Homebrewing Beer - Alternative to Kegging

If you don't have enough room or cash for a keg system but are tired of all the washing, sterilizing and time required to bottle your beer you can choose a product that is "in-between" bottling and kegging. A simple and affordable introduction to kegging is called the TAP-A-DRAFT® system made by Sturman BG, LLC. The system is comprised of a screw-on plastic tap and three 1.5 gallon blue plastic bottles (the same type of plastic bottle that soda comes in) and 8-gram CO2 cartridges. The CO2 cartridges are standard 8-gram food grade disposable CO2 cartridges used to regulate the pressure inside the 1.5 gallon bottle and keeps the beer carbonated.

Be sure not to confuse these 8-gram cartridges for the popular 12-gram cartridges found at sporting good stores for BB/air guns. As the beverage is dispensed, the cartridges replace the vacant space in the bottle with CO2. This regulated pressure allows the bottle contents to flow from the tap. A nice head can be formed by easing back slightly on the tap. It also can use Nitrogen cartridges (like Guinness™) for your stouts.

Multiple bottles can be purchased so you can have a number of different brews on-hand. I currently have eight bottles in various stages of fermentation or storage. Besides cost and convenience, I can easily switch between my beers 1.5 gallons at a time. The bottles can be inexpensively replaced as they wear out after about 6-8 uses. They take up a small space of about 17" long by 7" wide and fits nicely on it's side on a refrigerator shelf. Having the beer on tap sitting right there on a shelf in the fridge makes it very easy to have a beer, which could be construed as both a negative and a positive. The good thing, there won't be a bunch of bottles sitting on the counter for anyone (read: wife) to count at the end of the night.

The TAP-A-DRAFT® allows allow you to force carbonate your beer or can be bottle conditioned with priming sugar in the TAP-A-DRAFT bottle with the screw cap, to be tapped later when needed. Forced carbonation takes 5- 7 days with 2 CO2 cartridges in the refrigerator. When the beverage is ready to drink it can be tapped and dispensed from a refrigerator over a period of up to 3 weeks without going flat or spoiling since no air touches the beverage while it is dispensed. But what home brewer takes three weeks to finish a gallon and a half of beer?

The makers of TAP-A-DRAFT® offer a one year warranty on parts and labor. I had an issue with mine which the online store I purchased it from wouldn't take care of it but the folks at Sturman BG sure did and had me back to enjoying draft beer right out of my refrigerator. From a customer service standpoint my experience with Sturman BG was almost as refreshing as the beer I'm enjoying right now as I type. So if you’re an avid home brewer or just starting out I recommend purchasing the TAP-A-DRAFT® system as a great alternative to kegging your beer. It is a neat and clean system that can be taken to parties (in a cooler or you can buy a travel sleeve) I continue to have excellent results with mine and at about $60 for everything needed and some extra bottles it is well worth it.

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Beer Guide:
Beer Kegging Beer Homebrewing Supplies
About The Author, Gregory Mclaw
Gregory McLaw is a regular contributor to http://www.makebeerathome.info and enjoys brewing and drinking his own beer.