Just as wine aficionados take their drink of choice seriously, so do many beer drinkers. In fact the idea of owning a keg refrigerator appeals to them for a number of reasons. Some of these are:
- No empties - keg refrigerators take away worries regarding recycling or an over-abundance of garbage
- Fridge space - with no cans or bottles, there are no worries about how to fit enough beer in the refrigerator -- especially during parties
- Savings - keeping a keg costs much less than buying beer in bottles or cans
- Time - no more extra trips to the store every time you run out of beer
- Convenience - owners always have cold beer at their disposal
These special refrigerators come as free-standing units or may be built into specially designed units to match the home's decor. Because they need venting, custom cabinets must be carefully designed so that the keg refrigerator doesn't overheat. Also due to temperature concerns, they nearly always are indoors and shouldn't be placed near stoves or ovens, or in an area receiving direct sunlight. Those living in warm climates may purchase specially designed keg refrigerators that cost more than the indoor models.
If you own a refrigerator that you no longer use, it's possible to convert it to a keg refrigerator. Manufacturers sell conversion kits for this purpose. This method gives the added conveniences of a freezer where glasses may be chilled and additional storage space in the door. It is important to follow instructions to the letter if you purchase one of these kits. Improper installation may permanently damage the refrigerator and defeat the purpose of saving money through a do-it-yourself approach.
Other important considerations include making sure the refrigerator, whether old or new, will accommodate a keg. It's also important to keep the keg refrigerator and tubing clean, although the maintenance is simple. Bacteria build-up will not only compromise the beer's taste; it may create health problems. Clean tubing also prevents too much foam from forming in each glass.