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How many of you have a draft system at home for Craft Beer?

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by StretchZep, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Hello fellow BA members! First off I want to thank everyone for all the excellent information I have gathered from you over the years. This is my first thread posting...kind of scary actually. :wink: I collect and drink bottles and recently cans of Craft Beer and have been doing so for years. I have "Always" enjoyed draft beer and prefer to drink draft when I am out. I recently bought myself a two faucet keg system. This past Christmas I got lucky and snagged a 1/6 barrel of Troegs Mad Elf and picked a 1/6th of St Nikolaus Bock that I had ordered. It was the best Christmas present to myself ever!!! I presently have a 1/6 of Great Lakes "Conway's Irish Ale" on and loving it! As my daily drinker I have on a Yuengling "Traditional Lager". Do any of you have a system like this? Do you have one craft and a daily session beer on together? Do you enjoy ordering your barrel and then going to pick it up? I find it rewarding to actually figure out what new barrel I want and ordering and retrieving said barrel. Also the fact that the distributor is 45 minutes away my wife and I go together and have dinner at one of several favorite spots. It seems to me that drinking draft makes beer drinking more of an event. I love just pulling the handle and filling the glass and striving for the perfect pour. Does anyone else feel this way? I like adjusting the temp on the machine....cleaning glassware and keeping it stacked on the machine... cleaning the lines between exchanges...making custom labels for the handles... showing off my system to friends and sharing great draft beer with them. I just flat out love draft at home!!! I would like to see how many of you feel the same way. Cheers!!! PS sorry about the mini novel.
  2. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (143) Feb 13, 2018 New York

  3. JamFuel

    JamFuel Poo-Bah (3,351) Mar 26, 2009 Sweden

    I have thought about getting a Kegarator or something like that, but I know myself, and I don't want to drink that much of the same beer... Damn ticker and all that...
    Coronaeus and StretchZep like this.
  4. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (165) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I've had a system for over 18 years and rarely use it anymore with the exception of Homebrew. In the last couple years the price of sixtels have gone up to the point that it's often cheaper to buy the equivalent in cans/bottles. Theres still a price break with half kegs and only buy those for parties.
  5. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,434) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    I sort of inherited one last year, 2 line system. Only had 1 keg in there so far. Got it in October and just kicked it last Sunday. Seems it takes me longer to drink a keg these days.

    Still can’t get the carbonation right. Probably need to run longer lines. Definitely need a tower fan.
  6. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,579) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    When I re-did my kitchen at my old house I took the old fridge and set it up with two faucets in the basement. It was nice for a while but I got tired of going to the basement to get beer; and then I'd usually get tired of the beers I'd have on tap. A sixtel contains 5.16 gallons / 41.28 pints and I just wasn't going through it that quickly - if I drank one of each every night that'd still take me over a month to get through them, and that wasn't going to happen because I generally like to switch around a lot.

    The answer to the dilemma of having too much beer would be to have more parties! ...but with the fridge in the basement that wouldn't have worked. So...

    I considered putting a single sixtel fridge in the kitchen when I moved but ultimately decided against it because the majority of my mainstay beers are Belgian, and you can't get them in sixtels. Perhaps I should have done it though because I could have put on some cider, or even wine. That would be great for parties, and I could still put on beer every once in a while.

    If for some reason my wife decides to do something different with the dining room I'll certainly reconsider it.
    seakayak likes this.
  7. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (376) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    There's a sub-forum down below dedicated to home bars, including kegorator care and feeding.
    I don't have one yet, but I'm hoping to at some point. I homebrew and occasionally keg my beers, though it's a mini-charger and picnic tap setup for now. The hard part would be locating the rig - I have a spot in the basement that would work for a fridge, but having to go downstairs for a refill might be a bit of a drag.
  8. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    I agree there is zero price break....When I got the Kegerator I figured I could save money and that did not happen. ;(
  9. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    It takes me about 3 weeks to go through a 1/6th. The Mad Elf took 2 months because of the high ABV....I was mixing 1/4 Elf to 3/4 Bock and that was a nice pairing!!!
  10. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Mine is downstairs in my garage and I actually tell myself I am getting good exercise that way. That is where my beer fridge is anyway so I have been schlepping to the garage for years!!! I make 4 trips a day. :slight_smile:
  11. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    I will have to check that Forum out...thanks for the heads up!
  12. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (165) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    There used to be a decent price break and there are a few breweries near me that offer sixtels in the mid 70s, but that's not the norm.
    StretchZep likes this.
  13. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (171) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Yes come over the homebar forum, it gets lonely over there sometimes. There's a thread on what's on tap in your keg now, kind of like What are you drinking now but much lower frequency.

