by Terry R.
Of course, there is no home bar without a Kegerator. Its importance cannot be overemphasized! Is it keeping the taste and flavor of the beer intact? Or dispensing a fresh, chill beer to quench your thirst? With a mini Kegerator, this is achievable.
A mini kegerator is simply a smaller version of a kegerator. It is the combination of a keg and refrigerator.
Is kegerator meant for beers alone? Absolute No, you can also use it for storing beverages too. Apart from personal use, Mini Kegerators are also useful for small indoor and outdoor parties. Since mini kegerators are in circulation, most breweries sell beer in mini-size kegs.
There are several models of mini Kegerators out there. How do you pick the best? You don't have to worry; I've got you covered. All mini kegerators perform the same function but differ in features/quality. These qualities vary in each model; therefore, your choice depends on preferred quality/features.
In this article, my top picks have been thoroughly reviewed. Every one of them is best for you, but the one you pick depends on your preference. Therefore, I also include things to consider in choosing one as well as the buying guides. Check out the following!
Krups company is known for producing top quality. This kegerator didn't prove that wrong! It is naturally designed for the Heineken beer family, especially New Castle Brown Ale, Heineken premium light, etc. The kegerator has a quiet cooling system. The cooling system keeps the beer chilled and fresh for a month after tapping. To ensure cleanliness is a drip tray, which removes messy spills. This kegerator maintains 37.4 coolness and also has a led thermostat. If you are not a fan of Heineken beers, unfortunately, you can't make use of this kegerator.
The simplicity of this kegerator is top-notch. It is 14 inches tall and can store about 120 ounces of your choice of beer. It is made of stainless steel yet, lightweight with two carrying handles. The handles transport easier. It also consists of a stainless steel cap which has an integrated silicone O-ring. This cap retains freshness and for easy opening and closing.
It is made of stainless steel. Works perfectly with standardized 5-liter gravity mini-kegs (pressurized and non-pressurized). It also has a reusable growler. Cooling temperature ranges from 36 to 53 due to its strong thermoelectric cooling system. You can monitor the temperature of your beer through the LED temperature display. The CO2 pressure is adjustable for perfect head formation. It also comes with three threaded 16g CO2 cartridges. The mini kegerator features a removable drip tray for neatness and also has an easy-to-pull handle.
As the name implies, it is portable, easy to set up, and also clean. The mini kegerator is made of alluring stainless steel. It can contain 128 ounces of beer. A single cartridge of CO2 can last for two months. You can also store beverages with this kegerator because the CO2 pressure is adjustable. It is perfect for your small party, picnic, vacation, etc., because it is easy to transport. A little hitch about this kegerator is the keg pressure. It is not easily adjustable. As a new buyer, it's not advisable to go for this.
This mini kegerator is made of attractive stainless steel and comes with three CO2 cartridges. The design is cool, I must confess. The kegerator makes use of a standard CO2 cartridge pressure system. This pressure system chills the beer within 19 to 21 hours. The beer coldness and freshness can last for 30 days. It works with both standard 5-liter beer keg and Heineken 5-litre mini keg. CO2 is not necessary when using Heineken mini-kegs. Also, it comes with six connector seals and keg seals. The kegerator has a bottle of cleaning fluids which is used for cleaning the seals. The LED temperature indicator is present for proper monitoring. It also features a removable drip tray, thermoelectric cooling technology, and Peltier cooling system. With this unit, temperature between 36 to 53 Fahrenheit is kept. The cooling system is loud, and sometimes, the CO2 escapes when starting a new cartridge. To amend this, check the black O-ring. Adjust if necessary if not, replace it.
The NutriChef Pressurized Growler tap system will give you the best experience you desire. It is made of food-grade 304 stainless steel. Its storage capacity is like that of a large-size growler. It stores about 128 ounces of beer. The kegerator features a CO2 cartridge that keeps the beer fresh and carbonated for two months. It also has a regulator used to adjust the pressure for proper foam formation. Durable and easy to use because of the material it was made of. It features a neoprene Koozie and a brass tap which keeps the beer cool when it's not in the fridge. It also comes with the regulator gauge to monitor and adjust the current psi. The screw lid makes transport easy without spillage. This mini kegerator is packaged with the necessary hardware.
There are some important things you should know before buying a kegerator. From this review, the models have almost the same features. In making your choice, consider the following factors.
Factors to Consider in Choosing a Mini Kegerator
The available space determines the size of the kegerator you will buy. Most mini kegerators are in different sizes. You can place it on a countertop or inside a refrigerator (an in-built cooling system is lacking in some models). The size you will choose must fit the designated space. If you are going to be using it both indoor and outdoor, consider a portable one. Also, the size of your kegerator determines the amount of beer it can store. Most beer kegs can store 5L of beer/beverage.
