There comes a time in every homebrewer's life when he gets sick of washing bottles, and he decides to start kegging his beer. I say "his," but let's face it, probably 95% of homebrewers are men. Which also leads to the fact that men want a "man cave," and man cave + beer keg = kegerator. And, we're not just talking about a refrigerator with a keg in it; we're talking about a tap in the door.
Of course, you could buy a kegerator, but what's the fun in that? Homebrewers are, by definition, DIY guys, and you can convert a refrigerator into a kegerator for less than $100 (soda kegs and CO2 tank not included, but those can be readily purchased on the cheap on eBay).
And so, a photo essay, as Your Author builds a kegerator!
|Behold, a refrigerator, purchased for $100 off craigslist. Price did not include renting an appliance dolly to haul it 3 blocks, nor the cost in waking up Dr. P from her Saturday morning slumber to help me haul it...|
|The necessary hardware: food grade plastic tubing, tap, shank, nipple, hose clamps, keg connector, drill drip tray, measuring tape.|
|Measure twice, drill once. Because of the interior configuration of the door, the tap has to be a little off-center.|
|The sheet metal exterior of a most refrigerators is pretty thin; you can cut through it with a 12-volt cordless power drill and a 1" spade bit.|
|Beyond the sheet metal is foam, and then...|
|The plastic interior panel of the door.|
|A nice souvenir!|
|Secure that shank!|
|Now we have to fit the hose on the nipple that will screw onto the end of the shank. The nipple is quite tight, so this actually required a goodly degree of force.|
|A nut fits over the nipple...|
|...and screws onto the end of the shank.|
|The interior hardware is now finished.|
|Now we attach the tap to the outside of the door. There's a little gasket that goes between them.|
|The tap has little teeth to help line it up...|
|And a special wrench to secure it. If you want to get fancy, the handle screws off and can be customized.|
|To keep the floor from getting sticky, we'll put a drip tray under the tap. Make sure a glass will fit under the tap!|
|Make sure it's level...|
|Screw in the screws...|
|And hang the tray. Finished! Now all we need is a keg of beer!|