Build A Cheap Kegerator At Home
If you thought dispensing keg beer at home (either your own brew, or your favorite commercial beer) would cost a fortune, think again.
With a home-made kegerator, you can be dispensing draft beer at home for as little as $100. The long-term savings can be huge – a glass of draft beer costs about half of a can or bottle. Obviously, dispensing home brewed draft beer is even cheaper, not to mention a great way to impress your friends. Many people comment that having a kegerator is what turns you from “someone who likes beer” to a true “beer enthusiast.”
Building a kegerator requires an old refrigerator or freezer, a basic kegerator conversion kit, and a keg. The refrigerator need not be fancy, and can often be found at a yard sale or in the classifieds. Preferably, try to avoid ones that will continue to enlarge the already-massive hole in the earth’s o-zone layer. The size of the refrigerator or freezer is not important as long as it is large enough to hold a keg of beer. The bigger the refrigerator, the more kegs you can fit (and thus the more various types of beer you can dispense).
The kegerator conversion kit, which varies in price from about $50 to $350, should include a CO2 cylinder, gas regulator, CO2 pressure line, keg coupler, beer faucet, beer shank, and beer line. If you want to be fancy, you could spend a bit more and get a drip tray, fancy tap handle, etc. Filling up the CO2 tank must be done locally (they cannot ship full, for obvious safety reasons). Look in your phone book under Fire Extinguishers or Fire and Safety Equipment, as companies that refill fire extinguishers are typically willing to fill CO2 cylinders.
Once you have a refrigerator and conversion kit, building the kegerator only requires a few simple tools and an hour or two of installation time
You can dispense the beer directly from the door of the refrigerator, which will require drilling a hole for the faucet in the front door of the fridge. Alternatively, if you want to be fancier and drill the hole in the back or side of the fridge, you could run a line to a nearby countertop and have a small beer tower dispense the beer. This is more aesthetically appealing, but can cost a bit more as a full beer tower will be required. To do this, you should purchase a tower conversion kit: tower conversion kits include a beer tower to attach the faucet and handle onto, while door conversion kits do not (but they’re cheaper). Once your new kegerator is complete, you’ll be able to pour a glass of your own home-brewed beer any time you like without the hassle of bottles!