UPDATE: Ack! Apparently my dashboard ate my previous version of this post for no reason. I hate technology…. If this version of the post sucks more than the first, I apologize.
There is a blog I’ve been watching for a while called IKEAhacker. It is all about projects you can do and things you can make by repurposing stuff from IKEA. I’ve been reading it in part because I’m a sucker for IKEA stuff, and in part because I knew that ideas I could use for this blog’s Basement Bar Design series would show up there in due course.
Apparently, I’m psychic….
IKEAhacker’s latest post, Cheers, it’s a Kegerator! shows how to use a few miscellaneous items from the scratch and dent bin at IKEA to dress up an old commercial refrigerator into a very nice cardiovascular system for a beer-centric home bar. You should visit IKEAHacker to see the products they use, and to just look around.
The post is useful, but I thought I’d do a little digging around to help you out with the one thing that Jules doesn’t go into, the tap mechanism itself.
There are lots of conversion kits available on the web that will accomplish this end. At a minimum, a kit will need a keg tap, hoses, a faucet, a regulator, and a CO2 tank. Make sure you get the last, as it is not included in all kits.
There are two different types of pouring faucets: Door mount, and tower. The kind pictured above is a tower, and mounts to the top of the fridge. The larger fixture will make a kit of this type cost about eighty dollars more than a door mount, but a door mount on a short appliance like this would require a suppler back and sturdier knees than I for one posses. If you are converting an old full or apartment sized fridge, go for the door mount.
The cheapest kit I found was a door mount that, with gas tank, would cost about $140 from Beverage Factory.
The tower kits come with either one or two spouts. Since a fridge of the size shown would not likely have room for two kegs, I assume the person who made it went the two faucet route because of appearance, or because it was what was at the store. A base, one spout, tower kit can cost as little as $214 from KegWorks.
There are also deluxe kits that come with better components, and more importantly, with maintenance materials. A tower kit of this nature goes for $490 from KegWorks.
I would be remiss in any Basement Bar Design post if I did not link to myself with some thoughts from previous posts. First off, how can I say this… The handles on the faucets you see on all these kits are… well… plain.
They are boring!
OK, they are boring. Consider investing in something like this to show some personality. And if you don’t have the money, space, or cordless drill needed to go the custom kegerator route, you could still use one of the tabletop mini kegerators you can buy for a couple hundred bucks.
If you are going to go this route, Beverage Factory has a free manual on how to convert a fridge to a kegerator. I’d advise reading it before you even think of buying any components.
If that is to dry for you, or you are still in the decision phase, Kegworks has a great demonstration video, featuring
Bob Villa Robert Hess, that is less detailed and complete, but gives a more intuitive view of what this project would take:
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Here’s a list of the other articles in this series that have been posted so far:
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