Upgrade Your Kegerator – 6 Improvements

After years of faithful service in it’s current configuration, my beloved kegerator was in need of some upgrades and enhancements.

About my kegerator

  • My kegerator based on a 7-ish cubic foot Kenmore chest freezer.
  • I’ve installed a 10″ collar that hosts four faucets.  I’ve also used the collar as a mounting point for my four way CO2 manifold.
  • I have a dual pressure CO2 regulator.  One regulator body maintains what I call a house pressure, 10 PSI.  That body feeds the manifold and the manifold, in turn, feeds each keg.  The second regulator body is for tasks like flushing kegs, force carbonating more quickly or for a keg that I want to serve at a different carbonation level.
  • The gas side of my setup is QD based.  I can swap out or remove lines without turning off the CO2 tank.  The valved disconnects automatically shut off CO2 flow when disconnected.
  • I use a recirculating fan to keep a more uniform temperature.  See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan
  • I use an Eva-Dry E-500 to fix condensation – See: Damp Kegerator? Fix Kegerator Condensation

About the Upgrades

Installing the Upgrades

Getting the C909 going is about as simple as it gets.  I swapped out the cords, set the controller how I wanted it and installed the probe.It has been my practice to install my kegerator temperature probe using zip ties onto a can of beer.The Engbird Temperature Logger took all of 30 seconds to install.  A couple minutes more to download the app and sync it with the device.  The temperature probe lives happily zip tied to that same can of beer.For the faucets, I removed the old Perlicks and pulled out all of the liquid lines.Here is the new Intertap on the right and the old Perlick (525SS) on the left. I chose the stainless steel forward sealing model.  All Intertaps are forward sealing.  They are available in chrome, brass and stainless.  A stainless with flow control is also available.One of the cool things about Intertaps is that they are designed to be used with several accessories.  Here is the Intertap with a stout nozzle installed.  The Perlick continues to look the same :).Here is the Intertap with a growler filling attachment installed.  I need to add some 1/2″ ID tubing to this to actually use it for filling up a growler.

Here is the Intertap with a ball lock attachment installed.

All four faucets upgraded to Intertaps.  I have limited experience with these as of this post, but first impressions are very positive.  Beautifully built faucets, thoughtful and helpful accessories and these things feel rock solid with you’re operating them.  Very smooth operation.  They are also some of the most reasonably priced faucets on the market.  I think these are a game changer in the world of faucets.Quick disconnects from MoreBeer.  These work with both gas and liquid lines.  They have 1/4″ barbed fittings which can be used with either 3/16″, 1/4″ or 5/16″ line.

A look at the female sideThese are valved.  That means they automatically shut off the flow of CO2 or beer when disconnected.I installed 6″ or so of tubing on the inside of the kegerator.  One end is on the shank and one end has a quick connect on it.   Here I am using my cable tie gun to zip tie these to the shanks.  I soaked each in hot/warm warm first to make them pliable and then quickly use my cable tie gun to fix them in place. The tubing I’m using was already tight on the shanks.  My previous tubing didn’t have clamps or cable ties installed all.  Note: my official recommendation to you is to use tubing clamps.  I do not want to be responsible for your kegerator filling up with beer or for you losing an entire tank of CO2.Finished install of short CO2 lines and quick connects.Drying mat installed.  I already used one square of this for my CO2 tank.  This is two full 12″ x 12″ panels and two trimmed panels.  I trimmed using a utility knife.  The panels are designed so they attach to each other.  These help increase airflow under the kegs and should help with keeping temperatures more uniform and keep moisture from getting caught under kegs.One completed liquid line with ball lock QD and MoreBeer QD.Installed on the kegeratorI did a quick line cleaning and sanitization using my keg line cleaner.  I’m actually cleaning three lines at once.  All three faucets have a growler filling attachment installed on them.  I’m using a Brew Hardware Ball Lock QD Jumper on the inside.  I would say three lines is pretty much the limit for the pump I’m using.

A look inside

Upgrades are finished!

That’s it!  Several great upgrades and a couple hours of fun putting it altogether!

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | 5 Recent Keg Finds

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8 thoughts on “Upgrade Your Kegerator – 6 Improvements

  1. Brad

    Nice tips, thanks. I am looking at upgrading to the QD connectors for my gas and beer. You might extend the life of your freezer if you use a gallon jug of water with a thermowell to insert the temp probe into. You will probably see less temperature fluctuation and save your compressor from cycling too much.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I’ve got a whole post on this subject. It would kick on and off less, but there would be more temperature fluctuation. The larger mass of a gallon of water would respond more slowly. As it stands now, this freezer is close to 10 years old and it shows no signs of stopping. I don’t think compressor cycles are an issue.

      Reply
          1. Brad

            Thanks for the link. Good info. I don’t serve out of my freezers, I use them for cold keg storage. As such, I am not as worried about the temp fluctuation in beer lines. I do like the idea though, and I might use this in my two tap kegerator in the house.

    1. admin Post author

      I would definitely use Oetikers. Clean, do not loosen and they don’t have the tab that worm clamps have to slice you open. The only down side is they are single use. Not a big deal for this application as these things don’t typically change very often.

      Reply

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