Everyone knows that there’s nothing worse than lukewarm beer, which is why it’s vital to keep your beer keg cool. But how can you keep a keg cold when it’s warm outside?
Here are 11 awesome ways to keep your beer keg cold:
- Use a garbage can.
- Place your keg in the bathtub.
- Dig a customized hole.
- Invest in a keg blanket.
- Use the wet t-shirt and fan method.
- Cool your keg down rapidly with saltwater.
- Use garbage bags and ice.
- Invest in a kegerator.
- Buy a jockey box.
- Use your pick-up truck.
- Store your keg in the basement or shade.
This article will discuss eleven fun ways to keep your beer keg cold, whatever your budget and circumstances.
1. Use a Garbage Can
Most people have a garbage can, and using this item to keep a beer keg cold is one of the most popular methods.
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A standard garbage can has a capacity of between 12 and 16 gallons (45.42 and 60.57 liters). This is large enough to accommodate a standard beer keg plus ice, making it an inexpensive way to ensure you have cold beer throughout your party.
To use your garbage can as a keg cooler, make sure that it’s clean before you use it, but if you’re still concerned about its cleanliness, line it with a garbage bag.
If you’re using your garbage can for its original purpose during your party, you could substitute it with any of the following:
- Large cooler
- Large bucket
- Kids swimming pool
- Wooden barrel
2. Place Your Keg in the Bathtub
Your bathtub is the ideal size to store your keg and keep its contents cool. The average bathtub has an 80 gallon (302.83 liters) capacity, meaning that you’ll need a lot of ice to convert it into a tool to keep your keg cool.
Before buying as many ice bags as you can afford, prepare a few days in advance by freezing some water-filled bottles. The larger the bottles, the better, as the ice will take longer to melt.
When you’re ready to place your beer keg in the bathtub, line the tub with a layer of ice and then surround the keg with ice and frozen water bottles. It’s understandable if you don’t feel comfortable expecting your guests to serve drinks in the bathroom.
You may also only have one bathroom that you want to keep available for ablutions. If you have a deep sink somewhere in your home, you could consider keeping the keg cool there instead.
3. Dig a Customized Hole
So you don’t have a container large enough to act as a cooler for your beer keg? If you have a backyard and you don’t mind inflicting a bit of damage on your lawn, you could dig a hole to fit your beer keg.
This is a messy and time-consuming process but doesn’t cost much and is effective. When measuring the required size of the hole, ensure that you factor in space for the ice required.
You’ll need a shovel to dig your hole and some garbage bags to line the hole. Once you’ve lined the hole, place a layer of ice down and position your keg inside. Surround it with additional ice and ice packs, and you can enjoy cold beer for several hours.
If your party is at the beach, this method would also work well and is an excellent way of keeping it out of direct sunlight.
4. Invest in a Keg Blanket
Keg blankets, or jackets, consist of insulating material, such as canvas or vinyl, and fit tightly around a beer keg to help prevent it from warming up to the room’s ambient temperature.
This No products found. (available on Amazon.com) is aimed at homebrewers but works well for keeping 1/2 barrel kegs or a pony keg of beer cold during a function. If you regularly use your beer keg, it may be worthwhile investing in this product as it’s versatile and comes with a helpful handle for easy transport.
If you don’t have the funds for a keg blanket, you could always use an old blanket that you have lying around. Although not as effective as a keg blanket, if you wrap it around your keg, it’ll slow down the rate at which the contents lose coolness.
5. Use the Wet T-Shirt and Fan Method
This method involves evaporative cooling, which results in temperature reduction as the liquid evaporates. To keep the beer in your keg cold, immerse a large t-shirt in cold water. Try and pick a t-shirt as large as possible and one that’ll fit snugly around the entire beer keg.
If you don’t have a large t-shirt available, you can use any of the following items:
- A large piece of scrap fabric
You don’t need to fasten the t-shirt to the keg as the wet fabric will adhere naturally to the keg’s surface. The breeze blowing across the wet fabric will naturally cool your keg. When you notice that the fabric is almost dry, wet it again to maintain the cool temperature.
Using this method of keeping your beer keg cool is ideal if you don’t have ice or any other means of maintaining the keg’s low temperature.
It’s especially useful at pool parties or when at the beach.
