I've known for a while that I'd eventually switch from bottling to kegging, so I kept my eyes out for a good deal on kegs. About 18 months ago I was able to get four used ball lock kegs delivered for $200 from ebay, so I picked them up and put them in the garage.
Fast forward to March of this year. My club decided to pour during Social Club at NHC and that meant I needed to keg some beer. I picked up a regulator, dusted off a still-full 10 pound CO2 tank from when I used to offroad. A few connectors and some tubing and I was able to fill and carbonate my keg. I used a picnic tap to dispense. It was a bare-bones setup, but I was able to keg my beer for NHC.
Shortly before NHC I sold my house and moved into a new house with a bigger garage. The previous owner didn't want to move a side-by-side refridgerator, so they sold it to me and I decided to convert it into a kegerator. I ordered a couple of Perlick faucets, some stainless steel shanks and hardware, and turned the fridge into a two-tap kegerator. My CO2 bottle is too big to fit in the fridge with two kegs. For now, I just connect the gas occasionally to re-pressurize the kegs.
Long term, I'm going to invest in a secondary regulator to mount inside the fridge and run the gas line through the wall to the CO2 tank.
Bill of Materials sans Kegs:
- 2 * Perlick 630SS
- 2 * 6" stainless steel shanks
- 2 * plastic tap handles
- 20 ft Ultra Barrier Silver Antimicrobial Beer Tubing (3/16" ID)
- 2 * MFL Liquid ball lock disconnects
- 2 * Barbed Gas ball lock disconnects
- 2 * barbs for liquid lines
- 2 * stainless tailpieces
- 2 * stainless tailpiece wingnuts
- 2 * shank washers
- 1 * 10" stainless drip tray
- 1 * faucet wrench
- 1 * 8.5" x 11" magnetic whiteboard
- handful of velcro straps that I had onhand
- 3 sheetmetal screws
With the exception of the beer tubing which was purchased from MoreBeer and the whiteboard which was purchased from Target, I purchased everything from RiteBrew.com as they had fair prices and everything I wanted in one place.
Installation was relatively straightforward. I borrowed a 1" hole saw from a friend. After determining where I wanted my faucets, I used a center punch to put a little divit in the sheetmetal of the fridge to prevent the hole saw from walking all over the place. I then drilled the holes, installed the shanks, ran the beer lines carefully coiling up the additional line and securing it with velcro ties. I screwed the faucets on, then used my line cleaner to flush the lines with BLC for 15 minutes each. I recirculated clean rinse water for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes of Star San. Then I hooked up my kegs and started pouring.
I mounted the drip tray with some sheet metal screws I had onhand.
Because I already had a CO2 tank onhand, I was able to set everything up for about $250 sans secondary regulator. I'll probably pick up that secondary regulator soon (~$80) as it's a pain having to drag my tank over and refill the kegs when they start pouring more slowly or I notice the carbonation level a little low.