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How many Kegerator owners here?

 
Old 01-14-2019, 11:57 AM
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Silverback51
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Default How many Kegerator owners here?

I love my beer and have been thinking of getting one.

Kind of leaning towards a two tap unit so I can have a couple different beers on tap.

So tell me the good and bad of owning one.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:00 PM
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Swany00
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the good is having beer whenever you want and keg beer is healthier than bottled/canned
the con is beer gut
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:19 PM
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As long as you don't break the lines, they stay clean, but you still need to clean them often. different beers like different CO2 pressures. Jsut gotta mess with it to see what works. Don't leave the CO2 on unless you are using it or the keg will absorb it and the beer will get foamy every time you pull the handle.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:22 PM
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OregonMike
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I went with a single tap for full sized, 15.5 gallon kegs.
Pros: cold beer available always at $1.11/pint
Cons: cold beer available always
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:29 PM
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I have some friends that do home brewing and I usually brew a batch with them. We use the 5 gallon soda pop containers (Coke version) and fill them with our brews. We all have refrigerators (mine's in the garage and will hold two of the 5 gallon containers. It takes one 5lb CO2 tanks to provide the necessary pressure. Here's a link to supplies and equipment that I have used. A small refrigerator works fine and used ones can be cheap. Look at the "conversion kits" tab for parts and supplies. Welding supply shops will have CO2 bottles filled with the proper CO2 gas. AirGas is a good source.

Here's my setup: The gold fridge is gone but it was replaced with a new low-end Whirlpool unit I got on sale at Lowe's. The fridge doors hold bottled beer and some soda pop. I removed the internal shelving and built a plywood base to hold two 5lb kegs or one 15.5 gallon keg. The air bottle fits in too.

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Old 01-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by OregonMike View Post
I went with a single tap for full sized, 15.5 gallon kegs.
Pros: cold beer available always at $1.11/pint
Cons: cold beer available always
My wife bought me a single tap unit for Christmas about 12 years ago. I converted it to a 3 tap not long afterward. Three 5 gallon kegs fit in it nicely. I brew my own so the cost is relatively cheap, about 50 cents per pint.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:52 PM
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I find I drink less with one. The fact that you don't need to open a beer, if I want 6 oz, I pour 6oz.

Mine holds 4 Corny kegs. The CO2 setup is a moderate expense up front, no big deal. CO2 lines last forever provided you don't do dumb stuff hooking up kegs. Don't let beer get into the lines when one keg is not pressurized and the others force beer back through the gas lines. That's about the only reason that's an issue.

Beer lines are simply throwaways. The stuff is so cheap, it isn't worth cleaning imho. For the cost of cleaning pumps and all that crap, just throw it and put on new every several months. In use, and if you don't change the beers from one to another, you can get away with a year. Then it's $5 to replace.

When selecting faucets, I like the Perlick Front Closing Faucets, but don't get the flow control ones. I have 4 and I don't like them at all. I'm convinced the regular faucets degas the beer less and pour nicer. The front closing ones are less likely to get contaminated due to the beer passage not being exposed to air as much. Keep a spray bottle of star-san around for rinsing the taps at the end of the night. Just shoot some up in there and it keeps them super clean. Like anything, they're easier to keep clean than they are to get dirty and then clean.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by K-Spaz View Post
CO2 lines last forever provided you don't do dumb stuff hooking up kegs. Don't let beer get into the lines when one keg is not pressurized and the others force beer back through the gas lines. That's about the only reason that's an issue.
I installed Backflow-Prevention Valves in all my co2 lines to prevent this from happening.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bashcraft View Post
I installed Backflow-Prevention Valves in all my co2 lines to prevent this from happening.
I use a manifold that has 4 valves on it and just turn all the gas lines off,then switch. But, I've made the mistake of not doing it and had to replace and clean later. Duh...

Where'd you get the backflow preventers? I may have to check Morebeer.

(edit)
here's what I have.
https://www.morebeer.com/products/ga...d-4-brass.html

Last edited by K-Spaz; 01-14-2019 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:02 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by K-Spaz View Post
I use a manifold that has 4 valves on it and just turn all the gas lines off,then switch. But, I've made the mistake of not doing it and had to replace and clean later. Duh...

Where'd you get the backflow preventers? I may have to check Morebeer.
McMaster-Carr
https://www.mcmaster.com/6079t56
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bashcraft View Post
Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:22 PM
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I will be soon but not yet.
The prices on them seem way high to me. A mini fridge is 2-300 but when it becomes a kegerator the price doubles? Why? Even used.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ny32182 View Post
I will be soon but not yet.
The prices on them seem way high to me. A mini fridge is 2-300 but when it becomes a kegerator the price doubles? Why? Even used.
for Homebrew I built my own using a small chest freezer but that's not reasonable if you're going to be using commercial half kegs. You simply can't lift them up and into the thing. I think the big reason why they are so much more money is because they are substantially more robust to be able to withstand 150 lb kegs being banged around into them. Your Cheapo mini-fridge ain't going to take that.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:51 PM
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I keg the wine I make (corny kegs), beats the hell out of bottling. Only for my table wines though, stuff that needs to age for 2 or more years gets bottled. Lines fully disassemble and are easy to clean, but Spaz is right, they are cheap enough to be throw-aways. You put argon on wine to keep the oxygen off it & it will last months with no deterioration in the taste or color.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ny32182 View Post
I will be soon but not yet.
The prices on them seem way high to me. A mini fridge is 2-300 but when it becomes a kegerator the price doubles? Why? Even used.
Costco has a decent inexpensive one.
https://www.costco.com/Danby-5.4-cu-...100420322.html
and this price is delivered to your door
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DJ_Critterus View Post
As long as you don't break the lines, they stay clean, but you still need to clean them often. different beers like different CO2 pressures. Jsut gotta mess with it to see what works.

