Category Archives: Faucets

Perlick Forward Sealing, Flow Control, and… Stainless 650SS – $49.94

The Perlick 650SS, the much anticipated redesign of Perlick’s 545PC Flow Control Faucet, is finally available.  This faucet is forward sealing, made of 304 Stainless Steel and includes a flow compensator.  That flow compensator allows you to adjust the resistance your faucet is exerting.  That means less tubing and potentially less foaming and wasted beer. The compensation feature also makes it easier to serve higher carbonation beers as you can set the faucet to provide resistance to offset the increased pressure needed to store these beers.

Perlick 650SS Flow Control Faucet$69.99 $49.94

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Perlick 630SS Forward Sealing, Stainless Faucet – $37.99

We posted this deal on Perlick 630SS Faucets a while back.  I noticed this afternoon… they are almost out of stock.

via RiteBrew… Forward Sealing 630SS Perlick Faucet for $37.99.  This 630SS is Perlick’s replacement for the now discontinued, and extremely popular 545SS.

Check it out - Here

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3 Faucet Chrome Tower – $154 Shipped

Product Description - Here  Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

Tower – 3 Faucet Chrome D1351 - $154 + Free Shipping

Availability: This is a More Beer Deal of the Day.  Quantities are limited. Check the Deal of the Day section Here - to see if this is still available.

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Top PostUpdated and Expanded: Portable Draft Serving Options

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Perlick 630SS Forward Sealing, Stainless Faucet – $37.99

via RiteBrew… Forward Sealing 630SS Perlick Faucet for $37.99.  This 630SS is Perlick’s replacement for the now discontinued, and extremely popular 545SS.

Check it out – Here

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Updated and Expanded: Portable Draft Beer Serving Options!

Looking for options to serve your draft beer on the go?  Here’s a roundup of some of the available options for your next tailgate or get together.

Included in this Post:

  • Growlers
  • Carbonation Caps – used with PET Bottles
  • A Hybrid Solution
  • Small Draft Systems
  • Tips and Tools for Filling Growlers and Small Draft Containers
  • Techniques and equipment for dispensing full corny kegs of beer
  • Portable Systems
  • Other Issues: Chilling and Cloudiness

One of the easiest options to serve your homebrew on the go is filling up a growler.  See below for tips on getting a good growler fill.  Standard growlers are easy to be had.  This section focuses on some of the more interesting options.

2L, German made and pressure capable.  This is a great growler that I use myself.

Sources: More BeerNorthern Brewer - AIH - Midwest Supplies

The remaining growlers are stainless.  These are great because you can take them to the beach or the pool without being concerned about broken glass…

64 oz, 18/8 Stainless, Double Wall, Vacuum Insulated Growler.  The vacuum insulation on this thing is amazing.  Check out my extensive Hands on Review that includes temp trials.  This growler is a Top Find.

Lifeline 7500 Silver Stainless Steel Growler – 64 oz. Capacity

64 oz+, 18/8 Stainless, Double Wall, Vacuum Insulated Growler.  It’s labeled as 64 oz but it’s actually about 69 oz.  That extra space gives you head space, much like a traditional glass growler.  Check out my Hands on Review of this growler.  If you’re looking for a double wall, vacuum insulated growler, this is my current top pick.

Lifeline 7508 Silver Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Barrel Style Growler – 64 oz. Capacity

64 oz, 18/8 Stainless, Double Wall, Vacuum Insulated Growler.  Same idea as the smaller (7500) Lifeline, generally this one is a bit more expensive.

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Drinking Bottle

Mini Keg Style Growler from Deep Wood Products.

Stainless Steel Mini-Keg Growler GL530 - $34.95 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Carbonation Caps:
Carbonation caps allow you to pressurize your beer inside of 1 and 2 Liter PET bottles for quick carbonation and transport.

Fill the 1L or 2L Bottle just like you would a growler, put on a carbonating cap and pressurize for easy transport.  See a full write up on the Kent Systems solution here.

This has the advantage of being more economical and safer vs a glass growler.  Generally, PET plastic bottles will not shatter.  Also, handy if you want to go into an area that restricts glass such as a pool area.

