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Draft beer in a Vanagon!
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slobrewer
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Joined: July 05, 2013
Posts: 67
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, as promised I've written up the way I installed a 1.75 gallon setup in my Westy in the cabinet after removing the fridge. All told I needed the following parts:

    5 gallon bucket
    5 gallon bucket lid
    2 bucket styrofoam cooler inserts
    1.75 gallon keg (available from Williams Brewing)
    Beer faucet
    Beer shank (preferably the shortest you can get, about 2" long)
    Beer nut, tailpiece, and washer
    ~8' of 3/16" ID beer line
    Beer quick disconnect with threaded connector assembly
    Williams Brewing Mini-CO2 regulator with CO2 cartridge and gas line with quick disconnect


Much of that can be seen below:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I started by drilling a 1" diameter hole in the vent block out plate I had installed and then mounted the shank:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then I prepared the bucket. I had to use two of the styrofoam bucket inserts because they tapered too much to fit a keg in there. So I cut the wider top half off of two of them. I put one lid piece in the bottom and saved the other lid piece to put on the top. Here you can see the keg sitting in there:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Drill a hole in the lid and foam lid big enough to thread through the beer line:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The transfer your beer from your larger keg to the 1.75 gallon keg. Here you can see me doing a transfer under pressure with a jumper connection. That prevents foaming and oxidation. I put the target get on a scale and I've tared the scale with the keg filled with water to the target amount I want to take. Then I just transfer and bleed pressure off the target keg to keep the beer flowing until the scale reads zero.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Drop your keg into your bucket and hook up the gas and set your pressure to whatever you typically use (I do about 10-12 PSI.)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Add ice and close her up:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I ran the beer line to the shank and through into the cabinet. I mounted the block off plate with the shank back into the vent hole. Sorry, I didn't get a good picture of that step. The whole bucket easily fits into the storage cabinet with plenty of space for other things:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


When you get to camp just pop the beer quick disconnect onto the keg and pour away:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In that picture I'm pouring a nice 3.9% ABV dry stout I brewed a couple of weeks ago.

With this setup the 1.75 gallon keg easily fits in there. If you switch up to a larger bucket typically used for fermentation (6+ gallons) you can fit in a 2.5 gallon keg.

Dave.
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White 1988 Vanagon Westfalia (Automatic, A/C, solar, aux battery, 15" GW wheels, 8' Fiamma awning, 63 qt. Edgestar fridge, homebrew on tap)
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe that no one has replied to this since you posted it.

This is freakin' awesome!!!

Beats the heck out of my insulated Growler...
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drftsub
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have another project to add to the list. this is epic.. well done.
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slobrewer
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Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacDude wrote:
Beats the heck out of my insulated Growler...


Hey, don't bag on the insulated growlers. I own several of those and they're great for the casual get together at the beach on last minute notice. The only downside with this kegging approach is the setup and clean up required.
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atomatom
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Joined: May 15, 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That mini regulator is nice, but not cheap. I have a 5lb and a 20lb tank, and want to attempt some kind of beer camping next year - although I'm not sure I'd make it permanent - and I still have my fridge in.

I think the must-have part in this setup is the mini keg in the bucket full of ice. I want all the gear, but my list is long.

slobrewer wrote:
The transfer your beer from your larger keg to the 1.75 gallon keg. Here you can see me doing a transfer under pressure with a jumper connection. That prevents foaming and oxidation. I put the target get on a scale and I've tared the scale with the keg filled with water to the target amount I want to take. Then I just transfer and bleed pressure off the target keg to keep the beer flowing until the scale reads zero.


I'm pretty sure of this, but to clarify, you're jumping the beer-out on the large keg to the beer-out on the small keg. I like the scale trick for keeping it all under pressure.
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slobrewer
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Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

atomatom wrote:

I'm pretty sure of this, but to clarify, you're jumping the beer-out on the large keg to the beer-out on the small keg. I like the scale trick for keeping it all under pressure.


Yup, beer out to beer out. That ensures the keg fills from the bottom. Having a jumper like that around is useful whenever you need to do keg to keg transfers.
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