Maybe you don't want to build a keezer. After all, it is more expensive and you have to do a little woodworking – not everyone's cup of tea.
Plus a lot of guys have an old fridge in the garage just itchin' to be turned into a kegerator. Like my buddy Forrest.
Watch the video below where us knuckleheads convert his fridge into a kegerator.
Parts for the Refrigerator to Kegerator Conversion
What did ya think of the video? Pretty simple, right? Once you have the parts in hand the build itself is really a breeze. Here's what you need.
The Draft System
This is basically everything other than your keg and CO2 tank. Here's the kit from Kegerator.com that we used for the conversion:
I like the kit because it includes all the little pieces I need so I won't forget something. Here's what's included, and what you'll need to buy separately if you choose to not go with the kit:
- CO2 regulator
- Gas tubing
- Sanke “D” keg coupler (note: Want to use your fridge for both homebrew and commercial beer? Watch this video on how to convert a sanke keg to ball lock)
- PVC spacers for the shanks
- 4.5″ shank with locknut, flange, coupling nut, and snap ring
- Beer faucet
- Tap handle
- Drip tray
- Faucet wrench (don't forget this – you'll need it & nothing else works)
Additional things you'll need NOT included in the kit:
- A sanke keg (usually picked up at the liquor store) or a homebrew “corny” keg; here's the difference between corny and sanke kegs
- 5 lb. CO2 tank
- Any other bells and whistles, like a “Tee” or CO2 manifold if you want to run gas to multiple kegs.
Drilling the holes
Don't rush into drilling the holes in your fridge. Take the time to plan out everything – where you want your tap handles, how many you want, where you will keep your CO2 tank (outside or inside), and what lines you will have running into the fridge.
Most people put their taps on the door but you may want to go in through the side. Or even if your taps are on the door, you may want to drill a hole in the side for your CO2 line.
(And please be more careful with drilling than Forrest was. He has little regard for his fingers.)
Here are some crucial tips for where to drill:
- The gist is – 1) Find the coils, 2) Don't drill where the coils are
- Search online for the schematics of your fridge. They should show you where the coils are.
- You're almost always safe drilling through the door. Just be careful of wires if you have any electronics on the door (like a digital readout).
- Search for the model number on Google along with “kegerator.” Someone's probably converted it before.
- Spread a mixture of cornstarch and alcohol on the ridge. Then turn it on. The mixture will dry the fastest where the coils are.
- Drill a test hole on the inside first – just enough to crack the plastic. Then take a nail and poke around for coils.
- We drilled using a 1-1/8″ hole saw, similar to this one. The manual says what size to use.
- If you have a freezer compartment above your fridge, factor that in when you're placing your tap handles. It's really common for brewers to accidentally block their freezer door with tall tap handles.
The thing I like about this project is that you can ease into it. You can still keg your beer and use the fridge without having to go through all this efforts. You would just use a picnic tap and open the door to the fridge every time you want a beer.
Then, when you're ready, you can do this conversion to add the tap handles.
Hooray for draft beer at home!