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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: rbowers on March 26, 2011, 05:18:46 PM

Title: Kegerator
Post by: rbowers on March 26, 2011, 05:18:46 PM
So I've decided to take the plunge and get a kegerator.  I'm trying to discern the difference in cost between buying a kit and likely a new small (dorm size) fridge or buying a kegerator outright.  I am looking for at least a 2 cornie keg capacity with a twin draft tower.  I've seen completed systems with co2 tank, 2 cornies, and everything else for around $750.  Does anyone have experience with building their own and if so what were the overall costs and labor time.  I'm not the handiest person around but could probably complete the task with adequate instruction.  Any advice?
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: euge on March 26, 2011, 05:48:32 PM
If you can try to find a used one on craig's list. Something like a Haier Kegerator actually is designed to hold a keg(s). Looking to the interior of the fridge you won't see the lip for the compressor, which reduces the ideal space. My point is you might even be able to place 4 kegs in one small fridge instead of 2.

I have a Sanyo 4912 which was around $180 spankin new. I can only fit 2 kegs in, but there are youtube videos on installing towers to this type of fridge.

Or you could go the freezer route, which will have it's "space complications" as well. To utilize it properly, you'll most likely will have to go bigger than smaller.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: djprint on March 27, 2011, 09:56:06 PM
I'm also looking at a kegerator and the price is $750 - $850 delivered with the dual tower, tanks, C02 canister, all connecting hoses, etc.  I'm thinking of buying the kegging equipment from Keg Connection and searching for a used/new refrigerator to convert, thereby saving the cost of the refrigerator and shipping.   Does anybody have any experience with Keg Connection? Would you recommend buying from them?
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: oscarvan on March 28, 2011, 07:19:49 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

three taps and all the accoutrements, $400 give or take.

One more tap to make it a four shooter will be another $50

The nice silver keggerators are cute, small and spensive.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 07:24:35 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

Cost to run it for a year....$3000.  ;)
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: Beer Monger on March 28, 2011, 07:27:41 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

three taps and all the accoutrements, $400 give or take.

One more tap to make it a four shooter will be another $50

The nice silver keggerators are cute, small and spensive.
Is that a fridge w/ room for 6 kegs for $50?  Not bad.  I got an old Pepsi 'Display' fridge about 15 years ago for $100 - 3 glass doors, room enough for 4 kegs and my large CO2 tank (which I keep in the fridge).  The dang thing weighs 300lbs!  lol

However, this fridge isn't the best setup for mounting taps on the outside, so my kegs still all have cobra taps.  Maybe I need to think about upgrading to a shorter fridge w/ no windows, so I can install some tap towers on top...
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: oscarvan on March 28, 2011, 07:35:11 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

Cost to run it for a year....$3000.  ;)

Funny. At 45º it doesn't run that often this time of year. It's on the cold end of the house, my office is right next to it and I can hear it when it runs..... however....in summer the "mudroom" as the pantry is known will get toastier...
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: gsandel on March 29, 2011, 02:58:41 AM
Quote
Quote from: denny on Today at 12:24:35 PM
Quote from: oscarvan on Today at 12:19:49 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

Cost to run it for a year....$3000. 

Funny. At 45º it doesn't run that often this time of year. It's on the cold end of the house, my office is right next to it and I can hear it when it runs..... however....in summer the "mudroom" as the pantry is known will get toastier...

Irony is lost.....The cost to run includes the beer to be consumed....hence the $3,000.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on March 30, 2011, 10:46:29 PM
I also have a Sanyo 4912. Love it! Two kegs fit perfect. I installed 4 taps right on the door. Also has a nice rack for can on the inside of the door. I set it at 42*, and it hardly ever runs, especially when both kegs are full. The only drawback........they quit making them. IIRC, Kenmore makes one with the same dimensions, but I don not remember the model number. If you can find an old 4912 on craigslist, or elsewhere, I say go for it. It's a great little piece.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: WDE97 on March 30, 2011, 11:05:05 PM
I also have a Sanyo 4912. Love it! Two kegs fit perfect. I installed 4 taps right on the door. Also has a nice rack for can on the inside of the door. I set it at 42*, and it hardly ever runs, especially when both kegs are full. The only drawback........they quit making them. IIRC, Kenmore makes one with the same dimensions, but I don not remember the model number. If you can find an old 4912 on craigslist, or elsewhere, I say go for it. It's a great little piece.

