Corny kegs are widely popular among both homebrewers and draft beer enthusiasts around the world. That’s why it’s so important to know how to choose the right Corny keg kegerator to dispense beer with ease and comfort.
Here in this article on the Beverage Craft blog, we talk about various aspects of using a Corny keg kegerator and provide some helpful tips on choosing the right ball-lock keg fridge.
What is a Corny Keg Kegerator?
A Cornelius keg cooler is designed to accommodate and maintain the temperature of Corny kegs (aka ‘soda kegs’ or ‘homebrew kegs’). These kegs are usually made of stainless steel and hold approximately 5 gallons (19 litres) of beer, which is equivalent to about fifty 12-oz (355 ml) servings.
There are two main homebrew kegerator types available on the market:
A single-tap kegerator for a Corny keg comes with a single faucet tower that allows you to dispense beer from just one keg. A small Corny keg kegerator like this is an excellent choice for individual homebrewers or those who prefer having only one type of beer on tap at a time. The fact that single-tap kegerators are compact makes them ideal for smaller spaces.
A double-tap kegerator features two faucet towers, allowing you to serve beer from two different kegs simultaneously. This option is great for occasions when you want to offer different types of beer to your guests. Double-tap kegerators are slightly larger than single-tap models, but still compact enough to fit in most home settings.
How to Set Up a Corny Keg Refrigerator
Whether you have some experience with draft beer dispensing systems or not, hooking up a Corny keg to a kegerator is a fairly simple process that can be achieved by following the steps below.
- Before we connect a Corny keg to a kegerator, we need to make sure the following elements and Cornelius keg parts are in place: Corny keg, kegerator (or a ball lock kegerator conversion kit), CO2 tank, regulator, beer line, gas line, faucet, and tap handle.
- Attach the CO2 tank to the regulator and ensure it is filled, turned on, and pressurized. Check the pressure gauge to make sure it's in the recommended range (typically between 10-15 PSI). Connect the gas line from the regulator to the inlet post on the keg, tightening it with a wrench. Attach the beer line to the outlet post on the keg (located on the opposite side of the gas inlet).
- Connect the other end of the beer line to the faucet and then attach the tap handle to the faucet.
- Place your keg inside the Corny keg kegerator, turn it on, and set the temperature to the desired level. Allow the kegerator to cool to your desired serving temperature before proceeding.
- Open the pressure relief valve on the keg lid by pulling up or pushing down to release any built-up pressure. Check for leaks around the gas and beer lines and tighten any connections if needed.
- Slowly turn on the CO2 tank valve to release gas into the keg. Watch the pressure gauge and adjust the pressure to the desired level using the regulator.
- Give the keg a gentle shake to force carbonation – this process may take up to a few days, depending on the style of beer and required carbonation level.
- Once carbonation is complete, adjust the regulator to the desired pressure for serving beer. Allow the beer to sit for a few hours to settle before pouring the first glass.
That’s how to set up a Corny keg to a kegerator.
Choosing the Best Keg Kegerator for Ball-Lock Kegs
When choosing a good refrigerator for Corny keg, you may want to consider the following key factors:
- Availability of temperature control (not every mini fridge for a Corny keg has that)
- Ease of maintenance
Also, you need to make sure that the kegerator for the ball-lock kegs you have in mind is compatible with the specific type of kegs you’re planning to use. The best Corny keg fridge is the one that helps you elevate your drinking experience and impress your guests with freshly poured draft beer.
Cornelius Keg Fridge Cleaning
Regular cleaning and sanitizing of your Cornelius kegerator, keg, and lines helps to maintain the consistent quality and taste of your beer. Here are a few basic steps you need to complete.
- Empty the keg, removing any remaining beer or liquid from the keg
- Remove the keg from the Cornelius keg fridge and disconnect all the lines and fittings
- Clean the keg and all removable parts with warm water and recommended keg line cleaning supplies
- After washing, rinse off all the detergent Using a food-grade sanitizer, fill the keg with the solution and let it sit for 10–15 minutes. Sanitize all the disassembled parts in a separate container
- Reassemble the keg, and then reconnect the lines, fittings, and keg lid securely, making sure they are tightly sealed to prevent leaks
For easier and faster cleaning, be sure to use a kegerator cleaning kit.