Around the turn-of-the-century, the invention of a cold beer, tap-to-glass alcohol beverage delivery system; and the dispensing of sweet, cold carbonated soda, quickly began gathering interest from consumers, as breweries and soda factories began to formulate their products, as mass appeal and demand of carbonated drinks quickly began to grow.
If you’re a home beer brewer and are thinking of purchasing a kegerator for home or office, cheers to you, and please keep reading as we have some insights that will quench your thirst for answers regarding the right kegerator for your brewing needs.
What is the best kegerator for homebrew to buy in 2021? The customizable, solid stainless steel EdgeStar KC1000SS Craft Brew Kegerator rivals your favorite bar or restaurant tap beer thanks to its internal fan-circulated cooling system. Ice cold, refreshing beer is guaranteed not to freeze, and the EdgeStar’s digital temperature gauge shows you at a glance that the kegerator is cooling your homebrew to perfection! An exclusive safety lock system keeps the keg put, and the reversible door features a left-right open option, allowing the kegerator cabinet to fit into practically any space. The interior lighting for quick cleaning and maintenance, and a 10 minute assembly will have that ice cold homebrew flowing smoothly!
We’ve researched and discovered seven top-rated kegerators for homebrew and one you may want to avoid.
Reviews of the 7 Best Kegerator for Homebrew, Plus 1 to Avoid
1. EdgeStar KC1000SS Craft Brew Kegerator Review
Intuition is the brains of this kegerator. The EdgeStar KC1000SS Craft Brew Kegerator uses an “ultra-low” digital temperature thermostat. At the touch of a button, you can control the internal temperature of the kegerator down to 32 degrees without freezing the keg.
Slim in profile, at 17.5”, with the internal capacity of its competitors, the EdgeStar KC1000SS can hold a 42 pint, sixth barrel keg, or a 40 pint Cornelius keg. That translates to about an average of 55 bottles of beer. Get the six packs out of the refrigerator to make room for the game day munchies and extra racks of marinated ribs, and let the EdgeStar KC1000SS do the work to keep your homebrews and commercial beers ice cold!
Edgestar provides everything you need to get your kegerator up and running efficiently. The beautifully polished stainless steel column draft tower houses a chrome plated brass faucet. A domestic beer coupler allows for easy on, easy off, when the keg needs removed and replaced. An unmatched and sophisticated single gauge pressure regulator keeps the homebrew safely under pressure, for that crisp, clean carbonated refreshment you expect in a homebrewed beer.
For excellence in draught service the NSF approved beer line and air line tubing come in 5ft. And 4ft. lengths, respectively. A lightweight 2½ pound aluminum CO2 tank doesn’t weigh down the cabinet and or take up too much internal space. Complete with a wide and deep drip tray and easy pour handle, the affordable and dependable EdgeStar KC1000SS Craft Brew Kegerator looks great in the home bar, next to the barbeque, in a dorm room and at the office!
To watch the EdgeStar KC1000SS Craft Brew Kegerator Review on YouTube, click here.
- Slim design doesn’t skimp on interior capacity.
- Intuitive “ultra-low” digital thermostat.
- Lightweight 2½ pound aluminum CO2 tank
- Single-gauge regulator.
- Units arrived with cosmetic flaws/dents.
- Portability: not built for use with castors.
2. Kegco HBK199S-2K Full-Size Homebrew Kegerator Dual Faucet Keg Dispenser Stainless Steel with Two Ball Lock Kegs Review
Removable drip tray, locking casters for mobility and stability, and a unique 3 sided guardrail to protect glassware from tipping off the edge make this Kegco attractive. The roomy interior provides enough space for a 15 gallon, pony keg (7.75 gallon) or 2 slim kegs (2 x 7.75 gallon). Maybe one homebrew and one commercial, that’s the best of both in the beer world!
The solid 138 pound cabinet boasts a stainless steel draft tower and dual taps with stainless steel faucets with chrome levers. For the kegs, Kegco throws in one two-gauge pressure regulator, two keg couplers to connect the airm and beer lines, epoxy-finished CO2 tank to protect from corrosion, along with 5 feet of quality commercial grade air line and beer line tubing.
