The Ins & Outs of a Kegerator

Beer is best when served fresh, cold, and on draft. Half the cost of canned and bottled of beer, kegged beer is a cost-efficient way to enjoy your favorite beverage. A kegerator makes this enjoyment possible, and depending on your beer buying frequency, can paying for itself in just a matter of months. It’s kegonomics, really.

Kegerator Anatomy

Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of this aptly named beer dispenser.

Components & Tools Used in Assembly

If you purchase a complete kegerator, all components and tools necessary for assembly will be provided for you.

However, if you’re building your own custom kegerator, you’ll need to be sure you have the following components and tools:

Assembly

Attaching Regulator
Regulator Attached
Kegerator Before You Attach Your Keg
Kegerator with Keg Attached

Assembling your Kegerator is not as hard as you may think. By following these 10 easy steps, you’ll be ready to pour your first beer.

  1. The first step is to connect the Co2 regulator to the cylinder. Be sure to securely tighten the tank nut to prevent gas leaks.
  2. Next, you’ll need to attach the Co2 gas tubing to the Co2 regulator outlet nipple, securing it with a clamp.
  3. You will then need to connect the other side of the Co2 gas tubing to the inlet nipple on the keg coupler, also securing it with a clamp.
  4. Once both ends of the Co2 tubing are connected, you will need to open the CO2 cylinder to ensure that there are no leaks.
  5. Next, you will need to set the Co2 output pressure to 12 PSI, which will accommodate most keg beers, with exceptions of course. Co2 pressure and beer line length may vary dependent on the brand of beer, style of beer, temperature and altitude where being served.
  6. After the pressure is set, tighten the lock nut on the pressure adjusting screw to prevent unwarranted tampering with the setting.
  7. Next, turn the shut off lever down to align with the gas tubing. This will allow the gas to start flowing.
  8. Then, align the beer line hex nut to the keg coupler, connecting using a neoprene washer, before connecting to the keg. Connect the other end of the beer line to the faucet.
  9. At this point, the keg coupler should be in the untapped handle up position. Put the coupler into the keg valve and lock it in by turning it clockwise.
  10. Lastly, pull the keg coupler handle down, beginning the flow of beer. The beer will fill the beer line up to the faucet, ready to be dispensed.

The Temperature

Temperature is absolutely crucial when dispensing draft beer, and problems will arise if it is not correct. Before placing a keg in your kegerator, be sure to give it time to cool down to 38°F. Also, be sure to check the temperature of your unit periodically, ensuring there are no severe temperature fluctuations taking place. This will help ensure a perfect pour every time.

The Pour

Speaking of the pour, this step of beer dispensing is more important than many people realize. Here are the steps to a perfect pour:

EdgeStar Kegerator
  1. First start with a clean glass, hold the glass at a 45° angle about an inch below the faucet. Do not allow the faucet to touch the glass.
  2. Then, open the faucet completely and quickly, letting beer flow freely.
  3. When the glass is half full, bring it up to an upright position.
  4. Complete the pour by allowing the beer to flow straight down the center of the glass.
  5. You can ensure the proper release of Co2 by producing a ¾ to 1” head of foam at the top of the beer.
  6. Lastly, close the faucet completely in one quick, swift motion.

The Upkeep

One of the easiest and best ways to maintain the quality of your draft beer is to clean your draft beer lines and equipment regularly. For residential kegerator use, it’s best to clean your lines and equipment after each keg. For commercial applications, you’ll want to follow state regulations.

Maintenance Info You Should Read:

Whether you are a self-proclaimed brew enthusiast or you simply enjoy a pint of beer after a long day at work, a kegerator is a savvy investment that will enhance your beer drinking experience two-fold. Save yourself the money and time spent on your daily beer run and start enjoying the fresh, cold taste of draft beer right in the comfort of your own home.

Jeff Flowers

About Author

Jeff Flowers has been a self-described beer geek for over a decade now. When he's not chasing his daughter around, you can usually find him drinking a fresh brew and wasting too much of his time on both Google+ & Twitter.

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