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keg fridges


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I am thinking of buying a keg fridge or converting an existing fridge into one. Certainly converting one would be the cheaper way to go but I am unsure if I could master how to do it...

Has anyone converted a fridge into a keg fridge before? Or now where I could get keg fridges in Canada? I have found a few but they are all 1000 dollars or so...

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my buddy has a mini freezer for his two kegs. works out beauty and the taps sit flush on top. great

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Make_a_Kegerator

What you'll need

1. Refrigerator

2. Conversion kit

3. CO2 cylinder

4. CO2 gas (inside the canister)

5. Screwdrivers

6. Power drill

7. 1⅜" and ⅞" hole saws

8. Measuring tape

9. Hacksaw

10. A keg of delicious beer

Some supplies

Some supplies

Some more supplies

Some more supplies

There are kits, too

Conversion kits are a great way to go because they are cheaper than buying the components separately and are easy to find online.

Conversion kits come in two styles: door-mounted taps for upright fridges and towers for chest freezers and compact fridges. We got a basic single-tap door-mounted kit and a five-pound aluminum CO2 cylinder for $192 from the folks at BeverageFactory.com for this project.

You can also probably get everything you need at a local homebrewer's supply store.

How to proceed

Step 1: Find a fridge

If you don't have an old fridge rotting in your garage or basement, somebody else does. We found many, many options on Craigslist, including several freebies. Be sure to take a measuring tape with you when you go to check out a fridge. If you want to fit a full-size keg in your kegerator, they are 16 1/8" in diameter. With the CO2 canister inside, you will need an interior cavity of 28" by 18". Compact fridges that can fit a keg are harder to find, so we opted for a free, upright fridge that was advertised as working (which turned out to be true). While it takes up more space than a compact fridge would, it has the advantage of being able to fit two 5-gallon kegs.

Tip: If your spare fridge has a freezer, you can use the freezer for chilling your steins!

Step 2: Drill a hole in your fridge

Measure a spot for your tap low enough on the door so the freezer door can open without hitting the tap handle. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Measure a spot for your tap low enough on the door so the freezer door can open without hitting the tap handle. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Save for tapping the keg, this is the most fun part. But this is also the only step with any real risk of messing up, which we did.

Find a place to put the tap -- make sure you put it low enough so the freezer door can open without hitting the tap handle. Mark it with a pen, then draw a mark on the other side of the door as well. Drill a ¼" pilot hole through the whole door. Then, drill a hole with the 1 ⅜" hole saw, just through the outer layer of the door, and drill the ⅞" hole saw just through the inner layer of the door. Measure the thickness of the door between the holes, then saw your PVC pipe to that length so it inserts into the hole.

Some advice: We made the mistake of starting by drilling the smaller hole through the outer layer. This wasn't the end of the world, but we no longer had the pilot hole to hold the drill in place while we sawed the larger hole. We ended up fitting a broom handle into the hole, and drilling a pilot hole in the end of it to guide the saw.

Drill, baby, drill! Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Drill, baby, drill! Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Step 3: Install the tap

Install the tap faucet on the front of the door. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Install the tap faucet on the front of the door. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Connect the faucet to the shank and moderately tighten with a wrench (some kits come with a special wrench for this purpose). Insert the shank into the PVC pipe and fasten it with the shank nut.

Push the beer hose onto the other end of the shank and fasten with a clamp. You will need to put the loose clamp onto the hose before attaching it to the shank. At the other end of the beer hose, insert a rubber washer into the nut and then screw the nut onto the top of the keg coupler. Tighten with a wrench.

Install the drip tray around a foot below the tap by putting screws into the door to hang the tray on.

Step 4: Connect the CO2

Hook up the gas canister. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Hook up the gas canister. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Add a clamp to the gas hose and then fasten it to the thin end of the keg coupler and clamp it down. Add a clamp to the other end and then fasten it to the thin end of the CO2 regulator and tighten the clamp. Attach the end of the regulator with a nut on it to the CO2 cylinder. Tighten it with a wrench. Be careful not to over-tighten it, because you will need to remove it to refill the canister.

Step 5: Tap the keg

Insert the coupler into the keg with the handle pointing up. Rotate the coupler until it stops. Pull out the handle and push it down until it snaps below the catch.

Next, open the regulator valve near the hose on the gage by pointing it along the hose. Open the valve on the top of the tank. Turn the regulator clockwise until the gage reads around 10 psi. You may need to adjust this to get the right amount of gas for each keg of beer.

If you have a double gage regulator, the second gage shows how much pressure is in the keg. It will drop as the beer gets lower and help you predict when you will need a new keg.

Step 6: Mmmm... BEER

A perfect pour. Photo: Jon Snyder

A perfect pour. Photo: Jon Snyder

The first beer will probably be mostly foam, as will the second. But by the third beer, it should be close to the right gas pressure. If it's not, fiddle with the regulator until it is.

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I have converted a few fridges and freezers to kegerators or keezers over the last few years. I would suggest simgo.com for your regulator and hoses etc. as they pretty much have everything and they are based in Canada. You can get used co2 tanks at most fire extinguisher refill places. Perlick foward-sealing faucets are your best bet for a quality tap. If you don't use a generic tap daily it will start to stick and get dirty. The Perlicks are easier to clean as well.

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There is another style of 30L keg as well (Beau's uses it, as well as a few others) It is the same height as the 20L and of course a little wider. It should fit in even a small fridge (with some small cut-outs on the door)

You should check the height of the fridge as well. You may need a low profile coupler to make it all fit. Low Profile

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Thread translation:

1. Hippie inquires how to turn fridge into kegerator.

2. Hippie learns said project is time consuming and labor intensive.

3. Hippie declares he will save money to buy one as Holiday gift to self.

Fast-forward several months:

Hippie spent all his money on Phish tour and starts thread on how to turn fridge into kegerator...

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Thread translation:

1. Hippie inquires how to turn fridge into kegerator.

2. Hippie learns said project is time consuming and labor intensive.

3. Hippie declares he will save money to buy one as Holiday gift to self.

Fast-forward several months

Hippie spent all his money on Phish tour and starts thread on how to turn fridge into kegerator...

booooo :)

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