Can I anticipate a savings if I purchase a kegerator

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by Jwale73, Jun 6, 2012.

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  1. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Poo-Bah (4,737) Aug 15, 2007 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    I've been on the fence about purchasing a kegerator for a while. I love the option of having draft beer in the house and I usually have a beer or two night (4 on weekends). That said, I don't plan on dropping major cash on a Marvel or BevAir kegerator model, so I guess my question is two-fold. For those of you who have a kergerator set-up, conversion kit or otherwise), outside of the initial cost of the unit/components. 1) Do you see see any cost savings or is it just more of a novelty or serving preference. I know it is great for homebrew, but I don't foresee myself getting into brewing at this point due to other obligations and time constraints. 2) What is a reasonably priced, reliable unit that won't break the bank. Ideally, if I pull the trigger, I'd like a two tower set-up so I can have a couple sixtels on at a time. Thanks in advance for the feedback.
  2. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,962) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Society Trader

    Short answer: No.

    Slightly longer answer: Maybe, depending on the beer you buy. Since I buy kegs that are almost always draft only, it is definitely a savings over going to a bar. But typically right around the same price per oz as a 12 pk of SNPA or SABL, at least around here.

    But it is awesome to have beer on tap at your house that is only available on draft. To date I've only bought three kegs where the beer is also available in bottles.

    If you don't want to make your own, you can sometimes find them on sale. I got a Marvel for about 50% off as a scratch and dent sale (bought online). I was worried that it would look bad but I figured that it'd be behind and under the bar and not seen much/often. Lucky for me when I unwrapped it, the damage was only to the plastic wrap they put on the front for protection from scratches. Guess that stuff really works.

    It was a single tap tower, so I bought a two tap tower from Micromatic. Was relatively pricey as I recall, somewhere around $180 or so. I can fit two 1/6ths or a 1/4 and a 1/6. Usually though I buy 1/2s, price per oz on a half is usually quite a bit better than the same beer in smaller formats and when we have parties we can go through a half pretty quickly.
  3. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Yikes! That's 7 cases of beer.
  4. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,962) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Society Trader

    You should see our parties. :grinning:
  5. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    I've never seen a keg stand done off of a tower faucet. Have to imagine that would risk a line infection.
    afrokaze likes this.
  6. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,962) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Society Trader

    Not to mention the potential for a huge increase in homeowner's insurance premiums!
  7. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2008 Missouri

    I usually buy 1/2 barrels, which provides a significant savings over buying the equivalent amount of beer by the six pack or 12 pack or case. I have a cheap Danby that ran me about $430. Over the last 4 or 5 years I have saved way more than the unit cost. If you're going to buy 1/4 or 1/6 barrels, you'll have a hard time saving money over the cost of the same beers sold in bottles or cans.
    IceAce likes this.
  8. canoale

    canoale Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

    I just did recent cost analysis
    1/2 keg 2 heart $180 tx Inc
    4hr journey to get keg $25 gas
    $2.50 in co2 to push beer+ 4 /10 mi.trips to get tank filled$5gas
    4x line cleaning cost $4
    Loss of beer cleaning lines $5
    Est.maint. Items per keg $5
    160-12oz=$1.42 end cost per bottle vs $1.95 ea in 6 pk
    midworken likes this.
  9. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,166) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    For those who do not like to do math that is close to an $85 savings. Thanks for pointing out how inefficient my Two Hearted drinking currently is.
    cosmo4u likes this.
  10. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Poo-Bah (4,737) Aug 15, 2007 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, that is really helpful information.
  11. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2008 Missouri

    For me:
    1/2 barrel of 2 hearted for me + tax = $170
    the place I get it from is 1/2 mile from my house - gas negligible.... let's call it $1
    $2 in co2 to push keg. it averages out to about 1/2 mile per keg for me - so another $1 in gas

    4x line cleaning cost? Why are you cleaning your lines 4 times? Beer line cleaner has cost me $10 for 32 cleainings. That's less than $.50 a cleaning and I clean once after every keg.
    Loss of beer cleaning lines - 0 - I clean between between every keg and this has worked fine for me for 5 years.

    What are est. maint items per keg - $5? I have never had to spend $5 in maintenance for each keg. I am not maintaining the keg. I return it when I'm done.

    I estimate my costs for two hearted to be much less than yours.

    I come out to $1.09 a 12oz serving.
  12. canoale

    canoale Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

    Sorry, I really didn't get to finish I ran out of time ( had to leave work ) I was going to explain better my math. *disclaimer follows. This All is based on MY experience and I am very anal on tap cleaning ( I lost a 1/2 keg of FBS $230 at least 10 gal) & to this day really don't know why, maybe temp ,dirty taps & lines,the dreaded infections I don't really know .I am blue collar I believe in tools, tools cost money. Almost anything that I own I have spare parts for, parts cost money.

    I ask a question a couple years back on this site as to the real cost of homebrewing , I got some REALLY GOOD answers & aLOT of math. Thanks for that ! Really So based on that reply I am just trying to show some of the costs you may not see.

    One more point, as to my situation I live in the land of clay , in the weeds. I must drive to get beer . I got tired of spending so much time (gas)searching for beer. So 7 cases of beer ( 1/2 keg) one trip appealed to me . In theory this is good deal, but find a good source for beer in my state is not good(300mi round trip) to the only distributor in the state. Yes we only have ONE in the whole frigging state ( for the good stuff) in my state you can not buy 1/2 kegs at a beer store . My co2 supply is on my way to work , good deal , but wait its run by #%^*+ !!!! so must drive to get tank filled, dedacated trip (time /gas) to another town!
    WOW new figure is more like $5 a glass

    Being able to tap your own beer priceless

    Spelling disclaimer : sorry for miss spellling & poor punkcewation

    Cheers all
    cosmo4u likes this.
  13. canoale

    canoale Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

  14. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (339) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Four faucets - all homebrew. I have no idea what it costs per pour. I don't want to know what it costs. It's just too damn awesome to worry about it! :slight_smile: Sorry, this probably doesn't answer your question. But, given that it's an entirely different party with draught beer, I think the question is irrelevant.
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