FAQs about Kegerators. Homebrewers most frequently asked questions about kegerators, beer coolers, keg coolers and keg fridges.
Any beer-lover should know that storing his or her favorite drink has now become much easier. Thanks to the advent of kegerators. Recent years proved that people’s love affair with beer thrives on and they have found new ways to continue this tradition, thus, the kegerator.
What is a kegerator? What does it exactly do? Read on and find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the kegerator.
Let’s dive in.
A kegerator is a device that is part-keg, part-refrigerator. So the term is simply the marriage of two words “keg” and “refrigerator”. A kegerator is a specialized refrigerator into which a beer keg can be attached.
The intention is to have something that can store and dispense at least half-a-barrel of beer even right at one’s own home. Therefore, it is a draft beer dispensing device that keeps the beer chilled for a long period of time without losing the quality of the beer.
Are there different sizes of kegerators?
Yes, there are. There are different sizes to choose from to suit the needs or purposes of the buyers/owners. An owner who chooses to drink alone may opt for a small kegerator, although of course, the decision is his/her to make. An owner who likes to host small parties may naturally choose larger kegerators. Most kegerators can already fit behind a home bar.
The sizes of the kegerators will depend on the preferred sizes of the beer kegs.
What are the beer keg types or sizes?
One of the most frequently asked questions, are kegerators same in sizes? No. Kegerators come in various sizes, from the mini 5-liter to the full size. It depends on what the owners prefer and how much draft beer they can take. The sizes determine the type of kegerators needed.
These are the different types:
Keg Size Reference Chart
|Keg Name||Other Names||Capacity||Cans / Bottles (12oz)||Pints (16oz)||Height / Weight||Width (Diameter)|
|Gallons (gal)||Ounces (oz)||Liters (L)|
|Mini Keg||Bubba Keg||1.32||169||14||10.6||9⅞” / 13lbs.||6¾”|
|Cornelius Keg||Corny Keg, Homebrew Keg, Soda Keg||5||640||18,93||53||40||23″ / 49lbs.||9″|
|Sixth Barrel||Sixtel, Torpedo, Log, ⅙ Barrel||5.16||661||19.55||56||42||23⅜” / 58lbs.||9¼”|
|Quarter Barrel||Pony Keg, Stubby Quarter||7.75||992||29.34||82||62||13⅞” / 87lbs.||16⅛”|
|Slim Quarter||Tall Quarter, The Slim||7.75||992||29.34||82||62||23⅜” / 87lbs.||11⅛”|
|Half Barrel||Full Size Keg, Barrel of Beer, Full Keg||15.5||1984||58.67||165||124||23⅜” / 161lbs.||16⅛”|
|Rubber Barrel||7.75||992||29.34||82||62||13⅞” / 87lbs.||17″|
|Beveled Barrel||7.75||992||29.34||82||62||13⅞” / 87lbs.||17″|
What are the kegerator types?
One must think about beer preferences and keg sizes when buying a kegerator.
Indoor Kegerators should be kept indoors. If the environment is below 50 degrees or above 85 degrees, don’t keep a kegerator there. That is why an indoor kegerator is appropriate for pubs, bars, and caterers who can use it for indoor events. There are free-standing units as well as units that can be built into countertops.
They are divided into:
Single keg units or mini-kegerators – smallest and can serve draft beer to approximately 110 people
Multiple keg units or full-size home kegerators – holds more beer and can be installed directly into a bar
Multi-purpose keg units – may be used as regular bar back coolers, also great for bars
Outdoor Kegerators work in environments with temperatures that range from 45- to 100-degrees. They’re great for garages, basements or on a back patio.
Light Duty Kegerators are for small-scale events. Their temperature range should be 32- to 50-degrees Fahrenheit. This type is a single keg unit that actually comes with almost everything needed to serve cold, draft beer.
Some more common FAQs about Kegerators are :
Is a kegerator free-standing or built-in?
Most kegerators are free-standing. The reason for this is many refrigerators vent heat out the back. If they are built into cabinetry, where should the excess heat go? Trapped heat can eventually cause kegerator malfunctions.
But as said, most are free-standing. There are still built-in, under-counter kegerators in the market, should they be preferred.
