Kegerator Setup Guide: Do it Right the First Time

“Drink beer, it’s good for you!” Hello and welcome to the video. This is the first part of a two-part series.

Within these guides, I will be showing you step by step how to set up a kegerator.

As per usual, I will include lots of hints and tips. These should prove very useful for any kegerator setup, be it custom-bought or self-built using a regular fridge.

My aim with the guides is to keep them as short in time as possible, but rich in information for each part of the setup, so that you can set things up a stage at a time by playing and pausing the videos as needed.

I would suggest that you watch the entire guide once before actually using it alongside your own setup. I will be demonstrating all of this using the Kirkland Series X, which is a four-tap model, but many of the techniques and methods used here are universal.

During these guides, I will also be looking at various component choices that make up a kegerator and given key information. This guide starts with an empty and unplugged from power kegerator or fridge that has the necessary hole in the top drilled already.

The very first step with purpose-built kegerators is to turn the unit on its side and attach the caster wheels to the bottom of the unit. Even though these are screws, it is often easier to use a socket wrench at least until the screw is loose, as quite often these are bolted on very tightly.

Once you have removed all of these screws, you can then use them to actually attach your wheels. The locking caster wheel should be added to the front of your kegerator, and the regular type is used at the back. Having a kegerator on wheels offers a good level of convenience.

Next, we just add the rail guard, which just slots in place. Having a rail guard is a great finishing touch for a kegerator. These are very much standard on purpose-built kegerators and are highly recommended as an add-on for custom builds.

Let’s now look at beer line tubing. I’m using the UVA barrier type here, which is very hard-wearing, antibacterial, and also very protective of your beer against oxidation, hence why I guess it has barrier in the title.

This UVA barrier can also be used for CO2 and is compatible with duotight and John Guest fittings. These make everything nice and tight and also very fast and easy to assemble.

As you have probably already noticed, this is the four-millimeter type, and I will be cutting the beer line into three-meter lengths to start with using this handy tool that is part of the Series X package. This is a new setup, seeing as it has 4 taps, so it is good to keep options easy and open.”

To start with, for testing, one very important step now is to look at the ends of your lines. Here, you can see that the line on the left is cut off at a diagonal, whereas the line on the right is nice and flat, just the way we need it to be. If you have any lines that have ends like this, then be sure to give them a quick trim before using them.

Next, we have a couple of steps in regards to preparing the tap tower. For me, this starts with giving it a good clean and polish. You will not have as many easy options once it’s mounted, so it’s great to do this beforehand.

Sometimes you might find some tough-to-remove marks or stains, and I would recommend that you use Bar Keepers Friend to remove these. This is super great stuff for anything stainless steel, in fact. Otherwise, a lemon-based cleaner works just nicely for this job.

Following this, experience has taught me to screw into each of the tap tower mounting screw points to ensure that they are clear of obstruction. This applies to self-builds as well as purpose-built kegerators.

As a precaution, this is because sometimes you can have plastic parts that need breaking in and other types of obstruction that are much easier to get around before you add the actual tap tower. This doesn’t take long to do at all, especially if you use a drill, and you can potentially save yourself pain and time.

Next, you can add the screws to each of the bottom holes of the tower and carefully position it to the hole on the top of your kegerator. You might find that some of these screws do not stay in position, but that is always a good head start for screwing these in, which you will do as shown, screwdriver in hand.

Some towers have the screw holes on the outside perimeter, but the four-tap tower is much larger, so they’re on the inside. You are effectively screwing this in based on feel, rather than sight.

But this part should not take longer than a few minutes. One nice thing is that, unlike the smaller tap towers, you have plenty of space to maneuver around in, even if you have large forearms. I would also suggest that you do not tighten these screws fully before you make sure that the tap tower’s orientation is centered.

Let’s now add the beer line and shanks to this tower.

For this step, you start with your shank, as shown. This is the part that connects your beer line to your beer tap. In the past, we’ve added the beer line directly to the end of the shank, which involves heating up the line in very hot water and man-muscling it in place.

A far easier method is available now, where we can simply use a duotype fitting, which securely connects the line to the shank. This is very easily applied, as shown. Now, your beer line is then inserted by pushing in as far as it will go.

After this, pull the other way to ensure that the beer line and the shank are both very well connected to the duotype fitting. Then, you can undo the bolt on the top of the shank and feed it and the plastic piece next to it down your line and remove them both from the line.

Take the opposite end of the line that you just added the shank to and feed it into one of the lower holes in your tap tower. It is important that it’s one of the lower ones, as this will make life a lot easier. Then, inspect the plastic part that you just removed from the shank. It is vital that the curvy, wavy edge is added facing towards the back of the tap tower.

This is added to the line end, as shown, with the nut following it. Once these are both on the line, pull the line to draw the shank end into the tap tower. Once you have done this all the way through, it should look something like this on the outside, whereas the duotype fitting should be within the tap tail, with the hosing coming out of it.