Kent Systems Soda Bottle Cap and QD - $9.99  + Free Shipping with a $59 order

The “Carbonator Cap”.  Same idea as the Kent Systems Cap.  This has a built in ball lock connection so you can hook it right up to your kegerator CO2 lines.

Sources: More Beer - AIHLabel PeelersNorthern Brewer - Midwest Supplies - Amazon

Hybrid Solution:

The Drink Tanks Growler (with Keg Cap) is a hybrid between a growler and a small draft setup.  It has a double wall, vacuum seal, stainless design and the Keg Cap provides includes tubing and a faucet.  With the Keg Cap installed, the Drink Tanks Growler is a portable, small draft setup.  An included CO2 charger pressurizes the system.  With the double wall insulation (depending on your surroundings) you can use this without chilling it for a good bit of time.

Check it out - Here

Small Draft Setups:
Small kegging setups that lend themselves to easy transport.  You can either fill from your kegerator or bottle condition directly in these.

Tap a Draft System.  I’m a happy Tap a Draft user.  This system comes with three 1.5 Gallon Bottles, A Tap and CO2 Cartridges for serving.  4.5 gallon total capacity is just about the perfect size for a finished 5 gallon batch.  Or, fill one bottle up off of your kegerator faucet.  This tap also works with 3L PET Soda Bottles.

Sources: More BeerNorthern BrewerAmazon

Party Pig Dispenser

Party Pig bottles hold 2.25 Gallons of Beer.  Instead of using CO2 Cartridges, the party pig uses an expanding pouch.

Sources: AIHAmazonMidwest Supplies

Tips and Tools for Filling Growlers and Small Draft Containers:

Filling a growler or small draft dispenser from your draft setup is an easy and straightforward process…
  1. Start with a cold growler.  I suggest putting it in your kegerator so it’s the exact same temperature as your beer.  This will reduce foaming.
  2. Having a wet growler also helps reduce foam.  Put Star San in your growler prior to chilling, swirl it around to coat all surfaces and discard jut prior to filling.  If you’ll be drinking the growler right away, you can just use fresh, cold tap water.
  3. If you’re using picnic taps a 3/8″ ID section of tubing should fit nicely on the end of your taps.  If you’re using a Perlick style faucet, a section of 1/2″ ID tubing should fit on your faucet.  Make sure the tubing is long enough to hit the bottom of the growler.  Turn down the pressure to 4 or 5 psi and slowly fill.  Close on foam and you’re good to go.

More Beer sells some very economical stainless growler fillers.  These slip right in your faucet.

There are two versions of this.  One for standard faucets and one for Perlick faucets.  Just add a length of 3/8th” tubing to either one of these and you’re up and going.

Stainless Steel Growler Filler – Fits Standard Faucets D1222 - $4.49

Stainless Steel Growler Fillers – For Perlick 525 Faucet D1224 - $4.99

Serving your full Corny Keg of Beer:
Now we transition into solutions for serving full Cornelius kegs of beer.  Combine your keg full of homebrew with some sort of faucet and a CO2 source.

Faucet Options:

This is nice because it provides plenty of resistance for foam control, takes up minimal space and looks great.

Sources: More Beer - AmazonAIH

Pin Lock Version:

Pin Lock QD Faucet Assembly - $36 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Draft Boxes
These are for serving beer that isn’t necessarily cold yet.  Ice in the cooler gets beer down to serving temperature quickly.  These can take some work to dial in.  I’d consider a draft box only for bigger events where you’re going to serve a considerable amount of beer.

Sources: More BeerAdventures in Homebrewing

Sources: More BeerAdventures in HomebrewingNorthern Brewer

Cold plates are available separately if you want to put your own draft box together.

1 Circuit/Tap2 Circuits/Taps

Of course, you can also use a picnic or cobra tab and tubing

CO2/Pressure Options:

These handheld chargers are great.  Compact and easy to use.  If you go with this option, I’d recommend running the thing yourself.  Guests tend to squeeze it for fun and sport and empty out the cartridge in short order.  You just need a couple of taps to keep the pressure at an acceptable level for serving.

Ball Lock Handheld CO2 Charger - $29.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Pin Lock Version:
CO2 Injector Pin Lock - $29.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order

Keg Charger without QD.  Same ideas as the previous two options, just add your own pin or ball lock QD.

