Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Not sure if that's on-topic, but I'm converting an old barrel into a tap system. Essentially a Keezer, except that I don't like something that still looks like an appliance - a barrel is just more authentic.

The problem: How do I cool the kegs inside? Since it's not needed to be permanently one (it's for a weekly or biweekly event), I could just dump in a bunch of ice every time I need to bring out the bar, but I'm lazy and that's boring :)

I know that there are heating spirals, but I wonder if there are cooling spirals or other flexible ways that I just plug into a power outlet and have it cool my two 5-gallon kegs?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could buy or build a jockey box. It's just a coil of stainless steel or copper immersed in ice with a spigot at one end a quick release at the other, all inside an insulated container.

It doesn't cool the keg down, but rather cools the beer as you're serving it.

share|improve this answer
+1 primarily because of the car cat in the instructable! But the cool box is good too. – Mere Development Mar 24 '13 at 23:34
Thanks, this seems to be my best option then – Michael Stum Mar 31 '13 at 0:33

Not really, unfortunately. Heating is a much easier mechanical process than cooling is, and as a result cooling applications tend to be more involved and more expensive.

You have two options:

1) You could get a glycol chiller of some sort. A glycol chiller is usually a standard refrigerator compressor used to circulate liquid. Works well, but it's expensive, bulky, and loud.

2) you could DIY some thermo electric plates (peltiers). These require a lot of air circulation and generally don't provide enough heat differential to keep beer cold in ambient room temperature.

Ice isn't terribly fun, but there aren't many better options for most applications.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.