Help choosing a tap please...

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Been thinking of buying a tap as a present for a friend who's been letting me use his old fridge for lagering.
The intention would be to fit it through the fridge door.

Had a quick look at the usual online suppliers and it's quite confusing... long shanks, short shanks, flow control, forward sealing, aaaaargh!!

OK everyone has their favourites but opinions would be welcome please on the following points and any others I've not thought of:

Question 1: Nukatap and Perlick make a big thing about their taps being forward sealing. Is it worth it?
Question 2: Is a 50mm shank likely to be enough to go through a fridge door (trimming the insulation isn't likely to be a problem)
Question 3: Is putting it on the door the best option? What about a tower on top?

Cheers TETB
 
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The taps on my font (profile pic) were just cheap flow control ones on eBay, about £25 each. They seem to work perfectly well, they come with approx 2” shanks so a tad short to go though a fridge door without messing around. I got the pipe work from a place in Darlington for about £50, it’s just 2” (or 2.5) cast pipe. Thought it was more interesting than the normal towers, would be simple to bolt the font to a fridge top.
Also have some flow control Nukatap ones I got from AliExpress along with the 4” shanks and the attachments for disconnects so they can connect directly to the kegs.
My font is connected to the fridge (about 2m away) with insulated 3/8” line via a hole in the fridge top, I connect this up when having a ‘do’ so I can play at bar steward, otherwise I connect the nukataps directly to the kegs so I don’t have to worry about line cleaning or warm beer in the line when just pulling a pint or two on an evening.
The Nukataps do feel better quality and are stainless whereas I suspect the cheapo ones are plated. They do drip less and seem to get less sticky. I think they worked out about £35 each after VAT and postage, Kegland were doing a special on the flow control ones at the time, £17.
 

foxbat

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I'm very happy with my Intertaps that I got from brewkegtap. The stainless return spring is a handy extra if you're in the habit of walking off with the tap left on. I can't imagine how that could happen; ahem 🍻.

I used to have a couple of cheap ebay flow control taps and thought they were great until I realised that internally neither the tap nor the shank were actually SS but some kind of plated metal (brass?) that had been eaten away over time leaving that metal exposed ashock1. They went in the bin.

Flow control itself seemed like an indespensable feature but I've found that with 2 metres of 3/16" line I can pour foam free 20psi lager and 10psi ale. I actually suspect the flow control mechanism of contributing to foaming itself.
 

DocAnna

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My only experience is with the kegerator made earlier this year and I can't see how a 2" shank would work on any fridge door. Forward sealing taps seem a must for home brew. Trimming the insulation isn't going to work for using a shorter shank as you need the plastic on the inside to be intact to support the shank collar being screwed down, otherwise it will rapidly loosen as the collar erodes into the insulation.

These are the ones I purchased from BKT Intertap Chrome Tap
They don't drip at all in my experience, and work very well without much foam, though I do have 3m of 3/16" line between keg and tap, but that's probably over doing it a bit. My criticism of the intertap is that the movement of the valve doesn't glide so much as have a subtle roughness about it much like opening a ball valve tap. Not an issue for most but it's not quite the Apple-esque aesthetic finesse that I'd like.

A tower on the top wasn't an option for my fridge freezer but I'd be a bit worried about coolant lines in the top which you can be sure you are avoiding when drilling through the door.

Anna
 

Martin O

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Hi, I have 2 Nukatap's one of them is flow control both are quality but I have found that I don't use the flow control element I use 3/16 line and never had trouble with foaming. Both are fitted through fridge door using 4 inch shanks
 
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I have 3 black nukataps and whilst they work faultlessly and deliver nice beer, the finish is very easily damaged so go stainless…. If you don’t mind the shank extending into the fridge just go with the long shank and it saves worrying about cutting the fridge away etc..,
 

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I’ve decided that some measurements of the thickness of the fridge door may be in order before deciding on the shank length - however for my own build I’m also tempted by putting a 2 or 3 tap pillar on the top. It would be at a more convenient height, but necessitates very careful routing of the beer lines through the top…
 
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I have 3 black nukataps and whilst they work faultlessly and deliver nice beer, the finish is very easily damaged so go stainless…. If you don’t mind the shank extending into the fridge just go with the long shank and it saves worrying about cutting the fridge away etc..,
That looks like a really classy setup! Is there a fridge in the cabinet there, and if so how are the beer lines routed out?
 
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but necessitates very careful routing of the beer lines through the top…
Other than a cable if the fridge light and/or thermostat are roof mounted I would be very surprised if there is anything else there, UK fridges seem to just have all the cooling gubbins mounted on the back. Different for freezers where the coils tend to be in the shelves.
 

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That looks like a really classy setup! Is there a fridge in the cabinet there, and if so how are the beer lines routed out?

thanks! There’s a chest freezer in amongst it, with the pipes routed directly through the lid beneath the taps. There’s nothing to worry about in the lid so I just drilled through…
 

Binkei Huckaback

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I turned a Zanussi fridge (about 15 years old into a kegerator) and found nothing in the top of the fridge at all. I took the top off, cut a square of the plastic underneath from dead centre, then there was only thick foam between that and the plastic inner skin of the fridge. I used a pencil to poke around to make sure there was nothing electical or cooling inside, cut it out and then drilled a hole in the skin. I wish I'd thought to hold a block of wood underneath so the skin didn't split though.

The I topped the fridge with a sheet of chipboard and one of ply and mounted a hinged box to mount the taps in so I don't have to bend down to pour a beer or risk knocking them.
 

Hopsteep

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Don't happen to have a link do you?

something like this is worth a go:

£12.13 | BEER TAP-High quality SS INTERTAP TAP ONLY - free tap handle included

I wouldn’t bother with flow control (I have the flow control but never use/adjust them) as you’ll end up with more foam by restricting the flow.

More important to balance youre lines 🍺
 

Oneflewover

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something like this is worth a go:

£12.13 | BEER TAP-High quality SS INTERTAP TAP ONLY - free tap handle included

I wouldn’t bother with flow control (I have the flow control but never use/adjust them) as you’ll end up with more foam by restricting the flow.

More important to balance youre lines 🍺
Cheers, much appreciated 👍
 

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Any news on the UltraTap Twist?

I would have thought Keg King would have these available in the UK by now, with the closure of Brew2Bottle this looks unlikely
I spoke to Daniel at Keg King about an order of mine, the word on the street is a very, very, major player in the home brewing industry is going to be supplying the EU and UK with Keg King products.

Emma
 
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