Sources: AmazonNorthern Brewer - AIHLabel Peelers

Similar to the handheld unit above, but with a regulator and much larger CO2 cartridges.  The CO2 cartridge on this is more than 4 times larger than the injector featured above.  The regulator also means it takes care of itself.  I have one of these and love it.  It has come in handy as a backup CO2 source when my main tank ran empty.  You could also use this to keep an already carbonated keg at a different pressure/carbonation level from your main CO2 source.

Sources: More Beer (Ball Lock or Pin Lock), Midwest Supplies (with CO2, no CO2)

74g CO2 Cartridges: More BeerMidwest Supplies

Use a compact Paintball CO2 tank to dispense your beer using this CO2 regulator designed for the task.  Much more portable than your 5, 10 or 20 lb tank.

Paintball Tank Regulator - $52.98

Adventures in Homebrewing has a number of adapters that allow you use use other types of tanks and regulators together.  The selection includes the pictured adapter that allows you to use a Sodastream tank with your CO2 Regulator and adapters that allow you to use paintball tanks with your CO2 Regulator.  Check out AIH’s CO2 Tanks and Accessories Page for more info.

If you know you’re going to go through a whole keg, or multiple kegs, this hand pump is a great option.  No tubing or CO2 to bother with.  Of course, it’s going to cause oxidation, but that doesn’t matter if you’re drinking the beer quickly.

Ball Lock Hand Pump - $36.99

2.5 Gallon Kegs
If you’re looking for a smaller, more portable keg, check out this 2.5 gallon model.  I own two of these and they are great.

Portable Systems:
There are some systems on the market that are designed with portability in mind.
The “Tailgate Kegging System” from Adventures in Homebrewing includes a new 3 gallon keg, small CO2 tank, regulator, tubing, disconnects and faucet.  Check it out – Here
This 2.5 gallon system from More Beer includes a new 2.5 gallon keg, CO2 tank, regulator, tubing disconnects and faucet.  Check it out – Here

Other Issues:Chilling
A 5-6 gallon bucket with ice has worked well for me.  Some of the cube and beverage coolers fit smaller 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs well.  

If you don’t filter your beer and decide to strap your keg on the back of an ATV and take off, you’ll soon figure out why people filter their beer as your guests remark at how Budweiser doesn’t have the same chunks of yeast that your beer has.

1.  Get it in place ahead of time and let it settle.
2.  Filter it.  Hands on Review - Here
3.  Transfer clear beer to a new keg and leave any yeast behind.

Got an option to add to the list?  Email Homebrew Finds!

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Balancing your Draft System + Three Things I learned about Draft Dispensing at NHC

I had the pleasure of attending the National Homebrewer’s Conference held in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past week.  If you didn’t have the chance to go, or even if you did, the AHA will be providing recordings of every seminar held at this year’s NHC.  In fact you can pick up recordings going back to 2012′s conference.  This is a member’s only benefit.  If you’re not a member of the AHA, I think you should consider joining.  Access to conference materials is only one of many benefits.  Join nowCheck out the benefits.

One of the sessions I attended was Tom Schmidlin’s “Draft System Design and Maintenance”.  Having built several kegerators over the years, clarification – several iterations of the same kegerator, I feel like a know a fair bit about putting together a system.  Many things were re-affirmations of lessons I’ve learned.  I did pick up a few new tips.  Thank you to Tom Schmidlin for putting on this great presentation!

Note that all of these ideas are not exactly notes from Tom’s presentation.  I specifically note items that I recall picking up from him.  All three “What I learned about Draft Dispensing at NHC” are from Tom’s presentation.

On to setting your temperatures and pressures and balancing your system…

Temperature and Pressure:

The carbonation level of your beer is a function of your CO2 PSI and your kegerator temperature.  The colder your kegerator, the more CO2 your beer will absorb.  You need to decide two things: How cold do I want my beer to be and what carbonation level do I want to serve it at.

