Perfect Timing

When two hobbies collide it can be a magical thing. For a long while I was into making beer at home. I made hundreds of gallons, and only had one batch that was undrinkable. When I needed to take my beer camping, that’s when the woodworker stepped in.

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woodworking and beer makingAt this time in my brewing adventure, I was storing my beer in kegs. At first, most brewers bottle condition their beer. It’s less expensive, and you only have to wait a couple weeks to have carbonated beer. I moved on to kegs after a couple years, because they speed up the process.

After making 15 gallons for a friend’s bachelor party, I soon discovered that I would need a way to keep it cool in the forest. It was this dilemma that created the need for me to combine my woodworking and beer brewing into one project. After all, I was not going to leave 15 gallons of my American Style Orange Wheat beer at home.

I bought a new rubbermaid trash can, and built a box around it with plywood. I then insulated the box with thick foam. To fill all the gaps, I dispensed several cans of spray foam into the hard to reach places. Finally, I made a tight fitting top from plywood and thick foam, and made a quick wooden contraption to hold the tap.

It felt great when the park ranger stopped by and asked “Is that draft beer in your tent?” He said it like he didn’t even believe he was asking the question. We told him yes, and offered him a pint that he declined, but I could tell if he was off duty he would have had one.

This is yet another example when woodworking saved the day for me. Knowing how to make almost anything you want feels great. It’s nice to know that if I need something, I can typically make it from wood. We all enjoyed the beer, and it was the first time anyone had homemade draft beer on a camping trip.

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If you have any questions about my keg cooler, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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