But what’s going on inside a keg? While beer bottles are transparent, kegs reveal nothing of the complex and uneasy chemical truce that’s been established in their dark interiors, nor of the technology that makes them work. When we press on the tap of a keg at a party, or when we order up a pint at the bar, we take it for granted that beer will flow forth with just the right proportions of foam, carbonation, coolness and flavor. But the truth is that a great deal of thought has gone into achieving that perfect balance.
If you could murder a pint but do without the trudge to the pub, an at-home beer tap is the perfect addition to your cosy night in.
With only 15 per cent of surveyed drinkers feel pub prices are affordable, it’s no wonder that at-home drinking is a booming business. But gone are the days of a warm can of bitter or a lager straight from the bottle – drinkers are fast becoming savvy to creating the pub experience in the comfort of their own kitchens.
Our selection of the best beer dispensers shows just how easy it is to pour perfection in a pint glass. Choose a simple plastic tap and tower dispenser for quick beer access, or go the whole hog and install a system to carbonate and chill your usual. There are also some fantastic gadgets for helping pour an ordinary supermarket can or bottle to new, frothy heights. Just add pork scratchings.
Why Buy a Kegerator?
When you buy a kegerator for your home, you’re not only able to conveniently store large amounts of cold draft beer, but you can also save approximately 40-60% in costs, compared to buying the same volume of beer in cans or bottles.
Consider that the average cost for a standard half barrel keg of Budweiser is approximately $100. A standard keg contains 15.5 gallons, or 1,984 ounces. A case of Budweiser contains twenty-four 12oz. cans (288 total ounces) and costs about $23. To get the same volume by ounce as a standard keg, you would need to buy seven cases of Budweiser for about $160 – resulting in over $55 in savings per keg.
This means by the time you purchase your tenth keg, you will have completely offset the cost of your kegerator in savings, breaking even while enjoying high-quality draft beer at home. The savings can be even greater for some brands of beers, as well as various keg sizes
Save Time and Energy with Keg Beer
Drinking keg beer has other savings, too. The “greener” way to drink, the use of a refillable, reusable, and recyclable keg is far less time- and resource-intensive than consuming bottled or canned beer. Half-barrel sized kegs store the equivalent of 165 cans of beer – lasting at least six-to-eight weeks refrigerated before it starts to lose its freshness.
The reusable keg can then be refilled, reducing waste and saving you time and money on more frequent beer runs. Kegs are also extremely durable and long-lasting. It’s not uncommon for a single beer keg to dispense over 20,000 pints in its lifetime – the equivalent of over 27,000 cans and bottles requiring disposal.
Draft beer’s environmental impact can be up to 68% lower than bottled beer – mostly due to packaging differences. Waste from distribution, retail, storage and disposal can be over 45% of a bottled micro-brew beer’s CO2 emissions. The aluminum alone in 165 beer cans weighs five pounds, as compared with a standard, reusable keg that requires no packaging and produces no solid waste
A keg is a fancy version of your basic barrel. In the factory, a sheet of stainless steel is rolled into a cylinder and welded together. Then, at the cylinder’s midpoint, a set of ribs is pressed into it for added rigidity. Next, top and bottom steel plates are stamped out and likewise welded into place. The steel in question, a particular alloy of chromium, nickel, manganese and several other elements, is used because it welds cleanly leaving a smooth joint — this is very important for a food-grade container because you don’t want any rough surfaces where bacteria can set up shop.
The airtightness of a keg is incredibly important — it’s what keeps the beer from becoming flat and flavorless. Still, the beer has to come out somewhere, and that’s why there’s a spear. The spear is a long metal tube that reaches almost to the bottom of the keg. Despite its warlike name, the spear is basically a big metal straw through which beer can travel up from the bottom of the keg and out through the tap at the top
Types of kegs
Ball Lock Kegs: These are the most common of kegs available to homebrewers. They use a “ball lock”, hence the name, to connect the gas and liquid lines. When buying disconnects for these kegs, make sure to get the correct disconnects (they will include ball lock in their description). Ball lock kegs were taller and skinnier than pin lock kegs.