Don't leave the CO2 on unless you are using it or the keg will absorb it and the beer will get foamy every time you pull the handle.
Actually turning the co2 off will cause your beer to go flat. if left that way to long. Once you tap the keg and set your pressure (depending on the style of your beer) you leave it alone. It keeps the beer fresh for several weeks. Mine never absorbs the co2 or causes the beer to change flavor or be foamy.
Or are you saying you turn yours on and off daily?? Which may not matter if done that way I dont think.
Normally foam is caused by a bad regulator, not enough beer line (6 ft minimum) co2 setting to high or too warm of a temperature. Mine pours at a chilly 29-30 degrees with about a half inch head.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by maugust24 View Post
Actually turning the co2 off will cause your beer to go flat. if left that way to long. Once you tap the keg and set your pressure (depending on the style of your beer) you leave it alone. It keeps the beer fresh for several weeks. Mine never absorbs the co2 or causes the beer to change flavor or be foamy.
Or are you saying you turn yours on and off daily?? Which may not matter if done that way I dont think.
Normally foam is caused by a bad regulator, not enough beer line (6 ft minimum) co2 setting to high or too warm of a temperature. Mine pours at a chilly 29-30 degrees with about a half inch head.
I kept mine about 32deg but the beer wouldn't go flat if I turned off the C02. Remember, it already has some in the keg keeping it pressurized. If I left it on, the beer would be nothing but foam after a week or so and I kept it regulated to not pour too fast or foamy even with a fresh keg that hadn't settled.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by K-Spaz View Post
for Homebrew I built my own using a small chest freezer but that's not reasonable if you're going to be using commercial half kegs. You simply can't lift them up and into the thing. I think the big reason why they are so much more money is because they are substantially more robust to be able to withstand 150 lb kegs being banged around into them. Your Cheapo mini-fridge ain't going to take that.
Ok that makes some sense...
I was thinking of going the cheap-chest-freezer route at first as well; get one big enough to hold, say two carboys, or two corny kegs and CO2, and then it could start off as a fermentation chamber/cold crasher/or serving kegerator as needed.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DJ_Critterus View Post
As long as you don't break the lines, they stay clean, but you still need to clean them often. different beers like different CO2 pressures. Jsut gotta mess with it to see what works. Don't leave the CO2 on unless you are using it or the keg will absorb it and the beer will get foamy every time you pull the handle.
The beer lines need replaced regardless if they are cleaned or not. They'll start picking up off flavors if you don't.

The Beer only dissolves (absorbs) as much CO2 as you put to it. This is why there's a regulator. If you increase the pressure, the CO2 dissolves into the beer more. That is also linked to alcohol content. Higher ABV results in more CO2 absorbtion. For instance, to carbonate a beer, 9-11 psi is fine. But to carbonate soda which is 0% alcohol, you'll need to turn it up to 30-40psi. Another factor is temperature. Colder liquids will absorb more CO2, warmer will accept less.

Any time the pressure is lower than the carbonating pressure, the beer will get flatter. Any time it is higher, it'll become more foamy.
Originally Posted by maugust24 View Post
Actually turning the co2 off will cause your beer to go flat. if left that way to long.
Only if it leaks.
Once you tap the keg and set your pressure (depending on the style of your beer) you leave it alone. It keeps the beer fresh for several weeks.
Years...
Mine never absorbs the co2 or causes the beer to change flavor or be foamy.
Well, it does but I'll let this alone.
Or are you saying you turn yours on and off daily?? Which may not matter if done that way I dont think.
Irrelevant unless there's leaks, which there should not be.
Normally foam is caused by a bad regulator, not enough beer line (6 ft minimum) co2 setting to high or too warm of a temperature. Mine pours at a chilly 29-30 degrees with about a half inch head.
Not a bad regulator, just one set wrong for that beer.

The 6' rule is really misunderstood. The distance is used for additional friction to reduce the orifice pressure at the tap. Reason being is you want more pressure to actually carbonate the beer, but if the pressure is too high, it comes out too fast, degassing the beer and making all foam. This is exasperated with higher alcohol beers. With a higher abv beer, it'll actually absorb more CO2 and requires less pressure to do so. So those beers do not require that additional line length IF they are the only beer on because you can lower the pressure and dispense them slower while keeping them carbonated.

Another thing to consider is if you have a tap system that's not in use constantly, that system will have faucets which assume room temp and to cool them, beer gets warmed as it's poured. That causes LOTS of foam on the first beer, while beers poured immediately after have less foam because they are going through a faucet that's already been cooled down. Why someone hasn't made a faucet with lower mass and better insulation is a mystery to me.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:09 AM
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Not for me - I like enjoying and trying new beers on a continuous basis.

Plus most of our local independent brewers have crowlers now, which greatly increases the ability to take different beers home.
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