Your task now is to feed the other end of the line into the tap tower and through the hole into the fridge section of your kegerator. Do be careful while you feed your line, as you do not wish to lose the plastic piece and nut down the line.

I tend to wedge them, as shown here, to stop them falling, but this is something to be careful of, as if they actually do fall down the line, you might find it a challenge to retrieve them.

It can certainly be smart to connect and tighten this quickly after the line is sent down. To connect this side and the outer side, you’ll need to match the plastic parts of the curve of the tower, both on the inside and also the outside.

This is the line on the far left side, looking in. Do note that I have set it on a slight angle. This makes attaching the next lines easier.

Follow the same process for all lower lines in your tap tower, first, and then tighten the shank bolts inside securely. For a three-tap tower, this could just be one, though they do vary on how they are arranged.

The inside of my fridge section now looks like this with two lines. This is a great time to start labeling your lines, as they will soon get easily mixed up and harder to verify easily.

There are various ways to do this. Just make sure that whatever you use is going to be resistant to cold and moisture. I’ve used electrical tape an awful lot in the past, but this time, I’m going to use water-resistant labels, which I’m adding on both sides of the line.

When it comes to placement, I like to add them just above the area where the ball lock fitting will be for easy spotting. Having labeling for the lines is very handy, and I would not want to do this without it.

Getting back to our tap tower, this is how things will look once you have two beer lines in place. I would suggest utilizing the space as best you can, so that you can allow for these next two beer lines with enough easy space, so that they can be placed through the bottom hole as easily as possible.

The procedure for these next two beer lines is very similar to before, but I do have some additional recommendations. Firstly, I tighten up the nut on the shank loosely, to avoid the nut and plastic piece from dropping at this stage. If they drop, then it can get pretty crazy.

I then start pushing the beer line into the tower and through the hole. Once I am through the hole from the top, I then open the kegerator door and locate the third line short length, and draw it through from below. Be careful when you do this.

A gentle, smooth action is better than a Rambo grunt grab, in case you create damage. When you feel resistance, then it is time to look up top again. You will now need to undo the shank nut and then re-adjust the shank before re-tightening the shank nut.

This is how things will look after doing this. So now, we just have one line left, and once again, it is important to clear the way for the line as much as you can. I suggest using the same method for the fourth line as you did for the third. Like most things, this would be as easy as the preparation that you give to it before you start the task.

I will also point out that you can do all of this without the tap tower attached. Naturally, this method also has its challenges, though, especially with a four-tap tower and its internal screw fittings.

Once you have all four lines and shanks in, you should now tighten the bolts fully on the top two shanks. Do not add the tap tower lid yet, though, as there is one more step to come before you need to do this.

This is the end of part one. Please now move on to part two video for the rest of the directions.

“Drink beer, it’s good for you! Hello and welcome to the video. This is the second part of the two-part series where I give you a generic step-by-step guide on how to set up a kegerator.

As I suggested with the first guide, I would highly recommend watching this entire guide once before using it alongside your own setup.

Let’s now pick up from where we left off in the first guide. Our next step is to feed the fan hose into our tap tower. This is an important part of your kegerator, as it will aid in issues around foaming. The easiest way to do this is to temporarily remove the hose from the fan; it pulls out pretty easily.

As you can see, you can then just feed this up into the tower. This is actually a very easy step, and you will not meet much resistance. After you have added it, check back on top and make sure you have it where it needs to be.

As I show here, this is not too far up so that it gets stuck on the lip, but far up enough so that the cold air can pump through it and drop from a higher height. This is based on the commonly known fact that hot air rises and cold air drops.

You can then come back down to the fridge section and cut off any excess hose that you don’t need before repositioning the end back into the fan. This is certainly one of the easy tasks here, and you should be able to do this very quickly.

For the next step, let’s now look at mounting your faucets, otherwise known as adding your taps.

In terms of selection, I’ve gone with these new Nuka Tap black faucets.

I love the improvements Nuka Taps offer over the competition, and I also love how stylish these look in black. I have videos on my channel covering all of this, as shown on screen, so if you haven’t already, check them out for the full picture.

My first step is to add this auto-close spring, which is an optional extra. These are very cheap and well worth using. As you can see, these are added with the wider part of the spring going into the shank first.

Then you can add the faucet, ensuring that the spring fits inside, before tightening up the ring on the shank by hand. Do note that this collar needs to be moved in an anti-clockwise direction for tightening. Whilst you do this, hold the faucet as straight as you can.”

This next part really needs a multi-tool. These are usually bundled in with packages. This particular Kegerator version is a seven-in-one tool and is pretty handy stuff. I have highlighted the color spanner part that you need to use with a black circle, and you will find this is used by a variety of different manufacturers.

Using the multi-tool, you can now tighten up the collar while holding the faucet straight. If you don’t get it straight the first time, then just undo the collar a little and try again.

Next comes that very satisfying moment when you screw the handle on. I have gone for this short ball type, which I feel looks very good with the Nuka Tap in general, but especially good on the black model. There are, of course, lots of choices in the market. This is simply the type I favor at the moment.