1.  Carbonation Level.  Typically expressed in volumes of dissolved CO2.  Check out the BJCP’s style guidelines for a starting point.  The guidelines give general terms like low, moderately low, high, very high, etc.  Other more specific charts and tools are also available.  Most recipe formulation tools have guidelines or tools on the subject including BeerSmith and Brewer’s Friend.  Tasty Brew’s Carbonation Calculator also has built in guidelines.

2.  Temperature.  Tom said that most bars serve between 34 and 38 deg F.  Of course, this is a personal preference.

After you have determined carbonation level and temperature you’d like you can use a carbonation chart or calculator to determine what pressure you need to store your beer at.
Click To Enlarge.  This graphic is found all around the web.  I believe that credit goes to the great John Palmer of How to Brew fame.

Example:  If you’d like your beer to be 38 degrees and you want 2.4 volumes of CO2, you would find 38 degrees on the far left hand column and then follow it over to the right until you find something similar to 2.4.  After you have located that, follow that column up and you’ll find your required storage and serving PSI.  In this case, 10 PSI.

Serving Beers with Multiple Carbonation Levels

If you want to serve beers at different pressures you’ll need multiple regulators…

This is a secondary regulator meaning that it has no high pressure gauge or connection.  This hooks on to your existing primary regulator and allows you to serve up to four additional pressures.  In combination with your primary regulator you can actually serve up to 5 pressures.  Set the primary to your highest desired pressure level, put in a T or manifold on the primary outlet and feed the secondary from there.  Check it out – Here

This is the double bodied regulator that I currently use.  It allows me to serve at two carbonation levels.  I feed a manifold off one regulator with what I’ll call my standard or house carbonation level – and have a single line going off the other regulator for beers that I want to serve at a different carbonation level or for force carbing a keg at a higher pressure.  Check it out – Here

If you simply want to split one of your pressures for use in multiple kegs, a manifold will do the trick.  These give you multiple tubing runs, have integrated check valves to prevent cross contamination and have valves to control each link.  The list of things that grow with you in homebrewing is… short.  You can’t add on two gallons to your brew kettle.  This expandable manifold system from More Beer is one thing that will actually grow with you.  Check it out – Here

Balancing Your System:

Now that you have your beer at your preferred temperature and carbonation level you need to be able to dispense it at the proper speed and without excessive foam.  A common goal is 1 gallon per minute or about 2 ounces per second.  That’s accomplished by balancing your system.  Essentially, you want to offset most of the pressure (all but about 1 PSI) that is required to store and carbonate your beer with resistance in your system.  Everything on the liquid side of your system counts toward this resistance.

Some resistance estimations…

Tubing – credit goes to the Draught Quality Manual for these figures:

  • Vinyl 3/16” ID 3.00 lbs/ft
  • Vinyl 1/4” ID 0.85 lbs/ft
  • Vinyl 5/16” ID 0.40 lbs/ft
  • Vinyl 3/8” ID 0.20 lbs/ft
  • Vinyl 1/2” ID 0.025 lbs/ft
  • Barrier 1/4” ID 0.30 lbs/
  • Barrier 5/16” ID 0.10 lbs/ft
  • Barrier 3/8” ID 0.06 lbs/ft
  • Stainless 1/4” OD 1.20 lbs/ft
  • Stainless 5/16” OD 0.30 lbs/ft
  • Stainless 3/8” OD 0.12 lbs/ft

Note:  Most Homebrewers that I know use either 1/4″ or 3/16″ ID Vinyl with the majority of those using 3/16″ ID Vinyl.  Lower resistance options are typically used by commercial establishments that are usually trying to reduce resistance.

Note: More Beer has recently EJ Beverage’s Line of PVC Free, Antibacterial, Low Permeability Tubing.  Each of those options include estimated lbs of restriction per foot.  Check that tubing line out – Here

  • Standard Faucet and Shank – Tom estimates 5 lbs for these items
  • Picnic or Cobra Faucet – .5 lbs
  • Rise in elevation – .5lbs/ft of rise, measured from the center of the keg

Example: Continuing our previous example, we had our pressure set to 10 PSI.  Everything on the liquid side of the system counts toward the system’s resistance.  Let’s say you’re using a picnic tap and 3/16″ ID Tubing.

