Beer delivery - Best of both worlds!

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New Member
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Hi all,

I'm reasonably new to Home Brewing and I am getting myself set up with all of the required equipment with a theory of "do it once and do it right".

I have a friend helping me out with the brewing equipment so that is already under way, but what I'm looking at doing is building a kegging system that offers a 'best of both worlds' approach between kegging and bottling. I have been reading through the forum and have learnt a lot in a short amount of time, but from what I can gather, nobody has been as adventurous (read crazy) to attempt something like this.

My priorities are (in order):
-Taste Quality/Experience

I know the kegging vs bottling choice is a personal decision, but here is where I'm heading:
My beer will be tap served (nothing better than pouring your own brew from your tap in your own house!) from a little DIY machine as follows.

Utilise a Tap-A-Draft 6 litre bottle and modify the cap so that it can take a large bladder inside the bottle. There are a range of bladders that will do the job, especially considering the gas permeation requirements (you will see later why).

This way I can decide as I'm experimenting with different beer types if I want to force carb keg style or use sugar, bottle style.

The bladder will be interchangeable and arrive out of a packet sanitised so there would be no cleaning required here and only filling of one bottle for every 6 litres so that hassle is reduced. This also helps with finding refrigeration and storage space. I will also bleed any air out of the top of the bladder so that it does not get affected by the O2.

When the beer is ready, the custom cap will then click into a fitting that will force pressurised air (standard air) into the gap between the bottle and the bladder, giving me pressure. This is why it is important to have no gas permeation through the bladder as I don't want to lose CO2 or gain O2 in my brew. From what I can gather, this should be achievable in order to get a 6 month plus shelf life and 3 months plus once 'tapped'. And no need for any CO2 at all, assuming I decide to carb with sugar.

This pressure will force the brew through a heat exchanger running on glycol when the tap is opened and here is where it gets interesting. As it is for home use, I plan to keep a minimal amount of glycol (about 2L) and run that through a mini custom built refrigeration condenser for cooling so that I can turn the machine on and have my glycol down to temp in about 2 minutes. From my rough calcs, I estimate that I can cool the brew by up to 25 degrees (about 7kW of cooling) during the pour at a rate of about 4lpm (including a flooded font) which should be more than enough as it doesn't really get above 25 degrees in my house even in summer.

This way, getting home and deciding to have one is only a couple of minutes away, without needing to have refrigeration permanently on.

Keeping in mind that the taste is my main priority closely followed by brewing convenience, I'm sure there are a thousand things that I have not considered in preparation of this plan. And no, the convenience of not taking on such a complex project is not a consideration, I love a challenge. ;)



Boston Bay Brewery
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Get it working and show us all. :)

It sounded good until you mentioned the chilling unit.
A 6 litre vessel with a heat exchanger and other pipes may lose a litre or so of beer, particularly seeing that you aren't pushing the beer with c02 but air working on the bladder.
Now, this air pressure to pressurise the vessel is coming from a compressor.....another part needed??? Or you could use a bike pump.
My honest opinion is that a system like you describe would work but is overcomplicated for the result achieved.

A converted freezer to fridge temps is very economical to run as reported on many posts on this forum.
You could just put your vessel in a fridge / keezer and serve it with the air compresser as planned and keep beer lines as short as possible. The advantage here is that you may adjust the pressure to gain the best serve and not risk over carbonating the beer over time and you can still use the fridge to keep other products.
And you are still going to need some form of cabinet or furniture to mount the font.

Anyway good luck with it all.


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6 months shelf life? 3 months on tap? Not stored at fridge temps?

Not a fan of fresh beer or you only brew RIS?


Well-Known Member
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10lt batches into either a 9L keg or bottles. Job done. A keezer is very economical in terms of electricity and effort to get it going.


New Member
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Thanks all for the replies!

Yes, sp0rk, I am an engineer... ;)

Cheers dicko, I have some old mini quiet medical air compressors lying around that I plan to use. Part of the idea is to be totally CO2 bottle free in the whole process. And keeping the beer volume in the heat exchanger to a minimum is another objective. It looks like I will have to use a flow restricted tap unless I can manually restrict to the right level so that I can use less line.

I could find some fridge space for the bottles in storage to make them keep longer, but I'm hoping to keep this device reasonably small so any type of keezer is bigger than I want to have sitting around. I'll drink 6L faster than it can go off sitting at room temperature anyway!

Does anyone know of any taste differences between beer chilled to temp over 24 hours and beer 'snap' chilled in 5 seconds? (assuming that they were the same before that 24 hour period) I can't find any information on the topic.

The quick chilling shouldn't affect the mouthfeel from what I can gather even though CO2 absorption increases as temperature drops. I've had many a beer from bars that store at room temperature and chill during serving so I guess it can't be that much of an issue.

I have looked into the tap king dispenser however I feel that I can get closer to what I want to achieve starting from scratch rather than what that gives me.

Remember, the end result is easier brewing and better beer. Your tips will help me get there I'm sure!


Yeast maketh the beer.
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This podcast with Charles Bamforth, talks about flavour stability of beer and relating to storage of beer and degradation of flavour/freshness as temperature increases.

Essentially the lower you can store your beer the fresher it stays, of course there are other factors but I remember that being one of the main ones and a point I found interesting. I think at bars that store at room temp they probably have a higher turnover of product and so maybe it isn't as much of an issue?

Edit: Spelling

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