If you’re into home brewing, kegging your beer can be a game-changer. It can save you time, money, and the hassle of bottling.
However, for proper carbonation and temperature control, you need the right equipment.
A mini fridge is a crucial component of a kegging system. But, with so many options out there, how do you know which one to choose?
In this article, we’ll go over the best mini fridges for kegging home brewing, what to look for, and what makes them stand out.
Why a mini fridge?
A mini fridge is an ideal size for a home brewer looking to keg their beer. It’s small enough to fit in tight spaces, yet large enough to hold one or two kegs, depending on the model.
Additionally, a mini fridge is more energy-efficient than a full-size refrigerator, making it an economical choice for home brewers.
What to look for in a mini fridge for kegging home brewing
When shopping for a mini fridge for kegging home brewing, there are several factors to consider:
The size of the mini fridge will depend on how many kegs you want to store. Typically, a mini fridge can accommodate one or two kegs. However, some models can hold up to four kegs.
A mini fridge for kegging home brewing should have a temperature range of 35-45°F (1.6-7.2°C). This temperature range is ideal for carbonating and dispensing beer.
The dispensing mechanism is how you get the beer out of the keg.
There are two types of dispensing mechanisms: standard taps and CO2 taps.
Standard taps rely on gravity to dispense beer, while CO2 taps use pressure to push the beer out.
Some mini fridges require conversion kits to turn them into kegerators. Conversion kits typically include a tower, faucet, and CO2 tank. Make sure the mini fridge you choose is compatible with the conversion kit you want to use.
The best mini fridges for kegging home brewing
Best overall: EdgeStar KC2000TWIN Full Size Dual Tap Kegerator
The EdgeStar KC2000TWIN is the best overall mini fridge for kegging home brewing. It has a large capacity, capable of holding two 5-gallon kegs.
It also features a temperature range of 32-50°F (0-10°C), making it ideal for all types of beer. The dual tap design allows you to serve two different beers at once.
The EdgeStar KC2000TWIN also comes with a CO2 tank, regulator, and all necessary hoses and fittings.
Best budget: EdgeStar KC2000TWIN Compact All Refrigerator
The EdgeStar KC2000TWIN is the best budget mini fridge for kegging home brewing.
It has a small footprint, making it apartment-friendly, and can accommodate two 5-gallon kegs.
It features a temperature range of 32-50°F (0-10°C), perfect for carbonating and dispensing beer.
The EdgeStar KC2000TWIN is also Energy Star rated, meaning it’s an energy-efficient choice that won’t break the bank.
Best portable: TMCRAFT 128oz Growler Tap System
If you’re looking for a portable mini fridge for kegging home brewing, the TMCRAFT 128oz Growler Tap System is a great option.
It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It can hold one 128-ounce keg, and features a temperature range of 35-40°F (1.6-4.4°C).
Best for temperature control: Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
If you already have a mini fridge but want better temperature control, the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller is a great choice.
It allows you to set a precise temperature range for your mini fridge, ensuring your beer is carbonated and dispensed at the perfect temperature.
It’s compatible with most mini fridges and kegerators, and is easy to set up and use.
How to set up a mini fridge for kegging home brewing
Setting up a mini fridge for kegging home brewing is a straightforward process.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Clean the mini fridge thoroughly, removing any dirt or debris.
- Install a conversion kit, if necessary. This will typically involve drilling a hole in the top of the mini fridge for the tower, and installing a faucet and CO2 tank.
- Attach the CO2 regulator to the tank and adjust the pressure to the appropriate level for your beer.
- Connect the keg(s) to the CO2 regulator using hoses and fittings.
- Set the temperature to the appropriate range for carbonating and dispensing beer.
- Allow the beer to carbonate for several days, depending on the type of beer and the desired carbonation level.
- Pour a test glass of beer to ensure it’s carbonated and dispensed at the correct temperature.
Maintaining your mini fridge
To keep your mini fridge in good working order, it’s important to perform regular maintenance.
Here are some tips:
- Clean the inside of the mini fridge regularly, using a mild soap and water.
- Check the CO2 tank regularly to ensure it has enough pressure.
- Replace the CO2 tank when it’s empty.
- Replace any hoses or fittings that are cracked or damaged.
- Keep the mini fridge in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
A mini fridge is an essential component of a kegging system for home brewing. The best mini fridge for you will depend on your needs and budget.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a portable mini fridge, or a mini fridge with precise temperature control, there’s a model out there for you.
By following the steps for setting up and maintaining your mini fridge, you can enjoy perfectly carbonated and dispensed beer at home.
- Can I store food in my mini fridge if I’m also using it for kegging?
- It’s not recommended to store food in a mini fridge that’s being used for kegging, as the food odors can affect the taste of the beer.
- How long does it take to carbonate beer in a mini fridge?
- The time it takes to carbonate beer in a mini fridge depends on the type of beer and the desired level of carbonation. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
- Do I need a conversion kit for my mini fridge?
- It depends on the model of the mini fridge. Some mini fridges come with built-in taps and CO2 regulators, while others require a conversion kit to turn them into kegerators.
- How do I clean my mini fridge?
- To clean your mini fridge, use a mild soap and water to clean the inside. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as they can damage the interior of the fridge.
- Can I use a mini fridge for other beverages besides beer?
- Yes, you can use a mini fridge to store other beverages, such as soda, water, or wine. Just make sure to keep them at the appropriate temperature for the beverage.