The Kegco HBK199S-2K is more than a kegerator! Use the 2 included wire shelves and turn the kegerator into a mini refrigerator. Mount the CO2 tank externally to the cabinet to free up space on the inside and have easier access to the pressure controls without having to open the door. Wider ball-shaped kegs do not fit in this kegerator.
To watch the Kegco HBK199S-2K Full-Size Homebrew Kegerator Dual Faucet Keg Dispenser Review on YouTube, click here.
- Constructed of quality materials.
- External CO2 tank mount increases internal capacity.
- Closed door pressure control.
- Single-gauge regulator.
- Considerable investment at around $1,000.
3. EdgeStar KC2000SSTWIN Full Size Stainless Steel Dual Tap Kegerator Draft Beer Dispenser Review
The EdgeStar KC2000SSTWIN adds a protective internal floor plate to their full-size kegerator. This allows the kegs to stand on a firm base. The easy-roll casters allow the unit a smooth transport from room to room. A solid stainless steel cabinet keeps homebrew and commercial grade beer ice cold; between low 30 and mid 40 degree temperatures. A gradient 6-setting thermostat puts you in control of the internal temperature. The attractive, shiny stainless steel tower features 2 chrome-plated brass faucets.
Super lightweight at 80 pounds, the cabinet features an external CO2 knockout option allowing for more internal keg storage. The well-constructed, 5 pound, CO2 tank easily mounts to the back of the cabinet and the professionally pre-drilled and finished tube holes allow for easy hook up and replacement every time you change the keg. Edgestar’s freestanding cabinet features a reversible door, so the unit can be placed in every corner of the home or patio without the worry of the door being partially obstructed. This kegerator is recommended for solid floor and indoor use only.
The EdgeStar features a warranty of 90 days labor and 1 year parts. No batteries required, NSF and UL certified to meet all electrical and safety standards. Also available in an amazing glossy black stainless steel colored finish. Two wire adjustable shelves (included) make the cabinet an easy conversion to a mini fridge.
To watch the EdgeStar KC2000SSTWIN Full Size Stainless Steel Dual Tap Kegerator Draft Beer Dispenser Review on YouTube, click here.
- Lightweight cabinet with easy-roll castors.
- Well-constructed external CO2 tank mount and knock out option.
- Great warranty.
- Exterior of the cabinet gets hot to the touch .
- Not for outdoor use.
- Poor assembly instructions.
4. Keggermeister KM2800BK Kegerator Full-Size Single-Tap Beer Refrigerator and Dispenser Review
The sleek, simple black cabinet and tower offer single tap perfection with guaranteed beer freshness for up to three months. A no-slip surface and tall chrome 3-sided guardrail makes for easy entertaining and keeps the beer glasses from tipping over the edge. A generous CO2 tank can provide homebrew service for up to 4 full-sized 15 gallon kegs. Portability is key, so this kegerator is built with easy install, rolling and locking casters, for smooth mobility; from the game room to driveway tailgate, from the pool party to the outside deck.
Using the built-in limited min/med/max adjustable temperature control, the Keggermeister KM2800BK happily houses an ice cold full keg, one pony keg or 2 5-gallon kegs. An additional digital thermometer purchase is recommended to accurately determine precise temperatures for different homebrews and commercial beers. This is the perfect kegerator for someone considering taking up homebrewing and a great starter kegerator. UL approved for commercial use.
To watch the Keggermeister KM2800BK Kegerator Full-Size Single-Tap Beer Refrigerator and Dispenser Review on YouTube, click here.
- Keeps beer fresh up to 3 months.
- Extra tall durable guard rails for glass storage.
- LCD digital door thermometer.
- Single-gauge regulator, ill-fitting parts
- Non-reversible door.
- Works better as a mini refrigerator than a kegerator.
5. Kegco K309SS-1 Kegerator Review
The 100 pound Kegco K309ss-1 offers serious homebrewers a draft beer dispenser quite like no other. An extra roomy interior fits over-sized kegs and 3 slim kegs. Finely crafted nickel-plated and copper forged system lever handles make it easy to tap and run the kegs. The 5 pound coated CO2 tank is guaranteed by the manufacturer to maintain its integrity. Boasting “Deep Chill technology,” the Kegco keeps homebrews regulated at a frosty 32 degrees with state-of-the-art fan-forced cooling.
