A kegerator is a residential draft (draught) beer dispensing device. A keg, typically of beer, is stored in a refrigerated container in order to keep the keg chilled. The user is able to maintain a tapped keg in such a device for extended periods of time, usually a couple of months, without losing any quality in the taste of the beer. A kegerator may be purchased in its finished form or built from a re-purposed refrigerator or a freezer with special equipment.
- Stainless steel keg
- CO2 cylinder
- CO2 pressure regulator, with inlet and outlet pressure gauges
- Beer and air Line
- Drip tray
- Faucet handle
A crucial part of a kegerator is the coupler, the component that allows hoses to be quickly connected to and disconnected from the keg. Beverage dispensing devices have many standards for couplers:
- System D (U.S. Sankey) — standard for American beer
- System S (European Sankey) — common for European beer
- System U — used for stout and ale by a few breweries in UK/Ireland (Guinness)
- System G — used by some breweries in UK/Ireland, and in the United States by Anchor Brewing
- System A — chiefly used by breweries in Germany
- System M — used by some German breweries (Schneider)
- Pin and ball lock home brew keg taps — designed to work with Cornelius kegs.
The D, S, U and G couplers are secured by twisting them in place (like a screw). The A-coupler is often called a "slide coupler", because unlike the other couplers it slides in place and can be secured at any angle. The M-coupler is also a slide coupler.
A kegerator has cost benefits that make it a viable choice over the purchase of smaller cases, such as the typical 6-pack or 12-pack. Generally speaking, kegerators save costs because of their connection with business theories on bulk sales, as well as their savings on packaging smaller cases of beer. Since a keg typically stores large amounts of cold beer, many kegerators have been known to save up to 60% on costs when compared to the same amount of volume in cans and bottles. Depending on the brand of beer, cost savings can be even greater. Therefore, more specialized craft beers can often provide significantly higher savings than common brands like Budweiser.
Typically, a person will purchase a used refrigerator (from a yard sale, classifieds, etc.) and use a kegerator conversion kit to turn it into a beer dispensing kegerator. One advantage of using full kegerators for home draught beer dispensing is that they can often hold more than one keg. This is the case when using slim kegs or pony kegs. Kegerator kits are also much cheaper and more economical than purchasing a pre-existing kegerator.
Kegerator kits can create either door-mounted or tower conversion types. Typically, they are easy to install and include all necessary equipment and instructions. A few rudimentary tools, such as a socket wrench set and a drill with wide bits, are needed to modify the fridge. The CO2 tank needed for beer dispensing can sit either inside the fridge, or somewhere near/around it.
- Kegerator - How to build a kegerator - Make a Kegerator
- Beer Brand - Keg Tap Listing
- How to Build a Kegerator
- The History of the Kegerator A 10-part series of articles discussing the rise of cold beer drinking and the kegerator.