How To Build Your Own Homemade DIY Kegerator

DIY Kegerator

In case you do not know, beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. In fact, it is believed to be the oldest and one of the most popularly known beverages next to tea and water. A great fraction of the world’s population, young and old is fond of having beer on a variety of occasions.  They have essentially become a staple to every social gathering alongside wines and other liquor.

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Today, beers have grown to become a part of various social traditions and endeavors. You will find them served in almost every occasion from parties, festivals, concerts, leisure like activities such as playing cards, and even on everyday conversations with friends and relatives. They are in simple terms an essential part of today’s modern lifestyle.

Like wines and other beverages, it is so important that you store and serve your beers in the right way. Doing so lets you bring out the best taste in your beer and therefore delivers its exhilarating taste and flavor.

Your beers aren’t as delicate as the bottle of wines you have. You can store them right inside your kitchen fridge provided that you keep the temperature withing the range of 38-55oF. However, if you plan on keeping large amount of beer or perhaps thinking of  having your very own brew at home,  it is best that you invest in a kegerator.

 So….. 

What Is A Kegerator


A Kegerator is a home appliance built to keep your beer in their perfect serving temperature. It also offers you the convenience of dispensing beer into your mugs without waste and spills. Like a refrigerator and a wine cooler, this particular piece of appliance functions in keeping your favorite alcoholic beverage fresh for long periods of time. It can in fact store your beer for up to a month without spoiling or changing its taste.

If your kegerators are properly configured and meets the required pressure and temperature, it can make your beers last for up to 4 months. With a kegerator, you will be able to bring your beer into their perfect serving temperature of 38-55oF. Temperature requirements would vary depending on the style of beer you plan to store. Remember that like wines, different types of beers warrant different service and storage temperatures.

A kegerator works really well for any household who typically consumes draft beer on a regular basis. It is a cost effective solution to having beer available for your consumption at all times. Stacking up on cans and bottles of beer not only takes so much space off your fridge, but will also cost you some money. With kegerators you will be able to have a religious supply of beer at a much affordable price.

 

What Is a Draft Beer and How does it differ from Bottled and Canned Beer

Kegerators are perfect if you prefer to have draft beer than those individually packed and commercially available bottled and canned beer.

A draft beer is the term applied to beer that is served from a keg, rather than from a can or bottle. It is also known as “draught beer” for the reason being that the term itself means to “pull”. A much straightforward definition is that – it is a beer that is drawn from a cask or keg with the use of a hand pump.

Draft beers are served fresh from a tap and are therefore presumed to be fresher than those served in bottles and cans. They are also believed to taste better than those packed individually in such a way that beers deliver their most satisfying taste.

With draft beers, you get to have a more consistent texture and carbonization. It helps a lot to be able to customize the temperature and the pressure applied to your beers whenever you have them. Consequently, you don’t get to have that advantage with canned and bottled beer. What you will have is what the brewery has made and packed for you.

 

Why Should You Prefer Drinking Draft Beer

A draft beer has several advantages over its individually packed counterparts. I am not saying that draft beers are way better than those served in bottles and cans. What I am trying to point out is that they have certain benefits that you can use to your advantage.

These are as follows:

Draft Beer Is Fresher

As I have mentioned beers served in kegs are more crisp and raw than those served in bottles and cans. Breweries and handlers ensure their kegs are kept within their proper temperature whenever they deliver them to consumers within a specified period. They ensure that upon leaving the brewery, the beers will retain its freshness for up to 30-45 days. And as such, they spend a lot of money to ensure that they are delivered in perfect condition. The end result is high quality, freshly brewed and fine tasting beer served on a kegerator.

It Saves You Money

It doesn’t take so much of a math genius or an economist to realize that draft beer cost less than having your beers in cans and bottles.  Having draft beers are way cheaper than spending on several bucks for a mug of beer at a diner, restaurant or bar.  One glass of beer will cost you about $3  or more (plus the tip). A draft beer would cost you about a dollar, even less when you have your own draft beer system installed in your homes. That translates to almost 100% savings and even more.

Eco Friendly

When you have your own draft beer system- a kegerator for that matter, you are spared from a handful of beer bottles and cans piling up on your garbage bin. Not only that it saves you from the clutter that it may bring but it also helps save the planet.  Keeping non-biodegradable waste off our landfills and recycling stations saves resources. In this time where climate change has been causing significant changes to our environment, we have to find ways on how to take care of the planet. It is important that we ensure the continuity of life and the comfort that our dear mother Earth is providing us.

 

Want A Kegerator But Low on Budget? Build One! 

There are quite a handful of kegerators that you can find in the market today.  They come in a variety of sizes, design and models to choose from. It is all up to you as to how you will perceive each of its make beneficial to your home setting and lifestyle.

