It all started in September of 2017, I was planning a camping trip--ok, let's say glamping trip--with friends and I wanted to share wine, cider, and beer with those friends. Because after all, passions should be shared. Well, I first started thinking that would be quite a few bottles and everything I had was already in kegs, so what should I do?

At first, I thought jockey boxes were the answer, but found the limitation there is they must be filled with ice and the kegs need to already be cold, which would definitely be a problem for a 3 day camping trip. Then I found a cooler mod, taking a 70 Qt cooler, standing it up and putting a faucet through the lid, but that limited me to one keg and had issues of holding the ice in and keeping the lid closed.

That's when It hit me. I need something that has taps on it, while the kegs stayed fully upright in a closed insulated container. And so the camp kegerator was born.

 

I found a 65 gal rolling trash can at my local home improvement store that would fit three kegs with room to spare. Then I found rigid insulation at the same store, along with expanding spray foam and gorilla glue. While I was there, a quick Google search found that the tap shanks would need a 7/8-inch hole, so a hole bit of that size rounded out the non-brewing related purchases. Afterward, a quick stop at Texas Brewing Inc resulted in the collection of three each of shanks, faucets, tap handles, nipples, beer nuts, hoses, swivel nuts, disconnects, and assorted clamps. Then came build day.

 

 

First, I cut the rigid foam insulation to size to fit the inside of the can and glued the insulation into the container, securing it in place with duct tape while the glue set. I also cut a piece to fit on the inside of the lid so the kegs would be completely encapsulated.

 

 

Then, I filled the gaps and edges with spray foam for stability and extra insulation.

 

Afterward, I trimmed the foam and test fitted the kegs.

 


Finally, I drilled the holes, fitted the shanks and faucets, and ran the liquid lines. And with everything hooked up and ready, it was time to test it.

I used mobile CO2 chargers and 16gram CO2 cartridges attached to gas disconnects for serving pressure but may upgrade to a mini 2.5 lb tank in the future. 

Let me tell you, the final product worked great! We used it with three pre-chilled kegs and 2 blocks of dry ice for a 4 day camping trip in October. All of the kegs stayed cool and carbed with low foam and easy pours. Making this one of the best little projects I have ever made.

--Chris Crowley