The price of the mini kegerators is influenced by the quality, brand, capacity, and size. You have to consider the cost before making your choice. Choose the one with quality peculiar to you and also affordable.
Each mini kegerator has its duration of freshness. Some can retain for a few weeks, a month, or two months. It would be best to consider the time you want the beer to last before buying a kegerator.
Stainless steel is known to be the best material for a mini kegerator. Stainless steel is durable and hygienic. Therefore, I will suggest that you go for a kegerator made of stainless steel.
The kegerators are designed in different ways. Some can be assembled easily, while others require the service of personnel. You can preferably purchase the one you can handle for a better experience.
That great taste can only continue if the kegerator is kept clean. You must be ready to be committed to keeping it clean. You should also be ready to bear the cost of maintenance. Mini kegerators consist of different parts like a faucet, valve, gauge, etc. You should be able to replace/repair faulty ones.
For a mini kegerator to work perfectly, certain features ought to be present. As a buyer, the following should not be missing in your choice of the mini kegerator.
Your knowledge about the various parts of a kegerator is important. It will enable you to know how it works. Also, it helps to know how to manage and control the kegerator for efficiency. The following make up a kegerator.
The keg is the major part of a kegerator that stores beer commonly made of steel with different capacities. The outer part of the kegs is not smooth. This improves its strength and portability. On the inside is a plain layer that prevents the formation of bacteria and other harmful substances.
This part enables the free flow of beer from the keg. It is attached to the keg valves. Sometimes, couplers are not included in the box. You have to get one that matches the keg valve.
Taps which dispenses beer into cups or another container of choice. Apart from dispensing, it protects the beer from bacteria and mold. The faucet may be single or multiple on a beer keg, depending on your choice.
The pressure of the CO2 tank is controlled from here. Different beers have different pressure. With the regulator, you can change the pressure of the beer from a single tank.
Monitoring the pressure in the keg is essential. That's where the pressure gauge comes in. Instead of guessing the level of pressure, you can read it from the pressure gauge. This helps to maintain the necessary pressure without a hitch. Not all kegs have a pressure gauge. Try to get one if it's missing in your kegerator.
This supplies the necessary pressure needed for the beer to flow from the keg. If normal carbonation is not sufficient, the CO2 tank is useful for this purpose. Keg producers don't package a CO2 tank with the keg. You might need to get one. CO2 fills the space in the keg after a portion has been poured.
Just like you wash your dishes, so also you have to clean your mini kegerator. Cleaning helps to eliminate mold, bacteria, and beer stones from the keg. Before cleaning, you have to get the cleaning materials ready. Below are the materials needed to clean your mini kegerator.
1. Wipe the outer part with Napkin after usage. This helps to remove the residue from the faucet and beer line. Also, it prevents the remaining beer from contamination.
2. For general cleaning, switch off the kegerator before you start. Unplug it and also turn off the CO2 tank. Detach the faucet and remove the keg completely.
3. Then, clean the outer surface of the kegerator with mild soap and water. Also, wipe the inside of the cooling unit, faucet, spill tray, tank, and regulator. Wipe the inner part of the kegerator alongside beer lines and spigot.
Tip: Soap without scent should be used for cleaning both inner and outer surfaces.
4. For the beer lines, you can buy a cleaning kit. The kit includes a bottle, pump, and hose-a solution (cleaning agent) that removes impurities from the beer lines. If you are not ready to bear the cost of a cleaning kit, you can improvise with a soda keg and tubes. Dissolve the solution with hot water in a cleaning bottle or bucket.
Tip: The solution is toxic; handle with care.
5. Place one end of the beer line into a bucket to empty it. Fasten the end of the cleaning bottle tube to the faucet opening. Using the pump attached to the bottle, pump the solution through the lines. Allow the solution to stand for some minutes, then rinse off the tubes with warm water. Rinse the lines at least three times to remove the cleaning solution permanently.
Tip: Read the instructions on the beer line cleaner and follow through. An oxidizing cleaner is best for cleaning kegerator. Do not use bleach.
6. Detach the faucet and remove the keg coupler. You can do this by using the faucet wrench (usually packed with the kegerator). To loosen it, rotate it to the right, and twist it off with your hand. Separate the faucet into parts (you should have four to five parts depending on the type of faucet). Soak the parts and the keg coupler in a bowl of warm water. Then add the cleaning agent.
7. Scrub each part and the keg coupler with a brush to remove caked dirt. Then rinse the parts with warm water before fixing them together.
8. Check the various parts and ensure they are in good order. Especially the rubber gasket and O-ring. They seem to wear off quickly, therefore replace them if flattened or worn out. Ensure there is sufficient food-grade lubricant on the O-rings. Also, check the washers and ensure they are intact.