Walmart still advertises the Sanyo 4912, for $249.  Don't know if this is the same one you have, Weaz, or a newer version. I was thinking of building a small kegerator myself here soon and I found it on their website. I have seen several people post conversion instructions for this fridge on other sites and they fit 2 kegs and a 5lb CO2 tank inside.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sanyo-5-Cu-Ft-Counter-High-All-Refrigerator-with-Platinum-Door/10779331
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on March 30, 2011, 11:24:27 PM
That looks like the one. Swore it had been discontinued. I keep my tank outside. It can fit inside, but it's a real puzzle to get in just right. It's easier for me to have it outside, then, if I need to make any adjustments to the preassure, or what ever, it's just right there. If you are in the market for a two tap fridgem you can't go wrong with it.

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001138.jpg)
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: WDE97 on March 30, 2011, 11:44:06 PM
Nice setup.  I'm glad it wasn't discountinued as it looks like a perfet keggerator fridge.  I was considering going with a 2-tap tower, but the through-door taps will eliminate the possibility of cutting the cooling lines in the top.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on March 31, 2011, 01:52:22 AM
Nice setup.  I'm glad it wasn't discountinued as it looks like a perfet keggerator fridge.  I was considering going with a 2-tap tower, but the through-door taps will eliminate the possibility of cutting the cooling lines in the top.

only bad thing about my setup is it's a little low, but I set it up on a table, and it works just right. Lot cheaper than a tower too. I like it.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: corkybstewart on March 31, 2011, 03:23:40 AM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

Cost to run it for a year....$3000.  ;)
I'm using a fridge I bought new around the early 90's for the kitchen as my lagering/carbonating fridge.  I would like to buy an energy efficient modern one but I have a problem with the cost effectiveness.  I live in the desert southwest, have electric AC(6-8 months per year), electric water heater, 2 freezers for food, a chest freezer and fridge for beer, a fridge for food, a water well and a swimming pool with electric pump.  My electric bill for the year is UNDER $2000.  How much will I save by spending $600 on a new energy efficient fridge?
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: Beer Monger on March 31, 2011, 01:12:33 PM
That looks like the one. Swore it had been discontinued. I keep my tank outside. It can fit inside, but it's a real puzzle to get in just right. It's easier for me to have it outside, then, if I need to make any adjustments to the preassure, or what ever, it's just right there. If you are in the market for a two tap fridgem you can't go wrong with it.

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001138.jpg)
Very nice!  But I'm gonna suggest one small improvement:

Attach one of these to the front about a foot under the taps:
(http://morebeer.com/themes/morewinepro/thumbs/250x250/product_images/morebeer.com/1/2372.jpg)

Then run the drain line to a big gulp cup or other resivoir inside the fridge.  ;) 

I'm gonna build myself one in the next year or so.  Gotta convince the wife. 

By the way - what are the interior dimensions of that fridge? 
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on March 31, 2011, 08:25:50 PM
Not a very good pic, but I made this one myself. Frame is SS, with expanded metal tray, painted black. The catch is just a fifty cent aluminum bread pan. when it get nasty, I toss it out, and put a new one in.

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001636.jpg)

I'm in Ohio right now, but when I get home to Idaho, I'll check those dimensions for you, if no one else has posted by then.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: Kit B on March 31, 2011, 09:21:06 PM
I use black, plastic trays that are made for drywall compound.
I put sticky velcro or double-stick tape on them.
They last forever & don't look too bad.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: euge on March 31, 2011, 10:06:38 PM
I'll check mine when I get home tonight. What I can say right now is that it'll never hold more than two 5 gallon cornies without modification.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on April 01, 2011, 02:31:22 AM
Hate to argue with you, but if you wiggle it all just right, you can get a 5# tank inthere with the cornies. I'm not saying it's easy, but I have done. Was not happy about having to put the puzzle all back together each time, so I moved it outside, but it can be done. It's tighter than a frogs butt, though. I'll tell ya that.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: euge on April 01, 2011, 03:40:25 AM
Saw somewhere that the door's inside panel replaced with a sheet of plexiglass increases the wiggle room.

But where would I hang my cobra taps then?  BTW weaze I like how you went through the door with your taps.  Added to the list of things to do. Eventually.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: euge on April 01, 2011, 06:32:45 AM
OK measured the interior.

29.5" H but subtract 8" for compressor
19" W subtract 1" due to shelving supports
17.5 L but subtract 4" for compressor

Door shelving is 4"

So if the door is modified, then it is possible to squeeze four 3 gallon kegs on a shelf in the Sanyo.


Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: Beer Monger on April 01, 2011, 11:44:30 AM
OK measured the interior.

29.5" H but subtract 8" for compressor
19" W subtract 1" due to shelving supports
17.5 L but subtract 4" for compressor

Door shelving is 4"

So if the door is modified, then it is possible to squeeze four 3 gallon kegs on a shelf in the Sanyo.



