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Portable CO2 and Beer Service

 Summer time and the beer's flowing freely; or at least it will if you remember this Phantom Brewer's Tip.

    It's that time of year, friends are having parties; there's food on the grill; children splashing around in the pool and beer needing to be tapped. Having our beer on tap at home is a breeze, just go and fill some pitchers or get the guys (and gals) to gather around the taps whenever they'd like a beer. Mobile beer service is a whole other story. Growlers just don't cut the same fine jib that a bringing a keg does, but who wants to lug that CO2 bottle around and how do you keep it cold?

    If you're a gadget junkie, Daume has a few items on sale that will meet your needs, including a cycling inspired cartridge based injector system. Downside with those is the expense of the cartridges and the number you need to dispense a keg. The cheap trick is to use an empty keg. Blast a clean, empty keg with 30psi until the gas stops flowing. Using the gas keg and a jumper line (hose with two gas in fittings on it), you can give a lethargic keg a shot of CO2. Like the cartridge injectors, the pressure won't be regulated out of the keg, but it's an easy solution to the problem.

    The other trick of mobile beer service: how do you keep the beer cold? Most of us can't afford or need a jockey box or cold plate arrangement, see the Club's front bar for an example. Coolers and buckets don't cover the whole keg, trash bags don't work, foam boxes leak, etc. What to do? TPB suggests taking a lead from Richard "Beanie" Webster: repurpose Daume's old extract canisters. With your favorite cutting implement cut around the lip of the canister top (the side with the spigot). Leaving the top portion of the lip intact and knocking out the top side leaves you with a perfectly sized and leak-proof container to hold a keg and ice. For extended cooling time, wrap the container with moving blankets or other insulation and secure in place with bungee cords or other means.

    There you have it. Easy portable beer service. With a little creativity, you could refit the lid (with tabs) and set it up to have a tower to make all your friends, oh and ahh even more.

    If you have other suggestions for portable beer service (lots of parties!), let the Phantom know. ( Other ideas are needed! Tell the Phantom the things you've made or the questions you have. The Phantom knows!


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