Skipping ahead now, after following the same procedures with the final two faucets, here is the end result. I’m certainly very pleased with how this looks, but we still have some more to do, so let’s just get straight on with it.

Let’s now finish up the beer lines by adding ball locks. There are effectively a couple of different types of ball lock fittings that you can buy. There are those types with bulbs, as shown on the left, and these screw type fittings, shown on the right.

With the barb type, you will need to heat up the line and then muscle it onto the fitting and then fasten the line with a clip or a clamp.

With the screw type, you simply screw on a duotight fitting and add in the line as far as it will go one way and then give it resistance the opposite way, and you are done. You can also reopen the duotight fitting, and then everything can be removed pretty easily. I will demonstrate all of this shortly.

You can also convert a screw fitting type into a bulb type, should you wish, with an extra attachment, but this flexibility does not exist the other way around. Like many of these days, I favor the screw fitting type, but instead of using one of these plastic models, I am opting for a stainless steel type, as shown on screen.

Now, not only do these look nicer, but they are also going to be much more hard-wearing. So, to my reckoning, it’s better to pay a little more now, but in the end, save money and stress, because these will probably outlive me.

So, let’s get started by screwing in the duotight fitting onto the ball lock. Ensure that it is nice and tight afterwards.

Before adding our lines, it is very important to check that the cut is nice, flat, and clean. If not, then cut it down a little using either a craft knife or a cutting tool like this one, which we’ve provided as part of this kegerator kit.

A couple of my lines actually needed cutting, and this will be a fairly common amount with a kegerator build. We can then finish up by adding the lines into the duotight fittings for each of our ball locks.

The method here is to push the line in as far as it goes and then pull back to ensure a secure connection. While we’re on the topic, when using ball lock connections, it is important to apply keg lube to the o-ring that is on your ball lock post before each use.

Not only will this allow for a nice, easy connection, but it will also increase the ability of the o-ring to give you a good seal. Another great benefit is this also prolongs the life of your o-rings.

To use a ball lock, lift this section up before applying it to your post and your keg. Push down, and it will all click into place. Nice and easy stuff, just how I like it.

Let’s now move on to the setting up of the CO2 element of your kegerator. On most purpose-built kegerators, there will be a section where you can fit a CO2 bottle on the outside, which we will add a little later, and also an entry point.

On this series X, there are two, which are covered by these caps indicated on screen. Now, on some generators, this will be a closable section that will allow one hose through with sealing around it. On the series X, these sections are open and allow ball lock posts to actually be added. So, let’s have a look at that now.

The type that I’m using here is one of the plastic ones that is suitable for adding onto a plastic bottle or a fermzilla. There is a duotight fitting that will fit the end of this and lead straight into your line for CO2, but unfortunately, at the time of filming this, this is something that I do not have, so I’ve put together a workaround solution instead.

To do this, simply feed the cabling in and screw the post cap in place, making sure that it’s nice and tight. This is a feature that I’m surprised has never been done before. Here is how this looks from inside the fridge section at this stage.

Now, there are various different ways of splitting your CO2 into your different kegs, but personally, I like to use a manifold.

The manifold you see here is compatible with duotight fittings, as shown, so let’s get these on now. This step is the same as with the beer lines, they simply screw in place. You will note that this manifold has five outlets. I like the idea of an extra one, you never know when that will come in handy.

The next step is to cut your CO2 lines as you see fit. Personally, I’ve gone with 60-centimeter lengths, which is just a little under 24 inches in imperial measurements. This is more than needed really, but it’s nice to have a little extra to play with.

And like with the beer lines, you can always cut them down if you wish. You simply attach these lines into your manifold, as done previously with the beer lines. I have also added these lines into duotight to the ball lock, as previously shown too.

Here is how this looks with one CO2 line attached, connected to one keg. The manifold can be screwed into place if you like. I will probably leave mine as is, resting on the rear step section.

Let’s now set up our CO2 supply, starting with our regulator. My first step is to remove this bulb to reveal the screw fitting. I can now attach a duotight connector. Once this is on nice and tight, we can then bolt our regulator to our CO2 bottle, and we are almost ready.

I am now connecting my CO2 line that has a gas ball lock connector at the other end, and this now completes the CO2 setup. I really love that this CO2 bottle is now fast to move if I want to use it somewhere else.

Be sure to clean and sanitize everything before using your new setup. I have a full guide to this on my channel, along with other kegerator-related videos, which I hope you find informative and useful.

All there is to do now is add the drip tray and brew some beer to fill your kegs.

If you would like to discuss this or anything else related, then why not head to this YouTube channel’s Facebook group. Details are shown on screen.

If you have not joined yet, we have a friendly and helpful member base of over 8,000 brewers of all levels of experience, from never brewed before to veteran professional.

This now brings this video to a close. If you have any questions, then please let me know via YouTube or Facebook. I do hope that you found this video to be useful, interesting, and enjoyable. If appropriate, then please like this video on YouTube, and if you’ve not done so already, then please subscribe.

Similar Posts