What's better than enjoying a frosty pint of fresh draft beer in the comfort of your own home? Not much. That's why we sell a wide range of ready-to-go kegerators for your home. But we also know that some would rather take the do-it-yourself approach. Follow our step-by-step guide on converting a refrigerator into a kegerator, and with basic hand tools, a refrigerator, and a kegerator conversion kit, you'll be well on your way to enjoying delicious draft beer at home with your very own DIY kegerator.
How to Convert a Refrigerator Into a Kegerator
- US Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit Instructions
- Low Profile US Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit Instructions
- European Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit Instructions
- Single Tap Tower US Sankey Conversion Kit Instructions
Before we get started, make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. They're all listed below...
Tools You'll Need
- 7/8" Hole Saw
- Power Drill
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Spanner Wrench
- Hex Wrench
Step 1: Measure Your Fridge
The best type of refrigerator to convert is a full size, horizontally split kitchen fridge with a freezer on top. However, you can really convert any type of refrigerator as long as it fits a keg, while leaving 6-8 inches above to fit the coupler. You also need to leave enough room for tapping and untapping your kegs. If you're limited on space, consider using a low profile keg coupler. A standard US Sankey Keg Coupler is 3 & 3/4" tall and 7" wide, where a Low Profile US Sankey Keg Coupler is 2 & 1/8" tall and 4" wide, giving you extra clearance in a fridge with limited space.
Beer kegs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so make sure the keg you choose will fit inside your refrigerator.
Different brands of beers will require different keg couplers. A US Sankey Keg Coupler will fit 99% of all beers brewed in North America. For more keg coupler size information, check out our keg coupler list.
The Deluxe Kegerator Conversion Kit shown below has all the components you need to get started as well as a beer line cleaning kit, so your DIY kegerator can pour fresh beer every time. If your fridge is limited on space, the Standard Kegerator Conversion Kit - Low Profile US Sankey D System may be a better option, as the included low profile keg coupler will allow for more clearance.
Want to pour Guinness or other nitrogen stouts? You can adapt your conversion kit with a Partial Murphy's Conversion Kit and a nitrogen tank. And if you know you only want to pour nitro stouts, the Guinness Kegerator Conversion Kit is a simpler setup.
Learn more about pouring Guinness on tap in our Guinness on Tap Guide.
If you're looking to pour your own homebrew at home, our Homebrew Kegerator Conversion Kit is specially designed with cornelius keg parts to make connecting and disconnecting your corny kegs quick and easy.
Step 2: Drill the Desired Location
Make sure the refrigerator is unplugged. With a power drill and hole saw, drill a 7/8" hole in the door or sidewall of your refrigerator for the faucet and shank; do not drill into the back wall of the refrigerator. Check the inside of the door to be sure you have clearance for your shank. Also, make sure you have enough distance from the freezer door, so you can open it up without hitting the tap handle. Lastly, be sure to saw all the way through the door and the plastic liner on the inside of the door.
Step 3: Connecting the Faucet and Shank
Insert the shank through the hole that you just drilled (from the outside) and secure it with a brass flanged lock nut; the black plastic flange goes on the outside to help cover up the hole you made.
Attach the faucet head to the shank and tighten with a spanner wrench.
Step 4: Connecting the Beer and Air Line
Attach the beer line hex connections to the back of the shank and to the top of the keg coupler.
Attach one end of the air line to the nipple on the coupler and the other on to the regulator.
Tighten the hose clamps with a flathead screwdriver.
Then attach the regulator to your CO2 tank and tighten with a hex wrench.
Please Note: our CO2 tanks ship empty due to federal regulations. You can get them filled at a local welding supply company, or if you live in the Buffalo, NY area, you can get them filled right at The KegWorks Store.
Step 5: Final Connections and Adjustments
Make sure the faucet and regulator switch are in the “off” position.
Open the CO2 tank and attach your keg coupler.
Adjust your regulator to a range of 10-12 psi.
Then turn it on to allow the flow of CO2 to your keg.
Always be sure to stand your CO2 tank upright.
Step 6: Drink!
Now, let's drink!
Kegerator Conversion Kit Tips:
- Draft beer should be stored and dispensed at 36-40 degrees F. Keeping a thermometer inside the fridge is always a good idea.
- If your keg has been handled a great deal or has warmed up, it may take several hours to settle down and cool before pouring. So be sure to give your beer time to rest.
- Open the beer faucet quickly and fully. Opening the faucet halfway will cause foam. Once you've filled the glass, close the faucet quickly.
- When pouring, we suggest that you tilt the glass slightly so you can pour it gently down the side of the glass. For more on dispensing, check out our blog post on How to Pour a Perfect Pint.
- Keep your beer system clean! We recommend flushing your draft lines with a good rinse every time you change your keg. This is the easiest way to make sure that you’re pouring nothing but crisp, tasty beer. Stock up on beer line cleaning supplies and kits here.
This guide demonstrates how to make a single tap conversion kit, which is the most popular option for converting a refrigerator into a keg fridge. However, there are other options, including double tap conversion kits and tower conversion kits.
Double Tap Conversion Kits
If you want to serve two kegs, a double tap conversion kit is your answer. Just remember, you’ll need room inside the fridge to house both kegs for proper dispensing.
Tower Conversion Kits
If you are converting a freezer into a beer dispenser (commonly known as a “keezer”) a tower conversion kit is a great option. It attaches to the top of the freezer and can accommodate a large number of faucets for pouring multiple kegs. (Please note: building a keezer also requires an external temperature control unit to ensure that the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing.) A tower conversion kit is also commonly used to upgrade a ready-to-go kegerator with additional faucets or added style.
For specific kegerator conversion kit installation instructions check out the following guides:
- US Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit
- Low Profile US Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit
- European Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit
- Single Tap Tower US Sankey Kegerator Conversion Kit
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877.636.3673 anytime Monday-Friday between 9am - 6pm EST.
Ryan Wilson is the E-Commerce Manager for KegWorks and has been with the company since December 2014. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys IPAs and plays guitar in a metal band.