sure that the faucet tap is opened. If the faucet is not open when the keg starts dispensing back pressure can create at the top of the keg and beer will begin seep from the top and can empty your keg if not stopped. So, as indicated, open the faucet before turning on the mini keg dispenser.
For my implementation, I crafted a small stand which would hold the faucet in place while in the fridge - that's the next step...
Step 7: Building a Simple Faucet Stand
Using materials that I had on-hand, I put together a simple stand which sits in the fridge and holds the faucet. Basically, its two pieces of wood held together by corner brackets on each side with a notch cut out from the top piece. As you can see the faucet slips into the notch and the faucet's bolt is used to secure the faucet in place.
Something much more elaborate could have been put together but this works as a simple stand.
Once complete, slip the entire contraction into your fridge and enjoy a cold draft beer from your mini kegerator!
As mentioned earlier, another advantage of this setup is that the rig it is not affixed to the refrigerator and can be made into a mobile draught keg. Check my next Instructable called 'Make Your Draught Keg Mobile ' to do just that: