Introduction: The Keg-O-Rator: an Adaptive Reuse of a Mini Fridge Into a Kegerator
College students across the United States, and probably across the world, find that they need many items for dorm life: Microwaves, hot plates, electric kettles, Mini Fridges, and plenty of other accessories. However, once students complete their studies, many no longer find these essential, or purely do not wish to deal with them when leaving the dorms. So, why let a perfectly good Mini Fridge go to waste when it can be turned into the perfect alcohol dispenser that’ll make all of your friends jealous?
Step 1: Materials and Tools
(Pictures of parts fall follow the same order)
1: Mini-Fridge (Min. size based on keg)
1: 5 lb CO2 canister
1: Double gauge CO2 regulator
1: Soda Keg 25”x9” (smaller sizes available) (top and side views provided)
1: Tap Handle
1: Chrome Faucet Head
1: 1” Shank Assembly
2: 5/8” Hex nut to Hose Assembly
6: ½” Hose Clamp
1: 5/8” Check Valve
2: 3Ft Sections of Food Safe Hose for Beer & Air
1: CO2 Coupler
1: Keg Coupler
1: Roll of Plumbers Tape
1: Can of Gap Filler (Semi-Expanding)
(Pictures follow Materials)
1: Electric Drill
1: 1" Hole Saw
1 (per person): Safety Goggles
Step 2: Preparing the Mini Fridge
Ensure connections are tight and use Plumber's tape on all connections.
Ensure the fridge is unplugged.
Remove any shelving from the fridge.
If the fridge has a freezer, remove the freezer by:
a) Using the recommended method by the company’s instructions for the freezer.
b) If you cannot access the instructions, detach and modify the freezer shelving as necessary. Take caution not to kink or disrupt the coolant lines as you do not want those chemicals leaking into your project. Some modern mini fridges’ freezers do not remove easily, while others do. Take this into consideration when choosing the mini fridge for your project.
Step 3: Attaching the Shank Assembly and Faucet
Drill a 1” diameter hole in desired position for the faucet. When deciding the location for this hole, take into account the location of the keg, as you do not want to accidentally kink the beer or CO2 lines. Our’s is on the door. The faucet can be on the side, front of door, on the top, or anywhere else desired. If you are putting faucet on the top, you will need a beer tower, which this instruction set does not take into account. We highly recommend safety goggles when performing this task in order to protect your eyes.
Attach the faucet and handle to one end of the shank assembly. Push the shank assembly through the hole you drilled and finish connecting the shank assembly. Fill the space around the shank with the gap filler to provide more insulation.
Install the faucet head and handle.
Step 4: Attaching the Beer Line
Connect one end of the beer line to the shank assembly and the other end to the keg coupler with hex nut to hose assembly (this came with our shank). Tighten this with a wrench and secure it with a hose clamp. Attach the other end of the line to the Keg.
Step 5: Attaching the CO2 Line
Ensure the CO2 tank is in the “off” position. Attach the two gauge regulator to the tank. (Note: by this point you should ensure that both the soda keg and the CO2 canister fit in the same space. If the soda keg cannot fit because of the CO2 canister it is possible to attach the CO2 canister to the outside of the fridge. See the end of these instructions to see how we suggest going about this.)
Connect one end of the CO2 line to the two gauge regulator. Connect the other end of the CO2 line to the CO2 coupler with hex nut to hose assembly and check valve. Secure each connection with hose clamp. Attach this to the keg. (Note: If you are scrapping for parts, ensure you use an oxygen regulator, as to avoid hazardous oils from other regulators.)
At this point, check to make sure all connections are secure. If so, you are ready to set the CO2 canister up to allow for the tap to dispense beer. With the soda keg and 5 Lb CO2 canister, we found that 12 PSI was the best setting for our keg.
In the case that your CO2 canister does not fit in the fridge with the soda keg, it will be attached on the outside. To do this, you will need to drill a hole on one of the sides of the fridge (whichever will work best for your setup). The size of the hole should be as close to the size of the line as possible. In order to attach the CO2 canister to the fridge and make it accessible still, you can attach a fire extinguisher stand to the side of the fridge. The CO2 canister should fit into the fire extinguisher stand very well. Run the CO2 line to the inside of the fridge through your hole. Use the gap filler here to prevent all of the cold air from leaking out of the fridge. All other connections will remain the same.
Step 6: Filling the Keg and CO2 Tank
Filling the Keg and CO2 Tank
When the keg runs out of beer, the CO2 tank will also be ready for refilling. Do not attempt to open the keg and refill it on your own. The keg is pressurized from the CO2 tank. In order to refill the keg, take it to a microbrewery and they will refill it.
In order to refill the CO2 tank, take it to a registered location. Do not attempt to open the CO2 tank on your own as injuries could be sustained from the large amount of pressure in the tank.
When transporting CO2, ensure it is on its side to prevent liquid from forming in the canister.
We are not liable for any injuries that occur in the construction of this project. We are not liable for any injuries when handling the keg or CO2 canister. This project is designed for individuals of drinking age. See your local laws to determine if you fall within this category. We are not responsible for any form of underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.
Step 7: Sweet Sweet Completion
At this point the Keg-O-Rator is complete. However, there are plenty of aesthetic modifications you can make in order to fit it into your home. In the case of this project, we used chalkboard paint on the front of the fridge to display the beer on tap, but don’t stop yourself from getting creative! Decorate it to your heart's content, or just kick back and enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage.
Thank you for taking the time to read this instruction set. If you have any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment. This is my first Instructable, so anything helps. Cheers!