Keg • e • rator
The Term Kegerator is a rather new word in the English language - a combination of the words "keg" and "refrigerator".
A kegerator can be a specialized appliance built solely for the purpose of dispensing beer in an intimate setting. Another type of kegerator is the refrigerator or freezer that has been modified to accommodate kegs, and dispense their liquid contents. The most efficient aspect of owning a kegerator is that it extends the life of your beer and allows for purchase and dispensing in mass quantity. Beer stored in a kegerator is preserved in pristine state for as long as 6 months. We don't expect kegs to last that long before being drunk though, do we?
The first kegerators for home use were likely brought out along with the home brew revival of the 1980s. After 1978, by an act of congress, home brewing was made legal again after being outlawed since the era of prohibition (1920-1933). The resultant burgeoning new (and legal) market encouraged home brewers to establish start-up brew store businesses around the country, a sound business prospect.
Kegerators come in a variety of makes and models, sizes and shapes. There are giant four tap kegerators with built in ice machines, but most are of a smaller variety, designed to fit behind a home bar, along with the under the table ice machine, mini fridge, wine cooler, dishwasher, and even the sink. Accessories such as wine glass racks, custom made beer coasters and cozies, drying racks for your custom screen-printed shot and pint glasses, bottle openers and specialty corkscrews are all available now for home bars. Although those fancy new corkscrew designs never seem to work right for me, even though they come out with "new" and "better" ones every month, it seems.
Basically, a kegerator is the height of beer drinking technology. A properly functioning kegerator keeps beer chilled to the exact temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit: the ideal temperature to deliver a proper amount of head and ensure no over foaminess. The regulated temperature at which most kegerators operate is ideal for keeping your beer's flavor from changing too much as well. By numerous accounts from barkeeps and home brewers, it is vital that your brew undergo as little temperature change as possible before the keg is tapped. Too many temperature changes and the beer?s flavor is affected dramatically. This is especially true in the case of more sensitive and balanced beers such as Guinness.
There are a variety of resources available online concerning kegerators, including retail outlets, companies that sell kegerator conversion kits that allow you to convert almost any fridge into a kegerator, instructional videos, chat rooms, groups, and more. If you have any more questions about kegerators, simply enter "kegerator" into a Google search and you are sure to find more than you care to peruse.
The most enticing aspect of owning a kegerator is the convenience and enjoyment that can only come from having a pub draught ale served and enjoyed in your own home. Before the advent of kegerators, home brewers were relegated only to bottle or cask conditioning their ales. Now, kegerators come in a variety of styles and with a variety of accessories that make enjoying beer at your home bar positively splendid.