3 gallon mini draft system?

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by RichFellows, Apr 27, 2013.

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  1. RichFellows

    RichFellows Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2011 Connecticut

    Couple questions. Anyone have one of these, if so what are your thoughts? http://www.midwestsupplies.com/3-gallon-mini-draft-system-new-keg.html

    Has anyone tried operating it with gravity alone bypassing the need for the mini CO2 cartridges?

    I'm brewing 5 gallons at a time and this seems to be the best of a few worlds for me.

    Pros:
    3 gallons less beer that has to go into bottles. 3 gallons less bottles to wash, etc.

    Still allows me to have 2 gallons in bottles. I like to be able to give/trade bottles of what I make with friends.

    Does not require an entire fridge to be dedicated to this. I like that I can still have room in my beer fridge (26cuft side by side) for both a small keg and bottles.

    Portable for taking to parties.

    Price is reasonable.

    Cons:
    I don't plan to live in my current place forever, maybe 1-2 more years. Planning to buy a place that has room for a full bar that I can install fridges in with a couple of 5 gallon kegs. So I might want to consider suffering through with the current scheme until then.

    Have to justify cost to g/f and/or less money to spend on actual brewing ingredients.

    Bottling while annoying is cheap. A little effort to clean the bottles out but the price of caps is negligible and I'm using recycled commercial bottles so it is nearly free to bottle.
     
  2. RichFellows

    RichFellows Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2011 Connecticut

    I saw a setup with those ones up top that they had for sale and considering they were quasi disposable (said reuse something like 4 times) I figured it wasn't worth it. But didn't realize the kegs themselves were so cheap. Might have to look into that after all....
     
  3. Tamarack22

    Tamarack22 Initiate (0) May 19, 2011 Minnesota

  4. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    That thread on NB says you can get around 10 uses out of each keg. I've read from a lot of people you get a lot less use out of them so obviously YMMV. That particular design may be more gentle on the kegs and allow for greater use.

    To answer OP's original question, yes, you kind of can use a corny with gravity. You probably won't get much push through the diptube with the keg standing up (maybe a few pints). You can lay the keg on it's side and pour beer through the gas post (with a tap attached to it) but you'll probably need to make some slight modifications to the tubes on both sides and build a stand to keep it from rolling in your fridge. When you pour with gravity you are going to get oxygen coming in, which means you will have a limited shelf life.

    For $20-30 you can find old party pigs on craigslist or ebay that you can use for gravity pours. You just need to fill it out of your bottling bucket with priming sugar and naturally carbonate. Don't use the pressure pouches (although you can if you want) and you can get very cask-like pours out of it and it will get more gravity pour-like as the pressure drops off. They hold 2.25-2.5 gallons this way.
     
  5. RichFellows

    RichFellows Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2011 Connecticut

    Thanks for the additional info.
     
  6. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Initiate (160) Apr 24, 2008 North Carolina

    I use something similar to your first post for tailgating. When I am at home I use a 5lb co2 tank, if space was a issue you could use a 2 1/2 lb co2 tank.
     
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