If you brew or use kegs, there are some significant benefits to having these instead of going out and buying them in separate cans or bottles, so you might wonder if a kegerator is worth investing in.
While it is highly recommended if you want fresher drinks, you can expect pasteurized beers to stay fresh for up to six months and non-pasteurized drinks to stay fresh for up to 2 months, but things like temperature and the amount of CO2 used can affect this slightly.
So now you have a rough idea of how you can store your beverage, it’s a good idea to look at how this dispenser works and whether or not they are ideal for you, which you can find below.
How Does A Kegerator Work?
If you thought a kegerator was a simple container, there is a lot more to it than that, as you have many components that make the keg stay fresher for longer and give you a useful way to dispense a beverage from a beer line that feeds into a draft tower.
You also have a CO2 tank and regulator, which is vital for maintaining pressure for the beverage to be pushed out of the keg and into the draft tower while adding a fresh carbonated taste to the drink, with hose clamps that ensure that the lines are well-connected and don’t leak.
You can get a variety of different types, which include small ones, freestanding, built-in, outdoors, and commercial ones, but some of these only come with the cabinet and may require you to purchase a separate conversion kit that comes with the clamps and lines.
Do I Need To Use A Kegerator?
With the introduction of convection kits, having one of these for personal use has never been easier, as you can turn something like a freezer into a kegerator as long as you can sustain temperatures of 0-32ºF for a better quality beverage.
This system can serve up to 124 pints, which will depend massively on the capacity of the keg and unit and works the same for the type of keg you use, so a mini to a half barrel size works for many configurations like this.
While this can be convenient for personal use and can be made to work indoors or outdoors, getting it set up to dispense the perfect drink each time and adding further optimizations can require the right tools and knowledge to get it working this way.
While we highly recommend a kegerator for any home brewer, one thing to consider is the cost, which can start as low as $30 but depends on whether you need to buy a freezer or cabinet to convert as well as the conversion kit itself.
How To Keep Kegs Fresher For Longer
If you’ve picked out and customized your kegerator, you might find the quality of your beverages is a bit lacking, and you can’t quite identify why this is the case. Still, with some tweaks and some considerations, you may be able to rectify the problem.
The Size Of Kegs You Use
If you go for the bigger kegs, there might be an issue where it doesn’t get finished before it loses its freshness, so knowing how many drinks you can get out of each sized keg is a great way to determine which size is best for you.
You have a full-size keg serving anywhere around 165 12oz beers. A Euro keg can supply 140, and a quarter barrel gives 82. A five-gallon keg, which offers 55, and a three-gallon keg, which you can get 32 beers from.
You should also look out for dates on your kegs if you buy them to see when it was made, so the countdown of its freshness begins at this stage, not when you tap into it, so if your beverage has passed its expiration date, it’s generally recommended that you don’t consume it.
Ensure Hoses And Clamps Are Maintained
You don’t want to sacrifice the taste and freshness of your beverage because of bacteria that may develop in the beer line, which can ruin a beer’s flavor as these can cause the taste to go sour, so you may be able to prevent this.
Ideally, you want to clean out the line every two weeks with an alkaline detergent to remove any bacteria and protein that can build up quickly, especially if you’re using it on a daily basis, so the solution should be left to circulate the line for about 10-15 minutes.
Be sure to feed clean water after this circulation, as you don’t want any taste or residue from the detergent to end up in your drink, and you may want to replace the lines if you’re using different kinds of drink, as a build-up of these can influence the flavor of your next drink.
Are There Any Benefits To Using A Kegerator?
One of the most significant benefits is that it can save you money if you’re a beer enthusiast, as you can pay anywhere between $7-$12 for a beer, so by using a keg, you can pay as low as $2 per drink if you work this out based on the size of your keg.
It also keeps it topped up and fresh for longer, as with party or manual pumps, you usually have to finish the drink within that day, and this can cause the flavor to have a more noticeable change as you go to pump it more.
With the right knowledge, you can keep costs down on your kegerator and ensure you have a smooth and refreshing drink each time. With this dispenser, you’re not limited to beer, as it works with a variety of beverages you’re sure to enjoy for longer.