What is a Mini Keg?
Most people think of an empty beer can or bottle as a container, but what if it had been used before and now contained your favorite brew locked inside? Would you drink from it? Of course you would. The only difference between this sort of container and those found in nature is that these are sealed up tight with aluminum caps until they are opened by an expertly trained bartender. This little man made marvel is called “mini-keg”. While there are different types of mini-kegs available on the market for home use, the majority of them are all basically made up of a keg and a CO2 cylinder.
After the keg is filled at your local bar and sealed shut, it is transported to your home (or wherever) by means of a small CO2 tank which also contains pressurized carbon dioxide gas. This gas is responsible for pushing the beer out through the spigot once you’ve opened up your mini-keg. This special little half barrel holds as much as four five liter bottles full of delicious draft beer, but saves space that would have been filled with empty bottles or cans. Some people refer to these gadgets as “Party Pigs” because they think they look like those animals from children’s stories, but we’ll stick with mini-keg.
Where to Get One?
Most people can find mini kegs at their local liquor store, because it is common practice for the beer serving establishments to keep them on hand. These brewers also know that most Americans enjoy having a choice of what kind of beer they will be drinking. As such, the beers inside your average mini-keg are likely going to be a brand other than that which you drank last night. If you can’t see a mini-keg displayed in a clear glass case or refrigerator at your store, you might ask the person behind the counter if they have any back there somewhere since some stores do not put these special little kegs out on display due to theft concerns.
What Will Your Mini-Keg System Cost?
There is no denying that a mini keg beer system will allow you to enjoy more than one type of beer on tap inside your own home. For the low price of $150 and up, you can be on your way to making new friends who are impressed with your draft selection! The CO2 cylinder itself will run about $30 but it should last for up to 15 or so mini-kegs before you need a refill. You’ll also want some sort of insulated carrying case if you’re thinking about taking this party on the road with you. After all, what’s better than cold fresh draft beer right from the no matter where life takes you?
Mini-Kegs to the Rescue
Did you know that a typical five liter mini keg is equivalent to about 1.38 cases of beer? This makes it much easier when trying to calculate how many people can enjoy this wonderful treat during any given social event. It’s not very common for someone who enjoys draft beer in their home to have more than two or three different kinds at one time, so your options are clear when deciding which ones you’d like to sample from a local brewery. You may just find yourself returning to your favorite drafts over and over again! As you’ll see in the videos below, there is really nothing difficult about putting together a mini-keg draft system at all once you have a few basic tools at your disposal.
Filling Your Mini-Kegs
It’s a good idea to completely clean out any mini-keg before you start filling it with your favorite beer, so the first step is to give it a thorough cleaning while inside of its metal exterior. Once this is done, you will carefully insert an air pressure hose attached to a small CO2 gas cylinder into the keg and pump some pressurized carbon dioxide through the line using your hand held pump. This will push all of the dirty remaining liquid from inside into another container that has been placed below for easy disposal later on. While putting pressure on the keg in order to get it filled with liquid from the bottom, you will want to make sure that the small valve or tap on top is left open so any excess gas can release through this opening. Once a mini-keg has been filled with CO2 and beer it must be sealed up using an airtight rubber grommet, which is provided inside of your mini-keg kit.
Top Portable & Small Kegerators
NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System
- NEVER FLAT CRAFT BEER: A traditional growler will let beer go flat after the first pour. PKBRTP100 will keep beer vacuum pressured and fresh for up to 2 months. Perfect for any homebrew or craft draught beer kegging equipment enthusiast
- WORKS W/ DISPOSABLE CO2: Not included - Each cartridge will pump around 128oz of beer before depleting Co2 cartridge. Screw universal threaded 16g CO2 gas cartridges (any brand) into the regulator to supply pressurized carbonation to your keg system
- UPGRADED ADJUSTABLE REGULATOR: Monitor the mini keg growler’s current PSI from the regulator gauge and fine tune pressure by rotating the adjustment knob to enjoy a perfect head on every beer. Add the insulator sleeve to keep beer cold
- HEAVY DUTY STAINLESS STEEL: Each of the accessories in the tap dispenser kit is constructed with S/S 304 stainless steel. Tap faucet handle is just pouring draft brew from a kegerator. Pressure release valve allows safe removal of the tap hardware
- 128oz TANK SIZE: Barrel is the same volume as traditional growlers and is laser marked at the fill level. Includes metal screw on lid for easy portable transportation and storage. Fits in your home fridge
GrowlerWerks uKeg 128 oz. Carbonated Growler
- UKEG - keep beer fresh for weeks.
- CARBOBONATION CAP - automatically regulates pressure to optimally carbonate beer. Choose desired carbonation level, from zero (off) up to 15 psi.
- VESSEL - durable, double-wall Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel.
- PRESSURE GAGE - easily read the pressure inside the growler.
- DISPENSER TAP - easily pours beer any time, without removing cap. Plus tap lock to prevent dispensing.
Keg Smiths 128 oz. Portable Keg Draft System
- 128 OZ Stainless Steel Keg - 8 Pint
- Stainless Steel CO2 Tap System
- Easy Clean - Easy Fill
- Fill with your favorite beverage : Coffee, Beer, Home Brew, Kombucha, Iced Tea
- Threaded CO2 Cartridge System - CO2 CARTRIDGE NOT INCLUDED
Fizzics DraftPour Beer Dispenser
- LATEST FROM FIZZICS – Newest model boasts Fizzics' patented Micro-Foam technology plus adds new features like USB power, larger size to accommodate all bottle/cans sizes and a 25% faster pour than previous models.
- ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE – Fizzics DraftPour converts any beers natural carbonation into uniformed sized bubbles called micro-foam a rich and creamy head that delivers enhanced aroma, flavor, and mouth-feel.
- WORKS WITH ANY BEER – Accommodates all cans and bottles, including bomber cans and up to 750ml bottles, and any type of beer, including such as lagers, ales, stouts, IPAs, sours, beers, porters, ambers and more.
- BUILT TO LAST – Because it's built with zinc reinforced pc-abs composite with Titanium metallic and matte finishes, the DraftPour is a cinch to keep clean and will look gorgeous for years to come—pour after beautiful pour.Do not put any part of the draftpour into the dishwasher and do not pour any liquid directly into the draftpour system
- CONVENIENT POWER – DraftPour utilizes a convenient USB cord and wall adapter or runs on 2 AA batteries (not included), making it great on the home bar or convenient enough to take camping, tailgating, to the beach, or out on the patio.
KRUPS and HEINEKEN B100 BeerTender
- Maintains beer at the ideal temperature of 37.4 degrees F
- Engineered to work exclusively with Heineken, Heineken Premium Light and Newcastle Brown Ale
- Ultra quiet and efficient Peltier cooling system provides constant and consistent cooling of the keg
- DraughtKeg and Beertender keep beer fresh for 30 days after tapping
- LED temperature indicator; large removable drip tray; 5 draught tubes included; 70 watts; 2-year worldwide warranty
With just a little bit of time and patience put into learning how to properly maintain and keep your kegging system clean, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying fresh draft beer from your own home for as long as you like! Some people go as far as adding additional taps and other accessories in order to expand their systems to accommodate even more than one keg at a time. It really is an amazing experience to be able to walk into your own home and pour yourself whatever kind of beer you want on tap for the night!