Building your own home bar is a fun and rewarding hobby. For beer fans, the most essential part of the home bar is, naturally, the draft system. Most home bar draft systems are based upon the design of the D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) kegerator. Although pre-made, manufactured kegerators are commercially available, the price of shipping these units can sometimes be prohibitive. And so, many home bar enthusiasts have taken to buying D.I.Y. kegerator conversion kits. In most modern cities, finding an old but working refrigerator to convert into a kegerator is far more economical than buying a kegerator brand new.
The first thing to consider when building your home bar is the kind of kegerator you want. Some kegerators are tall, some are half height. Your spatial situation will largely determine which kind of kegerator is best for you. If you have need for only one keg at a time, converting a small fridge or freezer unit may be the choice for you. If you plan on building two to three taps, a full sized fridge will accommodate your needs nicely. If you are really ambitious, and want to be able to serve four or more different kinds of beer at once, the only way to go is converting a large freezer unit that is half height.
Some home brewers use a large horizontal freezer to kegerator conversion for lagering beers as well. The temperatures you will be storing your beer at are, indeed, perfect for a simple lagering operation. Unless you have at least a stand-up fridge size of kegerator, however, you will find it difficult to lager and dispense beer in the same time period!
Seemingly, one of the trickiest parts of a home bar draft system installation using a freezer conversion is finding and hooking up a temperature controller that will suit your needs. If you lack the basic component electronics knowledge about this task, you should ask around to your friends to find some help. Hooking up the new temperature controller may prove to be dangerously difficult to the inexperienced hobbyist. You might end up shorting out your refrigeration unit, or, worse yet, injuring yourself. You can always call in an electrician to do a house call if you don't know any electricians - better safe than sorry. If you are a hardcore D.I.Y.er, just please make sure to unplug the reefer unit before you mess around with the wires.
Once you have decided upon the size and style of kegerator that you want for your home bar draft system installation, start searching for the unit you want to either buy or convert to draft dispensation. If you are planning on converting a reefer unit into a kegerator, I recommend as the following: the cheapest place I have seen reefer units is the appliance restoration store. These are usually small businesses that haul away old refrigerators and freezers, re-vamp them, and sell them for a pittance. If you are planning on overhauling or re-modeling the appearance of your kegerator, you might as well get a refurbished reefer unit that matches your spatial situation well. You might even find a vintage fridge that works and will add a fun aesthetic to your home bar.
Whether buying a new kegerator or converting an old refrigerator unit into a kegerator, your home bar draft system installation is sure to be a hit with your friends and neighbors. If you leave out a tip jar, it might even pay for itself!