Posted on May 6th, 2010
We all love draft beer, but sometimes you just can’t get out to enjoy it. One way around this dilemma is growlers, the jugs of draft beer you take home. However, there is another way to have an even more authentic draft experience at home. I’m talking of course about kegerators, a home draft system using a modified refrigerator, kegs and a pressure system. Here’s a look at their benefits and where to go to buy or make one yourself
Kegerators are the ultimate way to have the draft beer experience in the comfort and convenience of your home. It’s also great for the homebrewer who wants to have their own beer on draft. Personally, I find the process of cleaning and preparing 60-odd bottles to be filled with homebrew the most tedious and time consuming part of homebrewing, so the idea of avoiding that whole procedure seems amazing. There are many different setups and configurations your kegerator can have, from small single line systems to large multi-taps ones. It’s really only limited to how much time and money you want to invest.
There are several places online you can buy fully constructed kegerators that are ready-to go, all you need to add is a keg of your favorite beer. Head over to Kegerators.com to see all of the different options they offer. Prices vary considerably based on what kind of system you’re looking for, but a basic setup will probably start around $500.
If you’re looking to save some money you can also build your own kegerator by converting a regular refrigerator or mini-fridge. You can buy many of the parts you’ll need at your local hardware store, but Kegerators.com also offers several conversion kits with everything you’ll need. Finding the fridge is of course left up to you. If you don’t have one lying around, try combing craigslist for one.
Once you get everything you need be sure to check out some of the great tutorials online for building your own kegerator. Wired.com has a great guide with video on converting regular fridge into a single tap setup. If you’ll be using a mini-fridge check out this step-by-step from Livejournal member Brother Buford, who puts in a dual line system. Finally, if you’re going all out and building a multi-tap setup take a look at Steven Antoch’s converted chest freezer, which has five tap lines on it, including one for root beer for his kids to enjoy. Steven also left enough room to in the freezer so he could throw in a carboy of homebrewed lager to ferment, pretty impressive stuff.
What kind of setup would you like to see in your house? Let us know in the comments.