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
- 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!!!!