Installing a Mini Keg in Your In-Home Bar

No home bar is complete without a mini keg—if not a full keg—conveniently installed. It's one thing to have a refrigerator stocked with your favorite beers, mixers and other cool items, but it's another thing entirely to have a keg at your disposal. Mini kegs are advantageous because they take up less room and you won't have to drink the same tap beer for as long as you would with a full keg. With a few tools and the right parts, installing a mini keg in your in-home bar shouldn't take you more than a day or a weekend at most.

Tools and Materials

  • Mini keg
  • Small refrigerator
  • CO2 tank
  • Tap
  • Tap housing and handle
  • ¾-inch air and beer hoses
  • Hose clamps
  • CO2 regulator
  • Power drill
  • Paddle bit
  • Carbide bit
  • Rubber grommet

Step 1: Find a Place for Everything

The first thing to do is determine where in your bar all of the pieces will go. The small refrigerator will hold the mini keg and (ideally) the CO2 tank. Position it somewhere close to where you want the tap handle to go. Choose a place on your bar to install the tap housing and handle. The shorter the distance from the refrigerator to the tap handle, the less chance for beer to warm up in transit.

Step 2: Mount the Tap Housing

With the power drill and paddle bit, drill a hole through the top of the bar. Using the tap housing as a guide, drill holes in the bar in which to set the screws that will secure the housing to the bar. Make sure it will install correctly and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Run Hoses

Place the mini keg and the CO2 tank in the small refrigerator. Without actually attaching anything, run a length of 3/4-inch hose from the tank to the keg. Then run a length from the keg up through the tap housing to its connection point. Leave some slack room. Depending on your refrigerator, this may involve drilling a hole through the top or side of it. Don't drill through the door. Use a durable carbide bit for this. As you run the hose through the fridge, seal up around the hose with a rubber grommet. Duct tape could work in a pinch.

Step 4: Connect Hoses and Attach the Regulator

Next, fasten one end of the hose to the regulator and secure with a hose clamp. Run that line to the keg tap. Secure it as well with a hose clamp. Do the same for the length of hose running from the keg to the tap housing/handle. Attach the regulator to the CO2 tank without release the pressure.

Step 5: Secure the Tap Housing and Handle

With the line run, bolt the tap housing down to the bar and screw on the handle. Make sure all connection points are well made. Plug in the refrigerator and allow it several hours to chill the keg and CO2 tank.

Step 6: Try the Tap

Finally, tap the keg by attaching the tap to the release valve on top of the mini keg. Set the PSI on CO2 tank to about 13. You may have to adjust this between 10 and 15 PSI to achieve the perfect pour. Test the tap. If any leaks are present, retrace your steps and fix the seal points before inviting friends over for a cold one.