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Choosing a Kegerator for Your Outdoor Kitchen

If you love a cool, crisp beer on a warm summer evening, you need to consider incorporating a kegerator into your outdoor kitchen design. A kegerator is a specialized refrigerator for storing and easily serving ice-cold beer. They are frequently found in restaurants and bars that keep beer “on tap,” but homeowners with a penchant for entertaining can also incorporate a kegerator into their outdoor space.

Kegerators vary in design, size, and features. Picking the right one for your space and lifestyle can be tricky. The expert Lake in the Hills outdoor kitchen designers at Daybreaker Landscapes can help guide you through the process of selecting a kegerator and incorporating it into your outdoor kitchen design. Our professional installation crew will handle the necessary utility work to ensure your kegerator keeps the beer cold and flowing.

Give our team a call at (815) 596-0070, and you’ll find yourself one step closer to enjoying a refreshing brew in your outdoor oasis.

How Does a Kegerator Work?

kegerator for outdoor kitchenSimply put, a kegerator is exactly what it sounds like: a refrigerator combined with a keg. Most kegerators have the same basic components:

  • Refrigerator or cabinet – The refrigerator, also called a cabinet, houses a keg and keeps it cold. Refrigerators range in size depending on the size and number of your kegs.
  • Faucet – The faucet is located on the outside of the refrigerator and dispenses the beer. Faucets come in many shapes, styles, and finishes. They can be a single-faucet or multi-faucet.
  • Coupler – This is the valve that taps the keg.
  • Keg – The keg holds the beer. Kegs range in size from mini (1.32 gallons) to 50 liter kegs (13.2 gallons). You can purchase kegs of all types of beers, from major brands to craft beers, from big box wine and beer stores as well as craft and local breweries.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Tank and Regulator – Carbon dioxide is used to apply pressure on the keg to dispense the beer. It is housed in a tank that attaches to a regulator, which is used to adjust the pressure.
  • Tubing – Tubing connects the components: from the faucet to the coupler (often called the beer line), and the coupler to the regulator (often called the gas line).

Types of Kegerators

There are a variety of kegerators that suit different needs. For our purposes, we will look exclusively at outdoor kegerators, which are specifically designed to withstand the elements and keep your beer the perfect temperature no matter the weather conditions. Outdoor kegerators tend to cost more than indoor kegerators because of this special design feature.

  • Freestanding Kegerator – These kegerators are very popular because you can easily move them to accommodate different entertaining setups. Most freestanding kegerators simply need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, but they will need sufficient space around them for ventilation.
  • Built-in Kegerator – This type of kegerator is specifically designed to be incorporated into your cabinets or other structure for a seamless look. A built-in kegerator must be professionally installed to ensure it’s properly ventilated.
  • Single-Faucet Kegerator – This kegerator dispenses only one beverage at a time.
  • Multi-Faucet Kegerator – This kegerator can dispense multiple beverages at a time.
  • Multi-Purpose Kegerator – This kegerator can serve additional functions beyond storing and serving cold beer. For example, it may also store other beverages, such as bottles and cans.

Kegerator Cleaning, Maintenance, and Safety

Outdoor kegerators may have a shorter lifespan because of the wear and tear they get outside in the elements, so it is important to maintain and clean them properly. Ideally, a kegerator should be cleaned at least once every two to three weeks and definitely whenever changing out kegs. For best results, you should purchase a special cleaning kit that contains a solution specifically designed for cleaning kegerators.

To begin cleaning, remove the faucet, coupler, and any associated components, and soak them in warm water. Use a brush to clean them thoroughly. The tubing that carries the beer needs to be cleaned very thoroughly and flushed with a specialized solution. After a thorough cleaning, reassemble the kegerator. When you attach a new keg, you may also want to run a glass or two of beer through to make sure you’ve removed all residue of the cleaning solution.

A kegerator, when properly used and maintained, is generally safe, but any device that uses pressurized gas should be handled with care. Make sure the CO2 tank remains upright. Never drop or throw the tank, and keep it away from extreme heat. When cleaning the kegerator, make sure the CO2 tank is properly closed before you disconnect the kegerator components.

Kegerator Temperature and Freshness

A kegerator operating at the correct temperature and pressure should keep unpasteurized beer fresh for two months and pasteurized beer fresh for up to three months. Most breweries recommend targeting 38 degrees Fahrenheit, but some people may prefer different types of beers at different temperatures, such as:

  • Pale ales: 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Darker lagers: 42 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Stouts: up to 48 degrees Fahrenheit

Call Daybreaker Landscapes Today to Learn About Kegerators

Who doesn’t love an ice-cold beer on a hot summer night? Incorporating a kegerator into your outdoor kitchen can really enhance the entertainment value and enjoyment of your outdoor space. There are many factors to consider in choosing a kegerator, most importantly how you plan to use it. The outdoor experts of Daybreaker Landscapes have worked with many clients in Lake in the Hills to design and install the perfect outdoor kitchen with a kegerator. We can help you choose the best kegerator for you, seamlessly incorporate it into your space, and install it properly to keep the brews flowing.

Call Daybreaker Landscapes at (815) 596-0070 today to work with one of our design and installation professionals on your ideal outdoor kitchen.