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Old 01-19-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
GrantNH
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Default Home Bar build: Need advise

I recently built a kitchen/brewery into one of my basement rooms. I would like to have a 6 foot bar come out from the wall under which I will have my my chest freezer with my kegs in it. I will have a tower on the wall end of the bar top.

Now here is my problem, I would like to have 5-6 beers on tap. My freezer will only hold 4 without a collar. The top of the freezer, not including the lid is 33". I measured the top of the corney on the hump being 6" above that. Figuring room for disconnects I would need a 7-8" collar. Now I have acquired a 10'x30"x3" pine slab, that I would like to use as the bar top. all this adds up to one heck of a tall bar top. I was thinking of using the bar top as a lid for the chest freezer to save on height. From reading a normal Bar height is 40-42". Anyone have any suggestions? Ideas? Sat at bars 45" tall? Leaned against a tall bar? I don't want to build this and have people go "This seems tall to me".

I know the simple solution is to just have 4 beers on tap. The freezer is 9cft and holds 4 corney's and my 20lb tank no problem. Would love to move the tank out and make use of the extra space with more beer though. Feels empty with just 4 in there. A lot of free space.

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Old 01-19-2010, 09:11 PM   #2
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Imo, 4 beers on tap is plenty. It's going to take a lot of brewing to maintain a pipeline of 4 different beers.

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Old 01-19-2010, 10:31 PM   #3
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I am currently building a bar in my brewshop/mancave. It is 48" tall. You'll need 34-36" tall barstools, but other than that, its NO problem. IMO, a short bar is brutal on ur back! I spent ALOT of time deciding on my bars height. 48" is a great height. Checkout my progress.

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Old 01-19-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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Imo, 4 beers on tap is plenty. It's going to take a lot of brewing to maintain a pipeline of 4 different beers.
This brings up a question I can't recall seeing an answer to, how do you keep up with keg levels? Do you just pick up the kegs and compare weight or is there a guage or something that'll let you know the various fill levels of your kegs?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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This brings up a question I can't recall seeing an answer to, how do you keep up with keg levels? Do you just pick up the kegs and compare weight or is there a guage or something that'll let you know the various fill levels of your kegs?
What would be sweet would be to put load cells (read: scales) under each keg and have a monitor above the bar, like a fuel gage. OR have a rule that whoever grabs the last non full pint has to pay for the next brew.

I wonder if you could use a hanging propane tank gauge to weigh each keg. You'd have to put a tare weigh on each keg and have a way to back calculate based on each beer's FG too.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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hey this is great! git er done!

(however).

#1 are you planning on recutting the pine slab, flipping grain, and stabilizing tension? Or will you just let it cup as it dries out? are you going for cupping up, or cupping down? is it equalized @ ~8 percent?

BTW, if you plan on it (Like Japanese furniture), once it cracks and splits you could have a beautiful piece (just hard to control) ESPECIALLY is it is your ONLY lid on the box (=BAD!) can you do butterfly mortises?

If you know this already, please just take it in stride (OK?)

#2 git yer tank outah da fridge, YO! and you'll have more than enough room.

#3 whats wrong with a warmer, CAMRA style cask ale, tucked under there, too?

#4 whoever pulls the faomy cup is not the one who buys, but the one who replaces.

= = =

if you want to use that slab as a bar top, make the thing TALL, and on it's OWN support system (4 legs, etc). and have your kegerizer a seperate unit. just a suggestion. pine likes to move. (dont know how you'll load kegs though).

hey, you sadi "ONE of your basement rooms", and "out of the wall". can you have the freezer on the backside?

best of luck! can I see a pic of you pouring the first pint?

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Old 01-20-2010, 01:34 AM   #7
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1) Wow, I had no idea about all the issues with a pine slab. I just came across a good price on the slab and thought it would make a great bar top. So yeah, where can I do some research on properly treating this thing? Sounds like I probably do not want to make this thing the lid for my freezer.

It is a 30" mill cut, basically shaving off high branch points but keeping the natural side of the tree. No bark on it though. No clue about it being equalized.

Figured I would just sand it down and Poly the thing. Sounds like there is more to it than that.

2) I plant to get the tank out when I have taps set up. Currently without a collar there is room for 4 corneys + my 20lb tank without using the hump. No matter what I try I cannot cram that 5th corney where the tank can squeeze in.

As for placement. Unfortunately the wall I plan to use is the foundation, the other has a bathroom on the other side.

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:53 PM   #8
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if this is freshly cut, you have to season it. wwkers rule of thumb is 1 year per inch thickness (sorry). keep it out of direct sun and rain, in air that can circulate. SEAL THE ENDS.

to do some research, you can look up lumber, grain, wood movement, moisture meters, water content by weight, end grain, checking, air drying v.s. kilning, 'live edge', pith, lignin, post and beam construction, stabilizing water content, etc.

if it is from a big tree, and just the outer pith (not the core), thats the part that just finished growing most recently (right?) so its going to shrink. it will change shape, but weighing it down heavily on top of a bed of "stickers" (like a bed of railroad ties) will help it stay flatter and 'potato chip' less. let it be, then try to plane it flat later.

If you want to keep it inside, dont let it dry out too quickly, thats what causes checking and cracking. throw a plastic sheet over it, and look in on it once in a while.

Now, if you realize that it will change, you could prep it, seal it and start using it in such a way that you can adjust what you need to. then in a few years, make it permanent!

(however, sealing the ends and letting it sit at least 6-12 months will definitely help you not trap water and mold spores inside together.) If you let it sit until it weighs about 1/2 as much as it used to (I exaggerate a little here), you'll be well on the way.

sounds like it would make a fantastic drinking bench, though.

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Last edited by brewmonk; 01-20-2010 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimster View Post
This brings up a question I can't recall seeing an answer to, how do you keep up with keg levels? Do you just pick up the kegs and compare weight or is there a guage or something that'll let you know the various fill levels of your kegs?
My solution was to buy more cornies I have 4 beers on tap and 2 kegs full and waiting. When a keg kicks, in goes a fresh one and it's time to brew some more.

Much more delicious than a scale

-Joe
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #10
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My solution was to buy more cornies I have 4 beers on tap and 2 kegs full and waiting. When a keg kicks, in goes a fresh one and it's time to brew some more.

Much more delicious than a scale

-Joe
You sir, are a genius.
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