|Alternative to Kegging|
If you don't have enough room or cash for a keg system but are tired of all the washing, sterilizing and time required to bottle your beer you can choose a product that is "in-between" bottling and kegging. A simple and affordable introduction to kegging is called the TAP-A-DRAFT® system made by Sturman BG, LLC. The system is comprised of a screw-on plastic tap and three 1.5 gallon blue plastic bottles (the same type of plastic bottle that soda comes in) and 8-gram CO2 cartridges. The CO2 cartridges are standard 8-gram food grade disposable CO2 cartridges used to regulate the pressure inside the 1.5 gallon bottle and keeps the beer carbonated.
Be sure not to confuse these 8-gram cartridges for the popular 12-gram cartridges found at sporting good stores for BB/air guns. As the beverage is dispensed, the cartridges replace the vacant space in the bottle with CO2. This regulated pressure allows the bottle contents to flow from the tap. A nice head can be formed by easing back slightly on the tap. It also can use Nitrogen cartridges (like Guinness) for your stouts.
Multiple bottles can be purchased so you can have a number of different brews on-hand. I currently have eight bottles in various stages of fermentation or storage. Besides cost and convenience, I can easily switch between my beers 1.5 gallons at a time. The bottles can be inexpensively replaced as they wear out after about 6-8 uses. They take up a small space of about 17" long by 7" wide and fits nicely on it's side on a refrigerator shelf. Having the beer on tap sitting right there on a shelf in the fridge makes it very easy to have a beer, which could be construed as both a negative and a positive. The good thing, there won't be a bunch of bottles sitting on the counter for anyone (read: wife) to count at the end of the night.