This Pimp My System project was submitted by AHA member Amanda Kertz.
Serving your handcrafted beer to copious amounts of people is arguably the best part of homebrewing. My homebrew club (Kansas City Bier Meisters) has a few jockey boxes in order to serve kegs at parties, but they are too big and have too many taps for personal use.
Looking around my old apartment, I realized I had most of the supplies to build a two-tap party-tap set up, perfect for my usage
- Repurposed 5 gallon cooler
- Cold plate
- (2) Faucet shanks
- (2) Cooler shanks
- (2) Faucets
- (2) Tap handles
- (6) Tail pieces & nuts
- (2) Beer side quick disconnects
- ¼” Beer line, cut to length
- 5 lb CO2 tank
- Gas line
- Gas line “T”
- (2) Gas side quick disconnects
- 24” wide Reflectix
- Velcro, preferably industrial strength
I had a round cooler from my college days—used mainly for float trips or yard drinking and usually filled it with some sort of gin-based lemon-lime concoction—but I digress. Having the cooler and other items, I just needed a cold plate, some shanks and a couple of faucets and I would soon be on my way to entertaining family and friends with fresh homebrew!
I took the cooler over to my good friend, Michael Crane, who drilled the shank holes in the cooler. Inside of the cooler is shown below during the rough fitment.
Running the beer line is fairly straight forward. I used ¼” ID beer line with 10’ coiled up inside the cooler for each run. The lines from the cooler to the kegs are each 5′ long. The seemingly excessive length of tubing ensures that I don’t get gratuitous foaming like other cold plate-based jockey boxes can have.
Once together, I labeled the inside of the cooler and cold plate with the beer line numbers. This is a simple thing, but I could not use the jockey box as easily without it.
Since I’m usually transporting the kegs out of my home, they need to stay relatively cool. This is where the Reflectix wraps come into play. These wrap each keg three times and Velcro onto themselves. What is really nice about the wraps is that I can take a keg out of the keezer, wrap it and it stays under 40°F for 20-24 hours. If it’s going to be longer, I usually scoot the wraps up and put the kegs in a cooler with ice as shown below at my mom’s surprise birthday party.
The gas side of the project is just the mobile gas setup we’ve had laying around the house. I connected the outlet to a “T” fitting, splitting the gas in two. I then connected the gas side quick disconnects and we were in business. Pair all of this with a mobile beer line cleaner and a soft sided tool bag and it’s quite the mobile beer serving cooler.
The gin-bucket jockey box has been a real hit with my family friends, college friends and at various parties. I’ve been able to serve my beer across the midwest to countless people because it is the perfect size for transporting and serving in any area.