I have a Beverage Air. It’s done right, this one looks very questionable.
What’s the interior dimensions? Is it big enough to hold at least a 5 lb. CO2 tank AND the 1/2 keg, cause a wimpy 2.5 aint gonna cut it sports fans. More after market expense. (I use a 10 lb.) Looking at the open door interior pic posted at the Nostalgia link, there aint enough room for a mug!
I guaranty the thermostat will suck. It’s either gonna be too cold or too warm. FIX - buy an external Johnson or Rogers thermostat with thermocouple. Run/tape the thermocouple inside, set the temp for 35F, set the box’s thermostat on high, plug the box into the external thermostat dual plug which plugs into the wall. Viola, perfect temps. More after market expense…
Tower must be insulated or you’ll have major sweating and warmer beer.
Follow my recommendations and you’ll have decent results. Use as is and you’ll be in trouble.
I own this kegorator. Same brand, looks identical. I would have to check and see if it has the same model number on it. Hopefully they made some upgrades compared to when I bought it. I have done about 5 kegs with it, never without frustration. Finding a place to fill the CO2 tank was a pain. I did a welding/gas supply shop the first time, then I found a paint ball shop that was much less of a drive for me. The CO2 tank tended to run down pretty quickly, but I could never find a leak. The regulator that came with it was terrible and always ended up with foamy beer, even with pouring correctly. I took the regulator in to a local brewer store who has supplies for people to do their own keg setups as well. They said that the regulator that came with it wasn’t quality and set me up with a better one. The kegs after that were marginally better after that, but still not perfect. The fridge will not hold a Blue Moon keg, as they have a ridge on the outside that makes them too big, so don’t expect to hold a Miller/Coors full size keg.
If you get one of these invest in a kit to clean the lines. I have to replace mine, as I didn’t get them cleaned out the last time I used it.
The beer was very cold for me, so I have no complaints on that. If you prefer some beers at different temperatures though, you won’t have luck with that.
Even working as poorly as it did, coming out with too much head, people were still impressed by the fridge!
Exactly what I said. You have a box that’s too small and crappy components that requires too many pricey work-arounds.
You get what you pay for.
There’s another caveat nobody has talked about - unloading. 1/2 kegs weigh about 170 lbs. You’ll need 2 strong men to unload it from a pickup. I do it solo, well…me and my tractor’s bucket to get it off the bed and to the back door!
Everytime I do the math it makes no sense to own this? Am I missing something? Ya, I know it’s supposed to taste better than canned beer but nothing beats the convenience of canned beer. Owning a keg is about 20% more expensive than just drinking out of cans. Not to mention the hassle.
Buyer beware, we bought one of these for my in-laws for Christmas. After 2 regulators (the 2nd replaced under warranty) I went ahead and just bought a nice regulator to replace it.
No matter how low we set the pressure, we couldn’t get rid of the excess foam. When I replaced the regulator with one from my kegerator it worked fine, so I just replaced theirs with one similar to mine and took mine back home.
If you homebrew the appeal is the amount of time you don’t have to spend bottling.
I homebrewed for ten years on and off. Once I built a keezer I realized the task of cleaning and bottling was the one thing that kept me from really enjoying the hobby.
To keep on topic, most “kegerators” are somewhat limiting. On good ones you might get two taps (two on top or one on top and a party tap inside) but the tower is going to mean you can’t avoid a 1/4 of your beer that’s room temp unless you just served.
I just googled “kegerator 2 5 gallon kegs” and first link was for beveragefactory.com which had several pricey options which you might like (they sound pretty nice). However, if you are as cheap as I am you make want to find plans online and build your own from an old fridge/deep freeze (Craigslist, yard sale, etc).
I have been home brewing for about 20 years now. I found the best kegerator is actually a keezer
I took a used 7 foot chest freezer, put a wood apron between the lid and the freezer, and put taps on it. I can get 4 5 gallon cornelius kegs into it, as we a a 5 gallon CO2. I added a distribution system for the CO2.
It was about 2 weeks of work, but I love it. I even put wheels on it to move it around.
All in all, about $250 for the freezer, the parts.
