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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Other > Ultra Cheap 3L drafting trial advice
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Ultra Cheap 3L drafting trial advice

Hello, I am working on figuring out an ultra cheap, kegging alternative for light temporary use, does anyone see a glaring reason that this wouldn't work before I order the components? I make mostly 1 gallon batches and really like variety and experimentation and I'd like to be able to draft my creations, so several small inexpensive "kegs" would be ideal. I also don't have the money to invest in a full draft system with CO2 hardware.

(Plan diagram below) I want to use an inverted 3L soda bottle to do a (semi)gravity fed draft. Anything that is carbonated will be primed as usual giving it a little bit of CO2 push as well (in theory) and may add light carbonation to uncarbed stuff to assist in dispensing if it is deemed necessary.

The first barb will be threaded through the cap of the bottle, into the ball valve, most likely with a gasket inbetween. I will probably also silicone the connection to make it more air tight. The other side of the ball valve will have the same barb and have the tubing to go to a picnic faucet.

The barbs are polypropylene 1/2" barb to 1/2" NPT. The ball valve is stainless steel 1/2" NPT on both sides. Tubing is 1/2" ID. The only problem is I can't really find a specification on the picnic tap, but someone in the comments said a 3/8 fit, and I have plenty of pipe clamps laying around.

I had wanted to find a bushing or adapter to use an elbow and directly attach a slightly nicer chrome faucet ($15) right to the check valve, but I couldn't find a solution.

BOM:
check valve: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=AG3HM2L81RV9O

picnic tap: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A3RILMG5JJB3U5

hose barb adapter (x2): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

tubing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

cheap-kegging.jpg


Does anyone see any reasons this won't work (or will work poorly)?
What improvements can be made without much additional cost?

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Old 08-31-2014, 05:08 PM   #2
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I think the hard part will be getting the carbonation level right, not too much that you have all foam, and not so little you have flat beer at the end. But it is a cool idea. I would like to see how it works out for you.

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Old 09-04-2014, 12:53 AM   #3
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You mentioned a little "CO2 push" as well.

You referring to what's in the beverage itself, or an additional?

I know you said no "investing" in a full draft system, but if you are adding after inverting the bottles, you will need a standpipe to take the CO2 to the headspace.

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:24 AM   #4
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Not trying to tinkle on your parade, but, would a tap a draft system be a little easier and more reliable?

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:52 AM   #5
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If you bottle condition in the bottle and then just gravity feed the beer your setup would work fine. If you hid the bottle behind a cabinet with the tube coming out your lady friends wont need to see you pour their beer from a 3L soda bottle and think you are cheap. I myself am cheap and I don't like bottling so I bottle in 3L soda bottle all the time. I think you would need to make a vent at the top for air if you don't use CO2. This would be cool if you drank it all in one night. Make a stand for it and put it in a cooler full of ice. I may give this a try just for ****s and giggles, although I may just pour a glass and put it in the fridge.

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Old 09-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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The extra push would be from the beverage itself. No money for Co2 currently.

Being an engineering student I enjoy building and designing stuff as much as brewing. The simplest and easiest would be a $25 minikeg really.

When I eventally move to a real drafting system, I can reuse hardware too. This is mostly just interesting to see.

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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"Hendersonville, N.C."...........That's where the "Mother Earth News " village used to be located.

Familiar with the location?

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Ultra Cheap 3L drafting trial advice

you could also go with a carbonator cap and gas in ball lock to tubing and tap. may need to lay bottle on the side so sediment won't clog tap. probably don't need twenty feet of tubing.

there's also nothing to displace the beer from the bottle as it empties so you ll have to squeeze it out.

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Old 09-04-2014, 10:15 PM   #9
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Never heard of the mother earth news village no. And I was hoping to avoid any vent but probably cant.

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Old 09-05-2014, 12:51 PM   #10
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Aussies have been there and come up with something different, and possibly better using a garden sprayer - http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/21...er-party-kegs/

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