There are few things more enjoyable than an ice-cold beer. Enjoying a pint from a bottle or can is nice, but few things can beat the taste of beer poured straight from the tap. This is why many people buy their drinks in kegs (or fill kegs with home brewed beer), but once you’ve done this how do you store it?
Sure you could try to fit the whole keg in the fridge, but this is likely to take up a lot of space you could use for food. Obviously, you can’t leave the keg out to get warm as this will spoil the taste of its contents. If you want to enjoy your beer fresh from the tap, your best option is to buy a mini-fridge for storing your kegs, but why stop there.
With just a bit of DIY and time, you can convert a mini fridge into your own personal kegerator. As the name suggests this is a combination fridge and beer dispenser. To make one you often just need to buy a conversion kit and drill a hole in the top of your fridge for installing a tap.
Of course, you can’t just use any mini fridge for a kegerator. Firstly it will need to be big enough to hold the keg and have enough space left over for installing the tap and necessary tubing. If you are interested in building your own chilled beer dispenser, here are a few suitable fridges that are perfect for the job.
Best Mini Fridge For Kegerator – Our Top Choices
RCA RFR321-B-Black-COM RFR321
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This mini-fridge from RCA comes in a variety of different colors for you to choose from. At 32 inches high and 17.5 inches wide, you should be able to put this fridge wherever you want provided there is a nearby power socket. In total there are 3.2 cubic feet of space in this fridge which is perfect for fitting most sizes of keg.
The freezer compartment at the top shouldn’t get in the way too much as you will be able to drill through it when attaching the tap. What helps with turning this fridge into a kegerator is the removable shelves. It is also very quiet which will be a bonus if you plan on keeping your kegerator in a communal area like the living room.
The compressor is exposed at the back so be very careful while moving this fridge and modifying it in case you damage this essential component. There is a handy thermostat inside the main compartment for easily adjusting the temperature of your fridge.
- Quiet – No low humming noises.
- 3.2 cubic feet of space – Perfect for storing both small and large kegs.
- Reversible door – Set the door to open any way you want.
- Removable shelves – Makes it easier to install your keg.
- Exposed compressor – Easily damaged while moving or modifying the fridge.
EdgeStar BR1500SS 15″ Built-In Kegerator
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Rather than just buying a normal mini-fridge and drilling a large hole in the top, this fridge comes ready to be converted. The company not only pre-drilled has a hole in the top for installing the tap, but this fridge also comes with a range of accessories to make it better for storing and serving beer. There are stainless steel guard rails and a drip tray included to make getting a fresh pint quick and easy.
The interior is large enough to fit a slim quarter, ⅙ barrel, or Cornelius keg, which are three of the most popular sizes. There are four casters included so you can mount your kegerator on wheels. With a stainless steel reinforced floor and door, this fridge is very durable and built to last.
The thermostat has a temperature range of 32-60°F and is easy to adjust with simple, integrated controls. There is also a safety lock feature that will stop your children or anyone else from altering the temperature of the fridge by accident. If you are looking to build a kegerator with minimal work, the EdgeStar BR1500SS is a great choice.
- Ready for conversion – This fridge requires minimal modification to be turned into a kegerator.
- Drip tray and guard rails included – Pour your drink without worrying about making a mess.
- The floor and door are reinforced with stainless steel – Making this fridge highly durable. Safety lock on the Thermostat- Prevents others from altering the temperature of your fridge.
- Can’t fit quarter kegs or half barrels – This fridge can’t accommodate kegs that are wider than a slim quarter.
Magic Chef MCAR320B2 3.2 cu ft Compact All Refrigerator
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The Magic Chef comes in a variety of sizes, but for building a kegerator you will probably want the models that offer 3.2 or 3.5 cubic feet of storage space. This fridge is a little on the heavy side, but once you have it installed you will find it is perfect for holding your kegs.
What makes this fridge so suitable as a kegerator is its large storage capacity allowing you to store wider kegs like quarter barrels. Another useful feature is the lack of freezer compartments at the top. There are also no cooling lines running through the roof which will make drilling a hole in the top very simple and risk-free.
All of the shelves are removable so you can make more room for your kegs. If you want to store a few 12. oz cans as well there is a handy can dispenser built into the door which will keep them compact and easy to reach. The Magic Chef is also very affordable, and if you can’t afford to buy a prebuilt Kegerator, this is one of the easiest mini fridges to convert into one.
- No freezer of cooling pipes in the roof – Easy to drill a hole in the top for a tap
- Large capacity – This fridge can fit slim quarter, quarter barrel, Cornelius, and ⅙ barrel kegs.
