[Stan] was putting together his nano-brewery, and while waiting for his beer to finish fermenting, he decided to work on the storage portion of his project. He built a kegerator to store his forthcoming brews but realized that since it was about 10 feet away from his tap tower, the beer was becoming unacceptably warm and frothy in transit.
In commercial tap systems, a separate line of chilled propylene glycol is bundled with the beer lines, keeping it cool as it travels from keg to tap. [Stan] decided to replicate this setup, and after three different iterations, he nailed it.
His first two attempts involved keeping the cooling solution inside of the kegerator, but he found that either the pumps added too much heat to the solution, or that the kegerator was running at nearly a 100% duty cycle. Scrapping any sort of kegerator-based cooling, he decided to build a separate cooling unit with a dehumidifier he had sitting around. After fitting the unit into a cooler and filling it with solution, he found it to cool so well it turned the propylene glycol solution to slush!
Check out his site for more details on his cooling setup – if you are in the business of homebrew, you will be glad you did.
[Jean-Michel] tipped us off about his beer keg monitoring setup. It can tell you how much beer is left in each keg, how much carbon dioxide remains in the canister, and it can monitor and regulate temperature.
An Arduino mega is the brain of the system. A shield was built to interface force sensors, measuring the weight of the keg to estimate how much beer remains. Analog temperature sensors allow for temperature monitoring and control of the compressor for regulation. Information can be displayed on a graphic LCD or a computer via XBee wireless communications.
This is along the lines of the SparkFun kegerator but we like the added functionality. Does this need to Twitter? Probably not but if you want that, it’s only a bit of a software hack away.
What? Another Bender project? This almost went in the trash since it looks so much like the bender brewer from earlier this week, we thought it was the same tip. This isn’t a brewer though. This is a keg cooler, made to look like Bender. You can follow the build process to see exactly how they constructed it. They did a great job, the tap is in his cigar, and the keg resides in his body. Fantastic job guys, now you need some Benderbrau to dispense.
The folks at Revision3 really know what gets our pulse going. In this episode, they show us how they built a radio controlled keg. Not only is the system built sturdy enough to cart around the keg, it is also built with the capability for the driver to control the beer flow. This isn’t too shabby for a pretty quick project, but it still can’t compare with Bar2D2.
Beer kegs are several things. They are expensive, heavy, but most importantly delicious. We found a nice guide for creating your own 3 liter beer keg. This is an inexpensive solution for homebrewers looking to keg their own beer.
The guide goes into detail on assembly and parts needed to create the bottle adapter. Most of the parts can be picked up locally or through MoreBeer.com. CO2 cartridges are used to pressurize the bottle. To keep everything cool you can use a standard water cooler with a few simple modifications. The 3 liter bottle is too tall for some coolers so you’ll need to cut a hole in the lid. Add a piece of aluminum covered styrofoam to the top and bottom, toss in some ice, and your brew should stay cold for about 3 hours.
The author does note that this is not recommended for long term storage. So drink up!