Do you sometimes feel tired to head out for some fresh, cold beer and wish to have the same bar experience at home? Well, getting a kegerator for home use is the best gift you can give to yourself and other draft beer lovers.
And the best part is that you have a lot of options to choose from, depending on your keg needs and budget.
This article details more about kegerators and the different types available. There’s also a simple buying guide to help you make the right decision when shopping for kegerators.
What Is a Kegerator?
You can define it simply as a refrigerator specially designed for beer keg storage and dispensing. A kegerator works by applying carbon dioxide pressure and forcing beer through the tap to your keg container.
With a kegerator at home, you don’t have to worry about your favorite beer spoiling. It keeps it fresh and refreshingly cold for an extended time.
Your beer should stay fresh and safe for consumption when stored in the kegerator for up to four months.
It’s possible to turn your typical refrigerator into a kegerator with just a conversion kit. This way, instead of buying a brand new kegerator that could be more costly, you get to save a few bucks.
Types of Kegerators
There are different types of kegerators in the market, each with its pros and cons.
If you’re looking for versatility and customizable features in a kegerator, then look no further than freestanding kegerators.
Because of these two fantastic features, this type of kegerator is the most famous and most loved for home purposes.
You only need to plug it into your home’s wall outlet and conduct a few assembly requirements, which is, by the way, straightforward.
Its wheels enable you to move it around easily in the house. This feature ensures you don’t remain confined in one spot. If there’s a wall outlet fitted in the balcony, why not roll it there and have your draft beer as you enjoy breathing in some fresh air.
However, for you to enjoy all the goodies mentioned above, ensure your freestanding kegerator stays in a well-ventilated space.
- It’s versatile and customizable
- It comes with many kegs and other beverage options to choose from
- It’s portable
- Others have additional features like multiple dispensing taps and digital displays
- They come in various sizes, designs, and finishes, depending on their prices
- They aren’t built-in
- They’re demanding in terms of space and maintenance
- Some beer buffs may find them costly
Under Counter Kegerators
Ideal for kitchens and home bars, under-counter kegerators can be portable or built-in. Their ventilation comes from the units’ front, enabling you to install them against the walls.
Like any other kegerator, under-counter kegerators come in various sizes, designs, and unique finishes.
- They’re more affordable
- Require minimal maintenance
- Easy to install
- They’re compatible with larger kegs
- Though prices vary depending on the brand, sizes, and finishes, other people may still find them pricey
These kegerators are specially designed to stand all the outdoor elements, rain, sunshine, wind, name it.
Despite the weather conditions outside, you’ll still get your draft beer or any other keg of your choice in perfect shape, exactly how you like it.
Similar to under-counter kegerators, they come in built-in and portable designs. Anyone living in desert climates will tell you how hard it is to maintain beers in their fresh tastes for long.
That’s not an issue with outdoor kegerators. Your favorite beer keg stays well-maintained and preserved in cool temperatures despite the extreme heat.
These kegerators are suitable for people who love hosting outdoor parties or if you want to have a good time on the patio.
- Built to withstand elements
- You have two options to choose from, either portable or built-in
- Can work both indoors and outdoors
- They’re customizable
- They don’t stay as long due to the harsh outdoor conditions
- They’re not easy to install
Do you have limited space in your home and want a functional kegerator that won’t cost you as much? The best option is getting a mini kegerator.
These kegerators are the smallest and are ideal for mini-kegs. Only up to 5-liter kegs can fit inside.
They’re lightweight, making them easy to carry. Keep these kegerators on the countertops whenever you need them. Afterward, you can unplug and hide out of sight.
- Are affordable
- Small and lightweight
- Ideal for home use
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Are portable
- They have limited keg options due to their size
Types of Kegs
There are various types of kegs that you should know before buying a kegerator. This article will only cover the most common types of kegs in the US. These include mini, quarter barrels, slim quarter, Cornelius, and half-barrel kegs.
These kegs come in different sizes, shapes, and capacities to help make your kegerator shopping easier.
Here is a simple brief that brings out the differences in these kegs.
They’re 5-liter kegs, ideal for mini kegerators, but they can also work with larger kegerators. They’re about ten inches tall, seven inches wide, and can contain up to 1.33 gallons of beer.
