While a personal supply of draught beer might sound the stuff of a dorm room dream, building a beer refrigerator, or kegerator, can be an inexpensive reality. Review the guidelines below for more information on how to convert an old refridgerator into your very own kegerator.
Start with choosing what kind of beverages you want to keep on tap. Beer is usually the obvious answer, but other carbonated drinks like sodas, fizzy juices and sparkling water can be kegged and served through a tap. Your drink of choice and its source will determine what style of keg will be used. Generally commercial beer is distributed in barrel shaped 15.5 gallon Sankey kegs, while homemade beer and sodas are often kegged in smaller 5 gallon Cornelius kegs. Knowing the style and size of keg will help in choosing your refrigerator and any specific fittings or adapters that might be necessary.
Find your fridge. As long as the appliance stays cold and can fit a keg inside, almost any refrigerator or freezer can be used to build a kegerator. You may find yourself with an extra fridge when upgrading to a newer model. Rather than disposing of the old, transfer it to the garage or game room. If you don't have one available, inexpensive refrigerators can often be found at garage sales, used appliance stores and sites such as Craigslist.com.
Gather the necessary equipment. A basic supply list should include a faucet and handle, shank and fitting kit, beer line disconnect and beer line hose, air line disconnect and air line hose, hose clamps, drip tray, dual gauge regulator and CO2 tank. Your local homebrew supply store should stock everything you need. If there isn't a supply store in your town, plenty of websites specialize in kegerator equipment which can be ordered and shipped to your home. A power drill, screwdriver and adjustable wrench are also necessary.
Unplug the refrigerator and mark where you want the tap to be installed, drilling a 1-inch hole through the door. Slide the shank through the hole. Connect the faucet to the outside portion of the shank and the fitting kit on the opposite end. Using about 5 feet of beer line hose, connect one end to the fitting kit on the shank and the other end to the beer line disconnect adapter. This adapter should match the style of your keg and will connect to the output of the keg. Tighten all hose connections with hose clamps.
Attach the dual gauge regulator to the CO2 tank. With the flow of gas off, connect one end of the air line hose to the regulator and other end to the air disconnect adapter. After tightening all connections with hose clamps, connect the air line disconnect to the keg. Opening the regulator valve will allow CO2 to pressurize the keg and push the liquid through the lines. Finally, install the drip tray underneath the faucet and plug in the refrigerator.
Grab your favorite mug and fill it from your new kegerator.