With a multitude of options you wont have much of a hard time finding a particular piece that suits your needs. Although you may find them quite a bit costly, you will be surprised on how much savings you can derive from these devices in the long run.

Now if you are a type of person who drinks beer on a regular basis, then I highly recommend that you invest on a kegerator. I understand how much you wanted to have one, and i understand why you cant just seem to fit it into your budget. Now, don’t you worry yourself for I can help you have your own draft beer system with just few hundred bucks.

How would you go about building your own Kegerator? Yes you heard it right. You can make your own kegerator. Think of it as your new DIY project. I’ll teach how if you can just keep on reading on the succeeding sections of this post below.

 

Why Would You Want to Build Your Own DIY Kegerator

The obvious reason why you would want to build your own kegerator is that you are passionate beer drinker yourself. And as such, it is of great importance to you that you have a continuous supply of beer right inside your home or at your workplace. Stacking up on beer bottles and cans is not only expensive; it is not space efficient too as it can take a religious amount of space off your kitchen fridge.

Now here are some reasons why you should consider building your own kegerator.

It Is Economical

Building your own own kegerator is way cheaper than having to purchase one, commercially. Kegerators will usually cost some several hundred bucks, depending on the size, style and brand. You will find some models not quite friendly on your pocket but that doesn’t mean you have no other choice but to deprive yourself of having your own kegerator.

Being short for money in purchasing a commercially available kegerator is not an excuse not to have one of your own. In fact you can have your own homemade kegerator for as little as $150. Shocked? Read on to find out just how you can satisfy your need for a continuous supply of booze all year round.

Puts Your Old Refrigerator to Good Use

Building your own kegerator requires the use of a refrigerator. Now if you have got an old refrigerator that has been replaced by a more up to made model, it’s time that you dig it out of storage. Who would realize that with this little DIY project you’ll get to recycle your old fridge to come up with another home appliance.

Allows For Customization

The best part of building your own beer refrigerator and dispenser is that you get to freedom to build it exactly the way you want it. You can have it built in tower or you can have it dispensed through your refrigerator’s door. You can even repaint your old refrigerator so you can make it to fit into your home interior or as your creative side demands.

 

What You Will Need For Your DIY Kegerator Project

Making your own kegerator requires 3 different sets of materials. Two of which may already be available at home and you may just need to dig them out of storage. All you would be needing is a couple of basic tools that will help you accomplish your project in 2 hours or less. Sounds pretty easy right?

Now before you get  into building your own kegerator, ensure that you have these 3 important components.

Old Refrigerator

Old Fridge DIY Kegerator

Your old refrigerator will serve as its casing where the keg and the conversion kits will be built into. The size of your refrigerator would dictate how big your keg should be and what type of conversion kit you should buy.

Keg

Keg DIY Kegerator

A keg is where your draft beer will be stored as it sits inside your refrigerator. When choosing your kegs make sure to identify the size that will perfectly fit into your refrigerator. You probably think of kegs as those wooden barrels where wines and other alcoholic beverages such as beer are stored. You are correct.

But for this project the kegs that you will be using are made from stainless steel or aluminum in rare occasions.  They are available in different sizes and shapes and are used in different situations.

In order for you to determine the correct size and type of keg you can use please refer to the table below:

Different Types of Kegs

Type of Keg Capacity

(gal/oz)

Height

(in Inches)

Weight

(in lbs)

Diameter

(in Inches)

Mini 1.32/169 9 7/8 13 6 3/4
Cornelius 5.0/640 23 49 9
Sixth Barrel 5.16/661 23 3/8 58 9 1/4
Quarter Barrel 7.75/992 13 7/8 87 16 1/8
Slim Quarter 7.75/992 23 3/8 87 11 1/8
Half Barrel 15.5/19.84 23 7/8 161 16 1/8
Rubber Barrel 7.75/992 13 7/8 87 17
Beveled Barrel 7.75/992 13 7/8 87 17

 

Basic Conversion Kit

A kegerator conversion kit lets you transform your regular kitchen fridge into a beer dispenser and beer refrigerator. Using these assemblies lets you have a kegerator of your own at a much lower cost.

They generally come in two basic categories based on the manner you install it into your refrigerator. However there are other variations to choose from and they are readily available for purchase at amazon. If you wanna learn how to use these conversion kits, we will be posting interesting articles about it so I suggest you keep posted.

Before you get into building your kegerator, you have to carefully plan out how you wish to dispense your beer from your DIY kegerator. How you choose your basic conversion kit would depend on how big your old refrigerator is and which option shall provide you the convenience of dispensing beer into your mugs.

