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Old 01-28-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
eujamfh
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OK - newbie with a first post but hours and hours of trolling and reading.

First let me thank all those that post so the ones that follow can learn from your successes and…not so successes.

I have been begging, prodding, coaxing my better half to let me start home brewing. She has finally caved!

So in all the research, I am looking at all the projects to come…one which will be dispensing equipment. We currently have a standard one barrel kegerator which I will sell…to small for what I will want to have if I home brew.

My question is simple…although not posed at the front of this post:

Is it better to build a keezer (estimate cost at least $800 for a 6-8 corny set-up) or seek a commercial kegerator from CL? I am in an urban area where restaurant equipment is frequently available on CL. In fact, there is a six tap set up on CL right now for about a grand on a five year old Beverage Air unit.

Obviously cost is everything in this economy…but this is/will be a hobby and cutting corners today and then spending money tomorrow to make up for the cut corners never sits well with me.

Any thoughts from the group? I am leaning on a commercial kegerator. Cost is about the same, units should (SHOULD) last about the same (residential deep freezer verse commercial kegerator) and there is zero labor involved with purchasing a kegerator. Also, if there was a broken mechanical part, commercial units are more readily fixed (albeit at a price). I also like the front door loading aspect.

Please let me know what you think.



 
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:51 AM   #2
kyle6357
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I built my own. It was more fun, plus I could make it custom!



 
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
snaps10
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Most commercial kegerators will be for 1/2bbl (15.5gal) kegs. So a 6 tap will hold 6 1/2bbl kegs. This will be waaaay huge for what we need homebrewing. I imagine you could probably fit 15-20 corny kegs in one. I have a 1953 ColdSpot refrigerator that is a small apartment sized unit. I fit 4 corny kegs exactly on probably 1/6 the footprint of a commercial unit. Don't get me wrong a nice True stainless rig would be sweet, but when you look at the customized keezers and kegerators on here I think you'll find that you'll be happier building your own. Especially if you take as much enjoyment out of the building and customizing as most of us here do.

Just my opinion.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:52 AM   #4
Brulosopher
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Build your own keezer. I've had a commercial kegerator, a homemade kegerator (old standard size fridge), and my current keezer. The latter is by far the coolest and most efficient. I'd never own a kegerator again.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
Fly_Rodder
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After pricing out the parts I wanted to use for my keezer, I dithered between buying a commercial kegorator (I looked at Trues, Summit, Bev Air, etc. as well the lower end ones) and building my own. I eliminated the lower end models because I would replace some of the equipment immediately (faucets) and add temp control. My wife doesn't drink much beer, mostly wine, so it's just me and I can't power through more than keg or so a month. I didn't want to have beer sitting in kegs for 3-4 months, so I just needed two taps. Plus, I don't have room in the house for a huge beast-o-rator with 8 taps and lagering capacity. So overall, a custom DIY keezer with higher end guts, faucets, and temp control came in around $600. Much less than a Bev Air or even a Summit.

I like it. It took me a less than a day to put together (a weekend in total with stain and paint drying) and I don't know if I'd like a BevAir any better. Also with keezers is that you can build them to fit any space, bar, or decor. They can be as simple or complex as you like.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
bknifefight
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Build your own. I did a 4 tap keezer for under $1000.

BUT I think you should bottle first. Learn to brew. Make sure you enjoy it and enjoy the results. THEN think about spending an extra $1000 on a keezer.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
slarkin712
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I'd build my own, and make sure it has plenty of capacity. Here's one I dream about all the time:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/upri...1-kegs-371438/

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
Brulosopher
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This took me about 6 hours to build, not including time it took for the stain to dry, and it cost about $1000. I can add 2 more faucets if I want, too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
eujamfh
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Well it sounds like a keezer is in the future.

I do like to tinker and build…which is obviously a huge plus to a keezer.

As for bottling first…I am positive I will enjoy brewing. I cook most meals at the house and for five plus years have been making my own venison sausages, smoking meats and canning - making beer is a natural evolution Plus, it ends up with beer…can't argue the utility in brewing!

Bottling seems like a ton of work that could easily be replaced by kegging. Everyone I know that brews ends up kegging - I am not bright, but will learn from them and start a couple steps ahead if I can…which is why I am scouring this site!

I think I will want 3-5 beers on tap and have room to lager or condition so I think I am looking at 1 13sq ft freezer. I have the room in the house, and so long as the wife is willing, I figure go big out the gate. I would rather grow into it rather than build sell and rebuild.

So many things to consider…plan will be to have the set up running by the end of the spring.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eujamfh View Post
We currently have a standard one barrel kegerator which I will sell…to small for what I will want to have if I home brew.
You could probably upgrade your existing kegerator for less than $150 to a 2-tap homebrew unit. That will give you enough time to do a few brew sessions and decide what you really want/need.

BTW - I'd go with the keezer. Lots of room and easy to maintain.


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