The Kenmore Elite Kegerator
The refrigerator I bought is 4.9 cu feet and is the model #564-95499400 Black Kenmore Elite. This refrigerator is the perfect size in which to fit two 5 gallon homebrew beer brewing soda kegs. I purchased two chrome plated brass keg faucets with stainless steel levers and a drip tray and added them to the front of the keg. The faucets have chrome plated shanks and installation is as simple as drilling two one inch holes. This is a front view that exhibits the refrigerator in all its glory. It is considerably more convenient to pull a pint from the front of the fridge rather than continuing to open it every time. It is also easier on the refrigerator due to the fact that the compressor doesn’t need to run as often. I fabricated the tap handles and rack rails from brass using a metal lathe. If a home-made style tap handle isn’t to your liking, there are many commercial examples available through the Internet and some even have great custom options if you desire an increased level of beer brewing personalization!
The Beer Brewing Kegs in Place
Here is a picture of the two homebrew beer brewing kegs and Carbon Dioxide tank in the refrigerator. It is a tight fit but everything squeezes in. Obviously it is necessary to have all of the shelving material removed from the interior of the refrigerator. This includes the bottom shelf in the door as it interferes with the closing of the door itself. The interior of the refrigerator is the perfect size to accommodate the kegs and I haven’t seen another model available that has this type of interior space.
What could be cooler than to have two kegs of your favorite home brewed beer on tap at your house? I can’t think of anything. For more information about the Cornelius kegs, refer to my Kegs page.
It is a little cramped in this refrigerator but it is still possible to have a Carbon Dioxide tank inside with the two kegs. I found an idea on the Internet that involved building a shelf in the back. If you look closely at the picture to the left, the shelf rests on a ledge in the back of the fridge and has a single leg consisting of a dowel that keeps it from tipping forward. The fit is pretty tight and I am very confident that the shelf can hold the weight of the 5 pound tank. Carbon Dioxide exits the tank and enters a simple distribution manifold that allows the gas to be split between the two kegs.
I have seen other kegerator builders route the Carbon Dioxide lines out of the tank through the refrigerator’s drainage hole in order to have a larger tank available outside the refrigerator. This is a great solution but I preferred to keep everything internal.
The Faucet Backplate
Because I found the beer faucets to be a bit wobbly after the initial installation, I decided to make a simple wooden back plate. It is merely a 1/2″ piece of wood with two one inch holes drilled in it. The center of each faucet hole is approximately 9 3/8″ from each edge of the fridge. This puts the center of each faucet about 2 1/2″ away from each other.