Picnic Tap = .5 lbs

Estimated Rise from Center of Keg = 2 ft = 1 lb

Total = 1.5 lbs of resistance

That leaves us 7.5 lbs that we need to use up.  We’re using 3/16″ ID Tubing (3 lbs/ft).  We’ll need a total of 2.5 ft of tubing to offset the required pressure.

The total system looks like this…

Picnic Tap = .5 lbs
Estimated Rise from Center of Keg = 2 ft = 1 lb
2.5 ft of 3/16″ ID Tubing = 7.5 lbs

Total = 9 lbs of resistance

Remaining = 1 PSI to serve beer

But wait… you should double the length of the tubing.  Why you ask?…

What I learned about Draft Dispensing at NHC #1 – “Estimates aren’t always right”

Estimations for the resistance of vinyl tubing per foot are… wrong.  Practically I’ve know this for years.  Some time ago I tried to serve Northern Brewer’s Hefeweizen Recipe at traditional carbonation levels (3.6 to 4.5 volumes of CO2) using these figures.  Didn’t work.  Tom’s suggestion: Double the amount of vinyl tubing called for and trim until you get an acceptable flow rate of about 1 gallon per hour and a good pour.  Along those lines, Tom also suggested buying your tubing in 100 foot rolls.

I received two more revelations…

What I learned about Draft Dispensing at NHC #2 – “Longer Shank = Less Foam”

 A longer shank means… a colder faucet.  More mass inside your kegerator or keezer keeps your faucet colder and reduces foam.

What I learned about Draft Dispensing at NHC #3 – “Safety First”

Tom’s advice is… Do not place your kegerator in your basement.  A catastrophic failure could cause the tank to drain, flooding your basement with CO2.  Tom also recommended the use of a CO2 Alarm.  He said he got his at Amazon.  He, rightly, mentions that these are difficult to find and a bit on the expensive side.  Carbon Monoxide alarms abound, CO2 alarms are more rare.  In fact if you search for “CO2 Alarm”  on Amazon, the site believes you’ve mistyped and instead shows you Carbon Monoxide Alarms.  This altered search helps a bit, specifically excluding the term monoxide.  It seems some units only report CO2 levels without issuing an alarm.  Here are a couple of models that have alarms: Indoor Air Quality Meter and Supco IAQ50 Wall Mounted Indoor Air Quality Monitor.  As for me… my kegerator is in… my basement and I have a… 20 lb CO2 tank.  At this point, I’m not planning to move it.  I am, however, going to get a CO2 alarm in short order.

Additional Resources and Related Products:

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Perlick Perl Flow Control Faucet – $47.95 Shipped

This Flow Control Faucet from Perlick has recently sold for as much as $57.99.  It has just dropped from $47.95 + $15.95 Shipping, or $63.90 in all to $47.95 Shipped.  You save $15.95.

The flow control feature allows you to set a variable resistance pressure for the faucet. That additional pressure allows you to reduce the amount of tubing in your system and also offers the ability to more easily serve higher carbonation beers without foaming issues.

Perlick Perl Flow Control Draft Beer Tap Faucet – $47.95 + Free Shipping

Pinned: Vac Insulated Growler *$5 Off at Amazon *Free $20 Gift Card *Bazooka Screen

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MoreRecent FindsAmazonAmazon Free Ship Add-OnsDraftFaucetsHBF TestedGreat Deals

Two Faucet Draft Tower – $79.99

Adventures in Homebrwing has marked this two tap draft tower down $40 to $79.99. 

Economy SS Dual 2 Tap Draft Tower$119.99 $79.99

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More Beer: Faucet, Knob and Shank Combo – $36.99

Product Description - Here.  Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

Faucet, Knob And Shank Combo D1255 - $36.99 + Free Shipping with $59 Order

Availability: This is a More Beer Deal of the Day.  Quantities are limited. Check the Deal of the Day section Here - to see if this is still available.

Ends Soon35% Off Amarillo Pellets

More Beer: Perlick 525SS – $33.99

Product Description - Here  Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

Perlick Faucet – Stainless (Model 525) D1218 - $33.99 + Free Shipping with $59 Order

Availability: This is a More Beer Deal of the Day.  Quantities are limited. Check the Deal of the Day section Here - to see if this is still available.

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