Things You'll Need
Tap kit and hardware
Hose clamps (4)
It sounds like a fantasy but it could be reality -- a beer tap in your very own home. Before you start filling that mental beer mug take some time to plan out how you're going to install a beer tap in your house. As with any project, planning is key. Home beer taps are made up of four major parts: a refrigerator for keeping the beer cool, a cannister for dispensing carbon dioxide (CO2), a beer tap and, of course, a beer keg.
Plan the space for your tap. This can either be at a bar or setup behind a wall. Beer needs to be kept refrigerated so you will need enough room to set up a refrigerator or freezer. Whatever your space, you will need to plan ahead for the keg dimensions.
Lay out the beer lines and CO2 canister. The canister itself doesn't have to sit inside the refrigerator. A line must run from the CO2 canister, over to the keg and another line must run from the keg to the beer tap. You will need to make two holes in the refrigerator wall to run the lines in and out. Gather up all your cannisters, regulators, lines and couplers and tap and lay them out how you want them hooked up.
Add holes in the refrigerator, if needed. Use the larger drill bit to make a hole the same size as your tubing. Insert the gaskets into the holes, then thread the tubes through the gaskets.
Drill a hole for the beer tap. Measure the dimensions of your beer tap and attach a hole bit to your drill. Cut the hole to the required dimensions. Assemble the beer tap. Slide the tap by the shank through the tap hole. Fasten with the retaining nut from the bottom.
Connect the regulator to the CO2 tank. This screws into the threads on the top. Connect the CO2 hose leading to the keg. Secure with a clamp.
Connect the coupler to the top of the keg. Insert the coupler into the keg bung and turn one quarter of a turn to secure. Connect the CO2 line to the CO2 side of the coupler. Connect the beer line hose to the other side of the coupler. Secure both hoses with a clamp.
Run the hose from the refrigerator to the underside of the tap. Secure with a hose clamp.
Open the CO2 cannister. Adjust the pressure as needed by opening up the tap and conducting a few "test" pours. The amount of pressure required is different depending on your tastes for head and foam.
A standard 15 1/2 gallon beer keg, called a "half barrel" is 23 inches from top to bottom and 16 7/8 inches wide. The smaller "pony keg" 13 7/8 inches high, holds 7 3/4 gallons and is 16 1/6 inches wide. Pick which best suits your needs. In addtion to the keg height, add an extra four inches for the beer coupler that attaches to the top of the keg.
Plan your setup thoroughly before you start. Different beer kegs require different beer setups. You don't want to figure out you have the wrong coupler halfway through installation of your beer tap.
You can either purchase a refrigerator that is ready for beer dispensing or convert an old one to your needs. If converting, many manufacturers offer conversion kits to help you get the job done.
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.