Hands on Review: Keg King Kegerators! – Designed for Homebrewers

keg king kegerator reviewKeg King Kegerators, are the first line of Kegerators Designed for Homebrewers.  They have loads of features including the ability to operate at either draft serving temperatures or fermentation temps.

Features:

  • Your choice of 1, 2, or 3 Faucet Stainless Steel Intertap Forward-Sealing Faucets
  • Stainless Steel Air Cooled Tower
  • Digital Thermostat with wide 26 – 82° F temp range
  • Robust MKIII CO2 Regulator included
  • CO2 Tank holder mounts on back of kegerator (tank not included)
  • Stainless Steel Door
  • Drip Tray is removable for easy cleaning
  • Glass Rack
  • Stainless Steel Floor for additional keg support
  • Includes beer and gas tubing
  • Removable shelf if you want to use it as refrigerator

Hands on Review of the Keg King Kegerator

The box.  This is a large unit and as a result… it comes in a large box.

Front of the kegerator

Zoom in on the control panel and Keg King Logo.  A beautiful stainless steel kegerator and digital control panel.

Inside of the kegerator.  There is a glass holding rack in the top left hand corner.  The rack can be removed.  Also notice the coiled up tube.  That is a tower cooler and attaches to a cooling fan.  This helps to keep the tower cold and helps to eliminate excess foam.  That’s a great feature.  Note that the integrated tower cooler can be turned off via a button on the control panel.  That’s handy and should help to save energy when the fan isn’t needed.  Related: Fight the First Foamy Pint!

Keg King Kegerators are versatile.  Along those lines they include a shelf, even though you wouldn’t use one for normal kegerator operation.  The shelf allows you to easily use this as a refrigerator if you’re so inclined.  Keg King Kegerators work at draft AND fermentation temps.  That means this unit can be used… as a refrigerator, a temp controlled fermentation chamber and for draft beer, wine, kombucha, mixed drink and coffee.

Nice, large drip tray that fits perfectly around the tower opening.

This is the drip tray with my trusty 1 gallon pitcherHands on Review.  Notice that the pitcher contains about one quart of water.

When I measured out the quart of water I actually expected to have some left over.  But that ended up being right at what this drip tray can hold.  This drip tray can hold about 32 ounces.  That equates to a couple of beers and, in my book, is a huge capacity.  Details like this are a testament to the fact that Keg King Kegerators are designed, from the ground up with homebrewers in mind.  I don’t plan on spilling two beers in this, but it’s nice to have the capacity should the need arise.

As of this posting, MoreBeer is including a premium Mark III/Mk3 Premium Gas Regulator with Keg King Kegerators.  The dual gauge Mk3 works for CO2 and C02/Nitrogen mix right out of the box.  You can get additional fittings to convert this to nitrogen and other gases that aren’t usually used for dispensing homebrew or craft beer on tap.  For my setup, I actually hooked this up to my keezer’s regulator and tank and did not use the included regulator.

This bracket mounts on the back of the kegerator and holds a 5 lb CO2 tank.  Of course you could use a larger tank and skip the mount.

Back of the kegerator.  If you look at the bottom of this photo, you can see the included wheels.  I also have the rugged wheel option that I plan to intall.

Close up of the sticker on the back of the kegerator

Here’s a three faucet tower and three Intertap Stainless Steel, Forward Sealing, Flow Control Faucets.  Multiple tap style and count options are available, ranging from 1 to 3 faucets.  I ended up switching this up for the final build and went with the two tap version.

A look down the tower.  Notice the foam insulation.  That combined with the integrated tower cooler help to reduce (eliminate in my case) excess foam on the first pour.  I can walk right up to my kegerator and pour a great pint on the first pour.  No fighting foam, no wasting beer.

Tubing, shank and faucet installation in progress

This is included here to prove a point and to help you out when you’re putting your Keg King together.  The point is… read the directions.  This is the tower base cover, which looks awesome once installed and provides a clean look.  The problem here is that it doesn’t fit with the shanks installed.  I’m not a real “direction reader”.  I usually just start throwing stuff together with the idea that I pretty much know how it works and figuring it out on my own will be fun.  I had to, on multiple occasions, remove and repeat installation steps, because I didn’t read the directions.  This stuff needs to go on in a particular order.  For at least the tower/line/shank install I suggest reading the directions.  It’s all simple, but it needs to be done in the right order.

Line and shanks installed.  You can also see the tower cooler tubing.

Notice the small white circle in the top right hand corner.  This is where the gas lines go into the unit.

Gas and liquid lines installed with ball lock fittings.  Of course you could just as easily use pin lock or commercial Sanke fittings.  I really, really like the lines on this kegerator.  They are thermo-coiled for easy storage and they seem to provide good resistance for a great pour.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but the temperature probe is actually located on the right wall about half way down – here is a close up.

A keg chilled, carbonated and serving.

keg king kegerator reviewThe Keg King Kegerator setup and working

A top-down-ish look

Tower with installed faucets.  Keg King Kegerators use Intertap’s line of awesome faucets.  I had already converted my previous kegerator to these and I just can’t say enough good things about them.  They look and function great and are generally a great value.  I also like the line accessories that are designed to work with Intertaps – growler fillers, ball lock connector and more.

Faucet close up

The Keg King Kegerator is designed for homebrew use.  As such built it to operate both at serving temperatures AND at fermentation temperatures.  Here is a 7.9 gallon Speidel FermenterHands on Review – sitting in the kegerator.  I will say that temperature-wise, this does dance around a few degrees.  Guessing the offset is set to 3 or so.  I usually set my offset to 1 degree when fermenting in my fermentation chest freezer.  Not a huge deal, but something to be aware of.  The kegerator CAN be calibrated.  See link in resources section below.

Here is a 7 Gallon Ss Brewtech Brew BucketHands on Review – in the Kegerator.  Plenty of room.  The product page has a picture showing TWO Fermonster Fernenters in this kegerator

Ease of Use

Coming from a freezer/based kegerator/keezer, this unit is quite different work-wise.  The fact that I can load and unload kegs and fermenters without lifting heavy objects 4-ish feet is a pretty big deal.  I’m not to that point yet physically, but if you have been struggling to continue homebrewing because of the lifting, this unit makes life a whole lot easier and may very well extend you homebrewing career.  Beyond lifting things in and out, it’s also much more accessible for cleaning and such.

Dimensions and Specifications

Specifications:

  • 24″ wide
  • 23.5″ deep
    •  30″ with co2 mount
  • 33.5″ Tall (fridge only)
    • 36″ with Caster wheels
    • 49.75″ with tower
    • 52″ with Casters and Tower
  • 110 v – 60 hz
  • 0.8 Amp draw

Internal Dimensions:

  • 20″ wide
  • 16.25″ deep
    • 13.25″ on compressor side
  • 28″ tall
    • 24″ clearance under glass rack

What Fits?

  • 2 x 2.6 Gal. BrewKeg
  • 3 x 5 Gal. Torpedo Keg
  • 3 x 5 Gal. Slimline Torpedo Keg
  • 3 x 5 Gal. Pin Lock Cornelius Keg (Corny Keg)
  • 3 x 5 Gal. Ball Lock Cornelius Keg (Corny Keg)
  • 2 x 5.16 Gal. Sixth Barrel Keg (Sixtel, Log)
  • 1 x 7.75 Gal. Quarter Barrel Keg (Pony Keg, Stubby Quarter)
  • 1 x 7.75 Gal. Slim Quarter Keg (Tall Quarter, The Slim)
  • 1 x 15.5 Gal. Half Barrel Keg (Full Size Keg)

Summary

The purpose built Keg King Kegerator is awesome.  It’s easy to put together, well built, and looks amazing.  It has lots of touches that speak to the fact that this is made for homebrewing from the ground up.  It’s feature rich, include high quality and featured filled Intertap faucets, it’s easy to use and easy on the back.  Bravo to Keg King for building a great kegerator!

Get the Gear: Keg King Kegerators and Accessories at MoreBeer

I purchased this kegerator at MoreBeer.  As of this posting, MoreBeer includes Mark III regulator, which some retailers are not including.  Prices also include shipping to most US addresses.  This is a huge box that comes by common carrier.  The inclusion of shipping is a big deal.  These two things are true as of this posting, check MoreBeer to make sure they’re still including the regulator and free shipping.

Resources: Keg King Kegerator Instruction Manual | Calibrating the Keg King Kegerator | Changing Door Orientation on the Keg King Kegerator

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Cost Estimates – Keg King Compared to a DIY Keezer

How does this unit compare cost-wise with a do it yourself build?  These are estimates for a two tap keezer.  So it’s as close as possible to the Keg King, I’m not including a CO2 tank or disconnects in my estimation.  These estimates are for new parts as the Keg King will be new when you receive it.

  • 5 cu ft Chest Freezer – $150
  • CO2 Regulator – $50
  • Temp Controller – $35
  • Tubing – $20
  • 2 x Shanks – $40
  • 2 x Intertap Faucets – $66
  • Drip Tray – $50
  • Wood for Collar – $50
  • Eva Dry for Kegerator Condensation – $25
  • Recirculating Fan – $15
  • Miscellaneous – $25
  • Several Hours of Your Time – I’m guessing I spent 8 to 10 hours building mine

Grand Total (excluding your time) – $526.  That’s about $100 less than MoreBeer’s current price for the two tap version of the Keg King.   That’s a chest freezer with a wooden collar, compared to a professionally designed and manufactured, purpose built stainless steel kegerator.  My conclusion is the Keg King well priced considering features, build quality and comparative time savings.

More About Keg King Kegators

from MoreBeer: “Keg King Kegerators with flow-control stainless steel Intertap faucets and stainless steel towers are an amazing value. They also feature digital controllers, stainless steel doors, stainless steel floors, rolling casters, tower cooling fans, glass racks, robust MKII regulators, and more.

Keg King is an Australian company who started making kegerators a decade ago for the Australian market.  Because the owners of Keg King are also homebrewers they designed this unit to have an extended range digital controller that can adust internal temperatures from 26 – 82°F. This allows homebrewers to use it for fermentation and is something that other kegerators don’t do. The digital controller always displays the temperature and is easily adjusted from the front of the kegerator with the door closed. It’s cool.

These are newest Series 4 Keg King Kegerators which features more power and a new more efficient compressor.  This upgrade came after years of selling kegerators into very warm Australian climates where a little more muscle was needed. This is also pefect for the USA where we can see some very warm climates across the country.

All Keg King kegerators come with Intertap faucets mounted on a stainless tower. These faucets are the newest, most advanced, forward sealing, beer faucets on the market today and will work perfectly for years. This model includes the flow control version of the all stainless faucet. Maybe the flow control on a kegerator is a little overkill but then maybe, just maybe, having a kegerator at all might be overkill. We know how you roll. The flow controls can be awesome when you have overcarbonated beer or generally want to perfect your pour.

Other unique features on a Kegerator in this price range is the tower fan which blows cold air up into your tower to reduce foaming issues. The MKII CO2 regulator is super beefy and consistent in delivering accurate pressures. Most Chinese made regulators experience creep where the pressure increased over time. This is by far the best CO2 regulator we have seen made in China. The stainless floor is nice touch as is the glass rack which holds pint glasses horizontally or Belgian style tulip glass up side down by the stem.  We show the tulip glass in the picture by the pint glass slide horizontally into that rack. Way cool.

We’ve looked on the interwebs, and when you factor in fast and free shipping, you are getting the very best value on a kegerator in the USA.  Plus your getting MoreBeer! service if something happens in shipment. We double box the unit with foam pads and have very little shipping damage. However we are going to deliver this to you via Fed-Ex ground so damage is possible. If damage does happen just call us up and we will work with you to take care of it.”

 

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Note: There is apparently some sort of name change in the works for this lineup.  MoreBeer is now referring to these as “Kegerator with Stainless Steel Intertap Faucets” or “Kegerator with Flow Control Intertap Faucets”.  Whatever they’re called they’re made by Keg King and they are awesome.

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