Homebrewing is an activity that not only a few people appreciate. Love beer? Here’s a home brewing tip for you – How to make a DIY Kegerator
Then homebrewing may be the next best thing. That’s small-scale beer-brewing than can be done at home. The idea is it is for personal consumption and non-commercial purposes. Homebrewing has actually been a practice for thousands of years.
Now enter the kegerator. A kegerator is an appliance or apparatus that is becoming more popular. It functions as both a beer keg and a refrigerator, ergo, the name. The idea for this is to have something that can store and dispense, at least, half-a-barrel of beer right at home.
There are now serious kegerator enthusiasts who have their own apparatus.
Advantages of Owning a Kegerator
The kegerator is a popular thing to own for several reasons:
- It saves the owner money. It can already dispense more quantity to satisfy a drinker so there is no need to buy dozens of beer several times. That’s deposit-free, too. That also saves more time away from trips to the grocery store — fewer hassles and definitely less car gas wasted.
- Having a kegerator means there’s instant cold beer available most of the time.
- It’s great for a beer-loving home buddy who just wants to chill alone or with family.
- It’s great for a more social guy who can finally invite people over for some drinks and fun.
- A kegerator is environment-friendly. There’s fewer empty beer bottles and cans to rid of. Include fewer beer caps.
- There’s more space in the regular fridge to use for other stuff rather than the beer occupying much of it.
- A kegerator can be repurposed for other types of drinks like soft beverages and non-alcoholic drinks.
- There are still a lot of perks of owning your own kegerator!
How to Make a Kegerator
Keg beer is cheaper, fresher and better-preserved. That certainly can make one want to own a kegerator. There are actually many ready-built kegerators in the market. However, they do often tend to be quite pricey. Even renting a kegerator can be a bit costly. So what to do?
Just do what many homebrewers have been doing for years — MAKE a DIY kegerator! They have been modifying compact refrigerators and chest freezers into their own at-home bars. That’s cool, both in the literal and figurative sense.
To build a basic draft system, follow these steps towards the kegerator-owner bliss:
- Pick a refrigerator. Get one that can accommodate the size of the kegs to be used. Dimensions are important. Make sure that when put together, the kegerator will fit in the intended bar area.
It shouldn’t have a freezer compartment, but if it does, it must be easily removable. Honestly, though, just don’t get one with it to avoid future problems with the cooling lines. Do check where the cooling lines can be found.
- Choose a kegerator conversion kit. It may be bought online. Do a bit of research or read vendor reviews, if any, to be sure to get good quality stuff. Or ask someone who has experience with kegerators.Basically, the kit must contain the following:
- a serving tower with 1 to 2 faucets
- a 5-pound carbon dioxide (CO2) tank with a serving pressure regulator
- gas lines
- beer lines
- 1 or 2 disconnects based on needs
- Disassemble the refrigerator. Unscrew the door and remove all loose shelving.
- Remove the plastic top. Unscrew it if needed. If it’s glued, use a spatula to stick under the lid. Tap gently under the plastic with a hammer. Work around it until the lid can be pried off the fridge.
There is no need to remove the top, though, if the taps are directly installed on the doors instead.
- Locate the cooling lines. Do not continue until the cooling lines are found. If not, these may be cut accidentally and then there goes the fridge. Too bad, right?
- Decide on where to install the tower. Using the spatula again, dig through the insulation.
- Start drilling a hole in the fridge. Drill between the cooling lines. Use a hole saw. There should be room for two liquid lines and a 1-inch diameter cooling line.
- Reinforce the lid with plywood. Break off the ridges on the bottom. Sand them down. Drill a small hole at the center located by using the ridges.
- Prepare the plywood. Cut a ½-inch thick piece of plywood down to 9 ¼ x 6 ½ inches. Trace its shape on the insulation around the hole. Cut enough insulation for the plywood so that it can be mounted evenly to the top.
- Install plywood. Install the plywood and remount the lid. Use the pilot hole as a guide to mark the spot to drill out the plywood.
Drill the lid and plywood. Using a hole saw, drill a 3-inch hole in the center of the lid. It must be lined up with the plywood and fridge below. Remove the lid and the plywood when drilling to avoid the cooling lines.
- Install the PVC conduit. Use a 2.5-inch-wide section of PVC piping to connect the bottom hole to the tower. It should insulate the conduit and the bottom side of plywood with moisture-resistant aluminum tape. Cut it short enough so as not to bear the weight of the tower. Cut the conduit at a slight angle to match the oblong hole in the fridge.
- Install the tower and the rails on the lid. Drill pilot holes for each screw (there are four screws for the tower) through the lid and through the plywood below. Install the screws. Decorate the top with something like stainless-steel cabinet drawer pulls. Install it.
- Relocate both thermostat and light. If the kegerator is not going to be a single tap, move the thermostat and light a few inches back. That should make more room for the kegs.
- Build the tower cooling system. Repurpose the fan of an old computer as the main part of the cooling system. This is to keep the tower cool and the beer that comes out cold and not foamy.
- Build a fan box. Find a container that will work as a fan box. Drill three holes in it — for the fan, the air tube (that will direct air to the tower), and the power cable (should be a tiny hole).
- Give the fan a power source. Use power cords. Strip the power cord wires, twist and attach to the fan’s wires. Remember, black to black and white to red.
- Install the fan box to keep the beer cool. Use a 1-inch wide length of vinyl hose. Run it up into the tower and down to the cooling box. The power line goes through the drainage hole (at the back of the refrigerator).
- Reattach the lid. When doing the reattachment, fill PVC pipe area with a window or door foam. Select an insulating foam that doesn’t expand too much. Reglue the lid to top using silicone caulk.
- Reattach the door. Put the door back. When done with the reattachment, hook up the fresh kegs and the full CO2 tanks.
Aaaaaand it’s done!
Obviously, for one to be able to make a do-it-yourself kegerator, much effort will be required. The more skilled the worker, the better. It is not rocket science, but it is not that easy either. Then again, as they say, no pain, no gain.
Things can be a lot easier, though, with Keg Fridge’s brand new kegerators. “These kegerators are built in a manner that will enable one or more kegs to fit in a dispensing system. These keg fridges are operated to distribute draft beer and even wine.”
Keg Fridge offers convenience and practicality. Its excellent products are of high-quality and reasonable prices. For more information and lots of options, contact KegFridge.com today.