If you don't already know what a kegerator is, it is a magical machine that dispenses liquid happiness, better known as a draft beer system. However, these aren't only used as beer dispensers, they can be used to dispense any carbonated beverage. From cold brew coffee to kombucha, kegerators have become a home bar essential because of their versatility.
To get the most out of your kegerator and the best pour every time, you should know how it works. Also, if you are considering a kegerator purchase, you will need to understand the essential components you will need in order for your kegerator to function. Unless otherwise stated, many kegerators don't come with the internal components but they are necessary for the function of the beverage dispenser.
One of the best aspects of a kegerator is that the system is highly customizable. While there aren't many parts to a kegerator, there are many options for each of them. This gives the user, the ability to create an ideal beverage dispensing system! Kegerators are quite simple and once you have an understanding of the essential kegerator parts, you will be able to easily assemble your kegerator.
A standard kegerator includes these features and components:
1. Cabinet - The cabinet is the large refrigerated container that holds all the components including the keg. The ideal refrigeration temperature for your cabinet is between 32-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The cabinet will vary in size depending on the type of unit and number of faucets you choose to have. Many standard cabinets can hold different types of kegs and some can hold multiple barrel kegs in order to serve a variety of beverages from one unit.
2. Draft Tower - The tap tower sits on top of the cabinet and is the loading zone for your beverage, it travels up the tower and waits to be dispensed. Tap towers, also known as beer towers, come in many different shapes, styles, finishes, and varying numbers of faucets.
3. Faucet - This is where your beer is poured. Faucets or taps come in a variety of styles, shapes, and finishes. Traditionally made of chrome-plated brass or stainless steel, the shape of the faucet can affect your beverage pour. Be sure to choose the best faucet style for your beverage. You can also purchase a multiple tap faucet to serve many styles of beer or a variety of beverages.
4. Faucet Handle - Faucet handles come in a variety of styles, shapes, and finishes. You can even get handles custom made to suit your style or brand. This is the lever that you pull to dispense the beer from your draft system.
5. Drip Tray - Drip trays sit just below the faucet and collects any excess liquid that may drip down from overflow or accidental spills during pouring. Typically made of metal or plastic, these come in a variety of styles to suit every need.
6. Keg Coupler - This part is vital for connecting your gas and beer lines. The coupler connects directly to the keg and allows you to tap into the keg, running the gas through the gas line, which is connected to the CO2 tank and pushing the beverage out through the beer line. Couplers come in a variety of styles to suit specific beer kegs, the two most common couplers are the standard American D System and the S System, which is popular in Europe.
7. Keg - Probably the most important part of the kegerator, the keg contains the delicious ready-to-pour liquid and it comes in a variety of sizes. To find the right keg size for your kegerator, head to our Keg Size Guide.
8. CO2 Regulator - The regulator allows you to adjust and maintain CO2 pressure in order to dispense your beverage for the perfect pour every time.
9. CO2 Tank - An essential part of the beverage dispensing, the CO2 tank contains the gas that pushes your beverage out of the keg and gives it that fresh carbonated draft taste.
10. Beer Line - This tube is where the CO2 pushes the beverage out from the coupler and up to the beer tower.
11. Gas Line - This tube allows CO2 to travel through the coupler from the CO2 tank, pushing out the beverage from the keg.
12. Hose Clamps - A highly underrated component of a kegerator are the clamps. These clamps ensure the gas and beer lines are well-connected. Clamps come in different styles and often require tools to manipulate. We highly recommend these Thumb Screw Clamps, which are as strong as traditional clamps but they can easily be adjusted without tools.
For those of you considering making your own kegerator, in addition to a refrigerated cabinet of choice, you will need all of the internal parts listed. Many of these parts are found in a kegerator conversion kit and there are a variety of kits to suit your needs.
Now that you understand the basic components of a kegerator and how these parts work together, you can decide on what type of kegerator will suit your needs. With so many options out there, we created a complete guide on different types of kegerators with pros and cons.
If you need help with any of the parts listed above, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-710-9939 to reach our product specialists. Our team of product specialists can answer your questions and help you choose the right products for you.