Kegerators: The Ultimate in Home Beer Service
Few home appliances are revered quite like the kegerator. The idea of a having delicious craft beer on draught (draft) at one’s fingertips surely outweighs anything a washer and dryer could provide. One thing’s for sure, you can expect your compatriots will be coming over to watch baseball, football, True Blood or even the grass grow at your casa when a new system is installed. Oh the kegerator, it’s the Cadillac of at home systems; from college students to kings, a kegerator is attainable to any who desires this luxury.
The following is a compilation of some great resources that will help you in your attempt to have your very own craft beer status symbol. The motivated individual could be set with less than a hundred dollars, and less than a day’s work, with a minimum conversion kit and used refrigerator or spend upwards of several thousand dollars for a complete multi-tap beer dispensing masterpiece. It all depends on your desire, creativity and budget.
The nice folks at Micromatic have a litany of resources for planning, purchasing, pouring and protecting your kegerator. They offer this list of essential equipment needed for enjoying a properly running kegerator whether you are purchasing one out of the box or crafting your own. For additional information, check out this instruction video by MicroMatic.
Parts of a Kegerator:
1. CO2 Cylinder
2. Gas Regulator
a. Single Gauge
b. Double Gauge
3. Keg Coupler
4. Beer Faucet tower/ door mount
5. Beer Shank
6. Beer Line
7. Refrigeration system (you know the ‘rator’ in Kegerator) Word of Wisdom from Micromatic: “Consistent temperature from the keg to the faucet is critical. Keep the beer at the keg and in the line to the faucet between 36°-38°F for proper beer dispensing. The beer must never be allowed to “warm up” until it is poured into the glass.”
Tips for Buying a Kegerator
Purchasing a kegerator, out of the box, may appeal more to some than the time consuming task of collecting equipment and building a kegerator with a conversion kit, which will run you between $30 and $300, depending on the bells and whistles. Sometimes you can find kegerators for sale at places like Home Depot or Sears, here are some great places to browse for ideas of what you want and maybe even pull the trigger on a brand new kegerator.
Tips for Making a Kegerator
While some may find purchasing a kegerator from a respected dealer the way to go, others desire to add their own creativity into designing and creating their own from a refrigerator and a kegerator conversion kit; some may just be thrifty. A basic conversion kit can be purchased at any of the before mentioned suppliers as well as at your local Homebrew shops for under $100 while more complete and accessorized kits will run you more. Used refrigerators can be found on such websites as Craigslist.
- How to Build a Kegerator by MicroMatic
- How to Build a Kegerator by Wired
- Build a Kegerator (WikiHow)
- Step by Step Kegerator Plans from PopularMechanic.com
Getting a kegerator is like getting a pet; you’re responsible for its health and safety. Nobody cares that you have a kegerator if the beer you dispense from it tastes terrible. You should clean your kegerator lines often. Specifically, your draught lines should be maintained every two weeks.
Taking Your Kegerator to the Next Level
With the right tools and know how you can create a kegerator in less than a day. Although these may take some advanced reading.