Build a Kegerator

This is my home made kegerator. It was quite simple to make, and has been a really nice addition to our kitchen.

inside kegerator Kegerator door & shank Outside Door Bert Grant Tap on Kegerator Bert Grant Tap Up Close

How do I make a Kegerator?

  1. Get a kegging setup from your local brew store. Should include 5lb CO2 tank, Regulator Valve (two meters), Gas Line, Beer Line, cobra faucet or door tap, and keg. If you’re going to be tapping a commercial keg (Sanke), you’ll need a different gas/beer fitting than a homebrew setup. You may need to go to your distributor to get this.
  2. Get a refrigerator. This keeps the ones cool. The size of your kegerator depends on what you want from it. I got one big enough for two kegs and a gas tank, or one keg, one carboy and a gas tank. A commercial keg would also fit. I got mine from a used Appliance shop. The classifieds are also a good place to look. You might get a great deal, especially if you live in a college town. The appliance store delivered it for us. If you move it yourself, don’t lay it down. Clean it out before you start using it. duh…
  3. Get a keyhole saw bit for your drill. I used a 1″ keyhole bit and drilled from the outside in. Since you’re probably drilling metal, work slowly, and wear safety glasses. Make sure the hole you drill doesn’t come out in a bad place on the inside either. Many fridge doors have molded condiment racks, etc. that you’ll want to drill clear of. Also, make sure there is room for the shank and hose to stick out on the inside. Mine barely clears the freezer/cooling element. Now clean up the mess.
  4. Now try fitting your shank through the hole. Some people will take a smallsection of PVC pipe and place it in the hole, then place the shank through it. This prevents the door from collapsing when you tighten up the nut on the shank. My old-time fridge is robust enough that I skipped this step. Resist the urge to seal the shank with silicon, as you’ll want to take it out from time to time to clean it.
  5. Now hook up your beer lines. Hopefully you placed the hole so you don’t have any obstructions on the inside. Hopefully you checked to see that you’d be able to shut the door after the shank was added. Hopefully you won’t be stuck with an extra hole in the door.

Other Tips

  • Don’t store the gas tank on its side. Just don’t. I know it would save room, but don’t.
  • Drip trays are very useful. Buy one, or if you’re cool, make one
  • Keep tools close for easy changeovers
  • Get a second gas line and beer line for use with a Sanke system. This will extend the life of you gear. Your distributor should have these parts.
  • Start brewing right after you tap the keg. Beer disappears much more quickly when in keg form.
  • A magnetic bottle opener compliments a kegerator
  • Buy a cool tap handle on eBay
  • Consider installing a magnetic card swiping system ala kegerator.net

Also See…

Scott’s completed a how-to on converting a Freezer Chest to a kegerator – check it out!

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