Kegco’s advanced fan cooling feature, along with a distinct temperature control system, accurate to 1 degree increments, removes the manual temperature control dial and replaces it with digital temperature control – in celsius or fahrenheit – to continuously and precisely cool homebrews and commercial brands to perfection. The cabinet and 2-faucet tower are constructed with 100% polished stainless steel and American made parts. The two coated shelves (included) take the kegerator to a mini fridge, with spacing tall enough for two-litre soda bottles and gallon milk containers.
Having a last minute party and realize all the homebrew kegs are room temperature? Kegco has you covered and takes it up a notch with a Deep Chill Function feature. Simply place the room temperature keg inside the kegerator, press the Deep Chill button, and within 24 hours a full keg of desired temperature homebrew is ready to tap! Return to regular kegerator functionality by dressing the Deep Chill button. A great party feature if you’re in a pinch!
To watch the Kegco K309SS-1 Kegerator Review on YouTube, click here.
- 24 hour Deep Chill technology.
- State-of-the-art cooling system.
- Precise temperature control to 1 degree.
- Considerable investment.
- Tower cylinder leakage.
- Pressure and temperature control issues.
6. Nostalgia KRS2100 5.1 Cu Ft Full Size Kegerator Draft Beer Dispenser Review
The lightweight Nostalgia KRS2100 is a mere 85 pounds and has a strong and sturdy cabinet and an interior storage capacity of 5.1 cubic feet. A unique spring-loaded tap and a stately 13” tap tower make for easy dispensing of homebrew and commercial brands alike. Solid chrome guardrail to store and protect glassware, along with four smooth-rolling casters, 2 that lock, to easily move the kegerator from one room to another, or out onto the patio or around the pool.
Both the adjustable, removable drip tray and adjustable temperature control make for ease-of-use. Choose from the black matte or stainless steel cabinet, which features an interior housing bracket to snugly and safely hold the 2.5 pound CO2 tank, while still leaving room for one full size or one pony keg or 2 5-gallon kegs. Double meter pressure regulator and a single lever handle.
To watch the Nostalgia KRS2100 5.1 Cu Ft Full Size Kegerator Draft Beer Dispenser Review on YouTube, click here.
- Unit weighs half of its competitors.
- Internal safety bracket for CO2 tank.
- Sturdy, durable cabinet featuring large interior capacity.
- No air line or beer line hoses included.
- Loud fan and hard-to-reach temperature control.
- Hard-to-read instructions / consumers turned to the internet for video assistance.
7. NutriChef PKBRTP110 Mini Keg Detachable Aluminum Regulator & Spout Easy Storage Under Pressure-Homebrew Growler Beer Dispenser Review
At first glance, the Nutrichef PKBRTP110 Mini Keg looks like a mini keg. Look closer, and you’ll see a portable, affordable, single tap undercounter kegerator with some amazing features. The all aluminum cylinder is a powder-coated keg with two easy grip handles. The entire kegerator weighs in at 4.6 pounds and stands a little over a foot and a half tall. For a no fuss, no mess; and with nothing to install to a cabinet, the pressure regular, faucet with brass tap, and mini 16 ounce CO2 cartridge (not included) puzzle together and live on top of the kegerator as one unit. Hold your homebrew under pressure, and at temperature without worry. The Nutrichef PKBRTP110 Mini is a great countertop kegerator. Nestle it on a buffet with some beer glasses and bowls of chips and pretzels, and you’ve got a party!
Nutrichef has also designed this mini kegerator with a unique pressure feature to keep the carbonation fresh and fizzy. You can remove the faucet and regulator safely under pressure without worry of spoiling your homebrew or favorite commercial beer. This unique feature also allows the unit to be transferred without worry of damaging the faucet and pressure regulator. A flat hexagon shaped spear cap, designed exclusively for easy gripping, screws down snug into the opening of the keg and protects the precious contents inside the cylinder. Includes food grade silicone O-rings and 4’ of internal tubing.
The adjustable pressure regulator allows for 30 PSI and lets you fine tune each beer with the perfect amount of head. Retailing for under 0, The NutriChef PKBRTP110 Mini Keg is small but mighty and can keep 128 ounces or about 11 bottles of home brew or commercial favorite, fresh and crisp tasting for up to 3 months. With free shipping, a 30 day return policy, and full 1 year warranty, this mini one-stop shop is a great way to give homebrew kegerators a try, without breaking the bank.
