Cheap Kegerator?

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Vagabond

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So, I'm slowly collecting all the pieces of my beer-kegging puzzle and the piece that is giving me the most trouble is the fridge. I'm curious what everyone uses to keep their kegs cool.

I don't really have the cash to go blow on an actual keggerator and all the used refrigerators that I find are the typical run of the mill freezer/refrigerator combo's that I can't quite see how I'm going to get the CO2/Beer lines in and out. I keep combing the classifieds and craigslist and such but so far no cigar.

Any ideas?
 

IlliniSox4Life

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Probably the cheapest "kegerator" would be to get the cheapest mini fridge you can that can fit a keg and smaller co2 tank in, and just use a picnic faucet instead of building a tower with a tap on it.


If you're looking at buying a new fridge, you could test your luck with Best Buy and see if they have any of the Sanyo 4912's left in your area. Sometimes they have a floor model that they're selling and is discounted because they discontinued it. I think they are in the $175 range for a floor model.

Otherwise, persistence is the key on Craigslist. It took me a good month checking twice a day to find a chest freezer that was the right size/condition/distance from me/price. Even then I paid $100. A mini fridge will be cheaper, but the freezerless ones seem hard to come by.
 
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Vagabond

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I just found the "Show me your keggerator" thread. Dunno why that didn't come up in my search. Some really nice ones on there. Seems like that would be a fun little project. That'll be my plan. Anyone have any specifics on dimensions? Specifically what I'd need for three kegs to fit?
 

BrewDoc_Md

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a ball lock keg is about 9" in diameter. so, you can do the math for however many kegs you want. each chest freezer has unique dimensions. I wish I'd paid more attention to those when purchasing mine. I can get 3 kegs on the floor with plenty of room, but some people can get 4 in their 7.2 cu ft keezer, with one or two more on the hump. I had to make my collar taller to put two kegs on the hump, 5 total.

someone mentioned a cool idea on another thread: cut out some 9" diameter circles of cardboard (matching the footprint of your kegs) and take them to the store/craigs' list seller with you. then lay them out inside so you can visualize the setup.
 

Chriso

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check your local craigslist for a old used full sized fridge.
+1 to this. Craigslist is great, as long as your town's particular CL is active. Ours used to be stagnant but has picked up immensely in the past year.

Or, if you own your appliances, use this as the opportunity to upgrade your kitchen fridge (claim energy efficiency!) and use the old one for the kegerator. That's where my recent one came from.

Otherwise, see if there's an outfit in your town that reconditions and sells appliances. I've picked up a washer and dryer at ours for a couple hundred and a song. I routinely see medium-size fridges (especially without a freezer!!) for under $150 there.

As far as "how to get the beer lines in/out", it's pretty easy on a fridge, just drill through the door (and ONLY the door! Lots of research/planning is needed to drill anywhere else, lest you hit a coolant line!). I used a crappy 7/8" wood drill bit on mine. Just went slowly and took breaks, and I managed to do it without ruining the bit too badly.

If you're worried about the sharp edge cutting your gas line (I was!) then just take 4" length of wider-diameter hose (mine's 1/2"ID) and run it through the hole, then run your gas line (mine's 1/4"ID) through the larger hose.

Peace and good brews to ya!

(Edit: Someone else mentioned this... but a HUGE cost savings is to go ahead and get your gas-side hardware - lines, splitter, QD's, tank and reg.... but just use picnic taps to dispense the beer. Then you can buy the shanks and nipples and faucets and handles as you have the time/money. By doing that, I was able to save more $ and get Perlick's instead of crappy faucets, and I LOVE them!)
 

Special Hops

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Look around and be patient. I got a Sanyo 4912 on ebay 90 bucks sipped a couple of years ago.
 

Chriso

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i got mine for free, you haul it, u can have it kinda thing
Also how I got *rid* of my last kegerator! I advertised it as free, pre-drilled, old, rusty, and without the keg equipment. I had an email within 15 minutes asking if it was still available. They came that night (and it turns out I knew the guy's friend, too!) and hauled it immediately.
 

duker

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i got mine for free, you haul it, u can have it kinda thing
This is the way to go...:rockin: Check around, usually someone has an "old fridge" sitting around, they are just looking for a way to get rid of it
 

conpewter

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I drilled through the side of my fridge with no issues. Most fridges with a top freezer actually only cool the freezer department with coolant lines, then it will use a damper system to move cold air to the refrigeration compartment, so there are no cooling lines in the walls of the fridge part. Or I got really lucky :)

I like having a full size fridge, currently I can fit 6 kegs in there (since my Co2 is outside) and the only modification I made was the hole in the side, the door still has all the shelves in it to keep beer and wine in, the freezer is great for extra storage for my wife, and my yeast bank and hops.

Oh and +1 to craigslist, I picked this fridge up for free, they got a new stainless steel fridge, wanted the old one gone (she even had it all cleaned up and the doors already off when I got there)
 
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