6. Cool Your Keg Down Rapidly With Saltwater & Ice
If you want to cool the beer inside your keg rapidly and effectively, a salt and water mixture works well.
When combined with water, salt decreases the water’s freezing point. Water typically freezes at 32°F (0°C) but adding salt can lower the freezing point to 6°F (-14.44°C).
To cool down your beer keg rapidly, place it in a large container, and add water, ice, and salt. Add as much salt as you can, as this will help keep the water as cold as possible. After half an hour, your beer should be cold enough to drink.
Once you have crash-cooled your keg, you’ll want it to maintain this temperature for as long as possible. You can either keep it in the saltwater-filled container or place it in another cool place, such as an air-conditioned bedroom or your basement.
7. Use Garbage Bags and Ice
Throwing an impromptu outdoor party is fun but doesn’t give you much time to cool down your beer keg.
You may not have a keg sleeve or a container to cool down the keg. In such cases, you could grab a few large trash bags and several bags of ice. Depending on the size of your trash bags and beer keg, you may need to cut the bags so that the keg will fit inside.
If you need to cut the garbage bags, it’s best to use additional bags to create a sealed container so that the ice doesn’t make a mess.
Once you’ve created your trash bag keg container, line it with ice and place the keg inside. You should then surround the keg with as much ice as possible and place it in a place with plenty of shade.
8. Invest in a Kegerator or Convert a Mini-Fridge Into a Keg Cooler
A kegerator is a specialized refrigerator to accommodate a keg and keep its contents pleasantly cold.
It makes serving beer incredibly easy as it features a dispensing tower positioned on top of the unit. They are ideal for serving guests at a party as the keg is continuously stored under refrigerated conditions, and there’s no need for ice or other preparation.
You can buy a ready-made kegerator from specialist stores.
Alternatively, you could convert a mini refrigerator into a kegerator using a conversion kit such as the No products found. (available on Amazon.com). This conversion kit has a dual gauge regulator that displays co2 and psi.
Ready-made kegerators can be costly, but they can be worth the investment if you host regular parties and want a convenient beer cooling option. However, you can save hundreds of dollars by converting a mini refrigerator into a kegerator.
If you don’t have a mini-refrigerator, you could always buy a used one online or at a yard sale.
Once you’ve purchased your conversion kit, you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully to create a kegerator. You don’t need to be a DIY expert to convert a mini refrigerator into a kegerator, but you’ll need some basic tools, such as a drill, screwdrivers, and saw.
The time and money investment will soon pay off when you enjoy the convenience a kegerator brings.
9. Buy a Jockey Box
A jockey box is essentially a cooler box with an in-built beer dispensing system. Since it doesn’t run on electricity (only ice) to keep the contents cool, it’s perfect for outdoor parties or ensuring that you have cold beer on tap while camping.
Using a jockey box is simple, as all you need to do is to place your keg inside, connect the jockey box’s dispenser to your keg, and enjoy cold beer for hours.
Like kegerators, jockey boxes are expensive but worth the money if you use your keg regularly.
This No products found. (available on Amazon.com) has a 48 qt (1,536 oz) capacity and features two dispensers. Because it is rather spendy, you may want to consider sharing the cost with a friend or a roommate.
Consider renting one for the night if you like the jockey box concept but cannot currently afford one. Many companies rent out jockey boxes, and prices depend on the jockey box size you select.
Most cities and large towns, especially college towns, have a handful of jockey box rental companies.
10. Use Your Pick-Up Truck
Are you struggling to find a suitable beer keg cooling method and you own a pick-up truck? Why not keep your beer keg at the back?
To use this method, you’ll need to create a container to house your beer keg and a large quantity of ice. You can do this using heavy-duty garbage bags taped together to form a sealed receptacle.
Once you’ve made your trash bag container, place it at the back of your pick-up truck, fill it with ice and insert your beer keg. You can then park your vehicle close to where your guests are partying.
11. Store Your Keg in the Basement or Shade
If all else fails and you don’t have any ice or can’t use another cooling method, store your keg in the basement or a shady spot. Basements are typically the coolest places in the home and will help your beer maintain its cold temperature.
Alternatively, for outdoor parties, keep your beer keg under a shady tree and out of direct sunlight.