Everybody knows that beer – the chilling of, the serving of and the serving of again and … make that ‘again’ – is THE most important component of a successful tailgate party. Oh, along with bacon flavored food but that’s another story which we address elsewhere.
Back to the beer and not a moment too soon. The investment in a fine kegerator will save you money. Bulk liquid is better than any investment in a pile of waste – beer bottles and cans which end up in the trash can.
Here’s a list of the essential beer kegerator accessories for those who have invested in a kegerator or want to convert your fridge to one. This is how you will get the most out of your useful gadgets. I figured it just may be helpful for you to have this list here all together as it will save you searching for them. When last I looked, there was no ‘Kegerators Are Us’ chain of stores so please regard this as your personal shopping list and resource which I will update over the months. The actual usage of individual items will depend on your initial purchase, and the list is in no particular order of priority. Again, this depends on your own needs.
HINT: If you are purchasing items which may need replacing on a regular basis, buy multiples up front and avoid costly shipping costs.
HINT: Keep a file of assembly instruction books, company contacts for service.
This is what is says: ULTIMATE! Every part you require for creating your own kegerator is in this awesome kit. Even stainless steel drip trays for that professional bar feel. If you have a small generator, a trailer hitch or you drive a Silverado, you can transport your mega-kego to the parking lot and your friends will gather round like yellow-jacket wasps to an open can of Sprite. Attach all this stuff to a small refrigerator (and these are so cheap at the moment) and your beer serving skills will be ramped up to Pro level. What’s not to love about a continuous supply of draft beer? You might never make it into the stadium, but hey, tailgating isn ‘t really about the game, and with a TV hooked up to the generator, a couple of comfy chairs and food that contains bacon, all’s right with the world. Kegco is numero uno in the keg design and building field so you can bet on good after sales service and advice. Full installation instructions are included so all you have to supply is the BEER and getting that tailgate party happening!
This clip or clamp attaches to a fermenting bucket or carboy to hold a regular Auto-Siphon in place. If you are a home-brewer, you will definitely need this. It will suit a specific size of auto siphon so when you get to this site, be sure you select the one that gives the most accurate, air-free result. If air escapes from the tubing because of a loose fit, you won’t get that siphon happening so check this from the supplier before finalizing your payment and order. See later note on Keg Lube. It may be all you need for a tight seal.
NOTE: Cornelius (‘Corny’) kegs come in two different styles, one being the pin lock the other is a ball lock. The terms ‘pin lock’ and ‘ball lock’ both refer to the way the quick disconnects attach to the Cornelius keg. Here’s a video that explains the difference.
Kegs can be used for home-brew or you can fill them with draft beer or soda. It’s up to you.
This set is not the most upmarket in the range but has all the parts you need to ensure an airtight fit. It features a ball lock system, gas in and out and beer out.
Beer out connection features 1/4″ MFL fitting with 1/4″ Flare Fitting to fit 3/16″ ID Beer Line.
Gas in connection features 1/4″ MFL filling with 5/16″ Flare Fitting to fit 5/16″ ID Air Line. The ¼” MFL fittings allow you to remove your gas/beer lines from the coupler connector easily.
HINT: Be sure that you do not rush the installation and avoid cross-threading screw parts.
Following is a list of bits and bobs you may require over the years. Where appropriate I will make a note, but in general, take them at face value and do your research as to the exact sizes and specifications of the kegerator you use. Things to watch are interior and exterior hose sizes.
Again, be careful when you do the connection. These are not heavy duty (made in China) but cheap and OK for those of us who take the care not to cross thread or force the linkage. Some units may require a gasket to prevent any gas leakage. This seems to be a matter of trial and error somewhat. It’s a good idea to have a universal gasket collection on hand just in case.
Ball Style Quick Disconnects are used for most Cornelius, (Corny) Pepsi and 7-UP tanks and simply slide over the nipple and connect with a clamp over the hose (just like installing the home sprinkler system. Note to self: must finish that one day. Very easy assembly. This is the Gas end.
Alternative to the above: here is the liquid end and is compatible with Pepsi kegs as well as those tailgate party staples of beer kegs in various formats. Your beer and air line simply slide over the nipple, then use a screw clamp to tighten around the hose. This one is used for liquid. In stock and ready to ship. Features: Ball style. Used for liquid. Specs: Barb outlet fits 3/16″ inside diameter draft hose.
For home brew kegs:
Wort is the sweet infusion of ground malt or other grain before fermentation, used to produce beer and distilled malt liquors.
Wort Chillers are an essential beer-making tool used to cool boiling wort down to a temperature at which you can safely add beer yeast, around 60-80F. However, once the cooling wort reaches temperatures of 130F and cooler there are some bacteria and wild yeast that can survive.
While this equipment relates to home-brew it can equally relate to chilling your keg brew superfast and keeping it bacteria free.
The chiller connects to garden hose width of tubing and runs with a recommended Max Water Flow Rate of eight gallons per minute designed to be effective at a temperature -195°C to +220°C (-319°F to 430°F). This is a pretty essential stage of the brewing process so for those of you whose keg only ever will contain your own brand of ‘Panther Piss’ look no further as this is the cream of the crop.
You use the steel shank to connect your draft beer faucet to the beer line jumper. It is required when using a kegerator refrigerator conversion kit. Depending on the height, you may need a longer shank. These are easily available from 3 inches to 14 inches. Diameter is 7/8 inch. (Outside measurement). Just follow the links.