You can find all sorts of how to guides on Youtube and on various home brew boards
I live in a state with bottle deposits, and I have no intention to deal with the headache of returning bottles. A keg saves me 160 cans worth of non-returned deposits. Also, there is cost savings for buying in such bulk. I buy kegs of Sam Adams for $150, which means less than a $1 a beer. You can’t get that rate by buying 6, 12, or 30 racks.
For what it is worth, I bought this exact kegorator about a year ago and have been very pleased. I wrote a review on Amazon, but this thing uses little electricity (400 watts when the compressor kicks on but within 10-15 seconds, its down to 80 watts). The compressor is a little loud, but it’s a minimal design as there are no fans. The case of the kegorator is the actual heat sink.
It keeps my beer at 3-4 degrees C, and I have the temperature knob in the halfway point.
It comes with a 2.5lb tank but I swapped that out with a 5lb tank. The 5lb tank is good for ~6-8 half barrel kegs.
Here is a tip for people complaining about going through their CO2 fast. When you are all set, take a day to just leak check the lines. Screw in the CO2 tank and open her up and pressurize the lines. The regulator will show you both PSI of the tank side and line side. After the lines are up to pressure, turn off the CO2 tank. Let the lines sit for a day and see if the pressure drops due to small leaks. When I first got this, I did this test and realized I didn’t screw everything down tight enough and I lost the pressure in the lines within 6 hours. I went back, tighten everything down and did the check again. After 24 hours, I lost no pressure and I knew I was good to go. You might think a leak slow enough to lose pressure in the lines over 6 hours isn’t that big of a deal, but over a year that really adds up.
My only true complaint with this kegorator is a mold issue I am having with the tap handle itself. No matter what I do, it keeps growing mold after the keg has been flowing for a month or so. I even took star san and cleaned the lines and handle, let it air dry for a month, and star saned it again and I still got mold growing back.
Mold doesn’t kill you, but the first pour may have this blueish looking film floating on top of the beer. I wonder how many bars have mold like this!
I’ve had this kegerator for about 5 years now. You will need to tinker with it a bit, just throwing a Keg in there and expecting a perfect pint won’t happen. Some of the modifications I did was #1 - Lengthen beer lines to about 10’. #2 Switch out the stock faucet to a Perlick. #3 I adjusted the thermostat settings so I would get a lower temperature than the stock “max cold” setting. #4 Better insulate the tower to help prevent that first pour of foam due to warmth.
Lots of info online on how to do all this. Good luck!
I’ve had 2 kegerators (not this brand) and a converted fridge one. The biggest common problems with the freestanding mini setups like this (it’s the same with all the brands under $1000):
Won’t cool down below 40 degrees
First beer is foamy
Every beer is foamy
#1, there’s always an adjustment for the thermostat, you just have to search the web for isntructions, these things can get to 40 or below with an ambient temp of 90 degrees (i.e. in your garage). #2) The tower gets warm, so the first 5 ounces of beer is foamy. Solution? Put a 6 ounce glass next to the keg, fill that with foam first, then your other pints for the night will be fine. Or, buy a pitcher and fill that, you’ll get 2 inches of foam on your 8 inches of beer, by the time you go to the pitcher for round 2, everything will be settled.
#3 is because the beer line supplied is 4.5-5 feet long, and should be closer to 7 feet (the beer line settles and smooths the flow, longer is less foamy, one of mine was closer to 10 feet). This requires buying 10 feet of beer line and maybe some connectors, about $20-30 at various sites.
The regulators on all of these are crap, you can get a starter 2 gauge regulator for around $50.
Considering the standard competitors to this are running closer to $500, getting this one and dropping $100 on upgrades will be cheaper, and get you a MUCH better final setup.
I’m a homebrewer, I keg and I’m serious about it. These little fridges are nice due to their size but keep in mind that is really the only reason to get one like this. If you are handy at all (can run a drill, change your oil, or replace a kitchen faucet) and have the space I would highly recommend getting something else.
It’s pretty easy to find an old fridge on craigslist (often free) and then read the many many ways to turn it into a kegerator. This website has loads of info: