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Old 02-19-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
bemerritt
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Default 4 Tap System For Wedding Reception

Back story:
I'm getting married in May and am getting ready to entertain 250 guests in the future in-law's back yard. I have had a firm stance that kegged beer is a must even though the wedding planner has strongly advised against it due to equipment malfunctions. Therefore I am in charge of making this happen.

Experience:
I have a two faucet kegerator I built for two 5 gallon corny kegs with a 5 pound CO2 tank.

Requirements:
-Reliably serve 4 beers simultaneously on tap(Newcastle, Great White, Boddingtons, Lagunitas IPA)
-No physically pumping to pressurize kegs
-Under $500
-Have faucets mounted for ease of pouring

My Plan:
-Put all four kegs in keg buckets and keep cold using ice.
-Use one 10 pound CO2 tank to provide pressure for all kegs
-Mount four faucets to a piece of wood that will be behind the bartender
-Use my current regulator

Equipment(all prices based off amazon)
2 x D Keg Coupler ($46)
1 x G Keg Coupler ($60)
1 x S Keg Coupler ($43)
4 x Beer Faucet ($90)
1 x Four Way CO2 Distribution Bar ($60)
1 x 10lb CO2 Tank ($70)
50 feet x Beer Line Hose ($30)
Total = 400

Obviously my main goal is getting it to work without hassle on the big day. But I do get to keep everything and eventually I'll build a keezer and use some of the parts. I'll probably hold on to the sanke couplers for parties and what not.

My question is whether I am even going about this the right way. Is there a much simpler way of doing this? Or is there some glaring flaws in my plan? I would love any input as I am sure I am not the first person to do something like this.

Thanks!

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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I don't see gas line hose in your equipment list. What about attachment points? just hose-clamps or do you need any special fittings? I see nothing wrong with your plan. Do the couplers have check valves? I'm not familiar with Sanke couplers, but I think some/most do? Really you just need Co2, 4 gas lines, 4 liquid lines, keg couplers, distribution, regulator, and taps. Try to find a happy medium for serving pressures. Those beers are not all identical in style. Have some "buddies" pull half pints of each and determine if any are too much or too little PSI. Hopefully both won't be true at the same time...

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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You might find this a good system, made up for a wedding, and as featured in BYO magazine, this by our own Biermuncher.



Of course it's only three kegs....BUT you could go for something larger like a Courville Container.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Ya, I'll just be using hose clamps to attach to the couplers.

As for serving pressures, I think this is my main concern. I may end up breaking it into two tanks with two regulators and two splitters. This will be cheaper given the high cost of a 4 way regulator and the equipment I already have. This way it will be easier to pair serving pressures than find a happy medium for all four.

That trash can idea is great! Unfortunately, which I forgot to mention, is the kegs will all be 1/2 bbl and therefore a very big trashcan (or other vessel) would be needed.

Thanks for the ideas. This atleast is a way for me to get my ideas on paper and challenge my reasoning.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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I'm also getting married in May (congrats, btw), and I was looking into a system like this, a jockey box, and a few other ideas. Ultimately, I decided to bottle off of my kegs and bring them to the event. It's more work, it's not as cool, but the last thing you need at your wedding is another thing to deal with. Imagine the bartender coming over to you and saying "dude, the beers are coming out all foam, I don't know what to do", getting a screwdriver, purging kegs, dumping ice, all while your wedding is going on around you. Not for me (or my future wife; she puts up with the brewing a lot, and I'm not looking to find the threshold).

If you're set on it, my only advice would be to keep the system simple, lines long (to reduce foaming), let the kegs settle and cool for 5-6 hours before the event, and do a FEW test runs on the equipment.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Jockey box is by far the way to go for something like this. You don't have to worry about keeping the kegs cold. As long as they're slightly cool when you get them you'll be fine. I build this for about $220. It has a 7 pass cold plate because I thought I'd want to make a second pass for some beers. I've never needed to. It's always cooled fine with a single pass.



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Old 02-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
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Oh yeah. I take a spare CO2 tank and reg, and built up spare CO2 lines so all I have to do is replace and not fiddle if anything goes wrong. Designate someone else to be in charge of it and teach them how it all works so all you have to worry about is drinking it.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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How long of lines would you recommend? I'm not too worried about the beer warming up in the lines as once they start flowing, they'll go until they are out.

I plan on getting this set up early in the day and then relaxing until the start. All that should need to happen is have someone add ice throughout the day.

The foaming and incompetent bartender is exactly why the wedding planner advises not to do something like this. BUt I think with setting it up early and giving the kegs plenty of time to settle, I should be fine.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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I take my kegs out the night before and set them up in order. My tap lines are 6' long each, ensuring that I can reach a couple kegs behind the table that the jockey box is on.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemerritt View Post
How long of lines would you recommend? I'm not too worried about the beer warming up in the lines as once they start flowing, they'll go until they are out.

I plan on getting this set up early in the day and then relaxing until the start. All that should need to happen is have someone add ice throughout the day.

The foaming and incompetent bartender is exactly why the wedding planner advises not to do something like this. BUt I think with setting it up early and giving the kegs plenty of time to settle, I should be fine.
The jockey box means you don't have to cool the kegs at all, it cools itself as it flows though the coils in the jockey box. Of course, if you want to use more ice and have 4 keg cooler tubs, that's fine, too.

Typically you'd want 8' lines or so, but it all depends. It's a balance between serving pressure, beer carb level and line length (and serving speed, of course)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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