Adapting a kegerator for sparkling mineral water can be a fun and cost-effective way to pull a continuous supply of refreshing bubbly mineral water from a tap. All in the comfort of your own home.
The basic idea is to convert a kegerator, typically used to pull a full sized keg of beer from a tap, to accommodate 2 Cornelius Kegs that you carbonate with food grade CO2. Here's a general guide to help you get started. You can also check out this post for more detailed steps.
What You'll Need:
Kegerator: Start with a kegerator that is in good working condition. If you don't already have one, you can purchase a new or used kegerator. We recommend a kegerator that can fit two Cornelius Kegs. You'll see why below.
CO2 Tank and Regulator: Obtain a CO2 tank and regulator. Make sure the regulator is suitable for carbonating beverages. You can find these at homebrew supply stores or online. Another great place to check is your local welding company. They sell tanks and fill them with food grade CO2. That's where we get ours. This is also where you'll need to go to refill the tanks.
Cornelius (Corny) Kegs: Get a pair of Cornelius keg (also known as a Corny keg) for holding the water. These are commonly used in homebrewing and are available in various sizes. The reason to get two is because you'll want to drink from one while the other one is getting bubbled up and ready!
Disconnects and Tubing: Acquire ball-lock disconnects for gas and liquid, along with food-grade tubing. Ensure that all components are compatible with each other.
You can grab a bottle of mineral drops from your local grocery store or even on Amazon. Adding this to your water brings with it the health benefits and taste that take your sparking water to the next level.
Fun Tap Handle:
Every tap needs a fun handle to pull your drink from. That's what we've created. This 8" walnut wood tap handle comes with a removable magnetic chalkboard that allows you to customize your handle with your very own chalkart designs. Check it out.
What To Do:
1. Clean and Sanitize: Thoroughly clean and sanitize all the components, including the kegerator, keg, and tubing. This is crucial to prevent contamination.
2. Connect CO2 System: Connect the regulator to the CO2 tank. It is important to use the proper tools to ensure the regulator doesn't have any leaks.
3. Add Water / Minerals: Fill the Cornelius keg with cold, filtered water. Leave some headspace to allow for carbonation. We usually fill it to about 90%. Once the keg is 90% full, add minerals to taste. Then be sure to seal up the Corney Keg properly.
4. Connect Keg: Attach the ball-lock from the CO2 tank to the gas "in" post on the Cornelius keg. Connect the liquid "out" post on the Corney Keg to the ball lock of the tube that goes up to the tap.
5. Carbonate: Apply CO2 to the keg at a set pressure using the regulator to guide you. This is where you can control how carbonated you like your water. We like our water to be lightly carbonated, so we set it to 15-20 psi. But other set it at 25-30 psi. The fun part of it is, you can set it to your taste preference. Agitate the keg to help dissolve CO2 into the water. Carbonate for a few days until you achieve the desired level of carbonation.
6. Dispensing: Once carbonated, pull your tap handle and enjoy the refreshing sound of crisp sparkling mineral water.
7. Adjustments/Maintenance: Fine-tune the carbonation level by adjusting the CO2 pressure as needed. Remember to regularly check for leaks, clean the system, and replace or refill the CO2 tank when necessary.
8. Enjoy! Now all that's left is to enjoy the refreshing sensation of pulling sparkling mineral water from a tap in the comfort of your home. It is ice cold and ready for you any time of the day.