Yes, I know… planning is boring. Hardly anyone likes it, but… if you’re a beer freak like me and you brew your beer, there’s a good chance that planning is at least as pleasant for you as making a ready-made plan. Because. Let’s be clear – without a plan it’s gonna fall apart… and mostly expensive and spectacular.
To begin with, we need to answer some questions. Okay, even a dozen. Didn’t I mention that I’m a perfectionist? Well, then I say. I don’t leave anything to chance. I’m a difficult man.
First and foremost, why do we need a kegger? The automatically imposed answer “to beer!” is of course correct, but it is incomplete and its extension will allow us to narrow down our search while buying a fridge. So what should we pay attention to?
– How many and what kind of kegs do we want to keep in the kegger – most of us choose two typical cornelius, however, it should be remembered that needs change and perhaps it is worth considering whether in the future there will be a need to put three kegs, small cornelius one on top of the other (ideal for dividing the brew), or petainers or other commercial kegs.
– Are we planning to use space for lagging or temperature control during fermentation in addition to the outlet?
– Do we want to store bottles/glass in it and if so, how much
– Do we need a functioning freezer to store hops
– Maybe we have other individual needs, like a hyperspace portal. I could use one.
All this has to be carefully thought through and then taken into account at the design stage.
Another question is where we would like to put our great equipment and how much space we have for it. Contrary to appearances, this is a tricky question, because very often the needs from the first point suggest a final product that does not in any way fit where we planned to put it.
I had it myself. It didn’t fit in anymore. I jumped from low fridges to monsters 180cm high before stabilizing at ~120cm. So it’s worth considering a few options. Apart from that, you can approach the kegger, which we would like to put on the view and let’s not fool ourselves – boast about it, expose it in the room, and otherwise to the purely utility equipment put in the garage
TIP: An important point – when planning a room, remember that most fridges are suitable for temperatures from 10’C upwards, so an unheated garage may not be an optimal location for them.
The next issue is purely practical and sometimes determined by personal preferences, but the question has to be asked – how and where we would like to locate the taps. In general, we have two possibilities – a column (for example the popular Cobra) or directly on the refrigerator door/wall (something a’la keezer).
The natural issue to consider is the appearance, and how much we are able to trust our manual and artistic skills so that the end result meets our expectations in terms of aesthetics. This is especially important for built-in fridges, which are not beautiful straight from the palette… 😉 On the Internet you can find many great examples of ready-made DIY keggers (do it yourself, made by hand).
Building Your Own Kegerator – Tools
What we have and what we will need to buy (with money, often in quite painful amounts) or borrow (and if so, where/who from).
Skills, technical and manual. If so far the peak of our activities with tools was making a vegetable cutting board during ZPT lessons, let’s think whether we can do the task alone. Sometimes it is worth asking for help from people more experienced in using power tools. It’s mainly about safety, but we don’t want to destroy the fridge we’re processing, or turn it into an anti-tank bullet that can pierce carbon dioxide cylinders. If you’re not feeling confident about building your own kegerator, or need a more professional device see our guide on buying best kegerator.
The workplace – just like during all kinds of technical work, we’re going to mess up the place around us quite concretely. Painting, in particular, can make us dirty, and additionally fills the room with solvent notes 😉, hence the need for good ventilation. Not everyone can work in an open garage or in the open air.
Time – faster means more expensive and with mistakes. If we want to have the equipment ready for the day after tomorrow, let’s go to the shop. It’s a long, but at the same time very rewarding process to make a kegger yourself.
Learning. How much we want to explore the subject. It is not enough to read my posts and listen to Kopyra Brewery, although I will try to give a solid dose of practical knowledge in the next few weeks. The more we know, the better we are able to prepare for our project, the fewer mistakes we will make during the course and the better we will be able to react effectively to those that will happen to us.
And that they will happen, you can be sure of that.
The reaction of the environment. Let’s probe and prepare the ground, because although it may seem unbelievable to us, not everyone will accept with open hands a big, humming and in some eyes – a hideous new grate at home.
The degree of beer shit and constancy in your feelings. If you’re interested in beer for a while, wait. If you’re brewing for a short time or just planning on getting started, get your first bottle cuts first. There will come a time for everything. If in a couple of months, a year, the kegger will still be dreaming of you after the nights, it will be that time. Believe me, it’s worth the wait. The end result will be completely different, much better suited to you than if you start construction right now, right away. I’ve waited and I’m very grateful for this patience.
Planned mileage in liters per month. How much beer do we drink (mainly the one brewed at home) and whether we are able to drink (not necessarily alone) the whole keg of the same production. If you never come back to the same beer a second time and while looking for a beer absolute, you keep on getting more and more reams on Polski Kraft, think about what will be on the taps and where you will get it from.
And finally – Finances. Let’s not fool ourselves. Even looking for a bargain and using second-hand equipment, this is an expensive event. There are really a lot of things to buy that cost a lot more than common sense dictates.
And what do we have to buy? About this in the next episode of the #kegerator cycle
It’s worth reading and looking at:
– physics of liquids under pressure – balancing the beer line
– materials of which beer lines should be made
– relations from conversion of fridges and refrigerators to keggers