This model is chromed brass and made to a budget but is very satisfactory. If you are looking to go upmarket or it is for professional use, choose stainless steel instead.
Again, follow the seller links to your exact size. Kegerator accessory rule: Measure three times and order once!
9. Draft Warehouse Clear 5-Feet of 3/16-Inch Id Beer Line with Hexnut Assembly On One End
NOTE: Up to you but, in time, lines do need to be kept hygienic and my preference is to have a few of these standard sized assemblies on hand and switch them out. Dirty hoses will make the beer foam too much. Hoses are just way too difficult to sterilize. Alternatively, you can soak them in baby bottle sterilizer mix but that has its risks and you need to rinse and rinse till the inside of the hose is 100% inert. So when they get gunky, it’s time to biff them out and replace.
Comes standard with 5′ of 3/16″ clear beer tubing and Includes all components required to make a neer or air line connection: ie. hex nut, washer ,tail piece and 5 feet of hose. Be sure to check the sizes of your lines and match with these exactly. If in doubt, fire of a question to the supplier. I have even sent pics from my iPhone. You just don’t want to get it wrong.
10. Portable Keg Dispensing System – W/co2 Charger & 3 Cartridges, Picnic Tap, Pin Lock
Here is a neat kit that contains all you need to get that beer-a-chilling and on the way to the tailgate party.
Corny CO2 Charger
3 Co2 16g Premium Cartridges
Pin Lock connections (note that on the picture it shows ball lock connectors but these are now not made for this kit).
Squeeze Faucet Picnic Tap (AKA Tailgate Party Tap!)
NOTE: A 5 gallon keg may need 2 cartridges depending on the beverage so maybe buy some spares.
You can also buy the components separately.
Gaskets are something I like to keep on hand so check these out – they will be invaluable to prevent gas or liquid leaks.
Having a few of these as a backup is supposed to be a good idea. They are not expensive and it’s better than being caught with your pants down (metaphorically) … though you can be caught like that at some tailgate parties so they tell me. It is small – pocket sized, made of high quality nylon and brass but doesn’t really review well. It is no substitute for a regulator and the latter is a better investment. However, it is handy for portability especially in a parking lot where tailgate parties need to be transported as light as possible. You need a few of these (suggest 2 – 5) to pump 5 gallons of beer perfectly.
A suggestion is to use the Keg Lube to create a tight seal.
13. Keg Lube
This lubricates gaskets and ensures a tight seal, no leaks! It is food grade as long as you replace the lid and also use with a Q-tip rather than your finger. It is essential to keep a keg clean!
Note that a lot of criticisms of taps, cartridges and hoses relates to the leakiness. Keg Lube, super cheap, is your best tool against the frustration of leaks and shonky seals.
The interesting thing about this is that people seem to use them to adapt all kinds of things to contain drinks. Watermelons, Pumpkins, refrigerators, exercise balls … if you’ve done that, please send us the pictures!
Anyway, this is the part that gives you the ability to tap whatever liquid you put in there. Pumpkin beer ….yummmm. Nah. Not so much.
Chrome plated brass keeps the costs more realistic. Stainless steel is better if you are able to afford it and if you will be really using this heaps.
However, a cheaper version is a pretty acceptable rig for tailgate party dudes.
I know I hammer this a lot but keep it clean! Spray off all the beer before going home. When you get home, take it apart and soak briefly in a food grade bleach solution (1/2 teaspoon to quart of water). Rinse and air dry. Bar quality.
15. The Carbonater
This handy device is a kind of screw cap for standard plastic soda bottles that allows you to enjoy fresh draft homebrew anywhere. All you do is fill a plastic 2-liter soda bottle with beer and put the Carbonator cap on. Squeeze out the excess air and inject CO2 into the bottle to keep your beer carbonated and fresh. May also be used to force carbonate any beverage. You need a few accessories for the process: The carbonater needs to be connected to a tube with a snap fitting (easily available online) and then connect this to a CO2 regulator which is then connected to a C02 tank from your kegerator.
So you’ve picked up a neat little refrigerator from the hard trash collection by the kerb. Yaaaaaay. Here’s a great kit that can convert it into a kegerator. It would be great for that basement fridge as you set up the man-cave and plan the home-gate party when the weather is too inclement for tailgating.
This kit easily converts an old refrigerator to a home draft beer dispenser and includes all the hardware you need to be pouring cold draft beer anytime you feel the need. Your friends will suddenly want to come around and see you. Full instructions are included for quick and easy installation. Parts included with kit: 5 feet of beer line with hex nuts, complete beer shank, chrome faucet, Black faucet knob, 5 feet of air line with clamps, double gauge CO2 regulator, faucet brush, faucet wrench, and an American Sankey keg coupler (commonly referred to as the tap). Add to this a pot of keg lube (see above) and you’ll be cooking with gas. No, my mistake, dispensing perfect beer with gas.
For a door mounted kit, see:
This is a stainless steel double tap vertical tower for dispensing draft beer. You can play barman at the tailgate party in a very professional way dispensing beers from this amazing system. The taps are chrome plated brass, the tower Stainless Steel and it all looks very pro standing 12 inches plus the height of the taps. Having two lines gives you the freedom to serve two styles of beer. A nice dark Léon from Mexico and a sweet, pale beer from say, Minnesota, Summit Extra Pale Ale. Think about personalizing your taps by adding team themed ones and putting the plain ones on eBay…. Take it on the road if you have access to power or install it in the man cave.
NOTE: There are many beer towers of different standards and specifications available.