A good friend and brewer from a local craft Brewery has sold me this Ceramic Beer Tap Tower and I am restoring it and plan to mount on top of my keezer to serve my Home Brew!
It's definitely in pretty rough shape but I don't think it will stand a chance against some elbow grease and a good solvent. I am really excited to be able to restore a cool piece of local Craft Beer history and proudly display it in my Brew Cave.
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Step 1: Dissassembly of the Tower
Looking at the tower, it does not seem too terribly bad. Definitely very oxidized and a lot of grime from spilled beer, and god knows what else. You have to remove the bolt on the top of the tower and then the top piece will lift off allowing access to the inner mount bracket which has a couple more nuts and bolts holding this whole unit together. I should also mention the tap handles should be removed in order to avoid any damage as well, they simply unscrew.
Step 2: Still Tearing Down
Once the two nuts are removed, pull the top collar up and proceed to cut the beverage lines. They are filthy and going to the dump. Now the taps must be removed and disassembled to get ready for cleaning. The two collars and the taps are all brass so they should clean up and look pretty good. The disassembly at this point is very straight forward, just remove the nuts from the shanks and then pull the taps off the collar. There is a flange on the inside of the collar that allows the nuts to be tightened firmly without wrecking the collar so don't lose those!
Step 3: Dissassembly of the Taps - Keep Track of What Goes Where!
You would think there is not a lot of moving parts involved in one of these beer taps but that could not be further from the truth. I recommend laying everything out, and really keep track because it can get a little confusing. All of these parts are going to go into a oxy-clean solution. I decided to do some research into this style of beer tap and with all the moving parts come some serious headaches, so with that in mind I have decided to scrap these taps and shanks and I will be replacing them with some nice SS replacements. (I will add photo's once they are installed)
Step 4: The Cleaning
The years of grime, grease, and oxidation built up on the outside is nothing compared to the cosmic goo that was inside the taps and collars even. The oxy clean will remove the grease, oils, and sticky residues but it will not do too much with the oxidation. To take care that I am going to heat a acid based cleaner (starsan) to 170°F and passivate the metal by holding this temperature for 20 minutes, and then allow the parts to cool and buff up with some brasso (external parts only)
Step 5: Reassemble and Enjoy Your New Beer Tower
Once the parts have all been buffed up using a buffing wheel and plenty of brasso, this tower has really turned into a centerpiece for my Brew Cave! The brass taps are currently mounted on it, but when I install it on the keezer I will be swapping them out for a new SS set of shanks and taps. The current ones will not be suitable for serving beer, and will be a lifetime of cleanup so for now they are decorative. I hope you have enjoyed this restoration as much as I have, As I said before this tower is destined to be mounted and serving from my Keezer so please head to my page at www.JonnyHomeBrew.com to check for updates!