Below are your options:

Door Mount Kegerator Conversion Kit


This conversion kit is more ideal for use if you plan on mounting your faucet into your refrigerator’s door. This is probably the most traditional and most common way of installing your DIY draft beer dispensing system. They provide easy access to your draft beer and you can in fact house in several bottles or cans of beer along with your keg inside or into the freezer.

Tower Kegerator Conversion Kit



A tower conversion kit on the other hand is mounted right on top of your refrigerator. They are more ideal for use for counter top applications, where your refrigerators are placed under your kitchen counters. They are perfect for use in built-in applications and would definitely look great for your home setting due to its home bar inspired appeal.

 

What Comprises A Kegerator DIY Conversion Kit

A DIY kegerator conversion kit includes several components assembled together to get it to do its task of dispensing your beer.  You will find a great deal of variations in the market, but the principle on how each of these component works remains the same.

For you to be able to install them correctly you need to have a very good understanding on how they work. Knowing the basics will spare you from the troubles of doing some guesswork on installation. It will also speed things up such that you will be able to finish your project in no time.

Here are the components of a basic DIY kegerator conversion kit.

Faucet Handle



The faucet handle functions primarily to let you toggle when you are to dispense beer from your keg. You can find these components often made from hard plastic and sometimes chrome.

Chrome Faucet or Beer Tap


This component is probably the main component to rely on when dispensing beer. It hooks to the shank and handle and are almost always made from polished chrome .

Shank



The shank is what connects your faucet into the beer line. It is basically the one that connects the outside component of your DIY kegerator into its inside components. They are oftentimes made from nickel or chrome.

Hex Nut Assembly


The Hex Nut assembly is what holds your shank and the coupler into your beer line. This assembly is consists of a hex nut, screw clamp and a tail piece.

Washers


The washers ensure that the hexnut assembly is properly locked in place. It distributes the pressure of the nut into its surface such that it seals your beer line into its connecting shank and coupler without damaging the surface.

Beer Line


The beer line is where beer passes through from the coupler into the shank. This food grade vinyl tubing is often 3/16 inches in diameter and are generally smaller than the CO2 line. It is important that you keep this tubing clean at all times so your beers would remain fresh and delectable to taste.  Note: The image has the Hex Nut Assembly pre-attached.

Keg Coupler


The Keg coupler is the component that you attach to your keg. It is connected to your beer line and CO2 line that allows for CO2 to enter and beer to exit from its coupler. Without a coupler your beer would not dispense at all. Keg Couplers come in different sizes namely A,D,G,M,S and U.

The type of coupler you will use for your kegerator would depend on the style or brand of beer you wish to dispense. You also need to look into the valve of keg you intend to use.  However, the most commonly used type of keg coupler that will go for most American beer is the D type. I suggest you bu it first and then invest on the other types the moment you have a barrel of foreign beer.

Air Line


The air line is the supply line between your CO2 tank into your coupler. It generally functions to push through pressurized air into the couplar so that beer can come out of the faucet. The air line is  usually bigger than the beer line at 5/16 inch diameter.

It requires the use of clamps on each end to firmly secure it place. One end is attached to the keg coupler while the other end  is coupled into the regulator.

Double Gauge CO2 Regulator


The double gauge regulator on the other hand is what controls the amount of CO2 that you will need to push forth the beer out of your kegs. It also enables you to control the amount of pressure applied into the keg as well as the amount of CO2 present in the tank.

5 lb Aluminum CO2 tank


This cylinder is made up of high strength aluminum alloy. It holds the CO2 needed to push the beer out of your keg into the faucet. For safety reasons and regulations, the tanks are almost always shipped empty. This is primarily due to some federal restrictions that are in place in several states.  You will need to have it filled up by a supply shop. A 5 lb tank will generally be enough to push forth 6-8 half kegs of beer.

 

The Tools That You Need

Making your own homemade DIY kegerator just like other DIY home projects requires the use of certain tools and devices. You cannot obviously make it using your bare hands. To ensure your safety always find time wearing protective glasses at all times. If wearing a working glove will not hamper your productivity then by all means do so.

Before I give you the step by step procedure on how you can transform your refrigerator into a kegerator, here are the tools you would be needing.

  • Screwrivers
  • Powerdrills
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Wrench
  • PVC tube
  • Marker
  • 1 3/8 inch and 7/8 inch hole saws

 

Safety Guidelines Before You Start Making Your DIY Kegerator

Now that you have all the tools and materials needed for your very own kegerator, have a look at some safety guidelines that you need to follow. Remember that your safety should be your top priority. Be careful when using  using your tools.  Accidents do happen so it is always best to be one step ahead of the likelihood of such occurrence.

  • Wear suitable attire for operating machinery and equipment.
  • Do not forget to wear protective goggles and working gloves if needed.
  • Ensure that your working place is clean and uncluttered before you even start working.
  • Ensure that you got all the tools and materials that you need before you begin.
  • Use your tools and equipment as they are intended.
  • Keep a first aid kit handy and accessible.

