How does a Kegerator system work?
“How do draft beer systems work?” … this is a common question that I get.
Before I get started on that, one quick clarification … Kegerator is a word used to describe a fridge with a draft beer system built into it.
That said, I decided to put together a diagram below that helps explain how a draft beer system works, within a kegerator or within a fridge for either commercial draft systems or home bars. I will also link up where you can purchase these items on the site.
Depending on if your system is an at home kegerator, a commercial cold box with through wall faucets, or an under the counter refrigerator with lines running to a tap … the basics of the system in the diagram are all the same.
1. Keg – types include:
a. Sanky – typical commercial style keg often sold in 1/2 barrel size or 1/6 barrel (or sixtel) size
b. Cornelius or Corny keg, which is sometimes called a soda keg because it is the keg commonly used for soda
2. CO2 tank – typically sold in 5lb tanks for home bars or kegerators but are larger for commercial draft beer systems … CO2 serves two purposes:
a. The pressure helps push the beer out of the keg into your glass via a beer tap
b. It also keeps the beer carbonated ... because who likes flat beer!?
3. Regulator – this attaches to the CO2 tank and controls the pressure going from the CO2 tank to the keg (typical serving pressure is between 8-10 psi)
4. Keg Coupler – specific to the type of keg (although standard US kegs are D-System Couplers) … these connect to the keg and allow CO2 to enter the keg and beer to dispense
5. Gas Line – Typically red with a 5/16” Inner Diameter (make sure you check the barbed connector sizes of the tailpieces)
6. Beer Line – can be 3/16” or 1/4” Inner Diameter, although typically 3/16” ID is more common because it prevents foamy pours (make sure you check the barbed connector sizes of the tailpieces)
7. Beer Shank – a beer shank is used to go through a fridge wall or a kegerator tower wall and is essentially an adapter that allows the beer line to connect to a beer tap / faucet
8. Shank Tailpieces – these are adapters that allow the beer line to connect to the shank or the gas line to connect to the keg coupler
9. Beer Faucet (sometimes called a beer tap) – used to actually dispense beer and connects to the shank
10. Tap Handle – attaches to the faucet or tap
11. Drip Tray – comes in many sizes and shapes depending on your commercial draft beer system or home bar / kegerator system and can come with a drain or without
If you have a kegerator or commercial beer fridge then your system will come with a Beer Tower which typically comes with a tower shank installed and beer line coming out the bottom with a tailpiece
Also, you will want to have a shank wrench on hand because removing or installing the beer faucet without one is quite challenging.
We do sell complete kits to convert a fridge into a kegerator system ... check them out!
If you have any questions about this, feel free to shoot me a message … CHEERS!