We talked for years about taking the big step. We knew it meant a bigger commitment, an investment for the future. After much discussion, our years of dreaming have become a reality. We now have our homebrew on draft.
Many homebrewers have a separate room, basement, or garage setup that allows them the space to have a walk behind bar deep enough to accommodate a kegerator. Or possibly a less invested brewer would go for the convenience and relative portability of a simple fridge kegerator. A walk behind bar was out of the question; we simply did not have the room. Likewise we didn’t want a simple fridge kegerator neither in the kitchen nor in the living room. We compromised by building a simple bar, placed against the wall and had the refrigerator component in the kitchen. We accomplished this by boring a hole in the wall and running the beer lines from the fridge, through the wall behind it, into the back of our wooden bar.
We purchased a simple wooden sideboard from a local store. We then needed a tower to mount the beer taps. We looked on the Internet for various wooden boxes we could use and found wooden wine boxes. They were fairly cheap, came in a few styles, and seemed perfectly sized to handle our double taps. We decided on a wider style, with the hope that we could possibly add additional taps to the sides in the future. We bored two holes to accommodate the taps, and gave the box several coatings of polyurethane to prevent moisture damage.
We mounted it on the top of the sideboard using several screws to keep it secure through hundreds of pulls on the taps. We then bored large holes for the beer lines; first through the the new draft tower box and the top of the cabinet, and secondly through the back of the cabinet.
For the refrigerator component we were very lucky. We found our fridge through a classified ad for a Liebherr FKU-1800. This is a high quality fridge typically used in a commercial setting for storing cold beverages, such as beer. We paid €30 for it, and with the top removed it fit perfectly under our existing counter in the kitchen. When trying to determine the location of any hidden cooling coils in the side panels, we found several pages featuring the same model as a kegerator, typically with a top mount tower. We were able to bore a hole through the side of the fridge with no problem.
We purchased small and brand new CO2 tank, which came pre-filled. We aren’t really sure how long it will last before we need to fill it, but we know there is a place on the edge of Berlin that will refill CO2 tanks. We have a Dual gauge regulator and are able to have 2 beers hooked up. Out fridge actually accommodates 3 Cornelius kegs (a bit of a tight fit) and we are looking into getting an additional splitter for our regulator, so that we can have two beers on draft and a third keg carbonating.
We ran ran the beer and gas lines through fridge, and then the beer lines through the wall, into the cabinet and up through the tower. We insulated all of the beer lines past the fridge. Hooked up the kegs and connected the gas. Checked for leaks and closed up the draft tower. We pushed the bar up against the wall, sat back to admire our work and enjoyed a delicious homebrew!