6 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Kegerator
Buying a kegerator is something which can be relatively costly and can take up a fair amount of space in your home. You, therefore, need to think about whether you want to go ahead with the purchase, and where exactly you intend to put it in your home. The following is intended to give you some insights into this possible purchase. It is a quick guide to the areas homeowners need to consider before purchasing a kegerator.
1. What Is It?
Good question. A kegerator is a combination of two words; ‘refrigerator’ and ‘keg’. It is a smart, metallic refrigerated cube-like structure that will allow you to keep beer, via a keg inside it, for longer periods of time without it losing its taste or freshness. The full-size models will tend to come with a CO2 (Carbon dioxide) tank which is pressurized, as well as a ‘coupler’ which is there to move the beer from the refrigerated keg to the faucet, so it can be neatly poured into a waiting glass. It helps beer lovers to enjoy the proper experience of having draft beer from the comfort of their own home.
2. Kegerators For All
There are all kinds of kegerators on the market, these days, and there are even d.i.y. conversion kits that allow you to have a go at customizing your own kegerator. If you don’t really fancy getting drill-bits and umpteen other tools assembled, though, you can purchase a prefab version that does all the groundwork for you. You can get shiny, commercial-looking models, even for the home, which have up to three taps that enable you to pour from three different beers. Your kegerator will typically have a dispensing solution that incorporates a CO2 regulator, liquid and gas disconnects as well as tubing, and taps which are chrome plated.
3. Keeping Things Clean
The last thing you want from your beer is it to be filtered through unclean beer lines, overly foamy, and set to the incorrect pressure. If you’re going to invest in a kegerator you need to be prepared to thoroughly cleanse the draft beer lines with a robust cleaning agent twice per month, and wash through a second time with some sort of acid that will destroy potential ‘beer stones’ from forming (they will form after three months if not tackled).
4. A Split Between Pros And Cons
It comes down to how invested you are in the process of producing fresh beer versus consuming it. If your main concern is to produce beer then a kegerator could be just the thing for you; however, if your main aim is to consume it then things like deftly balancing the draft system or cleaning the beer lines might become arduous and annoying over time. The chemicals used to cleanse the innards of your machine will require you to wear extra robust, impervious protective goggles and industrial strength rubber gloves. It may be that you’re better off going to your local bar and sipping your favorite beverage without all that extra hassle and expense.
5. Repurposing Is Possible
It is not impossible, however, to make your own kegerator; an old refrigerator can end up making a great starting point and may not even cost you a dime if you can find one that’s been put out for recycling. A kegerator conversion kit will help you with this, although you’ll have to get your measurements right. Ideally, opt for a compact fridge that doesn’t have an ice or freezer compartment. This should be able to accommodate a regular-sized keg and allow you to base some sort of a bar or counter above it unless you want to put the whole thing up on top of the counter.
6. Sizes For All
If you’re dead set on purchasing a fully built kegerator then be aware of the differently sized options that are out there. A mini kegerator is a countertop beer dispenser that is self-pressurized and holds around fourteen 12oz cans’ worth of beer. Full-size home kegerators is can hold either a half barrel (full-size) keg, and are freestanding units that come with a CO2 tank and coupler. Commercial kegerators are not generally for private use unless you want to devote half of your kitchen solely for the purposes of beer! However, outdoor kegerators are becoming increasingly popular because they enable you to serve many guests ice-cold beer in outdoor temperatures ranging from 45 – 100 degrees F. This is ideal if you’re throwing a barbeque party or hosting a birthday or even family wedding reception – you avoid all the hassle of purchasing hundreds of cans of beer, save money and quite possibly become more eco friendly.
Whatever your reasons for considering purchasing a kegerator there are plenty of options, these days, and plenty of beer enthusiasts who can help you get it all set up.
- Andy’s Tips for the Perfect Kegerator – Craftbeer