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Old 02-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Kegerator - Buy or Make?

Hi all,

I am in the planning stages of building a kegerator out of a mini-fridge. I've targeted this fridge for conversion due to it's size, price, and free shipping. I basically want a draft tower with two faucets, drip-tray, and 5lb CO2 tank. I'd like to have the option to tap a 1/6 keg as well as Cornies.

I also came across this pre-built kegerator for basically twice as much money. It also has free shipping and comes with all the goods (CO2 tank, regulator, coupler, beer lines, air lines, tap, tower, drip tray, faucets and faucet handles).

My question is, will I save any money by building my own kegerator out of the mini-fridge I listed above? I don't have a hole saw rated for plastic (just wood, drywall, etc) so would the cost in tools and all of the additional things I would need to purchase add up to the $300 difference?

Thanks.

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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I have a similar dilemma and I look forward to hearing what others say about this. Build your own or buy completed?

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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I've personally never done a tower conversion with a mini-fridge, but just doing quick math the fridge you're looking at is $288.99 and a 2 tap tower conversion kit from Micromatic with CO2 tank is $273.90 + shipping, probably around $15. You're looking at about a $580 investment to build you own. I'm all about DYI, but in this case I don't think it would be worth it.

Now, if you can find a used fridge and/ or kegerator parts it might be worth it. Just my opinion.

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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I would think for 300 you could convert that other one with very nice equipment including stainless perlick faucets in stead of chrome.

A hole saw is cheap too. co2 tank and all the lines can be had for well under 100 depending on size.

It would be close but you would get a better product in the end built your way.

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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If you buy that Sanyo for $300, I think buying the completed kegerator will be cheaper. Keep in mind you'll need to swap out the sanke fittings for corny fittings.

The big advantage on the DIY route is that you can choose the components. I did a stainless steel tower, perlick 525ss, taprite dual output regulator. I think I paid around $320 for my setup excluding the kegs and fridge. Plus $180 for my fridge and then the hole saw, plywood, spray foam, adhesive, etc. Maybe $40 in ancillaries. I guess total was still under $600.

Advantages of DIY
Get to choose components
Cheaper

Disadvantages
Void fridge warranty by drilling it
Takes time to build
Commercial kegerators generally have more room inside

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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^^^^^Pretty much sums it up. Another advantage is simply the DIY factor. I get a lot of pride when people see my keezer and say they love it and I get to tell them I built it. My wife is more thrilled to show it off sometimes than I am!

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
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I would rec'd DIY, but then again we got a similar fridge (if not the same one) for $75 off of craigslist. Just the process of building a dual-tap tower kegerator from scratch was part of the appeal for us. Like Brewnoob1 said, it's about pride in your work. But saving a few bucks can be part of it too...

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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I would certainly enjoy building it myself. Can anyone link a really good tutorial on how to do this (mini-fridge, 2 faucet tower) for me?

I plan to (eventually) have a nitro tap so I am guessing I'll have to have the gas tanks outside the kegerator. A tutorial illustrating this arrangement would be excellent.

Thanks.

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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I'm currently building my own and it's quite fun and I should be done within the next day or two. My wife purchased a Holiday 5.0 chest freezer from Lowes for Christmas and had my Dad build the collar. I painted the collar white to match and the black is actually chalkboard paint so that I can write what the beer is as I'm planning on having 2 taps. Here are some pics of my progress thus far....

Picture of collar painted and installed:


2 homebrew kegs with room for tank and another keg where 6 pack is.


Picture of all the parts...

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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I did the Frigidaire 4.4 from Lowe's. There's a big thread on it. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/frig...ght=frigidaire

I don't see your location, but if you're near Philadelphia, I still have some plywood, spray foam, and the hole saw from my build.

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