If you need a beer keg for one-time use or you want a portable option, mini-kegs fit your description perfectly.
They’re also the cheapest, so you get to enjoy fresh keg on a budget. The only disadvantage you’ll experience is the limited beverage options.
Although short, the quarter barrel keg is broad enough to hold up to 7.75 gallons of beer. It measures 13⅞ inches tall and 16⅛ inches wide.
Its unique shape will enable you to stack and store a considerable amount of keg in one kegerator’s cabinet.
So, if you love hosting small parties in your home and you have limited space, then you shouldn’t hesitate to buy it.
Slim Quarter Barrel
The slim quarter barrel holds the same gallons of beer as the quarter barrel keg. The difference lies in their shapes. Just like the name suggests, it’s slim but taller than the quarter barrel.
If you have a sizable single-tap kegerator, you can store more than one slim quarter keg in its cabinet. However, it works best with large multiple tap kegerators. In this case, you get to serve different varieties of beverages under one kegerator.
Its dimensions are 23⅜ inches tall and 11⅛ wide.
Do you love brewing your beer at home? Instead of going through the tedious process of bottling home-brewed beer, why not store it all in a Corny keg.
This type of beer keg will save you both time and money. It’s easy to clean and maintain since you can open up its top cover fully.
Cornelius keg measures 23 inches tall and 9inches wide. Plus, it can hold up to 5 gallons of home-brewed beer.
How Many Kegs Fit in a Kegerator?
It all depends on the type of kegerator and kegs you have.
A mini kegerator, for instance, can only hold one mini keg at a time. On the other hand, it’s possible to stack several quarter barrel kegs in a large multiple tap kegerator or a single tap kegerator.
How Long Do Kegs Last in a Kegerator?
How long a beer stays fresh in a kegerator depends on its style. There are pasteurized beers and unpasteurized beers.
If yours is pasteurized, it can stay fresh and tasteful for up to six months, while the non-pasteurized ones can only last two months.
Note that if your kegerator uses the carbon dioxide notion to dispense beer, then the beer can stay fresh and carbonated for up to four months.
How to Tap a Keg in a Kegerator
You can tap a beer keg in your kegerator in these four simple steps.
- Your keg needs to first settle in the kegerator for a few minutes before tapping. Give it time to turn to liquid form, cool, and reach its serving temperature of 32-38˚F. If not, you’ll be tapping beer foam.
- Each type of beer requires a special beer coupler. So, only use a suitable coupler for your beer. Otherwise, you’ll experience compatibility issues.
- Open the keg tank to set the tapping pressure depending on the type of beer
- With the keg’s dust cover off and the coupler in place, close it very tight by twisting clockwise
- Now open the faucet to start tapping keg in a kegerator
Why Buy a Kegerator?
The best thing about owning a kegerator is that you get to enjoy fresh, refreshing beers any time you feel like having one. That’s the biggest reason why you should buy a kegerator
Kegerator Buying Tips
There are several things to consider before buying a kegerator.
- First, ensure you have enough space for the kegerator you want
- Keg sizes also matter. For your favorite beer, see if you can find the proper size keg in your area
- Don’t forget about suitable couplers for your favorite beer
- Check on the ease of assembly
- How easy the kegerator is to use, clean, and maintain
- How durable is it? Check its warranty period to know
- Finally, your budget. There are different sizes, designs, and finishes of kegerators. All these features influence a kegerator’s price
How to Make Your Own Kegerator
To make your kegerator at home, you’ll need a fridge, a kegerator conversion kit, keg, screwdrivers, power drill, hacksaw, and measuring tape.
- Find top mini fridges for kegerator conversion. Such a fridge should fit both the CO2 canister and a full-sized keg
- As per the instructions on the kegerator conversion kit, modify your fridge
- Afterward, follow the installation process to install the conversion kit in the fridge
- Tap the keg, as illustrated in this article
- Sit and enjoy
Now that you know everything about kegerators, it becomes easy to shop for one. There’s nothing as relaxing as having a glass of fresh, cold draft beer in the comfort of your home, especially after a long, hectic day. This can be possible with the right kegerator at your disposal.