If beer’s a staple in your household, you might be wondering: what size kegerator should I buy? There’s not a single simple answer, though — it depends on how much beer you want to keep on hand as well as when you’ll use it. Will it be a weekend thing? Or will you keep a stock for parties? The size of your keg will dictate the size of kegerator you need.
What Is a Kegerator?
The purpose of a kegerator is to contain, cool, and dispense beer from kegs. A kegerator can be nothing fancier than a refrigerator for beer kegs, but it can also have a variety of bells and whistles for holding kegs, cooling, and dispensing beer. That’s what complicates things when it comes to the size of kegerator you need: some features add size, meaning that two equally sized kegerators with different features might take up different amounts of space.
Kegerators come in four main types:
- mini kegerators
- PORTABLE SIZE: 128oz capacity and the size of 7.7"L x 5.3"W x 18.3"H fits standard home cooler/fridge and easy to transport
- KEEP YOUR BEER FRESH: Mini dispenser system can maintain vacuum pressure in the keg and keep fresh of homebrew, draft and craft beer for few months, also the food grade stainless steel material keeps beer flavor
- UPGRADED REGULATOR: The upgraded regulator has a more accurate PSI degree, fine-tune pressure by rotating the adjustment knob can make the beer get perfect carbonation and head
- CO2 CARTRIDGE SYSTEM: Screw CO2 gas cartridges（3/8" Thread）into the regulation supply to maintains perfect carbonation. 16g capsule can tap 128OZ of beer. (CO2 CARTRIDGE NOT INCLUDED)
- MINI KEG COOLER JACKET: The insulated keg cooler fits 128oz mini keg, this jacket will keep your beer cold for 3 hours at room temperature. There is nothing more fun than drinking ice cold beer!
- full-size kegerators for home use
- Holds US Standard 1/4 and 1/2 Kegs. Does NOT support use of Coors, Miller, rubberized or other oversized kegs
- Temp Range: Low 30's to Mid 40's; Easy conversion to a refrigerator; 5 lbs CO2 cylinder included (supplied empty)
- Dimensions: 50-7/16" H (includes tap & casters) x 20-3/16" W x 20-1/16" D (Depth w/ external tank mounted: 30-1/2") (Height w/out tap and casters: 33-1/8"), Warranty: 90 days labor, 1 year parts
- For freestanding use only, Casters included for easy mobility, Drip tray catches spills to contain drips and messes
- For a stainless steel version please see model# KC2000SSA, for a dual tap see KC2000TWIN, and dual tap stainless KC2000SSTWIN
- commercial kegerators
- Stainless steel exterior & interior
- Digital Electronic Controller
- Maintains temperatures between 33°F – 40°F
- Heavy duty Embraco compressor with environmentally friendly R290 refrigerant
- outdoor kegerators
- 〔 2 in 1 Functionality 〕It can be used as an outdoor fridge with the 3 shelves that comes by default, it can also be used as an kegerator with 3 taps and a spacious interior space big enough to accommodate one full-size keg (15.5 gallon), two 1/4 beer barrels (7.75 gallon each), and three 5 gallon kegs. (Note: Kegs are NOT included)
- 〔 Comes with Full Accessories 〕Besides the complete set of D system keg tapping kit, which allows you to dispense cold draft beer of your choice straight from the keg, the guard rail, drip tray, casters, safety lock and three (3) wire shelves for refrigerator use are also included by default, and all these significantly reduce your extra purchasing costs and save your time
- 〔 High Flexibility of Placement 〕It can be used as a freestanding or built-in kegerator/refrigerator, with its fully reversible stainless door, you can change the orientation of the door according to your needs
- 〔 Precise Temperature Control 〕Its powerful and highly efficient compressor-based cooling system utilize environmental friendly R600a refrigerant, providing an effective temperature range from 32°F to 50°F, and the temperature is constantly monitored by its built-in sensors that helps keeping your favorite beverages at its best shape and ready to serve you when needed. Most importantly, you can adjust the temperature setting by using the press button controller with blue-colored LED display
- 〔 Hassle Free 〕We also offer 1 year factory warranty on non-consumable components, and 3 years on compressor. If you need any further assistance, we are just one Amazon message away to ensure your 100% satisfaction
Mini kegerators might vary in size, but most often, you’ll find that mini kegerators that are countertop units and can fit 5-liter kegs.
