Thar be Beer in These Walls

When you need a cold one and walking downstairs to your twin-keg refrigerator just won’t do, it’s time to break out the tools to deliver that frothy goodness where it’s needed. And so began [DaveLondres’] inspiring tale of piping beer through the walls of his home.

Now we know what you’re thinking… that beer is going to get mighty warm sitting in long lines from the fridge up to the ground floor. [Dave] thought about that too and designed a double-pipe system to overcome the issue. A run of PVC pipe for each keg connect the in-wall taps to holes drilled in the side of a second-hand fridge. An ingenious branching job yields an extra port for each run which was fitted with computer case fans to keep the cold air circulating. Plastic tubing is snaked inside of the PVC to carry the beer.

Rounding out the craftsmanship on this one is the inclusion of a plumbed drain to whisk away the drippings. If you’re not going to have a beautifully adorned chest-freezer-gone-kegerator in your livingroom this is the best alternative we’ve seen.

[via reddit]

29 thoughts on “Thar be Beer in These Walls

  1. That is… words just… In the future, all houses will be plumbed in this way. It’ll be the new equivalent of broadband. The chalk for the slate is just genius on top of genius.

    1. So lazy that they personally go to the effort of designing and fitting a custom plumbing system in their home, rather than going to the fridge, getting a can out, and pouring it down their neck while slouched in front of the TV.
      Man, that guy is so lazy.

      1. I wouldn’t call it innovation. It is in Dave miller’s or Charlie papazian’s book on homebrewing back in the 90s. And any commercial bar that has long tap runs would likely have cooled beer lines. Alot od the kegeratorst keep the tap tower cool using this exactly with the computer fan and tube in tube.

    1. I would think so, even with “cold air” being blown over the beer lines it’s going to get warm, air doesn’t seem like it’s up to the job to keep the beer cold in the lines, and if the air is cold enough to keep the beer cold condensation on the pvc is going to be an issue.

      Traditionally a glycerol line is run with the beer lines (both insulated) and the cold glycerol keeps the beer cold… some systems don’t even start with cold kegs, the beer chills down enough in the lines.

    2. Foam is a result of improper: line diameter, line run (length and direction), and/or serving pressure. As long as the serving line is always going up towards the tap all you have to do is get the right pressure for the right diameter/length.
      There are some rules of thumb out there for setting serving pressure for a given tube diameter of a given length, but most still require some fine tuning. Once you get your system dialed in you’re not gonna get foam.

      @Jon
      The air is coming from the freezer and returns to the fridge so it’s already been dehumidified. The conduit sounds like it’s positive pressure, [Dave] mentions feeling air come out when an end cap is off. That should prevent appreciable room air from getting into the conduit. Even if it does get in the condensation should drain into the fridge. [Dave] mentions he had to change the freezer thermostat because he froze the lines in the conduit so it sounds like it works well enough.

    3. I used to install these systems in bars and stadiums etc.

      The way the industry deals with this is that they have the beer line(s), and then they have an extra two lines. The lines are then bundled and wrapped together, then insulated. The two additional lines are used to flow propelyne glycol which is refrigerated. This worked well to make sure the beer that comes out the tap is at very cold

      1. No, not close retard. German brewers insist on a serving temperature of 8 to 10 degrees C, just as taylorian71 said. If you like your beer at room temperature that is your personal preference.

    1. That’s not room temperature, that’s fucking cold! Not even in winter time will I be able to get my beer that cold without actively cooling it.

      You Germans and your “room temperature”…

      1. 50°F is 10°C. What is (hopefully) not room temperature, but outside winter temperatures can be below freezing here. So in winter it’s no problem to get the beer cold enough. But especially on a hot summer day I would consider beer only as “too cold” if it does not come out of the can voluntarily .

  2. This is a lovely build (though the energy costs with a second refrigeration system make me cringe a little). I’d be curious to see how he fares when the lines and fittings need cleaning (and they will).

    1. Somewhere in the original thread the OP mentions he has some commercial beer line cleaner. I imagine this is a real issue in restaurants and pubs where your kegs are far away from your serving area, so a proper solution must exist.

      If all else fails, filling a keg with a hot cleaning solution and pusing that through the lines every month should probably do the trick. You can probably connect the two taps with piece of tube, lock them open and have a pump that continuously recirculates a cleaning solution through all the lines. Easy peasy :)

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