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Old 03-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
Matty_Ice
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Default Anyone Use "Tap-A-Draft Homebrew Setup"?

Hey guys, I'm ready to upgrade from bottling my 5gal batches to kegging them. Anyone have experience with this particular model ->http://morebeer.com/products/tapadra...rew-setup.html
If not, what are some good small scale kegging setups people have used?

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
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Not that this is much help, but I find it really odd and annoying that all these portable draft thingies seem to ignore the fact that most of us produce about 5 gallons of beer. So why do they give us options for packaging:

4.75 Gallons (3x Tap a Draft Bottles)
4.5 Gallons (2x Party Pig Bottles)

Is it really that difficult to let us package 5 whole gallons?!

Anyway, if you do a quick search you'll come up with plenty of posts about the Tap a Draft and Party Pig

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:59 AM   #3
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I had one. HAD.

a) NWMushroon is correct. It's the wrong size for what most homebrewers, including me, use. I realize that they are assembled kits made from existing parts that some company sells as a kit but they need to try harder and find parts that coincide with standard batch sizes.

b) It is easy to lose carbonation. And unless you have a system that allows you to add CO2 then you have flat beer. Did I mention that the whole point of this type of system is for people who don't have a kegging/carbing system

c) Dispensing out of these can be tricky. I found myself reaching into my fridge and tipping it up from the back in order to get beer out.

d) It is easy to lose carbonation.

I abandoned it pretty quickly. Now I find a stray CO2 cartridge from the set every time I clean out the garage. Either that or my dog is doing Nitrous Oxide poppers.

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Old 03-08-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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I used them for a while for stovetop batches and actually liked them. Mine were the Miller Lite version taps, but I added 3 more bottles for variety.

I was carbing in the bottle naturally, then tapping with CO2. Teflon tape helps a lot in terms of retaining carbonation, but eventually they will still lose Co2 if you take your time drinking.

I think the approach is to treat them like cask ales for small batches. Carbonate naturally, tap when you're ready to drink and finish it in a few days. If you take that aproach, it's a great system for experimental drafts. I don't think they make a good alternative to a traditional draft system.

Now I'm off the stove and on a real 10 gallon setup, so the tap-a-drafts get almost no use anymore. Eventually when my yeast bank is ready to go, I plan to go back to making a lot more 2.5 gallon batches for testing.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your opinions.
What I got from this is that I should carb naturally, C02 tap when ready to drink. It can't maintain carbonation for very long, but if you drink it fast it'll be fine.
I intend to use these for small catering events, and would rather deal with plastic cups than a ton of glass. And as Barnesie said, you'd be able to serve a wide variety of brews to people who demand variety.
I'm probably going to scoop this up sometime soon and see how it works out.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Sidestepping any legal questions about homebrew and catering, the Tap-a-drafts aren't very durable. They' almost 1000% plastic, so if you're going to be moving things around a lot, pouring a lot, etc. then you're going to be much better off with a real stainless keg. Kegs are far more durable, serve faster, keep temperatures much better.

I think the tap a draft bottles are only rated for a certain number of uses anyway.

Also, just in personal experience a very modest party can kill 10 gallons pretty quickly, which would be a pain with tap a drafts.

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Old 03-09-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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Legality isn't an issue. I do a lot of catering and know better than to serve a home brew to a paying customer. The mere fact that money changes hands means I can't serve it. At my CSA however we do community appreciation cook outs all of the time, and there has been a lot of demand for me to keg what I've been bringing in bottles. We're in the heart of Illinois wine country, and the brews don't get enough love to move to a 10gal setup.
After doing more searching, I think I should be going with something like the Cornelius Keg system. They're metal, come in 2.5gal and 5 gal sizes and seem to have decent reviews on here.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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That's what it really come down to. There are just really too many drawbacks to this system. It is an attempt to get around the expense of kegging, which other that the expense, is superior in every way.

I tried and realized that this isn't really a viable workaround. Maybe it will work better for you or maybe you are willing to put in more effort but when it comes down to it there are just too many drawbacks compared to the expense of small size kegging.

If it were really viable it would have exploded in popularity in the Homebrewniverse.

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Old 03-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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It depends on what you're using it for. I have the tap a draft and a home kegging system. I really like the tap a draft for bringing my beer to parties or barbecues since I don't have a jockey box. I go on a family vacation for a week each year at a lake resort and it's a great way to easily bring along my homebrew. I don't have to package my beer into bottles and it doesn't take up too much fridge space. It doesn't hold the carbonation for more than a few days but the keg doesn't last that long anyway. It pours a perfect pint/sleeve with good control over foam.

If you're looking for a more permanent way of serving homebrew at home I definitely wouldn't recommend it. If you want an alternative to a jockey box and an easy way to serve your homebrew outside of the house I think it's a cheap effective alternative.

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