Hardware & Parts

Converting old refrigerators into draft beer systems is easy with the right equipment. You can enjoy cold draft beer at home. Save time traveling to the beer store. Save money. Stop hauling cans and bottles to the recycle center. You pick up a keg from the local distributor. Tap it and enjoy. It's perfect for parties or just relaxing with friends. Hardware You'll Need By far the most common system used by home brewers for draft beer is the 5-gallon soda canister, originally manufactured by the Cornelius Company (Annoka, Minnesota). Though other companies also make similar models (notably the Firestone brand [Spartanburg Steel Products, Spartanburg, South Carolina], whose kegs are virtually identical to Cornelius's -- though parts are not necessarily interchangeable), the style is usually referred to as a Cornelius or "Corny" keg. These stainless steel canisters were developed and used to distribute premixed soda for common restaurant dispensers. The keg shape, capacity, and fittings are standardized, and over the years millions have been manufactured. It takes only a small conceptual leap to see they can dispense beer the same way they once dispensed diet cola. The complete keg draft-beer system is very simple. A typical system includes a Corny keg to hold the beverage, a CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas tank to pressurize the keg (for force-carbonation and dispensing), a gas regulator to lower the gas-tank pressure to a usable level, a hose with a quick-disconnect fitting to connect the CO2 tank to the Corny keg, and a hose with a plastic faucet or "picnic tap" and quick-disconnect fitting to dispense the beverage.

homebrewed beer with malted grains and hop flowers

Home Beer Brewing

Brewing beer is an American Tradition.