To watch the NutriChef PKBRTP110 Mini Keg Review on YouTube, click here.
- Affordable investment.
- Single housing, removable faucet and pressure regulator.
- Unique hexagon flat cap.
- Easy storage. Fits inside a full-sized refrigerator door!
- Limited volume capacity.
- Cost of CO2 replacement cartridges.
- Requires additional cooling unit.
AVOID – Kegco HBK199S-1 Keg Dispenser Review
Kegco HBK199S-1 includes a 5 gallon ball-lock homebrew keg to get your DIY homebrewing off to a good start. The 100 pound HBK199S includes 3 upgrades items: a polished stainless steel draft tower, sturdy CO2 tank, and a dual gauge pressure regulator, increasing your kegeraotr’s value by $25. Installation of the draft tower may involve drilling holes into the top of the cabinet, and a trip to the hardware store, as the hardware provided has shown a unsecure and compromised fitting.
Although the interior holds 2 5-gallon Cornelius kegs, it only allows one keg to be tapped at a time. The other keg can only be stored at the perfect temperature. Although the CO2 tank rests on a shelf at the back of the cabinet and leaves plenty of room for the kegs, it is not easily accessible. If homebrew isn’t on the to-do list, simply use the included wire shelves to convert the cabinet to a mini-fridge. A stainless steel plate liner at the base of the cabinet allows full, heavy kegs to easily glide in and out of the cabinet for cleaning and maintenance.
The sleek black and stainless steel design sits on 4 rolling castors for easy transport indoors or outdoors. A sturdy guard rail keeps glassware in place during transport and when hosting parties and playing bartender. The removable drip tray catches the excess with no worry of liquids spilling to the floor or inside the door. Kegco has designed this kegerator to not only be 25% more energy efficient but also guarantees powerful cooling technology so homebrew and commercial beer can be served at their ideal temperatures. Set the internal temperature using the mechanical dial built into the interior cabinet.
To watch the Kegco HBK199S-1 Keg Dispenser Review on YouTube, click here.
- Complimentary upgrades.
- Dual pressure gauge for cold keg swap out.
- Easy glide stainless steel liner.
- Shipped with missing parts.
- Costly investment with average reviews.
- Manual temperature control.
2021 Buyers Guide to the Best Homebrew Kegorator 2021:
It comes as no surprise that buying in bulk makes sense for several important reasons: reduced packaging, saves time, and for meal planning, bulk buying is budget-friendly. And if a particular food or snack is your all-time must have, buying that treat or staple food, in bulk, helps to sustain the cravings and keep a regularly stocked pantry.
What if you could harness all the amazing features and flavors of craft beer, “in bulk,” at home, housed in a small footprint, no larger than a hotel minibar, for half the cost of a commercial beer tap system. Then you would be in the market for a kegerator. Especially if you’re a homebrewer. Cut down on trips to the store, and your DIY makeshift growler factory, because you need a home draft beer dispenser. In a corner of the man cave, on the back patio next to the barbecue, or tucked away in the game room or family room, every home, dorm, apartment, even the office can welcome the mighty and dependable kegerator to serve cold craft beers and homebrews as efficiently as the restaurants and sports bars we’ve come to love.
As the Industrial Revolution gave way to the turn-of-the-century, the early 1900s pre-Prohibition era found bars and saloons fabricating primitive kegerator contraptions for tapping their customer’s favorite brews. Simple technology allowed for large handmade wooden barrels, and later today’s familiar aluminum storage containers, known as kegs, to carry large quantities of liquid safely for transport from the manufacturer to the retailer. Once the kegs were delivered, the establishment added a line of CO2 into the keg. This process forced the carbonate – the fizzy bubbles – into the liquid under pressure. A line out from the keg, allowed the beer to flow into a tap, or faucet to dispense the beer into a glass.
