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How To Make A Soda Bottle Keg
by Robert Butler (email@example.com)
This document explains how to make a party keg out of a three liter
soda bottle. This keg has the great advantage of being inexpensive to
build, and very portable. A tap assembly is attached to the bottle while
the beer conditions. Bottle pressure draws the beer when tapped.
II. CONSTRUCTING THE TAP:
First, drill a hole into the
cap to accommodate the length of
racking cane. Affix the length of
cane into a hole in the bottle cap
any way that is most practical for
you. The prototype has the cane
hot-glued into the hole. My working
model uses a stopper to hold the
cane in place. A drilled #2 stopper
(fits most beer bottles) is inserted
upside down into the cap, so that
the narrow end points up when the
cap is attached. This prevents the
possibility of bottle pressure
blowing out the stopper.
Attach a siphon cap to the
inserted end of the racking cane,
and a length of 3/8 i.d. Vinyl
tubing (standard size) to the free
end. Place a hose clamp on the
Vinyl tubing. The siphon cap will
help keep yeast sediment from being
drawn when the bottle is tapped.
The hose clamp seals the bottle.
Cap with || ||
hole----> _|HH|_ ||
/ || \ ||
Racking / || \ ||
cane----|-> || | ||
| || | ||
Soda | || | ||
bottle->| || | ||
| || | ||
| || | ||
Siphon | || | ||
cap ----|-> ++ | ||
Tube end lower ||
than cane end------> ||
III. NOTE ON SEALING
If you are using relatively un-molested tubing, you shouldn't need
worry about the seal. If you are concerned, you can seal any potential
source of leak (tubing to cane connection, or cane/stopper to cap) with
rubber cement, hot glue, tape, plastic wrap, whatever.. One hose clamp
works fine on my set up, but I make sure it's clamped down as far as it
will go. You will know if your seal is compromised if you see beer
sneaking up through the tube.
Normal priming rate for bottles: 3/4 cup corn sugar, or 1 1/4 cup DME
per 5 gal.
Just open the clamps and the beer will be forced out by the bottle
pressure. When the pressure drops below dispensing level, just un-screw
the cap to let enough air in and the beer will siphon out. That's why it
is advisable to use a length of tubing long enough (18" or so) to allow
VI. COST AND COMMENTS
The cost of the soda bottle is free if you already purchase soda, or
if you have friends who do. Alternatively, you could raid your neighbor's
recycling bin. The other four required parts cost pretty much the same no
matter where you shop. Chances are you probably have a pile of this stuff
lying around. A quick glance at one of my catalogs shows a total of $4.00
for the tap set up.
30" of racking tube (enough for two taps) - $2.00
1 Siphon tip - $0.50
2" of Vinyl tubing - $0.50
1 hose clamp $1.00
I have two of these plus the prototype, which I still use. I don't
bother to adjust my priming sugar, as I desire good pressure for tapping.
These bottles will indeed hold it, though they'll become hard as rock. I
use these like mini kegs being tapped with an air hand pump, i.e. the beer
will be consumed within a day or two -- or better yet, a party...! Since
the taps are a part of the keg, you can tap any keg, any time.
Comments and suggestions...?