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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > NooB keg advice requested
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:48 AM   #1
duskb
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Default NooB keg advice requested

I've been snooping around the local classifieds looking for a used mini kegerator in the $200-$300 range. Well, I happened across a Guiness Draught Kegerator BM23 by BeverageAir for about $700 that seems in good shape and the seller sounds "motivated". I looked it up and the retail on these things are way up there but $700 seems like alot for me to spend just for a place to store my brew.

So, since you folks have the experience is it wise (or worth it) for a humble home brewer like me to "over-invest" in a system like this or will one of those cheaper kegerator models from the local "big box store" suffice?

In my field (pro audio) you get what you pay for...cheap gear blows chunks...by the same token will the average guy get the benefits of a box like this?

Thoughts?

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Old 08-01-2008, 02:57 AM   #2
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I have a True Brand 3 keg kegerator which I got for a great prize.

Is it better than al en cheapo - depends on the mission, the commercial units have big compressors so they get stuff colder much faster - that also means the are noisy and use more power so they cost more to run.

The commerical units can be repaired rather than replaced, but the parts are expensive.

This unit would be ready to run out of the truck, rather than needing to build a collar or something - again depends on if you like building stuff or not...

Would this unit out perform an el cheapo out on the deck or hot garage - sure, will it be load in your living room - probably. Just gotta decide if thats bragging fodder for your buddies or b*tching material for the wife.

In short its a great heavy duty unit, sort of like buying a big 1 ton diesel truck instead of a Honda Accord, one will last forever, haul anything you want, but use a lot of fuel, be hard to park and bounce you around, and the other will be cheap to operate, easy to park, and when it wears out you just throw it away.

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Old 08-01-2008, 03:16 AM   #3
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Before you go dropping that kind of dime on a commercial unit...investigate some DIY projects. They're not that difficult and can usually be built for less than $250...including tower and taps.

IMO, $700 is way too much for a kegerator. They are simple devices.

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Old 08-01-2008, 03:18 AM   #4
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You know Guinness uses stout taps, right?

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Old 08-01-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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my brewing partner pickles picked up a 4 keg, 4 tap commerical unit a little while back with a new compressor for less than 500. search your craigslist and local ads for used bar equipment. my cousin gave me a perfectly fine, great shape fridge for $0 that will hold 5 pin-locks. can't get much better than that. plus open shelves for rinsed yeasties plus freezer for slants!!
may not be as sexy as a commerical unit, but you wouldn't want one of those in your living area, as they are commerical, and produce sound as such.

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Old 08-01-2008, 04:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers View Post
You know Guinness uses stout taps, right?
I don't and to be honest I'm not even sure what that means. I emailed the guy before I knew what the price was (wasn't posted) and explained I was just looking for a simple kegerator. Apparently this thing is 'da bomb' and more than I need.

FWIW I know I can get all the parts to build something relatively simply and believe me I LOVE to build stuff but I've reached a point in my life where I'm so overwhelmed with stuff that I NEED to do that I never seem to have the time to do the stuff I LIKE to do (I'm sure you can relate). If I plop $300-$400 on a kegerator it's not really a big deal to me, per se, as long as it's not going to be another science experiment waiting to be done by me. I'm open to finding a good one used though, I recognize the value of a dollar when I see it. Somewhere in between is the middle ground that I need to discover...

Oh and BTW, going with the deisel truck analogy, I really don't need something that insane (I think). The wife would make me keep it outside. It has to look legit in the home. A stainless steel rice burner is ok with me.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:37 AM   #7
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Stout taps are intended for nitrogen serving systems and will only make a frothy mess out of force carbonated beer pushed with CO2. If that kegerator's sole purpose was to serve Guinness, you'll have to replace the tap(s) and any gas fittings. Regardless of the kegerator you buy, you'll have to do a minor amount of work to get it to serve from ball lock and/or pin lock kegs.

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Old 08-01-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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I won't tell you how to spend your money, but bev air is a commercial quality unit and should serve you well for years to come.

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:03 AM   #9
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I love my beverage air BM23 built a lot better than commercial kegerators you can buy new for $500-700. It can hold up to four corney kegs. However to serve from 4 corny kegs at a time you're going to need to put a new tower on and I believe the hole is only 2.5 inches stock. I would thoroughly inspect unit if it's $700 to make sure it's in excellent condition. Mine is a little noisy when the compressor runs but not much more than any other fridge.

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:05 AM   #10
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if I were you, I would just keep an eye on craigslist. I just picked up a second Sanyo 4912 for $50. Just my .02

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