The Tap-A-Draft system is a reasonable compromise between the drudgery of bottling and the ease of kegging. Each of the three see-through plastic mini-kegs holds 6 liters (1.58 gallons or 203 ounces) of liquid. The three bottles can hold 4.75 gallons of product. It costs about $70.
- It’s affordable. It’s significantly cheaper than a kegging system (by 60-100%).
- You don’t need a second refrigerator to hold it. In my refrigerator it took up about one-third of the lower shelf. That’s a significant displacement, but not ginormous. The bottle is 12.5″ long, and 7.5″ in diameter. The dispenser spout adds 4″ to the length.
- You can see through the PET plastic bottle. So you know how much beer or homemade soda you have on hand.
- You can force carbonate beer or soda, and drink it darn-near immediately.
- The dispensing valve has two built-in regulators that maintain a constant 15 psi.
- You have to fill three bottles only, instead of 51 12-ounce bottles.
- The CO2 cartridges are easy to handle and change out.
- The dispenser has a one-way check valve to keep CO2 in the bottle.
- Pressure relief in case of excessive pressure. If the pressure in the bottle exceeds 60psi, the valve opens to release the pressure in the bottle.
- The valve carries a one-year warranty against any manufacturing defects.
- The dispenser valve is not spring loaded.
- You must ensure the valve is completely closed and the locking tab is securely in place, otherwise it will drip. I have lost three gallons of beer in a span of two weeks. (Yes, it is “operator error” but it requires a boatload of diligence to keep it from happening.)
Because, I have now suffered two dispenser valve accidents and lost some darn good beer (My L’il Sumpin’ gone–I was tempted to lick the floor), I’m going to use fill only one Tap-A-Draft bottle and put the remainder of the beer in 12-ounce or 22-ounce bottles. Your mileage may vary.
- This Week on BrewZasters: Kegging our Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ clone (52beers.wordpress.com)
- Beer on Tap or in a Bottle? Here’s How to Order the Best Beer [Drinks] (lifehacker.com)
- Google employees create beer-dispensing KegDroid (digitaltrends.com)
- Customize your own craft beer in 10 minutes with a handheld infuser bottle (digitaltrends.com)
Going back through the archives a little. I wonder, will the beer keep as long as in a regular keg. I suppose if it keeps the beer at a constant pressure no matter the beer volume.
My guess is that it won’t keep as long since the plastic is permeable to air (though if it’s under pressure…but there are two others that aren’t…). Good question. I haven’t noticed much degradation but I’m 62 and my palate isn’t what it used to be.
By the way, I just added a page on brewer’s terminology. It’s a work in progress and I think it’s accurate, but another set of eyes can’t hurt.
I finally got to taking a look at the brewers terminology in detail. Not sure if there is an email or some other place to send suggestions/comments, or I suppose I could just add a comment.
Thank you for looking at it. You can email me at norm at normbenson dot com.