Whether for commercially made beer or for your own home brew, a kegerator is a great way to transport your beer to the party while keeping it cool. If you want to save up on money, you can create your own kegerator using a cooler in the house outfitted with a CO2 cartridge and a faucet. Here’s how.
- Location. Choose the location for the faucet. As much as possible, the location should be near the front and low enough so that you will be able to get the fluid to flow even if the kegerator is running low in beer. Make sure that you apply strips of masking tape over the spot where you will drill. The masking tape will make the hole more defined, and will prevent mess as you drill. Once the tape is in place, use a permanent marker over the tape to define where the hole will be made.
- Drill. A ¼ drill bit should be used to create the hole in the kegerator. Do this slowly, so that the hole will be made even and the edges will not become jagged. Jagged edges can allow leaks in your kegerator, as well as allow heat to enter the kegerator and make your beer warm faster. Once the drill is made, you can remove the masking tape surrounding the hole.
- Shank. Attach a shank in the drilled hole you made. Usually, a 3 and a half inch piece will work well for a hole that has been drilled with a ¼ drill bit. You will need to remove any holes and spaces between the shank and the actual cooler by using tile caulk. A small tub will usually be enough for covering the space in between the two.
- Tubing. Next, connect tubing into the shank. The tubing should be at least four feet in length, but if your cooler is large enough, you can add another extra foot of tubing. The tubing will act as the cooling line that will keep the beer cold. If the tubing is too short, it will not be enough to quickly cool down the liquid beer contents of the cooler.
- Keg. Take your keg and place it inside the cooler. The keg should be fitted at the center of the cooler. Try to wind the tubing around the keg, so that you will not have to deal with folded tubing that can cause disruption in the flow of beer. The keg opening will be attached to the other end of the tube.
- Faucet. Next, attach a faucet into the space in the shank. Choose a faucet that is as large as the shank that you have purchased, so that the fit will be perfect.
- Keg charger. Finally, take a mobile keg charger that makes use of carbon dioxide and attach it to a gas disconnect for the keg. Afterwards release the carbon dioxide. At this point, you can put your own keg in the cooler and add ice from the liquid CO2 generator.
In about half an hour or so, depending on the size of your keg, you will have chilled beer ready to be enjoyed by you and your friends.