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Fridge Kegerator

FYI - You can turn basically any refrigerator into a kegerator with a minimal amount of time and effort.  Check out the newly added pictures and instructions below for more information.

 

After my Sanyo 2-tap kegerator died on me after a bad flood, I needed a new kegerator since four beers on tap just wouldn't be enough.  I ended up finding this fridge on Craigslist that looked like it would hold a good number of kegs.  The guy was looking for $80 or a trade for a dorm fridge, which worked out great since I had a small fridge I wasn't using.

 

So after hauling this huge beast into my basement, I drilled out the door and mounted my shanks and taps.  I decided to put the taps as high up on the door as I could while still being able to open the freezer door.  The freezer comes in handy to make ice in trays and store hops.  For labels, I took some inspiration from the tap handle project and used playing card sleeves with magnetic tape on the back.  This way I can use the same label template I made and be able to clearly determine what beer is on tap where.

 

UPDATE 3/14/2017:  The fridge kegerator is still up and running.  The compressor seems to run more often than it should, but it's still keeping beer & hops cold and making ice.  I've added a few pictures below showing my hops stored in the freezer portion as well as what the inside of the freezer looks like.  This should help to show the placement of the shanks as well as the rest of the tubing and gas inside the kegerator. 

Parts

 

     

 

    

 

Build Process

 

Drill Holes for Your Beer Shanks - Look inside the door of your fridge and see if there is a good location where you can drill without having to modify the molding.  Some people like to remove the inner door panel and cover the area with a flat piece of moisture-resistant material.  This may also be necessary depending on how your kegs fit inside the fridge.  Mark your holes with a piece of painters tape after measuring to make sure they are equal distances apart and there is enough room for the plastic surround on the shank.  Using a step drill bit , drill a 1" hole through the fridge door and then into the inner-portion of the fridge.  NOTE: There shouldn't be any water or coolant lines running through the door of your fridge, but you should double-check just in case before you start drilling anything.

 

Install Shanks - Slid your shanks through the holes in the fridge door and screw down the fastening nut on the inside of the shank.  Make sure the nut is tight, but do not over-tighten to where you may crack the inner fridge molding.  As you can see from the picture below, sometimes you have to add a little reinforcement in the way of a chunk of spare wood.

 

 

Attach Beer Tubing & Quick Disconnects - Once your shanks are installed, it's time to get your beer tubing and quick disconnects attached.  You'll need 5-6 feet of 3/16" ID beverage tubing  per line on your kegerator.  This provides a balanced kegging system when dispensed at 10-12 PSI.  To make inserting the tubing onto the shank barb and quick disconnect barb, a trick I've used over the years is to have a small glass of hot water that you dip the end of the tubing into in order to make it more soft.  After you've dunked your tubing into the hot water for a few seconds, place a hose clamp over the end of the tube, work the tube over the barb, and then tighten the clamp.  Be sure not to over-tighten the hose clamp, as that will cause the clamp to dig into the tubing.  Perform the same on the quick disconnect(s)  and the remaining shanks in your kegerator.

 

Attach the Faucet(s) to Shank(s) - Using a faucet wrench , attach your faucet to the shank and make sure it's straight.  Be sure the grooves on the faucet line up with the grooves on the shank before tightening down too much.

 

 

Build CO2 System - If you have more than one keg on tap, you'll probably want to buy a CO2 manifold.  These come with check-valves that prevent beer from running back into the CO2 lines if there happens to be an issue with negative pressure.  The layout of your fridge kegerator will determine if you can store your CO2 inside or outsize your fridge.  I would suggest inside if you have the space.  That way you don't need to try and find a spot to drill into the back or side of your fridge and potentially hit a coolant line.

 

 

Customize as Needed - You may need to make modifications to your fridge in order to get everything to fit as you want.  For example, in the image above, I had to build a small shelf with angled legs in order for me to fit kegs on top of the compressor hump in the back of my my fridge.  This can easily be done using spare wood and some screws.  Other modifications may include removing portions of the fridge door, adjusting shelves, using a bracket to attach the fridge & freezer doors (used if you want to use regular size tap handles that would be knocked open when opening the freezer door), or any number of other small things.  Every fridge and kegerator is different, so this part is completely up to you.  FYI - The freezer portion of your fridge is great for storing hops and making extra ice for mixed drinks.

 

 

 

Test the System - I usually like to test out a system with a keg of sanitizer before running any beer through it.  Fill a keg with a few gallons of sanitizer, pressurize at 30 PSI to seal the lid, attach the keg to each one of your faucets, and run the sanitizer through at 10-12 PSI to make sure things are working as expected and there are no leaks.  NOTE:  CO2 lines and connections can be tested with a spray bottle of soapy water.  If your connections bubble up, you know there is a gas leak that needs to be addressed.  If your testing is successful, it's time to put some beer on tap!!!!


Contact Information:  MikeYoungHB at gmail.com


 

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