Pin Lock Kegs: These are very similar to ball lock kegs. In some cases, pin lock kegs’ lids do not have a manual pressure relief valve (PRV), but replacement lids for homebrewers usually include them. Pin locks use a different format for securing gas and liquid disconnects. This feature makes it impossible to mix-up which end was for gas, and which was for liquid.
Sankey Kegs: Sankeys are the odd one in the bunch. They only have one port (in the center of the keg), that features a gas in as well as a liquid out in the same unit (called a coupler). They do take more work to take apart, but are less prone to gas leaks due to there being less potential escape points for gas. They also come in larger sizes, like half barrel (large batch brewers rejoice).
What to Look for in a Kegerator
When trying to choose a kegerator, you have an almost unlimited supply of options. So how do you know what to look for to ensure you make the right decision?
1. You need to decide how you are going to use your kegerator. Will it be a freestanding unit or a built-in model that is installed in a permanent place?
2. With a varying range of options, you need to decide how many taps you need. Too many and the hoses and space are useless. Too few and you will find yourself changing out heavy kegs just for a different brew.
3. Dependability. You will want your kegerator to last a long time. Make sure it is durable enough to withstand all your parties and barbeques.
List beer kegs
Sleek, stylish, and affordable, this model from uKeg is sure to earn a standing spot on your home bar. It’s a growler that can 1) Carbonate your beer and 2) Dispense your beer under pressure.
If you’re a homebrewer, it’s easier to think of this as a mini-keg rather than a fancy growler. A keg can carbonate your beer and dispense it. So can the uKeg. But the difference between the uKeg and a corny keg is that the uKeg looks incredible and, most importantly, the CO2 connection is built into its cap — no separate bulky CO2 tank and regulator needed.
So when Growlerwerks released a metal, vacuum-insulated, pressurized growler with a locking tap, it caused quite a stir. The uKeg is exactly what it sounds like—a tiny, portable, mini keg. The uKeg’s real innovation, however, is its pressurized cap. Turn the cap to the off position, drop an 8-gram carbon dioxide cartridge into the sleeve, and screw it shut. After you’ve filled the growler, make sure that the tap is locked. Screw the cap onto the growler and slowly pressurize until the built-in pressure gauge reflects the appropriate PSI (pounds per square inch).
This growler holds 64 ounces of beer and keeps it fresh for up to two weeks. While the dispenser allows for easy pouring, the adjustable gauge allows you to control carbonation.
The Keurig of the beer world, the Hopsy makes pouring out brews easy and efficient. Simply attach the Hopsy mini-keg (which holds about a six-pack worth of beer) into place and pour. Hopsy is essentially an all-in-one home tap system that eliminates any guesswork. Think of a Keurig-esque design but for straight-from-the-brewery beer. There are two main components of the system:
SUB: This is the draft system. It’s a compact appliance that sits on your counter (or anywhere else in your home) and plugs into a standard electrical outlet. The SUB Draft System holds the beer in place, keeps it cold, and of course, has a draft handle to pour.
TORPS: This is the beer. Beer is delivered in 2 liter containers and you have the option of joining the monthly beer club for discounted pricing or purchasing individual beers. The TORPS are placed directly inside of the SUB Draft System and connect to the tap. Before you get worried about these being only 2L – remember that this isn’t like a regular tap system. Swapping an empty TORP out for a new one takes seconds.
Hopsy has a rotating selection of brews so you can order new varieties and switch it up over time.
Take any 330ml, 440ml and 500ml can of your favourite beer and this chunky tap will work its magic to turn canned fizz into a creamier pint. Serve your drinks in style with the New Home Draught Beer Tap by JMP For The Home. Using new innovative technology, this tap turns your canned beer into a tasty draught style beer in the comfort of your own home.
It’s better for a slow-drinking, quiet night in rather than a rammed party, as you must open and insert each can one by one. Make sure they’re fridge-chilled to your liking first as this one won’t keep your can cold.
Power Source: 1.5V, 2 AA Batteries (Not Included).
Suitable for all drinks, but we say out with the lemonade, in with the beer! This is the item to have on your buffet spread, if the Hyacinth Bucket in you can’t stand the sight of a load of cans marking your marble tops. It will take 2.5 litres of your favourite tipple and keep it cold with a central core that you should fill with ice. No frills and drip tray with this one, so have a beer mat handy.
The ice core beer dispenser has 2L capacity, it can prepare frozen items per cup at time, perfect for cooling whisky, liquor and beer in home bars, or adding a icy twist to your drinks service.You can choose to freeze ice to add to an alcoholic beverages or freeze fruits, chocolate and more. With the appeal of an artistic piece and beautiful design to stand, it is a perfect gift in the summer. This piece would also look good as a stand alone art piece on a desk or in home.
– Colour: Black .
– Material: Plastic.
– Capacity: 2.5L.
– Length:56cm ; Width: 23cm ; Height: 10cm.
– Applicable places: bars, KTV, party, dinners, fruit juice shops, household.
– Can choose to freeze ice to add to an alcoholic beverages or juice or freeze fruits, chocolate and more!
– Make your sleepovers, birthday parties and dinners more exciting with this beer cooling machine.
Most craft pubs don’t have just one beer on tap. If your goal is to open the next great neighborhood pub (basically, a place for your friends to hang out and watch football), then you might need to take a step up.
The EdgeStar KC2000SSTWIN has been the easy top choice for beer enthusiasts for years.
This kegerator with dual taps is the pricier older brother of the single-tap model but comes with most of the same features (besides the obvious one).
Capable of cooling into the low 30’s and equipped with a sturdy stainless steel frame, you’ll be able to produce ice-cold beer for a long time, whether it’s for bottles or a chilled glass.
It fits two 1/6th kegs or two “Cornelius Homebrew Kegs,” each holding about 40 pints. If you want the best bang for the buck, we highly recommend that you get this kergerator and be thrilled by it like the other real beer enthusiasts who bought this product.
Acceptable Keg Configurations:
(1) Full Size Keg, 1/2 Barrel (124 pints)
(1) Pony Keg, 1/4 Barrel (62 pints)
(1) Slim-Pony Keg, 1/4 Barrel (62 pints)
Up to (2) Sixth Barrel kegs, (42 pints each)
Up to (2) Cornelius Homebrew kegs, (40 pints each)
Temperatures: Low 30s to mid 40s degrees F
Easy refrigerator conversion
Two (2) piece drip tray
Chrome safety rail and tower
Protective floor plate
Rolling casters for easy mobility
Input voltage: 115 V/60 Hz
Power: 105 W/1.5 A
Chills beer down to the low 30s
Thinner than standard models
Double-tap format adds extra variety
Made by a high-quality manufacturer
Best bang for the buck
Kegco’s Digital Kegerator is a high quality keg beer cooler that includes everything needed to dispense store bought kegs of draft beer. It has all the necessary equipment to pour a cold, tasty glass of beer and can also easily be converted into a regular refrigerator with it’s two adjustable storage shelves. It boasts an interior big enough to easily accommodate a full size 1/2 barrel keg along with the dispense system or cases of your favorite cold beverages. The stainless steel interior floor plate provides durability by displacing the weight of the keg evenly over the floor of the cabinet, allowing you to slide the kegs in and out smoothly. It’s versatility makes it and excellent choice for anyone wanting draft beer on tap at home all the time while also providing the extra storage space of an extra refrigerator. Digital temperature control: With it’s digital temperature display and push button control, it’s never been easier to set and verify the internal temperature of the kegerator. You no longer have to guess what temperature a number on a dial will produce. Simply press the up or down button to adjust the temperature by one degree. The display can be set to either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Fan-Forced Cooling for Super Cool Temperatures: The fan helps provide even cooling throughout the unit. Temperature can be set as low as 32 degrees to dispense ice cold beer. Large Interior: The interior of this keg beer cooler is spacious enough to easily hold any full size keg, including Miller kegs, Coors Kegs and rubber kegs. It can also hold up to two 5 Gallon D System kegs or up to three 5 Gallon Cornelius Ball Lock Home Brew kegs, allowing you to dispense more than one beer at a time. Deep Chill Function:
The Deep Chill function allows you to quickly cool down a warm keg by forcing the compressor to work continuously for 24 hours. When your keg has reached the desired temperature, press Deep Chill again to return to normal operation. Converts to a Refrigerator with 2 Shelves: When you’re not using this unit as a kegerator (like that will ever happen…), it easily converts to a refrigerator for extra storage. It comes with 2 adjustable shelves, allowing you to space them far enough apart to hold 2-liter bottles or gallon jugs. With the wide temperature range available in the K309, you can even use it to store wine! Locking Casters Provide Mobility: Easily move the Kegco K309 from the kitchen to the patio for that backyard BBQ! Easy-Roll Casters allow you to move the kegerator from one location to another and they lock so that once it’s in position, it won’t roll again until you want it to. The Kegco Full Size Kegerator is quiet and energy efficient for use in the home. Easy roll casters make moving this unit from your bar to your patio a breeze and they lock to prevent the unit from rolling once you have it in position. This beer fridge has a sleek matte black finish that will complement any decor and does not show fingerprints like a shiny finish might, meaning less cleaning of the outside of the kegerator is necessary. It also has a recessed drip tray with a plastic grill that can easily be taken out and cleaned in the dishwasher, and an attractive chrome safety rail that helps to keep mugs and glasses from sliding off. This beer dispenser comes with everything you need except the keg. The CO2 tank is shipped empty and will need to be filled locally. This kegerator can fit one Full Size, Pony, or Quarter Slim Keg, two 5 gallon commercial kegs along with one 5 gallon home brew keg or up to three 5 gallon home brew kegs.
CO2 Bottle Included
Keg Tapping Equipment Included
All dispensing accessories are UL recognized components
Digital temperature display and control
Converts to refrigerator 2 full-width wire shelves
Large enough to hold all full size kegs (Including Coors, Miller and many additional brands)
Design: Portable single tap kegerator. Heavy duty wheels for easy maneuvering. Holds any size single keg
Dominating the top ten, Kegco knows what they are doing. This single tap freestanding kegerator is no exception. When you need a cold beer from the tap you don’t need to bother with expensive trips to the store or bar. You can have the same experience and great from-the-tap freshness right in your kitchen.
Whether it’s a full-size keg, pony key, 5-gallon keg or any other single barrel keg, this one has you covered. It is perfect for you home brew masters as well. With removable and adjustable shelves, it also converts into a stand-alone cooler or fridge. Ideal for those that want versatility and reliability.
With a kegerator conversion kit, you can turn any refrigerator into a draft beer dispenser. But why stop at a single tap when you can have two? Yes, there are dual tap conversion kits on the market. They’re just as easy to install – but twice the fun.
Kegco is one of the most respected brands in this industry, and their dual tap option comes at a surprisingly affordable price. Let’s take a closer look at this model to see if it’s worth buying.
Kegco Dual Tap Kegerator Conversion Kit Features
NSF approved, commercial grade gauge regulator
NSF approved keg couplers
Stainless steel drip tray (door mounted)
Empty 5lb. CO2 tank (aluminum)
4-1/8” nipple shank
Helpful customer service
Top quality components
Everything you need is included
Included cleaning kit is convenient and easy to use
Installing this dual tap kegerator is fairly simple and straightforward. Instructions are included, which walk you through every step of the way. And if you have any issues with any of the parts or have a question about the kit, Kegco’s friendly and helpful customer service would be happy to help.
While installation is relatively easy, having an extra pair of hands can help move things along faster.
Design: The Do-It-Yourself kit for converting an existing fridge or freezer into a kegerator. All parts and accessories included.
If you are a DIYer or just want to convert your fridge or freezer into a kegerator yourself, then you need this dual tap conversion kit from Kegco. The kit contains everything you need. Follow the easy to read the guide and you’ll have free flowing draft beer in no time!
The dual regulator ensures you know the pressure and capacity of your tanks and easy adjustment provide quick, simple pours. This makes a perfect gift for the handyman in the house and will be something to talk about at the next hosted party!