Before making a purchase decision on the kegerator that fits your homebrewing needs, give some credence to these factors.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Maintenance – Homebrewers have compared the responsibility of maintaining and caring for their kegerator to the same responsibilities that come with caring for a puppy. Regularly cleaning the air line and beer line hoses from germs, mold, build up and fat or greasy beer residues, or beer taste, must be performed between keg changes. Regular O-ring replacement is necessary at all points of contact at the CO2 tank and the kegs. Understanding the importance of PSI monitoring and the proper use of pressure gauges to maintain freshness and carbonation are key. Will you take the time to preserve your kegerator so that your homebrews and commercial beers don’t go to waste? Otherwise, what’s the point of making homebrew or spending money on commercial kegs only to find them flat, lifeless, sour and potentially unhealthy?
- Operation – Is having a kegerator a solid investment purchase or a pipe dream? In 6 months, is the kegerator going to be a mini-fridge in the basement or shipped off to the kid starting college? Some kegerators come with a high price tag. If you’re regularly buying commercial keg beer, consider purchasing a mid-priced kegerator. If you are homebrewing, do your research to understand the correct temperatures for your IPAs and ciders. Ask yourself, “Am I buying a flashy accessory or a useful appliance?” Then, go open the fridge in the kitchen and do an inventory. About how many 6 packs are living there at one time? What is your current beer consumption? The next key factor will help you figure out some of the answers, and which kegerator is the best for your homebrew and commercial beer lifestyle.
- Investment – If you’ve been purchasing around 60-70 bottles of beer a month, like the average craft beer aficionado, at a cost of $10 a 12-pack, you’ve been spending approximately $84 a month for bottled beer, plus recycling fees. A half keg costs around $70 and is equivalent to 165 bottles of beer. By bringing a kegerator into your home, and either making homebrew in bulk, or buying commercial beer in a keg, or both, you’ll save a significant amount of money over time, and do your part to keep recycling costs down. The downside is, you’ll have to wait about 2 and a half years to see a return on the cost of the purchase of a $600 – $800 kegerator, of which most of the models in this review cost.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How many beers are in a 5 gallon keg?
A 5 gallon Cornelius or “Corny” keg holds 672 ounces, or 56 – 12 ounce beers, or 42 – 16 ounce beers. The Corny keg is a popular size among craft beer drinkers, as local breweries will fill the kegs with the customer’s favorite brews for use in their home kegerators!
How to convert a homebrew to kegerator?
So, you’ve made the perfect homebrew. Time to get it cold and kegged and ready for the tap. The best way to convert a beer fridge to a kegerator is with a Kegerator Conversion Kit. Most kits contain everything you need to get the homebrew flowing. Each kit contains a ball lock and/or pin lock set of connectors; a beer nut replacement for the Sankey coupler – the part which connects the air and beer lines to the keg – two quarter inch threaded replacement fittings to allow for a seamless conversion, and one each, air line and beer line female flare nuts and a clamp for the air line.
Cut the beer nut off the ends of the air and beer lines. Next, install the flare and bar fittings to each line. Attach these fittings onto the disconnect first and then into the tubing. TIP: Heat the ends of the cut tubing to allow the flare fitting to easily slide into the tube. Use the clamp to tighten the flare fitting to the air line. Repeat the process for the beer line. Next, prepare the Sankey coupler. Remove the beer nut and add the threaded replacement fitting to the beer line connector, then repeat the process for the air line connector. Tighten both connections snug with a wrench. Attach the air line and beer line ball locks to the keg and place your homebrew keg in the kegerator. Make sure to set the correct pressure on the CO2 tank regulator. Cheers!
Best Kegerator for Homebrew (2021 Buyers Guide)
Final Thoughts on Buying a Kegerator for Homebrew
Once the taste of an ice cold craft beer becomes a refreshing palate pleaser, it’s difficult to imagine enjoying the taste captured in a bottle. Craft beer has led many to the art of homebrewing. We’ve shown you our top kegerator choices to help keep your homebrews cold and flowing and perfectly carbonated.
If you’ve been longing for a beer-on-tap system and your home doesn’t have the luxury of a full-size bar, a walk-in cooler, storage for 15 gallon metal kegs and the many working parts to keep a tap beer at the peak of freshness, we have a simple solution. To reduce packaging, save time, save space, and overtime, save money, consider joining the millions of beer lovers serving ice cold homebrew and crafted commercial beers like your favorite local breweries. Spread your wings and find yourself enjoying all the wonderful benefits of a kegerator for homebrew.