Full-size home kegerators hold full-size (half-barrel) kegs. Normally, full-size home kegerators are free-standing refrigerator units although some are built-in kitchen appliances. Commercial kegerators are used mainly in bars, restaurants, and by caterers, as they are designed for heavier use and often hold larger kegs than ones intended for homes.
There’s an important distinction here, though: full-size kegerators aren’t the same thing as full-size refrigerators. Full-size kegerators are typically larger than conventional mini-fridges and apartment fridges but smaller than most full refrigerators. You may need to measure the space you’re reserving for your kegerator and look at the unit’s dimensions to make sure it will fit.
It’s important to note that normal kegerators aren’t generally designed for outdoor use. The compressors in most kegerators are designed to work within specific temperature ranges, and functioning outside of that range (for example, temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit and higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit) can accelerate the process of wear and tear and leave you with a broken unit. If you’re going to regularly use your kegerator outside, you’ll need to make sure the one you get is intended for that.
The size of your kegerator will depend on not only the keg size to be accommodated but also the number of features that you want to supplement its basic refrigeration function.
The first consideration is aesthetic features. Most kegerators are only for use inside your home, office, or catered party room. Outside use requires special features.
Some kegerators are very attractive structures designed to blend in with furniture or other appliances. Others are more utilitarian, like for heavy-duty usage by caterers, for example.
Kegerators pressurize a keg and circulate the suds through a draft line into the tap tower without a need for hand-pumping. Essential features or accessories for dispensing beer from kegs include:
- A tower with a faucet
- Handles and hoses
- Kegerator CO2 tank
It should be noted that some breweries offer kegs that are sized slightly larger than standard non-branded kegs. Make sure to check the dimensions of your potential kegerator and kegs from breweries you’ll be shopping from to be sure they’ll fit.
What Keg Size Should You Use?
A keg of beer is not a standard measurement of volume. Rather, it is a container the size of which is pegged to a barrel volume measurement. Barrels are measurements of different liquids. In the US, a barrel generally translates to 31.5 gallons. However, a barrel of oil is 42 gallons. A barrel of beer or other fermented liquids is 31 gallons.
Kegs come in different sizes depending on their gallon capacity. Ironically, one full keg is equivalent to half a barrel. Why? Because a full barrel would be too much to handle for most users on most occasions. A full-size (half-barrel size) keg holds 15.5 gallons of beer or about 165 12-oz glasses. Standard full-size kegs are usually 23-inches tall and 16 inches in diameter and weigh about 160 pounds when full. You typically won’t find home kegerators for use with full-size kegs; they’re usually the domain of commercial units.
A half-size (quarter-barrel size) keg holds 7.75 gallons. They come in two sizes. The standard half keg is 13 ⅞-inches tall, 16 ⅛ inches in diameter, and weighs about 87 pounds when full. The slimmer type of half keg is 23 ⅜-inches tall and 11 ⅛ inches in diameter. This is the size you’ll see most often used with full-sized kegerators, along with quarter-kegs.
Is a Kegerator Economical?
Kegerator prices can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and the size of the refrigerator. As you might guess, larger kegerators will usually cost more than smaller ones, but that cost might be offset by how often you’ll use it. If you regularly hold large gatherings and go through large amounts of beer or other draft beverages, it might be worth the investment in the long run versus continuing to buy cans or bottles.
Smaller units are a different story. While everyone’s budget is different, you can find countertop units at prices between $100 and $200. On the less-expensive side of things, full-sized kegerators fall in the $550-plus range, with premium units stretching into thousands of dollars. When you start adding features, the price rises, so just like with the ideal size of your kegerator, whether it’s economical depends largely on your situation.
Having said that, you also have the option of building yourself a kegerator with a mini-fridge and individual parts. This does require quite a bit of mechanical know-how as you’ll need to modify the refrigerator’s exterior to add taps, seal any gaps you create, and make sure there’s space for the CO2 tank (or modify the fridge further to store the tank outside).
Kegerators come in many sizes and functions. Home-use kegerators are very popular among beer lovers who want convenient access to draft beer that is cold and fresh. Ultimately, the best size of kegerator fridge depends on the amount of beer you’ll be going through.
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