If you want to serve draft beer in your house, a refrigerator conversion kit may be the way to go.
The desire to have your own beer on tap can be very strong to some, especially to home brewers who have enough bottle washing, filling, and capping to last a lifetime.
A refrigerator conversion kit can get you up and running in just a few hours, provided you have an old fridge ready to be used. Most kits will contain everything you need to get started, with the option to include a new (but empty) CO2 tank. So before the stores close on tapping day, make sure you run out and either get your cylinder filled or rent one from the local gas or welding supply store. A 5 lb tank will dispense 4-6 ½ kegs while on the larger end of the spectrum a 20 lb tank will dispense more than 25 ½ kegs. If you are planning on using your CO2 tank to force carbonate homebrew then you should plan on the tank lasting significantly less time before needing a refill. The best way to avoid the dangers of running out of carbon dioxide (and with it, beer) is to purchase two 5 lb tanks so you always have a spare waiting. You can easily do this at the same time you order the refrigerator conversion kit and you will never run out of CO2, as long as you keep the second tank filled.
If you’re ready to buy a kit, we recommend going with the best quality the first time for fail proof installations with the Deluxe Refigerator Conversion Kit.
If however you would rather build your own system than purchase a pre-assembled refrigerator conversion kit, here is a list of all the equipment you will need:
Faucet Handle- Sometimes called a faucet knob or tap handle. This is the lever that you pull on the faucet to make the beer come out. You can screw just about any faucet handle onto our faucets. Our kits come with a small, black generic one.
Faucet- This is where the beer comes out. There are lots of parts inside the faucet, so it should be cleaned regularly.
Shank- A 5-12″ long steel tube that runs through the hole you drill in your fridge door. The faucet screws into one end and the beer line screws onto the other end.
Beer Line Jumper- This is a 5′ long piece of dense food grade tubing that connects the keg coupler to the faucet/shank assembly. We provide you with the proper connectors to attach the beer line at both ends.
Regulator- The regulator connects to the CO2 Tank. It steps the gas pressure down to a level that is right for dispensing beer. Most of our kits come with a double gauge regulator. One gauge tells you the pressure going into the keg, the other gauge tells you how much air you have left in your air tank.
CO2 Tank- our kits come with a steel, 5 pound CO2 Tank. You can dispense about 5-7 half kegs of beer with a 5 pound tank. Tanks can be filled by welding supply companies, fire extinguisher supply companies and gas dealers. Look under “Gas” in the yellow pages in your local phone book for dealers near you.
Keg Coupler- This is the piece that attaches to the keg and actually taps it. There are six different types of keg couplers used throughout the world. Which ones you need depends upon which brand of beer you want to drink.
Air Line Jumper- Piece of tubing that runs between the regulator and the keg coupler.
In most cases it is far more economical to purchase a refrigerator conversion kit with all the necessary parts already included and guaranteed to fit correctly.