Thanks for the info.  :) 
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: euge on April 01, 2011, 04:51:58 PM
You're welcome. It may just be four 2.5 gallon kegs. Might have been thinking a bit too ambitiously last night.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: oscarvan on April 01, 2011, 11:12:03 PM
Quote
Quote from: denny on Today at 12:24:35 PM
Quote from: oscarvan on Today at 12:19:49 PM
Craigslist fridge with room for 6 and hops freezer below..... $50

Cost to run it for a year....$3000. 

Funny. At 45º it doesn't run that often this time of year. It's on the cold end of the house, my office is right next to it and I can hear it when it runs..... however....in summer the "mudroom" as the pantry is known will get toastier...

Irony is lost.....The cost to run includes the beer to be consumed....hence the $3,000.

Ah...... fatigue is an issue sometimes. Actually.... since October, so 6 months 100 gallons, at a cost of about $3/G, so $300, x2= $600 a year..... compared to close to 10K for commercial beer.... I'll take it.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: gsandel on April 01, 2011, 11:53:13 PM
Quote
Ah...... fatigue is an issue sometimes. Actually.... since October, so 6 months 100 gallons, at a cost of about $3/G, so $300, x2= $600 a year..... compared to close to 10K for commercial beer.... I'll take it.
3

My records have me about $4.50/galllon for the last several years (ranging between $3.80 and $6.50 per gallon per batch)....so $3/gallon is pretty good.  I am all over the place, neither too light, nor too heavy....no IPA's of any kind, no imperials, mostly all grain 5-6% ABV with the occasional 8% christmas beer.

 
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: oscarvan on April 02, 2011, 03:18:08 PM
My records have me about $4.50/galllon for the last several years (ranging between $3.80 and $6.50 per gallon per batch)....so $3/gallon is pretty good.  I am all over the place, neither too light, nor too heavy....no IPA's of any kind, no imperials, mostly all grain 5-6% ABV with the occasional 8% christmas beer.

I'm paying $.70 / pound for two row * 20-22 for the average beer = $14-=$16, two or three dollars worth of specialty grain = $17-$19
I reuse yeast but have to buy say every fourth batch so $2 = $19-$21. Say an average of 5 ounces of hops at $1.25 or so = $6 so now we're at $25 to $27...... some salts, a whirlfloc tablet, some propane water and electricity..... call it an even $30/10=$3

Now there's 128 ounces in a gallon so we're talking $.30 for a 12 ounce beer...... even if it was $.50 after the fermenteezers, keggerator and dishwasher do their thing.....A case of SNPA is $38/24=$1.58 So I'm well ahead of the game. And we're not even talking about the better Belgians. There the savings are enormous.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: gsandel on April 02, 2011, 08:50:40 PM
Rock on Oscar! Rock ON!  The best I am doing is about 95 cents a pound on base malt (in my case, 2 row, Western)...I would love to hear where you are getting for less..I was 2 inches shy of starting my own brewery, and then I found a paying  job...in that time, I checked out pricing for grains wholesale....they run about 45 cents a pound for 2 row....of course, if you buy tons, it is less, but 45 cents for a pallet and 43 cents for in excess of 10,000 lbs....and that is if I pick it up myself.....which, living in Denver, (close to coors and a gazillion micros.....).

I calculated my costs at about $0.35-$0.50 a 12 ouncer....my 2010 batch average was 0.46 cents a 12 ounce bottle.

Even at that, I didn't include labor costs (hey, its a hobby, ain't it?) and figured that below 50 cents a bottle is pretty good if you are going to compare with over the bar prices.....my business model was 100% over the bar sales (with some discount for growler sales).  My ultimate assessment was that small local brewery with only over the bar sales (and no restaurant) is the way to go.  Launching into production brewery is suicide.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: weazletoe on April 03, 2011, 02:33:54 AM
I scored pretty decent in Idaho. I can buy grain from the brewery there for 0.80 a #. Beats my 1.25 at the old LHBS. Can also gets hops there at a pretty good price. Yeast is another story. Said she will not sell me any of it. And, of course, any other odds and ends I'll have to order online, but for the price of grain, I can't complain.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: oscarvan on April 04, 2011, 11:08:21 AM
I get 25kg bags of Muntons from a local brew pub for $35 out the door..... 25 x 2.2 = 55 pounds.... $35 / 55 = $0.64 per pound.
Title: Re: Kegerator
Post by: maxieboy on April 04, 2011, 05:08:05 PM
I get 25kg bags of Muntons from a local brew pub for $35 out the door..... 25 x 2.2 = 55 pounds.... $35 / 55 = $0.64 per pound.

Why you sonofa...