Kid Proofing a Kegerator

Naturally, kid proofing a kegerator is easier the younger your kids are. Unauthorized dispensing by babies, toddlers, and young children isn't a huge issue (normally), but they can be drawn to moving parts like tap handles and shiny beer faucets. Once they can reach the tap handle, you should make a few modifications to protect your beer and your kid.

When dealing with teenagers, a faucet lock (with a combo lock on the side) is often advisable. Of course, it is best if you can trust your teenagers not to drink all your beer - but can you trust their friends not to drink all your beer? No method of protection will ever be 100% effective, but you can at least deter your kids from the temptation.

Here I will look at a number of products that can help kid proof your kegerator.

The first step for the youngest tikes is to apply all of those various baby-proofing latches to the door of the kegerator. There are many versions of the refrigerator lock kit that can easily be installed on the kegerator, such as the LockItDown refrigerator lock kit. Retailing for around $30, this is a no drill kit that comes with two stainless steel looped cables, a padlock, and special 3M adhesive. There are also plastic versions of the kid-resistant safety latch available for $4-$10. These door locks are fine for keeping younger children out of your keg business.

If you are looking for an inexpensive, immediate solution for younger children, there are multi-use latches that add a simple kid-resistant latch on corners. Versions of this item are manufactured by Munchkins, among others. These locks are simple for an adult to open, even with one hand, but puzzling for tots under 4. These items usually cost less than $7.

The multi-use latches are usually installed with adhesive, but if the surface isn't clean enough, or not left 48 hours to cure, the adhesive can fail. I recommend not screwing this style of corner kegerator lock into the kegerator to ensure integrity. Most kegerator doors do not have anything in them except insulation, but always be careful when drilling or screwing into the kegerator not to drill into or knick the coolant lines or temperature transfer unit - this can cause serious harm to your kegerator.

Keeping the inner workings of your kegerator safe from childish curiosity can also be accomplished with any number of products that keep the faucet and door locked tight. Faucet Locks and clasps with padlocks for the door are an excellent choice for keeping the older children at bay. Faucet or tap locks come in a variety of designs.

Some work by locking the tap handle, and others work by plugging the spigot. Still others work by sliding onto the tap handle. Such keyed lock versions of these devices prove invaluable during events such as birthday parties, slumber parties, pool parties, and the like. Nothing says DO NOT TOUCH like a big fat padlock mounted directly onto the tap handle or spigot.

You can add a second layer of protection with a beer line shutoff valve. They install directly in-line, so if your tap faucet lock somehow gets breached the beer will still not flow.

It is important to buy the right lock for the right faucet, however. Some faucets vary in size according to the manufacturer and the type of beer they were intended to dispense. It is not wise to spend $30-$60 on a beer faucet lock, only to find that it does not fit your tap or faucet. In some ways, even with a faucet lock, it might be best to install an in-line valve on the inside of your kegerator. There are also beer line quick disconnect kits that can achieve the same ends, but will also provide you with some additional options should you wish to change out kegs or add additional taps to your kegerator. This kind of double jeopardy backup lock can prevent most everyone from getting at your beer while you are away, child or not.

Security Monitoring

Some keg monitoring systems, like the Brewskey, tracks all beer flow and can be programmed to not flow at certain times. Flow sensors are installed in-line to detect any unauthorized dispensing. All activity is monitored and tracked using the Brewskey app.

One final word about the safety measures addressed above - if you think your beer is going missing, before assuming it was the teenager, it is wise to consider the following culprits:

1. You

You really might have drunk it all. Even as disappointing, as it may seem that it is gone, a keg only goes so far.

2. Crazy Uncle Irving

He's been staying on your couch for 6 months, and still doesn't have a job. What has he been up to all afternoon? Especially if he suggests that it is junior that is doing the drinking.

3. Friends and Neighbors

You know that they envy your kegerator. They might even find an excuse to come over and sneak a pint when you are not around.

Related Kegerator Articles :
Adds and Mods -- Modification projects for your kegerator including, computer fans, blowers, tower mods, rfi readers and open source technologies.
Cool a Draft Tower with Computer Fans -- A computer fan cool air blower will help keep your draft tower temperatures cooler and eliminate foaming of your first few pours.
Temperature Monitors -- Use a remote temperature monitor when brewing beer at home.