Designing your own kegerator is the makings of a good time and the mini-fridge is a great starting point. They’re easy to move around and can be easily transported from outing to outing.
Kegerators are cool and all, but there’s still a lot of information you’ll need to know before turning any old mini-fridge into a beer serving crowd pleaser.
The absolute most important thing you’ll need to decide is what kind of keg you’re using to turn your mini-fridge into a kegerator. Your keg size is the largest determining factor when it comes to figuring out what size your kegerator needs to be.
What Size Keg Fits in a Mini Fridge?
First off, you’re going to need to know what type of keg you’re using. Whether you’re matching your mini-fridge to the keg, or the keg to the mini-fridge, a general knowledge of keg size is vital.
Although keg sizes tend to vary from company to company, there are traditionally 5 main sizes of kegs. Just to be sure, it’s always a good idea to research the dimensions regulated by company standards.
Starting from smallest to lightest, you’ve got your:
- homebrew that can hold 5 gallons (diameter of 8.5 inches with a height of 25 inches)
- sixth barrel holding 5.23 gallons (diameter 9.5 inches with a height of 23.3 inches)
- pony keg/short quarter barrel holding 7.75 gallons (diameter of 17 inches with a height of 14.8 inches)
- slim quarter also holding 7.75 gallons (diameter 11 inches with a height of 23.3 inches)
- half barrel holding a whopping 15.5 gallons (diameter 17 inches with a height of 23.3 inches).
What Size Mini Fridge for Kegerator?
Now that you know the different keg sizes, it’s time to measure the dimensions of your mini-fridge. That means the width, depth and height of your mini-fridge. The good news is that when it comes to the homebrew keg, it should be able to fit snugly in most mini-fridges.
However, if you have one of those extremely compact mini fridges that are 20 inches in height, then without some serious transformations you won’t be getting a kegerator anytime soon. Obviously, you can’t shove something that’s 20 inches into something that’s 25.
This means any mini-fridge under a height of 25 inches isn’t kegerator compatible. That being said, not all mini-fridges will allow you to fit two kegs inside. However, that can be fixed with some modifications to the inner door and some ingenuity.
Also, notice that the short quarter barrel and the slim barrel contains the same amount of volume but different widths and depths. This is another factor you’ll have to consider when creating your kegerator if your mini-fridge is big enough for a quarter barrel.
There are large enough mini-fridges out there that have enough capacity to hold even the large half barrel kegs. Although this really does put the “mini” out of the “mini-fridge.”
Regardless, unless your mini-fridge is really small, you should be able to tell if it’s big enough to be transformed into a kegerator.
In short, the type of keg you use must be proportional to the mini-fridges dimensions. Once you have your fridge dimensions, all you have to do is compare with the dimensions mentioned above and you’re good to go.
Just make sure the dimensions of your fridge aren’t exactly proportional to your keg, as you’ll still need room to fit your CO2 tanks and other accessories. Although depending on the keg you get, your CO2 tank should be proportionally small enough to be negligible.
Converting a Mini Fridge to a Kegerator
Now that you know what size mini fridge for kegerator is best, it’s time to convert your dainty mini fridge into a drinking buddy. We’ll just give a quick overview and some quick tips. Getting a reliable kegerator conversion kit with proper instructions will help you to prevent any unnecessary headaches during the installation. Kegerator conversion kits from Kegco is my preferred choice for their reliability and easy to follow instruction booklet.
The first step is seeing if your mini-fridge model contains a freezer compartment or at least has a removable freezer compartment. This takes up a significant amount of space and that affects the process.
If the fridge has cooling lines, then it’s most likely you won’t be able to remove the compartment without some intense modifications. Once that’s all checked out, it’s time to disassemble your fridge with a screwdriver. Make sure you keep all your parts for reassembly.
Drill a hole in the place where you want to fixate your tap before installing a shank in which you’ll install the faucet on with a wrench. Place a PVC pipe through it and seal it tight with the shank nut.
Before turning on your fridge, always be sure that everything is properly sealed. For example, by using insulation.
The beer hose will be placed on the other end of the shank. On the opposite side of that same beer hose, a rubber washer will be inserted into the nut and screwed on tightly to the top of the keg coupler.
Now with your CO2 tank standing by, clamp in the gas hose then securely clamp the hose to the thinner side of the coupler. Clamp again towards the other end of the coupler and secure it to the thin side of your CO2 tank.
Be sure to connect the regulator to the CO2 canister tightly using a nut. Place the coupler into the keg with the manage pointing up and turn the coupler until it’s too tight to turn.
Remove handles before opening the regulator valve close to the hose on the measure by pointing along the hose. When opening the top valve, make sure you change the regulator clockwise until your pressure gauge reads close to 10 psi.
And there you have it! Crash course kegerator. Just be sure you know you have all the tools and materials beforehand and you’ve carefully read the instructions before diving into any garage projects.
With your extensive kegerator knowledge in tow, it’s time to go put it to good use. Just remember to have your keg sizes proportional to the actual fridge size and that you leave plenty of room inside your fridge to do some work.
Although no matter how small your fridge is, nothing’s impossible when it’s for the sake of having a good time with some pals.