    I have a dual tap kegerator but one side is for me and one side is for my wife. Price can be lower or higher per oz. Generally speaking most sixtel's are more expensive per oz but if you go to half barrel you usually see economies of scale. If you go for more expensive beer that is in the $3-5 per can rate then usually the keg is actually cheaper per oz for a sixtel. So mileage will vary but truthfully you don't get a kegerator to save money.
    StretchZep likes this.
  14. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    When summer time comes I have to put on Blue Moon for my wife and 21 year old son. Also I am in charge of the oranges and pouring because "you are so good at it" Geez!!! I got my 1/6 of Conway's for $52...that was a steal!!
    matthewp likes this.
  15. lordofthewiens

    lordofthewiens Poo-Bah (4,614) Sep 17, 2005 New Mexico

    I've often thought how great it would be to have a draft system in my home, but found it to be too daunting for me. Then an advertiser on a show my wife does sent her a free sample of their product, and I was hooked. The company is Hopsy. They sent me a sort of mini-kegerator and four two liter containers (torpedoes) of beer. I enjoyed the samples and enrolled in their monthly beer club. I get four beers each month. They choose my beers based on my preferences, but I can substitute if I don't want one of the chosen beers. Two liters is just shy of a six pack, so my turnover is quick enough that I don't get tired of whatever beer is on tap. The price comes out to be about $15 per torpedo. I'm three months into my membership and have had some very nice beers. I don't want this to sound like an advertisement, but I've been happy with the product and think others might enjoy it also.

    tmalt and StretchZep like this.
  16. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Wow!!! I like that idea...will have to check it out.
  17. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (171) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    When we first got the kegerator my wife would switch between Blue Moon and Sam Summer. She's swapped out the Blue Moon for Allagash White now as she's been coming with me to more and more breweries and expanding her palate a bit. We've had the kegerator now for a little over 4 years and it is a lot of fun to have.
    StretchZep likes this.
  18. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (330) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    I built a 4 tap system for homebrew a few years ago. There'a been an occasion or two when I've gotten a sixtel of commercial craft beer as a gift, but for the most part, I'm drinking those from bottles or cans. And yes, as others have said, there's typically no price advantage when buying a sixtel.

    Regarding 5 gallons at a time, with 4 faucets, that's not really a problem. There are times when I'll pull a half keg of a high ABV beer off and plug in a Cream Ale or a Saison for the summer. The big beer gets a few more months of aging in the process.

    The cool factor is icing on the cake!
    StretchZep likes this.
  19. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (380) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Let's see. I have a kegerator problem. Hey, you want a keezer? I got some.

    Kegasaurus in the basement has capacity for up to 7 varieties, up to three half bbls and sixtels etc.
    A converted wine fridge holds a sixtel, that one is upstairs and usually idle but sometimes has a seasonal.
    Two separate 7 cu/ft keezers for 2 sixtels each. Mostly unused but loaned and rented often.
    Oh yeah, a 2 faucet jockey box that does get out to parties 2 or 3 times a year.
    Sometimes another keezer in the middle of being built for a client.

    Everything is modular with QDs and can be swapped for Corny connections or Sankes. Every line has an independent regulator.

    My wife, she is a saint.
    StretchZep, IceAce and matthewp like this.
  20. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (463) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    I have a four-tap keezer for my homebrew, so always have four 1/6-bbl kegs on tap. I don’t really buy commercial kegs that often, due to price being crazy for stuff I can brew as good or better for fraction of the price. That being said, I have Victory’s Prima Pils on tap for the second time now. But it’s also a great deal of a keg which helps my decision (and it being one of my top beers of all time). I don’t mind shelling out the $80 for it or whatever, compared to $120+ for most others.

    My current Prima keg I picked up last week and it was 2-weeks fresh… I mean, it’s impossible to find bottles that fresh around here. Plus… Slow pour Prima is life.
    StretchZep likes this.
  21. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Oh my you do have a kegerator problem!!!! But a good problem to have!!! And yes wives of men with kegerators are saints, mine is for sure!
  22. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (171) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Well I think in his case Billandsuz can claim its all work related to his wife. You can't design draft systems without having a few at home after all.
    StretchZep likes this.
  23. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Hats off to you Homebrewers!!! It is a lot of work but I am sure worth the effort!!! When you think about it there a really a lot of homebrewers out there. We have a local startup "Hightower Brewery" that the owner brewed his own for 6 years and quit his high paying job and in less than 2 years is booming. America's appetite for excellent beer is unquenchable I think. :slight_smile: I have not had the Prima Pils but it is now on my list! Thanks for the reply
  24. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    I like that.....need to have a testing ground!
  25. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    I am only two years into my Kegerator and the cool factor is way up on the list! I smile every time I get a prefect pour!!! How long have you had a keg sit around ageing before it goes bad? Do the big beers age better because of the higher ABV?
  26. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    I totally agree about the fun factor. Unfortunately my wife's palate is limited to Blue Moon in the summer and the "occasional" Guinness. She only likes the Guinness at our favorite Irish Pub with Shephard's Pie. Her maiden name was Quinn after all!!! True Irish gal except for being a one beer wonder. LOL
    matthewp likes this.
  27. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Disciple (327) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Would love to have a kegerator, but it just isn't cost effective for me. My wife doesn't drink (forever DD - lucky me) and we have like 2 parties a year.
  28. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (330) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Generally speaking, as long as it was kegged under proper sanitary conditions, beer won't 'go bad' due to aging. Flavors mellow and mature. Hops fade. Big beers tend to age better, but I'm not real clear on what's going on. One guess is that they tend to have a more complex flavor profile to begin with. Smaller beers tend to be simpler, so there's not a lot of flavor components to a whole lot of interacting. But that's just a guess. Frankly, it's never been an issue, since the small beers don't sit around long enough to do any real observing.
    StretchZep likes this.
  29. StretchZep

    StretchZep Initiate (147) Sep 9, 2010 Ohio

    Thanks for you insight! My kegs don't sit around long enough for any real aging analysis either. :wink: