Help Me Kegerate This Puppy!

I enjoy brewing beer, but I’ve been procrastinating lately because I DETEST bottling.

After having a Northern Brewer kit on the dining room table for a few months, I realize that I’m not going to get any closer to brewing without coming up with a bottling solution. So my solution is to NOT bottle, but to keg.  And in order to keg, I need someplace cold to put said keg and extract the beer out of it. I need a kegerator. 

The good news is that I already have a beer fridge (that handsome fella above), so I just need the keggy parts.  But here’s where I get stuck.  I’ve done some scanning online, but I have no idea exactly what to buy or where to buy it.  You guys and gals were so helpful when I started brewing, I thought I’d go back to the well and tap (get it, “tap”?) into your knowledge on the subject.

Here’s how I’d like it to turn out, with a corny keg on one side and some shelves on the other (I have two half-shelves for the fridge).  I’d also like to save the shelves on the door as we tend to use them for soda and such.

Now I know this isn’t exactly to scale, but do you think it’s doable?

Is there a conversion kit you recommend or anything I should steer clear of?

Is there an online retailer I can trust?

All in all, I want to do this right, but as cost-effectively as possible.  You might recall that I blew too much money buying my brewing gear, and I don’t want to do that again.

I wonder how long until I start buying corny kegs already full of goodies to put in this thing.  I could see us going through a sixtel of Storm King or Dale’s quickly enough!

Let me know below if you have any guidance to share.  Thanks!

Tags: , ,

Categories: Beer, Home Brew, Home Brewing


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

Join the Madness

Like beer? Like whiskey? Like goofing off? Follow Us!

25 Comments on “Help Me Kegerate This Puppy!”

  1. Chris Hillman
    September 30, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I’d pick up a 5# CO2 tank from a local gas supplier. If you buy one online, you’ll need to pay to have it purged/filled anyhow.

    Here’s a nice kit from Midwest Supplies:

    That would give you everything you need with a picnic tap. If you want to later mount a tap in the door it would be pretty easy to do 🙂

    • September 30, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      I intend to do the door-mount out of the gate, Chris, as it’s waay cool. If you’re gonna kegerate, you need that cool tap!

      Besides, this way when my wife yells at me, I can say “but wait – it magically dispenses beer, honey!” I think she’ll be jazzed by the tap.

  2. Rob Crozier
    September 30, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I have absolutely no experience with brewing or a kegerator but I did notice that Northern Brewer offers the components in their catalog to keg your beer and to kegerate any fridge.

    I’m sure you know this info already…

    • September 30, 2010 at 11:34 am #

      I got all of my homebrew stuff from them Rob, and so far they’ve been great. I know I can trust them, which is good, but I have no idea about pricing, etc.

      All things being equal, I’ll definitely go the NB route.

  3. September 30, 2010 at 11:35 am # is a good place to check out if you’re looking for a one-stop shop. I bought my keg kit from them and had a good experience. You might also want to check craigslist for your corny keg. I’ve commonly seen them there for as low as $25. I would highly recommend getting a forward-sealing faucet like the Perlick 525SS. I’ve had problems with gunk buildup on my cheapo rear-sealing faucets (although, to be fair, I don’t go through a keg very quickly). You’ll spend a little more money, but it’s worth it. Good luck and happy brewing!

    • September 30, 2010 at 11:39 am #

      I’ll check out keg connection, Michael, thanks.

      I have no idea what a faucet is (yes, this is what you’re dealing with!) but as someone who will sip his way through a keg, it sounds like your reco is one I should follow. Thanks again!

  4. September 30, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    here you go Jim:

    all you need in one spot!

    • September 30, 2010 at 11:53 am #

      Thanks, Peter. Very helpful for sure.

      And now you have me thinking about going double-tap out of the gate – one fore homebrew and one for good stuff. Why do it twice, right?

  5. elena
    September 30, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Also check out

    • September 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

      Wow – they’re like the Sharper Image of kegeration!

    • September 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

      Yeah, they look nice, Brandon. Did you shop around? How are they on price versus quality?

      On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 12:05 PM, Jim Galligan wrote:

      > Wow – they’re like the Sharper Image of kegeration! > >

      • Brandon
        September 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

        I think they are good price-wise. I ended up replacing all the lame components of my pre-built kegerator with their stuff. I was having all kinds of foam issues and co2 leaks. No problems since I bought their stuff.

        • September 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

          Good to know. I only want to do this once!

      • Brandon
        September 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

        Oh! Don’t go all cheap on the Coupler. I had a cheapo and it was drama. Their $30 coupler has been great for me so far.

  6. Brandon
    September 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I’ve got a kegerator and have often bought parts for it @ – Appears beer dispensing is all they do. I just bought the keg for tossing some homebrew in. In a couple of weeks I’ll be sharing my homebrew kegging experience!

  7. mikemoriendi
    September 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Jim this is my problem too. I want to brew more but absolutely hate the bottling. You’re lucky to have a fridge as it is. I would need that too to get the kegging system started.

    • September 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      Yeah, the fridge is from our first place. Whne we moved, the new place came with a fridge, and “presto” the beer fridge was born! I feel lucky to have one and don’t know what I’d do without it at this point – I usually have lots of beer around.

      The trick is gonna be to maximize the space inside so I can continue to keep it stocked with bottles AND a corny keg (or two).

  8. September 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Turning your fridge into a kegerator is easier than you think! Here’s a how-to video: Convert your fridge into a kegerator (video)

    Still don’t believe me? Check out this guy’s testimonial – he was super nervous about trying to convert his fridge but our video made it wicked easy! Read about his fridge conversion

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      Thanks, Hannah.

      I watched that how-to video yesterday over at and it inspired me to take the plunge. It sure looks easy! 😉

      The link you shared with the two-keg setup has made me realize I want a one keg system, as I want to save half the fridge for bottles. It’s clear from the pics that it won’t be able to fit two kegs and the bottles.

  9. September 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Jim – good call! I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor and cannot wait to see pics of your first converted fridge! The guy with the 2-tap fridge only took 20 minutes to convert his fridge into a kegerator. He said he spent more time worrying about screwing up than actually doing the conversion 🙂

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

      That’s what brewing (and apparently kegerating) is all about: 80% worry, 20% work.

  10. October 1, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    talk to me before you get your co2, local place sells them cheaper than on-line.

    • October 1, 2010 at 10:01 am #

      Will do. I also need a hookup for idiot-proof (cleaned and revitalized) corny kegs if you have one.

  11. Seth
    October 1, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    I bought a large amount of supplies through They also offer complete kegerator kits. I ended up going the chest freezer route, but the principals are the same.

    • October 1, 2010 at 11:37 am #

      Their stuff looks good. Has it held up? I’m trying to do it right the first time if possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: