If you like to drink a lot then maybe you shouldn’t be reading this … heh …
Beer dispensers are the primary way to get beverages into customers hands at restaurants and bars but what if you like to entertain at home?
By installing your own Keg of beer in a custom refrigerator dispenser you will always have beer on tap and you should save a lot of money.
Picking the right Unit
Size is probably one of the most important concerns and producers of beer and manufacturers of Refrigerated Dispensers work together to allow customers to select from small mini kegs usually containing about 5 liters or 1.3 gallons of beer all the way up to a full Keg that will contain 15.5 gallons of beer.
When deciding on the size of the Keg you want to store you need to consider both the length of time the beer will be unused and the weight of the container.
Although beer won’t go bad immediately unlike wine which can sit for hundreds of years beer is best soon after it is brewed.
You can expect your beer to stay good for 1 to 3 months after you purchase it. If you are purchasing beer that may have been sitting a few weeks before it is delivered and sold to you then your shelf life will be reduced.
Unlike bottled beer which is distributed in brown or green glass your keg will not see the effects of sunlight reduce its shelf life but loss of power to your refrigerator could reduce the quality of its flavor.
For this reason mini or pony kegs are best for small gatherings while half or full kegs can be purchased for larger infrequent events. Besides you can carry a mini keg yourself rather easily and a pony keg is not that much harder if you have another person helping.
Most beer distributors will provide a change out service and install your new keg for a nominal price or for free if you have it delivered. Others will require pickp which may limit your ability to bring home large full kegs in your smart car.
Installing Your Beer Dispenser
If you have a small mini keg dispenser you will probably want to place it on a bar top or dedicated cabinet.
The only thing you will need other then access to electricity is enough room for changing kegs and dispensing the product.
If you have a dedicated bar in your basement or area of your home and you would like to install a larger half or full keg dispenser and refrigerator then you have many more options.
You can purchase a unit that fits within countertop like a dishwasher unit containing the refrigeration unit and dispenser.
If you have a full bar you may want to remotely dispense your product through a tower tap dispenser.
Remote dispensers will need insulated tubing to make sure the product stays cool while in use.
You may also want a drain on the line to remove unused product after you are done using your dispenser if you expect to have an extended time between uses. In this case you will lose a few ounces of product but your lines will stay cleaner.
All units should have some type of spill and drip catcher. Dedicated units and ones with remote towers can have a spill tray connected to a sink waste line.
Spill trays should be cleaned after use and product should not be allowed to sit in the tray for an extended time.
If you have a spill tray connected to a drain line then you should use a bleach product to sterilize the tray and line as bacteria is likely to grow much faster then in other food storage areas.
Since you are installing a large unit that will provide you many years worth of drinking pleasure there is no need to pump the keg to dispense the product.
CO2 Tanks can provide the needed pressure to deliver product.
When you order your Tanks you will ask for a tank based on weight.
A 5 pound tank can dispense from 5 to 7 kegs before refilling a 10 pound tank can dispense 10 to 14 kegs and so on.
Most self contained units and ones placed under counters will contain a 5 pound CO2 Tank that is placed along side the Keg.
You can ask your beer distributor where is the best place to get your CO2 tank refilled in your area.
How Much Will You Pay?
Smaller units cost just over $100 and you can buy Kits to dispense Kegs by the way of CO2 through your tap without a refrigerator for a reasonable price.
Under counter units will cost in the area of $250 to $500.
The largest and best units can cost up to $1000 and that often includes dedicated units or ones used outside.
The YouRepair Store sells a full line of Beer Dispensers and Related Add-on Products.
Browse our refrigerator and bar sections or search for “Beer Dispenser” or “Kegerator”