Most of us waited in line at a party to fill the empty red plastic cup with beer from a keg. Sometimes we kneel to fill it, sometimes we ask for a friend to pump the tap. Kegs are not easy to control because it is difficult to keep them at a good temperature and maintain it through the event. But isn’t it too much work? Wouldn’t it be amazing to quickly get a beer which is kept at a perfect temperature?
Of course! That is where we invite the kegerator to the scene. But what is a kegerator? It is a device used for dispensing draft beer. It has been around since the beginning of 1990. Antique kegerators developed day by day and now we have high technology kegerators. At-home draft beer demands continued to increase continuously for especially the last two decades.
Thanks to these demands, kegerators became essential in man caves, kitchens, and backyard patios all across America. Some buy it, some make a diy kegerator at home. Either way, it is surely an awesome device. Since you are here, I think you want to have more knowledge about this device. Without further ado, let’s get to know better this popular mini-refrigerator-look-a-like device.
What Is a Kegerator
The name itself is actually a combination of two words: ‘keg’ and ‘refrigerator’. Although it sounds like the name of a dinosaur, it is actually a refrigerated container that stores beer inside, keeping it at a perfect temperature. The beer retains its quality and freshness in this way. This device comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and models.
It is possible to find a kegerator that is suitable for your most specific needs. Most models include everything you’ll need to dispense beer. And by ‘everything’, I mostly mean handles and hosses, regulator, coupler, a carbon dioxide tank, and a beer tower with faucet. It is a ‘KEGerator’, so you use kegs to fill it. But what type of keg is in a kegerator? What type of keg should we use?
Well, you have to check the width of the model you want to buy. If it is 23 inches or more, you can fit light brands in. This is a great way to serve your guests fresh and cold beer out of the tap. The classical way! It is an irresistible desire to have draft beer within the reach of hand for sure! Because hey, who likes to drink warm beer? No one, that’s who!
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Different Types of Kegerators
There are different types of kegerators that serve different needs. The four main ones are: full-size home kegerators, outdoor kegerators, commercial kegerators, and mini kegerators. Let’s take a closer look.
Full-Size Home Kegerators
Full-Size Home Kegerators contain a full-size\a half barrel keg. It is like a freestanding refrigerator. A carbon dioxide tank (pressurized) and a coupler come with this type of kegerator. You can buy an undercounter model or a built-in model. This type of kegerator has a convenient size, so it is easy to move around.
This is a countertop beer dispenser. It is self-pressured and holds five liters of beer, meaning a mini keg. You can get 14 glasses of beer from this device. If you do not have a large space or many people to serve beer, this is a good choice.
An outdoor party without cold beer? Yikes! We have a solution for this: outdoor kegerators. This type of kegerator is used outdoors. So, it is specifically designed for higher and\or lower temperatures than a normal indoor place has. Most of these models can work in temperatures between 45-100 degrees. You can put them in your outdoor patio, basement, or garage. If you are a caterer, you can use them in outdoor events. People would love it.
This type of kegerator is like a full-size home kegerator. But it is designed to measure up to commercial quality. It can hold half a barrel, but you can also put a mini keg or a quarter barrel in. For increasing serving efficiency, this model usually has extra tap towers. You can serve people with different kinds of beer from the same kegerator because these towers are attached to different kegs.
Introduction to Kegs
Before choosing a kegerator to buy, you should know how much different keg sizes it contains. Then you can get the one that is capable of satisfying your needs. There are three common keg types in the USA. They are: Half barrel, quarter barrel, and mini keg.
Half barrel is known as a ‘full-size’ keg. It weighs 160 pounds -full-. It is 16 inches in diameter and 23 inches tall. Also it holds 15.5 gallons of beer (165 twelve-ounce glasses). It is used in full-size home kegerators.
Quarter barrel is known as a pony keg. It is half of a half barrel. There are two types of it: one of them is longer in height but smaller in diameter and the other one is shorter in height but larger in diameter. They have the same amount of beer but are designed for different spaces sized in different kegerator setups.
Standard quarter barrel is 16⅛ inches in diameter and 13⅞ inches tall. The slim one is 23⅜ inches tall and 11⅛ inches in diameter. But like I said, they hold the same amount. When they are full, they are weighing about 87 pounds. They have the capacity of 7.75 gallons. This is equal to 82 12oz glasses of beer.
This is usually recommended to the people who live alone or with just one roommate. It is a 5-liter keg. Heineken is the most common brand we can get this type of keg from. But there are other brands too.
A mini keg is 6.75 inches in diameter and 10 inches tall. When it is full, it only weighs about 13 pounds. They have 13 twelve-ounce glasses capacity which equals 1.33 gallons. Although you can return and refill the larger kegs, you cannot do that with mini kegs. They should be recycled.
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How to Set Up a Kegerator
Although it is a simple process, you need to follow a few steps to properly set up a kegerator. These steps are:
Your machine will come with some casters. You need to install them to the bottom of the unit. Then flip it over. See if it can rest on the casters stably.
Attach the Tap Tower
There is a plug that covers the top tower’s hole. Remove it with a screwdriver. Then attach the tap tower to the machine. The tubes in the tap tower need to be fed through the hole. After feeding them through the hole, grab them from the inside of the kegerator and pull them in. Secure the top tower onto the kegerator with screws
Align the Railings
Railing should be attached to the kegerator. There are holes on the top of the cabinet. You should align the railing with them.
Install the Faucet
There is a faucet adapter at the front. Screw the faucet on to it and finish installing the faucet
Connect the Beer Line
The beer line should be attached to the kegerator coupler. Then a rubber washer should be placed into the beer line hex nut and the line should be connected to the top of the coupler. You can secure the line by using a hex nut wrench.
Fix the CO₂ Gas Line and the Coupler
Connect the tube of CO₂ gas line to the regulator. Use pliers or a screw cramp to ensure that the tube is pushed into place. The opposite end of the gas line tube should be connected to the house barb. Check again if the tube is pushed into place. Then, make sure the cylinder is closed and attach the CO2 regulator to it. Tighten the cylinder valve with a wrench after screwing the inlet nut into it.
After this, the coupler should be attached to the keg. Screw it into the longing neck of the keg after securing it in the closed position. The CO₂ holder should be placed into the cabinet. The regulator should be visible. Turn the wheel on the tank and open the air tank. And then switch the shut off valve to on.
Use a screwdriver to turn the pressure adjustment and set the regulator to your desired PSI level. Do it slowly. It can be between 10-15 PSI. After that, the temperature should be set to 36-40 degrees
Voila! You can now place the keg and close the door. If you ask yourself how to use a kegerator after finishing setting up, do not worry because it is the simplest step. You just need to open the tap! That’s all you have to do. Enjoy your first glass!
Is there anything better than getting a cold, fresh beer from a tap in your home comfort? No! A kegerator can give you that comfort. That is why it got very popular. Now you know “what is a kegerator” and some uses of kegerator.
While it is an amazing product to have, it requires continual upkeep. If you are willing to put a ceetain amount of effort in this, I can assure you will enjoy it very much. What are your thoughts about kegerators? Do you have any kegerator tips for us? Let’s chat in the comment section about it!