- Removable wire shelves – Easily make more room for your kegs
- Quiet – The compressor works without making lots of noise
- 12. oz Can dispenser – A can dispenser is built into the door so you can store soft drinks alongside your beer.
- 46.7lbs – This fridge is quite heavy which may make it difficult to install.
- Rattles on uneven ground – This fridge needs to be placed on flat, even flooring or it may produce an annoying rattle.
Danby Designer DAR044A4BDD-6 4.4 Cu.Ft. Mini Fridge
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Many of the options we have already looked at can store smaller sizes of keg but aren’t large enough for a full or even half barrel. If you are looking for something with a larger capacity, Danby has this mini fridge with 4.4 cubic feet of storage space. This is a more heavy-duty option for those who plan to have their Kegerator in one room, not only because of its size and weight but also due to the lack of casters.
There isn’t a freezer compartment at the top, but there may still be a few cooling pipes to watch out for while you are installing the tap. The thermostat at the top is very useful for keeping the fridge at the perfect temperature for preserving your beer. Once you have stripped out all the shelves you will be able to store a single, large keg, or multiple small ones according to your preference.
This fridge is energy-star compliant and consumes less power than some of the other models we have looked at. One small problem is that the compressor can be slightly noisy, but if you do put it in the living room you should be able to drown it out with the TV.
- 4.4 Cubic feet of storage space – Store full barrels, five-gallon, and pony kegs with ease.
- No freezer compartment – As long as you avoid any wires connected to the thermostat at the top installing your tap should be easy.
- Internal thermostat – Keep the temperature of your keg perfect for drinking at all times.
- Reversible door – Install this fridge wherever you want.
- Slightly Noisy – You can hear the compressor humming as this fridge operates.
- No casters – This fridge is not easily moved once it has been installed.
EdgeStar KC2000SS Full Size Kegerator
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Of course, if you aren’t the DIY sort then you don’t need to buy an ordinary fridge for converting into a kegerator. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, then it is always possible to buy a kegerator with a tap, drip tray, and even spare kegs all included. That’s exactly what EdgeStar is offering with the KC2000SS, no drilling, no extra work, just plug it in and start chilling your beer.
This kegerator can store standard US ¼ and ½ sized kegs but won’t fit the larger oversized ones made by Coors or Miller. There are casters included for ease of mobility and a drip tray for preventing mess. A 5lbs CO2 cylinder is included; but sold empty, so you can keep your beer carbonated and as delicious as the day you bought it.
This unit is designed to be freestanding and shouldn’t be placed under a counter or cabinet in case of overheating. The faucet and draft tower are made from stainless steel so they are very durable and will last for a long time. Furthermore, this kegerator can reach temperatures in the low 30’s so you can enjoy a beautifully chilled pint whenever you want.
- Ultra-low temperature – Capable of reaching temperature in the low 30’s.
- No conversion needed – No need to drill holes or buy a conversion kit.
- Stainless steel components – The drip tray, faucet, and draft tower are all built to last.
- Comes with CO2 cylinder – To prevent your beverages from going flat.
- Can’t fit Oversized kegs – This kegerator can’t fit larger keg sizes such as those made by Coors or Miller.
- Expensive – This kegerator is more expensive than a regular mini-fridge but at least you won’t need to buy a conversion kit.
Even though it’s a mostly straightforward comparison, there are a few things to look out for when comparing mini fridges for kegerators.
Even though a fridge might be a “mini” fridge compared to a full sized kitchen appliance, you may still want your kegerator fridge to be able to store oversized kegs. It’s a good idea to pay attention to which size kegs you want to use and make sure your fridge is big enough to accomodate.
Is There A Freezer Compartment?
A freezer compartment can be a little bit of hassle when it comes to installing your tap – but on the other hand the added functionality makes units with a freezer compartment more versatile. Either way, consider whether or not you prefer one in your set up!
Are The Shelves Removable?
If you can’t fit a keg inside the fridge it won’t make a good kegerator. Only buy mini-fridges with removable shelves so you can clear all the internal space for storing your kegs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Kegerator?
A kegerator is simply part fridge part keg. The entire fridge is occupied by a keg of beer which is linked up to a tap installed on the top roof of the fridge. They are great for kraft beers or your own home-brewed beverages which conventionally aren’t sold in bottles or cans – and more versatile than the regular ol’ garage beer fridge.
How Cold Should I Keep My Beer?
The optimal temperature for storing beer is at least 38°F. As long as it is below 55°F it won’t spoil but you may want it considerably lower for a refreshing, ice cold pint.