Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kegerator

After about a year of homebrewing I have grown extremely tired of the bottling process. Cleaning 50-60 bottles per batch took longer than the entire brewing process, not to mention having to store 100+ bottles and the pain of trying to move them around. I decided to bite the bullet and set up a kegerator. I had already painted the garage fridge and basically turned it into a beer storage fridge.

Taking a trip to the local homebrew store I picked up two corney 5 gallon kegs, a 5 pound CO2 tank, and plenty of tubing and taps. The next batch I brewed went into one of the kegs and after playing around the with carbonation levels it worked perfectly. However, I had bigger aspirations and couldn't handle having to open two different doors to have access to beer on tap. Fortunately the wall that the fridge is on is shared with the kitchen. Ordered some additional parts like taps and shanks and was in business.

The kegerator before the process had started.



To start out I drilled a 1 1/2" hole in the fridge using a hole saw to pass the beer lines through. I picked a spot close to the back of the fridge to minimize the length of the line that will be outside of the fridge. After finding the right spot to mount the taps inside I drilled two 1" holes for the taps/shanks. The shanks are just metal tubes with tap fittings on one side and a nozzle to attach the beer line to on they other. It is slid through the wall and a washers keep it in place. With the holes drilled I could run the lines, but I needed to make sure that the beer in the lines didn't warm up too much on the way to the tap. The total distance outside of the fridge was only a few feet so I decided to grab some PVC from Lowes and use that to help contain some of the cold air coming out of the fridge.



Not the cleanest hole in the wall but that is a benefit of not caring about the walls of a garage.



After looking at it all hooked up I wanted to add a little bit more to the look of the taps. I picked up a wood mount that is normally used for showing a street address on the outside of a house to use as a backboard. I stained it pretty dark to give it a bit of an Irish pub feel and was good to go, final picture below.



I'll add some insulation to the PVC just to help it stay that much cooler, but aside from that I think I am done. Now time to go relax in the kiddie pool with a pitcher of Belgium White. You can't drown in six inches of water, can you?



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