 

Building Your Homemade Kegerator

Finally you have come to the most awaited section of this review. It’s time to build your very own kegerator!  It will serve you well to read the procedures below and develop your own own approach using my very own guide as your reference. Keeping a master plan for your DIY project will make each tasks easier accomplished and perfectly executed.

The instructions below covers a step by step procedure on  making a door mount type of kegerator. Just the same, you can use this simple procedure as a guide in making a tower type DIY kegerator.

  1. Decide on where you plan to place your kegerator and how you want to set it up.

    • Choose the perfect location that will give you ease of access to your home brew.
    • Decide on whether you would prefer to have your faucets mounted on a door or have them installed as a tower.
    • Determine how much beer you want to keep and the size of the keg that you need.

Steps 1 will generally dictate how you would choose your refrigerator.

  1. Choose the refrigerator that you would convert into a kegerator.

    This is the easiest part of making a DIY kegerator. In fact this may even be a good way to bring your old refrigerator back to life. If you have your own refrigerator you can purchase your kegs and conversion kits based on the size of the fridge that you have.If you still don’t have a refrigerator to convert, get in the size considering the factors mentioned in step 1.

  2. Customize Your refrigerator

    • Take measurements of your keg and tank to have an idea as to how big your kegerators’ interior should be.
    • Remove some of your refrigerator’s shelves. shelving’s. You would only need a shelf or two to hold your keg and the CO2 tank.
    • If you want to repaint your refrigerators’ exterior now’s the time to do it
  3. Find the perfect location where to mount the tap.

    This is the most difficult part, if you screw this up then there’s really no quick fix to reversing your mistake. In fact, this step is where most beer enthusiasts are at risk of messing things up. However, if you would strictly follow my instruction then you are less likely to commit mistake.

    • Find the perfect location to put the tap.
    • Mark it with a marker and make sure that the handle or the faucet will not hit on a certain section of your refrigerators interior.
    • Ensure that the spot you plan on drilling a hole does not hit the cooling coils of your refrigerator. Old refrigerators don’t have cooling coils on its doors, but if you are using a newer model then ensure you will not be hitting on them. Check on your user manual for the diagram
  4. Drill the Hole

    • Wear your safety glasses.
    • Drill a 1/4 inch pilot hole at least about 4-5 inches below the top front door.
    • Using a 1 3/8 inch hole saw carefully drill just through your refrigerator’s exterior wall.
    • Drill all through the inner hole using a 7/8 inch hole saw.
  5. Cut a PVC tube 1/8 inch shorter than the depth of the hole and insert it into it.

  6. Install the tap

    • Connect the faucet to the shank and ensure that it is a tight fit.
    • Insert the shank into the hole (inserted with PVC) and fasten it with your shank’s nut.
    • Attach the beer line into the shank and secure it in place by tightening the clamp that goes with it.
    • At the other side, insert a washer into the nut end of the beer line.
    • Attach the line into the keg coupler. Make sure it is a tight fit, use a wrench.
    • Install the drip tray about a foot below the faucet by puuting some screws into the door for the trays to hang.
  7. Connect the CO2 tank

    • Add a clamp to the air line hose and attach it to the keg coupler. Clamp it down for a tighter fit.
    • Add another clamp into the other end of the hose then fasten it into the thin end of the CO2 regulator. Again, keep it tight using your clamp.
    • Attach the other end of the regular into your CO2 cylinder tank. Don’t keep it too tight for you will need to remove when it is time for a refill.
  8. Tap the Keg

    • Insert the keg coupler into the keg in an upright position. The handle should be pointing upwards.
    • Rotate the coupler until it locks into place.
    • Pull out the keg coupler’s handle and push it down until it snaps.
  9.  Give Your kegerator a Test Run

    Now that you have your very own kegerator, its time you give it a test run. Have your cylinder tank filled with C02 and your kegs with beer. Go slow on the pressure you supply on your kegs by gradually turning your Co2 regulator’s knob. The first and second beer will most likely be foamy but once you get the hang of the proper amount of gas to supply into your kegs, your booze will be pouring out of the faucet perfectly.

Final Word

A kegerator is indeed a staple for every beer enthusiasts. Now if you frequently stops at a bar or a restaurant to have drink or perhaps often stacks up on bottles and cans of beer, having your own kegerator at home will give you a significant amount of savings.

Yes, kegerators may cost a lot should you decide to buy one from your local appliance store. However, there are ways to have them at a more affordable price. You can in fact use your old refrigerator for that purpose.

Build your own homemade kegerator! All it takes is a little patience, creativity and and a little touch of resourcefulness.

Have fun making your DIY kegerator and keep the booze flowing!

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