The very basic equipment set up for beer brewing will not include a kegerator. Most brewers new to beer brewing will start off bottling their brew. However, at some point, you may want to consider kegging your beer, as this is a step many home brewers graduate to at some point in their beer brewing experience. It is a level of advancement in beer brewing, and you can’t be a beer brewing snob if you don’t have a kegerator. What exactly are the advantages of using a kegerator?
One advantage is you can always have beer ready to go whenever you want. It can be an easier method of delivering beer, especially when you have a gathering of friends. A kegerator not only keeps your brew cold, but also carbonates your beer. There are basically three types of kegerators available to home brewers.
Under the counter units, which as the name implies, can be added to or built into a counter or cabinet.
There are also stand alone units, which allow for mobility and more options as far as where in your home you want it to be. There are also outdoor units perfect for the backyard. These units are especially for outside use and are extra durable. Kegerators can be made of stainless steel to protect them from the elements outside. But these are great choices to add to your backyard for parties and cookouts.
You don’t necessarily have to purchase any expensive kegerators. You can look online at sites like Craigslist or eBay for used kegerators, or, you can build your own. This is yet another example of a DYI project within the beer brewing community. Simply take an old refrigerator and get a conversion kit.
These kits will turn your fridge into a kegerator and allow you to enjoy fresh, delicious home brew on tap without having to spend too much money. A little effort pays off–you turn the fridge into a home beer system. This project isn’t too hard to do, you can customize it, and you now have a fridge that can serve many purposes. The choice you make will certainly depend on your budget, circumstances and needs. However, this addition is a very nice upgrade and takes you deeper into the beer brewing experience.
Here are some important tips if you are thinking about going with a kegerator. Over time, a kegerator can save you money. Instead of having to buy bottles, you can use the kegerator to store your beer. Plus, you save on storage space. The typical half keg home brewers use can hold up to 15 gallons of beer, which is the equivalent of 6 cases of beer.
If you are hosting a party, this makes it much easier to distribute beers. There is no need to have to go get another case of beer every so often. Plus, kegs are easily portable. In addition, all you home brew will be kept cold, so it is ready to go whenever you want. No need for coolers or taking up space on your fridge. Even if you have a kegerator, you still have the flexibility to also bottle your beer. After all, you will still have some of those around anyway, so you now have options when beer brewing.
Once you decide to go with kegs as opposed to bottles, it is important to become completely familiar with your system. You will want to ensure that you properly clean and maintain your system, so that your kegerator will faithfully serve you for years to come. Some may look at the expense of a kegerator and decide it is not for them. If you are new to beer brewing, you will not likely start off kegging your beer. You have other things that are a priority such as determining if beer brewing is a hobby you would like to continue to pursue, and mastering the basics of beer brewing.