The Story Of The Leaking Keg
There is a little alcove part of the basement that we never really knew what to do with. Built-in shelving? Secret room behind shelving ?
Then one day my wife saw a little bar fridge/kegerator at Costco and bought it for me for father's day. It fits in the alcove almost perfectly. I love my wife.
I didn't get it fully assembled until October and it ran famously upstairs in the kitchen for our annual halloween party. It's nice and cold - so cold in fact that I had the beer line too close to the back of the 'fridge and it froze a little bit.
The only modification I thought it needed was better cooling in the beer tower, to keep that beer from getting warm and causing foam. So I found some great mod ideas on the 'net and built a fan that pushes air up into the tower from inside.
[missing image: keg_mod_inside.jpg]
Jump ahead about 6 weeks and I am rushing around trying to finish everything for a Christmas launch of the home theatre, as well as a New Years party/hangout that we will be hosting. I should have know things were going to be ill-fated when I kept hitting small roadblocks at the different micro-breweries:
- sorry, we just spray painted our new kegs and I can't fill them until tomorrow
- sorry we are closed today for our staff christmas party
- sorry, i made a mistake, we are out of the lager.
Finally I got a 30L keg, moved the fridge downstairs and hooked it all up. I had thick garbage bags spread everywhere to protect the carpet in case I dripped during the tapping. All done. Mmm.. tasty beer on tap.
Unfortunately in my rush I didn't notice that a small gasket had fallen out.
I spent the next 24h or so running around trying to finish other Christmas errands and stuff. All the while a small drip of beer was coming out of one corner of the fridge and going into the brand new carpet. Christmas Eve morning I walk by the keg and my foot goes "squish".
(insert your favourite expletive here, as well as those of your friends)
I see the drip, open the fridge and more beer splashes out. I frantically move fridge-keg-everything into the storage room and secure in industrial garbage bags to contain the leak until after I address the carpet. I am guessing over 10L of beer was spilled. I rip the carpet back and start cutting out underpadding until I get to the edge of the spill. I probably removed about 5 sq meters of soaked underpadding.
Many phone calls, but it seems all carpet cleaners are booked for the day and not coming back until after the holidays (it was after noon on Christmas eve, after all). Luckily we eventually found a local guy who was just on his way home and was able to stop by and clean both sides and treat the area. Thank goodness.
Over the next several days we had fans running and I kept flipping the carpet to ensure everything was okay. Eventually I got back to the keg and discovered the problem. By then, almost all of the keg was gone and I took an industrial garbage bag of draft beer outside and emptied it on the curb.
Overall it was isolated to a far corner of the basement, but I am still very mad at myself for letting this happen. It could have been a lot worse.
This consumed most of my spare minutes over the holiday, thus the belated notice of the theatre launch.
Now on to more updates !