Building a Keg Rack for Your Home Brewery
Have you ever looked around at your home brewery and wished it took up less space? You aren’t the only one. For the serious home brewer, a keg rack can help you make the most efficient use of your home brewery. By building you own keg rack in the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) fashion, you can easily save money. Plus, you have the satisfaction of a job well done.
A keg rack can easily double or triple the space your home brewery utilizes. No need to sprawl your kegs and carboys throughout the yard with a clean, efficient place to store them. The first thing to consider is how tall your kegs are and how many that you need to store at once.
Most commercially made keg racks are made from aluminum or steel, with wire or channel shelves. The dimensions range from around two feet deep by three feet wide by 4 feet long. Replicating these easy to remember dimensions will provide you with enough space to store four Sanke kegs per shelf. This should be enough room for five five-gallon carboys or eight Cornelius kegs per shelf.
If you are storing empty Cornelius kegs, it is a good idea to build a final shelf on top of your keg rack. The empty kegs can be stored horizontally here.
When building for yourself on a budget, you should always look around you and see what you can make work. Such materials as a futon frame, leftover wood from a tree house, cinder blocks, barbeque grills – all of these materials can be used to make shelves or keg racks. The first thing to consider is the size of the kegs which may be stored on your keg rack. Also, if the keg rack will be used for draft kegs that are operating, you will need to leave room for the tap in between shelves.
It is a good idea to keep your keg somewhat insulated from the ground, so building your first shelf at least five inches off the ground is recommended. This leaves enough room to sweep and clean underneath the keg rack. Wood is not the best choice of materials for your keg rack shelf, but may be used for the vertical supports holding the shelf up.
By recycling the wire shelves from old refrigerators, you can have an easily cleanable shelf that is sturdy enough to support a full Sanke keg, but your keg rack must be supported by a two by four or metal post at all the seams of these shelves.
Keg racks can be built into a lagering closet or fermentation closet as well, to optimize your cooling potential inside these units. If you look at the draft systems of high beer flow bars, you will find that many have basement or walk-in refrigerators in which the beer kegs are stored as the beer is served. If you are building a keg rack for such an establishment, you will need to keep in mind that there must be more room above the keg for the keg taps.
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Published: October 1, 2010
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