I love draft beer. There are no two ways about it. If I could have beer on tap anytime of the day or night anywhere I went, I would be a happy man. On that note, I brewed a Pliny The Elder clone for my wedding a couple months ago and had it on tap during the reception. It was well received and gave me inspiration to continue brewing good beer and have it on tap. I already have the fridge I need to house a keg and keep it cold (see steps below for instructions on that) but I need to take that final step and turn it into a bona fide kegerator.
I’ve been on this mission for quite some time. Since I’ve always been a DIY (Do It Yourself) type of guy, I’ve had an idea to build a kegerator to keep in the house and hold kegs of my home brew. Of course, I could always go the lazy route and just buy one, but where is the sense of pride in that? I’ve always longed to be hands-on and do things myself. That is something passed down to me from my father – he built the second floor of our house when I was growing up because he wanted a dedicated TV room and private office area, allowing the rest of us our own space downstairs. No having to share rooms for the kids. To this day, he continues to help us “kids”with home improvement now that we’re all grown up and have families of our own. This is the epitome a DIY mentality. I think that is inherent in almost every home brewer. I mean hello? You are making you are own beer after all.
Since the price of a pre-made kegerator is often cost prohibitive, people often opt to build their own. I’ve been able to get the parts I need for roughly 200 bucks. For a kegerator this size, you’d likely pay over $500 on the market. Better build your own. How do you do this? Very simple. You need a fridge, a keg and a tap. Pretty simple right? Granted, getting from Point A to B is going to involve a few steps, but here is a little help to get you on your way.
- Got an old fridge sitting in the garage that is just taking up space? Use that. If not, you can always search online. People are often parting with their old fridges and selling them at a huge discount. Checking Google and Craig’s List will offer plenty of help with finding one.
- You need a keg. If you’re already brewing your own beer, you may have one. If not, a cheap Cornelius aka “corny” keg (5 gallon) is often available for a moderate price. I got one used for about 40 bucks. Most people don’t or can’t go the route of a full 1/2 barrel keg (15.5 gallon) that would normally find in your local bar or on a beer truck.
- Here is the most technical part that you will need – the keg conversion kit. This involves hoses and shanks, a CO2 tank and regulator, quick disconnects as well as the faucet, better known as the good old Keg Tap. Oh sweet irony…
If you’re anything like me and you want to take that next step, hopefully this helps you move forward in your quest for draft beer at home without the overbearing cost factor. There’s nothing quite like coming home from a long day in the office and pouring yourself a fresh beer. See below for a group of links that you may find helpful – I sure did. I’ll keep adding to this as I move along in my quest to complete the building of my kegerator. Happy brewing y’all. Cheers!
Links to Instructions on How to Build a Kegerator
Video from our friends at the homebrew shop Love2Brew