Having finally managed to pull together all of the pieces for my kegerator project, yesterday became build day. It turned out to be one of the simpler homebrew projects that I’ve undertaken, but I thought I’d write up a short ‘how to’ just in case it inspires somebody else to have a go.
- 1 x fridge (ebay or Freecycle are a good place to start)
- 4 x beer taps (I went for Perlick 545s)
- 4 x shanks (to fit your choice of tap, long enough to pass through the fridge door )
- CO2 line (probably 3-4 metres)
- 3/8” beer line
- 3/16” beer line
- John Guest Y splitter
- John Guest 3-way splitter (or additional Y-splitters to give you enough gas lines)
You will also need:
- Power drill
- 22mm (depending on shank size) hole saw
- Dremel (or similar) with cutting disk
- Sharp knife
- Dust mask & goggles!
- Beer (insert at any point in the process below)
1) Firstly, check that you can fit your kegs inside. If you can’t quite fit them all in, you might be able to gain a few cm by taking a Dremel to the shelf brackets. I can fit 4 in now thanks to a bit of butchery.
2) Now let’s work out where we want the taps to go. This will depend on the length of the shank that will protrude in to the fridge. I set mine just slightly above the level of the keg lid and below where I wanted the top shelf. Use a spirit level and mark on the front with masking tape. Use a punch of some sort (a sharp screw in my case) to mark where you need to drill.
3) On to the fun bit now. Fit an appropriately sized hole saw to your drill, then slowly and carefully drill all the way through the door. This should leave you with something that looks a little like this…
4) This was the point that I discovered that I’d ordered shanks that were a little shorter than I actually needed. So, out comes the Dremel again and I cut away a section from the inside of the door.
5) This removes some of the rigidity of the door though, so I fitted a small piece of wood in the hole to give some extra strength for tightening the shank nuts.
6) Then it’s just a case of fitting shanks and taps and then tightening it all up.
7) Now we need to work out how to get the gas in to the kegs in the fridge. With a bit of luck, this should be a pretty simple case of guiding the gas line through the drain hole in the bottom of the fridge ( do this from inside… it’s easier). If for some reason this isn’t possible, then you’ll need to drill a hole – watch out for hidden pipework and other important bits, but somewhere down the bottom should work out ok.
8) With beer and CO2 lines all connected up, I’m good to go!
I still need to balance the system a little better with a different set up on the beer line diameter and length. I also have a secondary reg that I need to connect up, which will give me the capability to have sensible serving pressure and a high pressure line for force carbonating kegs before they go in the kegerator.
There’s also the possibility of connecting up a tube heater and temperature controller to give a slightly higher serve temperature… I’ll see how the current setup works first though.