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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > 1.5 week camping trip - keeping beer cool efficiently
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default 1.5 week camping trip - keeping beer cool efficiently

I've done a lot of thread research on portable setups.

Over the years I have amassed a few arrangements depending on the situation: 2 tap jockey box, big trash can lined with contractor bags and filled with ice (holds 3 kegs), and using 2 liter PET bottles filled via a modified BMBF.

Most of these arrangements (and the ones I've seen here online) are for one evening of serving or perhaps a long weekend.

I went to a week-long music festival last summer. Great fun, good camping, good music. I didn't bring homebrew because I wanted to see the setup, environment, etc.

We're headed back in about 8 weeks. I'd like to take homebrew this year.

I keg, and have 5 gal corneys. I'd like to take 3-4 corneys. However, it will be HOT. Most days- in high 80's to 90's. I have access to ice, however I don't want to spend a ton of money on ice to keep the beer cool and flowing (even though I have buddies to chip in) - I want to minimize ice runs.

I'm checking in with the "group brain" here at HBT to get some ideas. Here are the criteria I'm working with:
1. The setup must be outside the whole time
2. I don't need to serve more than one keg at a time.
3. The setup will need to break down to fit inside a collapsed pop up camper, or in the back of our SUV.
4. If I dispense from kegs, they can only be 5 gallon kegs. (not buying new 2.5-3 gal kegs for this enterprise)

Here's what I've been considering so far:

use the jockey box, and have 2 100qt igloos. One will stand upright and hold the dispensing keg that's connected to jockey box. I've seen in other threads how people bungee those upright coolers closed, throw in ice in the bottom section and serve from there with either drilled out holes for the beer and C02 lines or via a built in "door".

Second cooler will be horizontal and be cooling the keg "on deck". I think it will go through a lot of ice once keg 3 or 4 (at 80-85 degrees) gets in the "on deck" position. That's all I've got for now.

Any other thoughts?

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Old 08-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Without access to electricity i'd say the solutions you have laid out are prob your best options. The only suggestion i have is to possibly insulate a trash can with a foaming insulation spray of some sort. This might help to reduce your ice use.

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Old 08-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsslack View Post
Without access to electricity i'd say the solutions you have laid out are prob your best options. The only suggestion i have is to possibly insulate a trash can with a foaming insulation spray of some sort. This might help to reduce your ice use.
Thanks for that suggestion!

Actually, I do have access to electricity. That said, it isn't practical to bring a full size refrigerator. Someone has suggested bringing a dorm fridge tall enough to accommodate 2 corneys. However, most larger dorm fridges have a freezer section (which precludes this use). That leaves me with a new purchase...yuck.

Please let me know if you have some other thoughts re: refrigeration. Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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I'm not sure how it would work, but I've always thought about wrapping a keg in rope. If you wrapped the keg in a rope that would absorb some water, then kept the rope wet, when the water evaporated it would cool it off. I've witnessed it on a water jug sized scale, and it works surprisingly well.

I don't remember much of my thermo dynamics class, so I have no way to compare it to anything, but I've always wanted to try it.

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Old 08-04-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Instead of a dorm fridge try a small wine refrigerator. Not sure if the kegs will fit all but its worth a shot and they are only about $100 or so at Home Depot or Lowes.

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Old 08-04-2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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You might be overthinking this... Why not just use the jockey box? Just keep the kegs in the shade so they don't completely roast, but they should serve just fine. The ice inside a jockey box should easily last a whole day, if not two-three...

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