In Defense of the Humble Keezer Collar

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Oct 26, 2018
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After a hiatus of about 20 years, I decided to get back into homebrewing. I had a great time reminiscing about past brew days while pulling out the old gear. It was about then that I looked at the bottling bucket, capper, and cases of bottles and immediately remembered one of the reasons I quit in the first place! Ugh. I hate washing bottles.

Not to worry, I thought -- I am in better place financially now than I was back then; I'll just spend a few bucks and do some kegging this time around. It'll be much better that way. I got a dual regulator for serving and charging, a handful of kegs, a 9 cu. ft. chest freezer, tubes and fittings, a temperature controller w/ ceramic heater -- the whole shebang. I couldn't have been happier. Of particular note, I bought some picnic taps to tide me over until the holidays, at which point I will have the time to build a nice collar and I'll have myself a proper keezer. I was happy. This is gonna be fun.

I decided on a nice robust porter recipe to get things started. I went to the LHBS and got all of my supplies, did my first BIAB brew day, and aside from some very minor hiccups, ended up with a fermenter full of very tasty -- if only a tad astringent -- dark brew. I racked it to a sparkling clean and sanitzed keg, set it to serving pressure, and popped it in the keezer to do its thing.

After what seemed like the longest I have ever waited for anything, today was the day. I could taste that beer in the last few hours of work. I rushed home and grabbed a pint glass. I filled it up with foamy dark goodness and took a big drink. It was awesome! Visions of future brews danced in my head as I reveled in the fruits of my labor. I was a beer craftsman once again!

A few hours later, after dealing with some work and family responsibilities, I was once again called back to the keg by the promise of malty delights. I opened the keezer to fill my glass, and that's when I saw it: the picnic tap had gotten wedged in the lid of the keezer. Naturally, it had wedged just perfectly so that the tap had remained on for the entire 3 hours. I stared in dismay at the sight of my shiny new corny kegs bathing in 5 gallons of delicious, yet ruined beer. Expletives were screamed, tears were shed, clean up was performed.

The priority of the collar build just went *way* up. I hate cleaning chest freezers.
Whenever I use a picnic tap in my keezer i unhook the QD from the keg after I pour a glass. I'm just paranoid about having one fail or like you, have it hang open and loose a whole keg of beer and bottle of gas too. I have a two tap setup but sometimes have three kegs going. That is the only time I use a picnic tap.
I can't even imagine. I currently have 3 almost full kegs in my keezer getting ready for Christmas. All have picnic taps attached...Time to quick disconnect....
Man that's rough. I always disconnected my picnic tap because I had heard horror stories about them. A couple times where I had cleaned the picnic tap and line out, I left the tap open when I connected the QD. Lost probably a pint of beer this way total, but I built a makeshift collar over a weekend so I don't have to deal with that anymore. I'll come back to it later and spend some quality time with some quality wood to make a pretty collar... but for now, cheap pine from homeless despot and a 3 coats of polycrylic will have to do. It's way better with real taps.