After reading our article, you will learn how to assemble such a kegerator, what tools and consumables you will need for this, and where you can buy them.
If you want to keep your beer always fresh and cold, and the purchase of a full-fledged kegerator is not part of your plans, consider buying a kegerator kit.
This kit turns your Chest Freezer into a homemade kegerator that will handle its tasks no worse than a professional bar fridge.
What is a Chest Freezer?
Before assembling a new kegerator, let’s talk about the equipment needed for this.
A Chest Freezer is a kind of freezer in the form of a large box with a convertible lid opening up. It’s an autonomous device that works separately from a conventional refrigerator.
Unlike conventional vertical freezers, this equipment tends to keep food cooler, and it is more energy efficient than vertical models.
Chest Freezers are ideal for storing large amounts of food. They are often chosen instead of vertical freezers because they take up less space, they are easier to organize and they can be hidden in a corner or a basement.
In addition, unlike a kegerator, this equipment will cost you quite cheaply. Judge for yourself: the simplest home kegerator costs about $1,000, while the Chest Freezer can be purchased for $200 and another $300 for the kegerator kit. It turns out, the self-made conversion will cost you half the cost of a ready-made home kegerator!
What is a kegerator kit?
Kegerator kit is a kit used to upgrade various refrigeration equipment into a modern and comfortable kegerator.
Typically, the kit includes:
- Beer shank
It is a type of beer faucet and connecting element required to connect the beer line with the beer barrel. Without the shank, beer wouldn’t have flowed from the barrel to the tap.
- Keg coupler
The keg coupler is a device that is needed for draught beer dispensing. It is equipped with a tap handle, which is responsible for opening the keg valve and connecting the beer line to the keg. The connector also has a pressure relief valve to help control the pressure in the barrel.
- Faucet handle and beer tap
This equipment is used to control the flow of liquid from the faucet. It is made of metal and attached to a lever that is connected to a beer barrel. After pulling the handle, the beer is poured out of the barrel.
- CO2 (nitrogen) regulator and gas cylinder
An important tool for those who brew or serve beer. The regulator controls the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2 or nitrogen) dissolved in the beer, ensuring the correct taste of the beer. Without a proper gas regulator, even the most carefully brewed beer can contain too little or too much gas and have an unpleasant taste.
The CO2 regulator consists of two parts: a main pressure regulator and a secondary pressure regulator.
The main pressure regulator, also known as the primary pressure regulator, is mounted on the CO2 cylinder and connected to the beer barrel. It regulates the CO2 pressure, allowing the appropriate amount of this gas to dissolve in the beer.
The secondary regulator is used to fine-tune the pressure above the keg. This allows even more precise pressure control.
Choosing the appropriate kegerator kit, you can choose a kit with or without the cylinder. Note that, for safety reasons, all gas cylinders are supplied empty.
- Beer line
They are special tubes made of plastic or vinyl, used to transport beer from barrels to taps. Beer lines usually have an insulation layer that helps to reduce heat transfer between the line and the beer.
You can choose a set for both one and several beer lines (usually up to 5 beer lines can be connected to such a kegerator).
- Air line
They are required to transport gas from the cylinder to the rest of your draft beer system. Many brewers use red vinyl tubes for this purpose: this makes air lines easier to distinguish from beer lines (beer lines are usually transparent).
- Hex nut assembly and rubber washers
They are used to reliably fix all elements of the system.
Now that you know what equipment you need, it’s time to talk about how to Convert a Chest Freezer Into a Kegerator:
1. Prepare the Chest Freezer
You can purchase new equipment or use the one you already have. Just make sure the freezer is in working order. Do not forget to remove rust or any other defects (if any).
2. Install a shank
You will need some basic tools such as a drill, screwdriver and hacksaw. Each kit is unique, so if necessary, read the specific instructions for your kit.
Drill the shank hole in the door and insert the shank from your conversion kit. Tighten the nut so that it fits as tightly as possible into the hole.
3. Fix the faucet
First, you need to make a hole in the lid of the freezer. Make sure that the hole is large enough to install the tap of your kegerator. After making a hole, with a screwdriver attach the tap to the lid.
4. Connect beer lines
Beer lines shall be connected between the barrel and the tap using a wrench.
Connect one end of the beer line to the inside end of the bar. Try to put the pipe as far as possible on the shank nipple – to avoid beer leakage.
5. Install a drip tray
This equipment is not included in the kegerator kit, so you have to buy it separately. With the help of a drip tray, the process of serving the draft beer becomes more accurate.
6. Put the beer keg inside the refrigerator and connect the CO2 regulator
Install beer kegs inside your homemade kegerator and attach a beer line from the shank to the barrel.
Measure the holes for the regulator and cut them with a hacksaw. Insert the regulator and attach it with screws. CO2 pressure should be set to between 7 and 12 pounds per square inch.
Connect the air line to the gas cylinder and beer keg. Make sure the line is sealed at both ends.
If necessary, use a sealant or silicone to fill any gaps. This is also true for the previous paragraphs.
7. Test the operation of the equipment
Wash and disinfect the beer lines and air lines. Pour some beer into a glass and watch all lines for leaks.
Now your kegerator is ready for use! Don’t forget to keep the lid closed when the device is not used to keep the cold air inside and your drinks always remain fresh and delicious.
Where to order a kegerator kit?
You can find such a kit on the website of the popular company Beverage Craft.
This brand specializes in beer equipment: here you will be helped to find the best kit to create the most convenient and reliable draft beer system.
Beverage Craft products are the choice of most modern brewers who value the quality, efficiency and long life of their equipment. We are sure: using their kegerator kit, you will be 100% satisfied with the result!