Can I use my kegerator outside?
Based on the kegerator types, you may only use outdoor kegerators and these should be in environments that are above 85° Fahrenheit or below 50° Fahrenheit. Insisting on using an indoor kegerator outside will most likely ruin it. The unit’s compressor may get stressed and fail to chill beer properly.
What are the parts of a kegerator?
Kegerator models vary, therefore, parts vary. But the main parts that should be there are a beer tower with faucet, handles, hoses, and a carbon dioxide (CO2) tank, coupler, and regulator. Giant kegerators have four taps and built-in ice machines.
What kind of keg tap coupler do I need?
Different kegs require different taps. Make sure to check the tap system of the keg you bought. It may be any of these Keg Valve Types:
- American Sankey “D” – used by all major American breweries
- European Sankey “S” – used by many European breweries
- (English manufacturer) UEC “U” – used by some European breweries
- (English manufacturer) Grundy “G” – used by some European breweries
- German Slider “A” – used by many German breweries
- German Slider “M” – used by some European breweries
As can be gathered above, you will most probably need the “D” type. It is used for the majority of domestic beer kegs. The “M” type is a bit new in the American market. Again, make sure to check the tap system required first.
What do I need to tap my keg?
Only two things necessary: a full keg of beer and a filled CO2 tank and here’s how to do keg tapping properly.
How many kegs can I tap on one CO2 tank?
This largely depends on temperature. Colder means better and should last up to four half barrels. Heat causes CO2 to expand, ergo, the hotter it is, the least use a tank can be.
At what temperature should I store my keg?
The recommended temperature is around 36° to 40° Fahrenheit. However, temperature depends on the type/style of beer. Here are the general guidelines for the different beer types:
- 35–40°F (2–4°C): Mass-market light lagers
- 40–45°F (4–7°C): Czech and German Pilsners, Munich Helles, wheat beers, and Kölsch
- 45–50°F (7–10°C): IPAs, American pale ales, porters, and most stouts
- 50–55°F (10–13°C): Belgian ales, sour ales, Bocks, English bitters and milds, Scottish ales
- 55–60°F (13–16°C): Barleywines, imperial stouts, Belgian strong ales, and Doppelbocks
How long is the beer’s shelf life when in a keg?
There are specific answers for specific beers, so the answers vary. How long a beer stays fresh will depend on the individual style of beer, for one. The count starts once a keg is filled with beer.
If the beer is stored within a kegerator that uses CO2, expect it to stay fresh from six to eight weeks. If it is pasteurized or stored at the appropriate temperatures, give it three to six months. Unpasteurized beer only lasts for two months.
Another factor is the type of pump being utilized.
When can I start using my kegerator?
Not immediately. Make, at least, a one-day allowance. It should take 24 hours or more to properly cool. Once it’s ready, adjust the temperature according to your liking.
Also one of the most FAQs about kegerators. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both. For instance, buying a kegerator is definitely more costly. Even so, it is more environment-friendly (ex. no empty bottles, cans, and caps to think of). Also, storing beer can help save you from regularly buying beer. In the long run, buying a kegerator is relatively cheaper than renting.
Rent or not, the consumer must make sure of a space’s measurements and the kegerator’s size to avoid problems.
Can I build my own kegerator?
Actually, yes. Enthusiasts have the option to create their own at-home draft beer dispensers. There are kegerator conversion kits (with step-by-step instructions) that can be bought from retail outlets and companies. The purpose is to redesign a refrigerator into a kegerator. You can opt to start from scratch, though, and buy all of the components individually. Most homebrewers also try making a DIY kegerator.
Whichever it is, do not forget to take measurements of the refrigerator (freezer compartments or drawers may not be able to accommodate a full-size keg) and the intended location of the kegerator (the end-product may be too large for the space you are providing).
Unless you are sure that you can successfully convert fridges into kegerators and come up with a good, functioning unit, keep your options open to buying a brand new unit instead. There are various stores that can help you find a kegerator that should fit you. For instance, KegFridge.com has all kegerator shapes and sizes of high-quality kegerators to choose from.
These are only some of the frequently asked questions about kegerators. For sure, you have more in mind. For more valuable information, contact Keg Fridge TODAY.