At some point within their lives, numerous grown ups have picked up a red plastic cup, waited in a line in a yard and attempted to fill the cup with dark beer from a keg. They know what it’s like to find themselves tipping the cup at an angle, kneeling down below the keg’s lid, or choosing a friend to pump the tap while they poured. Whatever the amount of planning on the celebration planner’s component, kegs in general tend to be a difficult beast to control. They can be unreliable, difficult to keep at a great temperature and difficult to keep up over the course of evening.
This is when kegerators enter the scene — maintained at a perfect temperature, they are able to dispense beer rapidly with little trouble. If you take apart the word “kegerator,” you’ll discover its description: a refrigerator having a tap protruding out that is certainly attached to a keg within. Kegerators come in a number of styles and sizes. They can be found, leased or built, and they’re an excellent system to keep dark beer fresh for long periods of time of your time, which minimizes waste.
Even though a precise background of the kegerator is tough to trace, it is likely kegerators were available around the 1900s. Nevertheless, the Prohibition time period and World Wars I and II — not to mention expenses inside the years that followed — maintained home brewing at bay till concerning the 1980s. Home brewing then started to grow in popularity, and thus performed the kegerator.
As we’ll see all through this article, the kegerator is definitely an indispensible device for your home brewer and beer connoisseur as well. But up initially, we’ll check out the primary elements of a kegerator and how they work with each other to help keep beer fresh.
A kegerator functions by using carbon dioxide stress around the keg in order to drive the dark beer upwards and out of it. Although carbon dioxide is a all-natural by-item of fermentation, the cylinder allows for continuous and even stress to be placed on the keg whilst it’s tapped. This helps maintain consistency and carbonation. The tube loaded with carbon dioxide is linked to a regulator, a musical instrument that permits you to change pressure. The coupler, or the valve that faucets the keg and allows dark beer to flow as a result, utilizes a separate tubing enter and productivity. One pipe leads from the regulator for the “in” portion of the coupler, and another tube operates from your “out” part of the coupler and ends at the tap, away from in which the dark beer flows to your mug. The keg is generally kept in a refrigerator, which has the tap externally.
One of the main benefits of the kegerator is its ability to keep dark beer fresh for long periods of time. Dark beer saved in a kegerator should stay refreshing for about one 30 days, but it can stay good for as much as 4 months when the keg is maintained pressurized and effectively cooled [sources: BYO, Kegerators]. Several elements factor into dark beer spoilage, but you’ll find out more about that later in the following paragraphs.
The most significant facet in dispensing an ideal glass of refreshing dark beer is the heat. This is where a standard keg in someone’s yard falls short. But as the keg inside a kegerator is maintained refrigerated, this can be simple to regulate. Most dark beer that is stored cold is maintained at about 36 to 40 levels Fahrenheit (2.2 to 4.4 Celsius), even though this modifications from dark beer to beer. Storing it with a heat that is certainly too much or as well low can change the beer’s taste [source: Anheuser-Busch]. Calculating the heat can be accomplished in number of ways: Some prebuilt kegerators may come with a temperature gauge, but for the thrifty, a glass of water using a thermometer held in the kegerator can give an accurate reading.
If a kegerator sounds like the kind of thing you’d like to get within your home, read to discover what choices are readily available.
Different Types of Kegerators
There are a few techniques for getting a kegerator for home use, based how you will plan to use it and just how a lot you need to spend. If you want beer for any one-time occasion, you’ll likely have the ability to lease one. If you’re more interested in the entire year-circular usage of a brand new make, you may have two options: to buy one or assemble it yourself. A lot like fridges, kegerators arrive in many different sizes and shapes. They can hold varying keg dimensions, be altered for home brew or retail beer, and come with side- or top-installed faucets.
Should you be useful with tools, then building your personal kegerator may be considered a great solution for you. Many merchants providing premade kits for changing an existing refrigerator, so developing your very own is more inexpensive if you currently have a classic fridge that isn’t getting any use. Otherwise, you may have the capacity to buy a utilized one that you can modify. The most significant a part of developing your personal is ensuring that the refrigerator has enough space to hold how big keg you want in addition to the carbon dioxide canister and tubes.
When determining whether or not to develop your very own, you’ll should also element in the kind of dark beer you’ll be helping. Home brews are frequently kept in 5-gallon (19-liter) soft drinks kegs (also called Cornelius kegs), whereas those from liquor stores are usually larger [source: BYO, Kegworks]. The coupler that connects to these kegs is unique as well, with 6 versions in most. Your neighborhood liquor shop must be able to provide you with the correct coupler as soon as you tell them what type of dark beer you’ll be dispensing. Most North American lagers use a “D” system, which can be by far the most common from the 6 kinds. If home made dark beer is more your thing, then you’ll cwwmck be using the soda kegs, which generally demand a special ball and pin type coupler [resource: Micromatic].
With all these factors active in the dark beer keeping and serving procedure, you may be wondering whether or not this arrives in addition to any dangers. Over the following section, we’ll take a look at how to correctly maintain a kegerator as well as emphasize some safety issues that come along with utilizing the system within a home.