Has anyone ever built a Kegerator?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Eric Peterson, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I've been wanting to acquire or build a kegorator for a number of years, but recently my interest has peaked again and I'm going to proceed fairly soon. Does anyone in the HTF land have any experience with this?

    What I really want is something that I can have a minimum of two taps on. One for a quarter-barrel of mass-produced beer as well as room for a smaller keg of some tasty micro-brewery product. If possible, I would like to have room for even more.

    It looks like my best option is to convert a chest freezer into a multi-tap system like the link below. It looks like a pretty class system, but the price is more than what I originally planned on spending. It looks like I'll spend about $350 plus the freezer to get two-taps going, but depending on the size of the freezer, I'll have room to expand.

    http://www.west-point.org/users/usma.../kegerator.htm

    I've also seen similar setups where they mounted towers on the top of the door, but that requires drilling through the freezer itself, while the link that I included only requires the door to be removed and screwed to an piece of wood. This solution allows the freezer to be returned to it's original use.

    Any thoughts out there?
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I've seen other versions (don't know where now, it was years ago) using a regular fridge, with the taps in the door. These were intended for home brewing, but should work with kegs, depending on size. That freezer mod looks good other than the size, but a smaller chest should work too.
     
  3. Jack Fanning

    Jack Fanning Second Unit

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    Eric,

    I converted an old fridge into a kegerator...here are a few pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here's the old fridge before the conversion...I know you know what an old fridge looks like, but I like showing off the poker table I built too...hehehe
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    How long does a keg of beer stay fresh in a set up like this? I wouldn't mind having one, but with how little I actually drink beer, it would probably take me 6 months or more to finish one off.
     
  5. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, funny you post this now. I just finished mine on Wednesday:

    http://christophersmith.us/keg

    THat's a 1/4 of Yuengling and a 1/6 of Flying Fish Summer Ale.

    No idea how long they'll stay good since they've only been in there 2 days, but so far so good [​IMG]

    I've heard (and experience, my parents have a housewide beer distribution system, one tap in the pool room 1st floor and one in the poker room basement) that they're good for like 2-3 months. After that they might get a little stale, so you might want to stick with sixtels, about 5 gals of beer or 2.5 cases.
     
  6. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    I have been thinking about doing this for years but can you walk into a random liquor store and get a keg of Blue Moon or Newcastle or are you limited to bud?
     
  7. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Chad,

    I think it depends a lot on your locale and the size of the liquor store. Luckily I live in the Chicago burbs, so I shouldn't have any problem finding a good variety some of the local Mega-Booze-Marts that they have. Also, alot of micro-breweries & craft-breweries sell kegged beer direct.

    Now that Miller & Newcastle are one in the same I've noticed that Newcastle is far more abundant, so I would bet that it is available and Blue Moon is all over the place around me so I wouldn't bet against it either. Remember that different beers take different keg fittings though. I'm pretty sure that Newcastle has a different fitting that most American brews.
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Jack,

    Have you posted that picture elsewhere? I swear that I've seen your kegerator before. Nice job!

    My problem with a regular refrigerator is trying to get a little variety though.

    I'm currently looking at 15 cubic foot Kenmore freezer with an secondary thermostat. This should easily hold a 1/4 barrel as well as two different 1/6 barrels. I may also be able to fit a 1/2 barrel where the 1/4 goes depending on height clearance.
     
  9. MattJensen

    MattJensen Auditioning

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    I have thought and researched doing this for years. With the amount of beer that I drink it would be so much cheaper. The problem that I found was space. Now that the garage is cleaned out I might have to look into doing this as well.
     
  10. Robert Marc

    Robert Marc Stunt Coordinator

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    I have converted a few fridges/freezers for friends. I like the towers on the top myself. Obviously, this is a rather permanent modification. About the only tools you will probably have to buy is the proper size hole bit... about $5 and it attaches to your drill. Just be careful, the metal disc that gets cut out will be hot!!! This guy did a real nice job on his chest freezer conversion and has some good info. http://www.rayfes.com/me/kegerator/kegerator.php
    IMO, the key is finding a used chest freezer or a refrigerator that still works well. Cuts down your costs considerably. Add a thermostat if necessary and you're in business.
    You could also do a remote installation for the faucets if your location supports it. Than all you need to do is cut a couple of small holes in the freezer/fridge for the beer lines. I did this in a friends basement. We put the freezer in the utility room and ran the lines through the wall and mounted the faucets in a stainless insert on the other side.
    Its up to you if you want to put the co2 tank inside or not. I have done it both ways and it doesn't make any difference for operation. Its just a space issue.
    Jack, you did a beautiful job on your conversion. I love the paint job. One thing to remember though, if you plan on using the top freezer part, mount your faucet low enough so that it doesn't get turned on every time you open the freezer to grab a frosty mug! I made that mistake on the first one I did. Fixed it by cutting down the faucet handle. Also, make sure you mount your drip tray low enough so you can fit you pitchers/glasses in there.
    This place sells kits for conversion fairly reasonably. http://www.beveragefactory.com/draft...ion-kits.shtml
    Buy your tank locally from a gas supply company.
    Good luck.
     
  11. Jack Fanning

    Jack Fanning Second Unit

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    Eric,

    Yeah, I've posted it on this site before...that's probably where you saw it.
     
  12. Greg Z

    Greg Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I built one last year. The biggest challenge was finding a compatable fridge that was CHEAP. It was well worth any stress or agrevation in setting one up.
     
  13. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I built one in college. The tap system cost me $25. I bought an old fashioned fridge circa 1955 for $40. The CO2 was $25 and the keg $50.
    The beauty part was that I could also store my mugs in the icebox inside over the keg. I kept an assortment of colored markers on the top and requested all of my friends to share some poetic wisdom on the fridge (after drinking a few) The only rule - nothing foul. It became a point of interest reading my fridge and people would seek out fun things to write on it like; "I just realized that today is the first day of the rest of my life - and nobody bothered to send a card". It now resides across the country in my brothers garage. Much of the writing has been scrubbed off. (sigh) An era gone bye.

    Oh, and keg beer kept under proper pressure and temp lasts 60-90 days. IT does not have the life of bottled and canned beer (which is 180 days)

    Drink up!
     

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