Storing and preserving beer is a big part of the homebrewing past time. After putting all the effort into making a delicious home brewed beer, keeping it cold and accessible is quite easy and affordable with a cheap kegerator. Finding a used kegerator in your area is a good way to acquire one, but they are not common. A discount kegerator can be found online, but even this cost may be prohibitively expensive (think of the shipping!). But by putting in a little effort, you can make a cheap kegerator out of any old fridge with a cheap kegerator conversion kit.
A Kegerator, for those of you who don't know, is a device for keeping beer ice cold and dispensing it at home. Most kegerators are basically refrigerators or freezers that have been modified to hold one or more kegs. Kegerators are invaluable for the home brewer who lives in hot or moderate climates. A keg of beer can be maintained at very cold temperatures, while tapped, for many months without losing flavor, if your kegerator is well maintained. Kegerators are not terribly expensive, but there are many ways to avoid paying top dollar for your kegerator.
If you are a bargain hunter, you may want to checkout a couple of the following websites before going for a cheap kegerator conversion kit: www.craigslist.org, www.freecycle.org, and www.ebay.com. There are many other websites with good deals on kegerators out there, but in any case, remember to take into account the hidden costs. Shipping costs can be enormous for such a heavy and bulky object, and sometimes aren't listed until the invoice is nearly complete. Often, a discount kegerator will come without all the tooling needed to operate it. Usually the tooling is available, but costs extra money.
www.craigslist.org is a great place to find a cheap kegerator or a used kegerator. People often post to this list with stuff they just want to get rid of. Many times, all you need to do to get a used kegerator is haul it away, and other times it will just be very inexpensive. There are different searchable pages for most major cities in the United States, and cities in some other countries. Also, www.freecycle.org is a new web list that sends you messages about free stuff in your area. The voluminous amount of email you get from this list necessitates starting up a new (junk) email account, however.
If you are buying a used kegerator, and you have a chance to inspect it, take care to check off this inventory list to make sure it has everything you need: CO2 tank with regulator, coupler, beer line(s), CO2 Lines, tap, tower (optional), drip tray, draft spigot, and spigot handle. If any of these parts are missing, make sure you get a discount on the used kegerator.
If you are looking for a new, but discount kegerator, www.kegerators.com is your best chance. A lot of companies will post their warehouse inventory here, so you will get close to wholesale price on a discount kegerator that is two to five times more costly in other places. There are a variety of websites that offer brewing supplies such as a discount kegerator, but many websites offering many different products are fraudulent, so its best to go with a company in good standing like Kegerators.com when ordering with your credit card online.
Once your discount kegerator or used kegerator is flowing, you will need a beer line cleaning kit to keep the beer flowing cold and fresh. Many kits are available online or at brewing supply stores, and cleaning your lines between each new keg, and at the very least, every six weeks, will keep your kegerator in fine shape. Whether drinking home brew or microbrew, always drink responsibly and in good health.