My Trash Can Kegorator Build
Preface: I had big ambitions to do something special for my portable tapping system, but both finances and available time are getting in the way, so I decided to do a trash can kegorator with my own little improvements/changes.
Supply List To Date:
- used faucets and shanks - $50 shipped (thanks Bowtiebrewery!)
- trashcan - $40
- oak sheets and moldings - $20
- heater register for drip tray - $11
- wire shelving for kegs to sit on - $free from friend
- 4x4 supports for shelving and CO2 bottle - $free from attic
- 3 pinlock kegs, CO2, and lines etc. - $don't remember, have been purchased piecemeal over the last 8 months
The metal shelving cut with an angle grinder to fit better
Shelving fitted with 4x4 for support
Test fit of the 3 kegs and CO2 (sitting on another 4x4 to keep the regulators accessible)
The lid ready to be cut
The lid cut and screwed to the oak bartop
The bartop locked in place using the lids natural seal
Test fit of the coffin modeled by one of our good friends
My stopping point for the night, with faucets installed but not hooked up.
Next steps will be to cut and attach the bartop skirt, attach the coffin, install moldings, install drip tray, stain and seal.
I should be able to finish it up Saturday afternoon.
Didn't quite get as far along as I'd hoped, but all of the cutting and most of the assembly is done.
All of the molding attached (glue drying on the coffin, hence the tape)
Shot of the inside of the coffin. Haven't attached any hoses yet.
Close up of coffin
Tape off, getting ready to sand:
First coat of stain on:
Close up of coffin with stain:
Another close up of coffin with stain:
Next steps will be attaching the drain pan and the velcro to hold the "drapes" (I'm going to hide the trashcan behind some nice cloth)...
Finished it up when I got home from work last night and then loaded it in the car and took it to Brooklyn for its maiden voyage.
We put 15 gallon through the taps last night and everyone was blown away by both the quality of the beer and the quality of the build, and the fact that a desk jockey like me could actually build something like this...
It wasn't without its problems though, most of which I think I can solve.
First issue was poor planning on my part. I designed the sizing of the bar top to fit into the trunk of my car. Unfortunately I measured the height of the trunk, not the opening I had to put it into. The result was that it didn't fit. Luckily it fit in the passenger seat and the kegs took a spot behind my seat in front of the trashcan. Problem easily solved, but makes it so I have to drive solo. Second issue was with the cloth skirt. I didn't have time to sew the velcro on and when removing it for travel after the pictures above, half the velcro peeled off the material and stayed on the wood. Not a big issue, just a little more time I need to spend on the build. Another issue I ran into was overcarbonated beer. I rushed to get all of the offerings on tap and left myself with a week to get 15 gallons carbed. I think 4 days at 30 PSI was a bit too much (facepalm). The result was nearly a gallon of foam wasted into the drip tray. Which was another problem. I didn't have enough time to properly attach the drip tray and it just sat on top of the kegs. This wouldn't have been a problem if it weren't for the excessive volume of beer being wasted from the overcarbonation mentioned above. Needless to say, I have a lot of cleaning to do this morning. Not attaching the tray turned out to be helpful though since it allowed me access to the CO2 controls, which ultimately allowed me to dial it in to minimize the foaming.
The final issue that is still bothering me because I don't have a clear solution to is that the drip tray is not aligned with the dripping taps. Due to the molding I used at the base of the coffin, the drip tray was pushed out a little to far and the taps drip right at the edge and it leaks onto the wood at the coffin base. I'm open to suggestions that don't alter the overall look too much...
I'm more than open to suggestions/opinions on this build (especially the stain color, i'm leaning toward dark cherry)!
As for the ice, I'm leaning toward just dropping 2 bags (still in the bag) on each side of the front keg (4 total) so it should leak to much and be easy to remove the melt and leftover ice before travel.
For condensation, I'm going to park it on top of a big beach towel...
I'm going to put mine on top of a hot water heater drip tray.
My only $.02 would be to add a water drain at the bottom so you let the water out before removing the kegs & CO2 bottle. Not all ice bags hold water.
1. A drain is just a place for a leak to develop. Putting several gallons of water onto the floor isn't a great way to make friends.
2. For a drain to work, the water needs to go somewhere lower than the bottom of the can. Since this is either going to be something like a floor drain, bathtub drain, or the grass you might as well just tip the can and pour it out. If you can't lift it, or don't have a great place to dump just siphon the water out.
These trash cans aren't super rugged you get 10 - 15 gallons or more of ice water in there which you will do over the course of a day or night and you try tipping it you could break something, crack a seam whatever. A non-leaking drain is just as easy to put in as a bottling bucket spigot. I know I did it ;)
Plus you'd have to wrestle out the CO2 cylinder and kegs before you do any "tipping". I'd imagine this is much easier to do sans water (10 gallons of water = approx 80 lbs of weight).
I'd still suggest a drain of some sort.
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