9. Fix the faucet together and attach it to the kegerator by turning the coupling nut counterclockwise. Ensure the sealing gasket is properly fixed. Then attach the keg coupler to the beer line and CO2 hose.
This is one of the problems you are likely to face. Foamy beer is caused by pouring the beer without settling, dirty beer lines, and high CO2 pressure. To avoid foamy beer, allow the beer to settle before pouring, clean the beer lines properly (especially before you tap a new keg), and maintain normal CO2 pressure of 12 - 14 psi.
This is when the wall of the kegerator starts to ice up. It reduces the cooling strength of the kegerator. Also, it affects the taste and strength of the beer. Defrost your kegerator regularly to prevent ice up. If your kegerator has an auto-defrost feature, you can look out for the signs of icing. You can also get a kegerator dehumidifier. It reduces the condensation on cooling coils or panels.
Remove the beer keg from the refrigerator. Then unplug the keg refrigerator, remove the CO2 regulator and beer lines. Keep the door of the refrigerator open for a while. The door is left open to allow the flow of warm air to aid the defrosting process. When the ice starts melting, use a hand towel to absorb the water. Place a bucket under the drip tray to receive excess water draining out from the tray. By this time, you can remove the ice chunk with your hand from the refrigerator plates and coil. After the ice and excess water has been removed, wipe the keg with a clean towel and allow it to stay for one hour. After, place the CO2 tanks, regulators, and beer lines back into the kegerator. Then place the beer keg, set its temperature back to the previous setting, then close the door.
Kegerator should be kept at a temperature of 34 - 38 degrees. Temperature above 38 causes CO2 to leak, thereby causing foamy beer.
You have to wait for 24 hours after switching on the kegerator. Then you can start using it properly. Based on your choice, you might change the setting of the temperature.
Ensure it is not exposed to oxygen (free air) and store it at the right temperature.
It depends on your choice. You can place it in the kitchen, hallway, corner table, or countertop.
It is best to keep the pressure between 5 and 12 psi.
It is advisable to clean your kegerator after exhausting a keg or every five weeks.
Lamtor 128 OZ Mini Keg Style Growler Stainless Steel Barrel Holds Beer Silver, 3.6L - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System - Stainless Steel Mini Keg Dispenser Portable - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
KRUPS and HEINEKEN B100 BeerTender with Heineken Draught Keg Technology,Black - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Homecraft Black Stainless Steel Easy-Dispensing Tap Mini Kegerator Cooling System, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
FIZZICS FZ403 DraftPour Beer Dispenser - Converts Any Can or Bottle Into a Nitro-Style - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Keg Smiths Mini Keg Portable Draft System, Stainless Steel, 128 oz. - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
SPT BD-0538 Mini Kegerator & Dispenser - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Northern Brewer Deluxe Homebrew Starter Kit, Equipment and 5 Gallon Recipe (Bavarian - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Pressurized Beer Mini Keg System - 64oz Stainless Steel Growler Tap, Portable Mini Keg - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
YaeBrew Stainless Steel 2.6 Gallon Mini Ball Lock Keg System For Small Batch HomeBrewing - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
TMCRAFT 64oz Growler Tap System, Pressurized Stainless Steel Mini Keg with Cooler Jacket, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
BACOENG 128 Ounce Pressurized Keg Growler, Kegerator for Home Brew Beer with Updated CO2 - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler, 128 oz, Stainless Steel - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Coldbreak - CBJB30QT1T Jockey Box, 1 Tap, Stainless Pass Through, 30 Quart Cooler, 50' - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Kegco K309SS-124" Wide Homebrew Single Tap Stainless Steel Digital Kegerator - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
With this article, you have learned the nitty-gritty of a mini kegerator. Based on reviews, the top picks above are the models you can go for without a doubt. Although each has its flaws, you should pick the one you can cope with. The NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System is my best pick. This is because of its quality and features, such as the neoprene koozie. The neoprene koozie keeps the beer cool even when it's not in the refrigerator. Also, it's the ability to store beer for about 60days without losing taste. Is the maintenance giving you a second thought about getting one? It's not that tedious! You have to schedule the cleaning time, and over time, you get used to it. If you can't afford the top pick, go for the one you can afford and handle. The bottom line is that each dispenses beer, so what are you waiting for? Get one and start enjoying your beer!
Do well to share this article with your friends too. Cheers!
About Terry R.
Hello everyone, Nice to meet you!I'm Terry. The man behind the sweet revelations blog. I'm a father of two energetic kids. I grew up in New York. I love to read books. I like to spend most of the time with my family and friends. I used to learn new things and wish to share my knowledge with others.