I'm planning on build one cooler based dispensing system for my kegs. My previous experience was with a box with 2 aluminium coils (~15m long) and 2 faucets. It holds a 20 Kg ice pack. And the beer pour is just fine when the carbonation and settings are OK.

But, I've found that for a period of a party/beer session, that amount of ice is overshoot. If full of ice, the box let you drink cold beer for about 3 days very easy. I don't think that I need so much power to enjoy one or 2 kegs.

I want to repeat the coil size because its easy to buy here and I think its long enough. And my goal is to make the more portable system, so I will shot for just one line/faucet.

So my questions are:

  • how much small sized it could be to hold the coil and the ice?
  • What's the minimum amount of ice to get the beer cold enough? (the temperature range of my city is within 15-32ºC, 20-25º most days; and I want to have an ice autonomy of at least 5 hours or 2-3 corny-kegs ful dispensing.)


  • 1
    Is the aluminum foil sold pre-coiled? If so, I'd build a box around the diameter of the coil. It's annoying to have to reshape aluminum pipe and not kink it. If you do want to reshape it, I've heard of many people wrapping it around a corny key to make the coil. Then your box would be a few inches larger than a corny keg.
    – rjbergen
    Nov 7, 2014 at 18:40
  • the aluminium is not pre-coiled, I will need to shape it wrapping it around something. How would you build a custom box for that? What materials to use?
    – jards
    Nov 7, 2014 at 19:58
  • 1
    We recently built our own jockey box with 2 runs of 50ft stainless coil. We coiled it ourselves around 2 - 2.5 gallon kegs so that the kegs could fit inside of the coils in the cooler. Definitely overkill on the length. If you wanted, you could coil it tighter and theoretically use a much smaller cooler in doing so. Also keep in mind that as the ice melts, you still have freezing cold water in the cooler that will last quite awhile.
    – brendo234
    Mar 6, 2016 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


I would use a single 50ft stainless coil and then purchase the smallest cooler I could find that would house the coil and still have room for ice. I don't know anyone that has used a coil smaller than 50ft a 25ft coil may be sufficient but I can't say for sure. Good luck.


Start with the coil and build the box around that. How would you build the box? I'd build it out of 1/4 inch plywood (sometimes called Luan or underlayment) in 2 pieces, so that one will fit inside the other with a foam core in between. Then, fiberglass the inside of the inside one and the outside of the outside one, covering the gap. drill the hole for a drain and for the faucet and install the hardware.

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