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Kegerator - Really Basic Questions...

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by kudzu, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    The idea of being able to have draft beer at home has been calling to me louder and louder! Unwilling to buy a kit and convert an old fridge or freezer, I have been looking at various off-the-shelf products. Knowing *nothing* about kegerators, I am a candidate for screwing up big time! Any advice would be appreciated whether I follow it or not - I reserve my right to screw up if I choose.

    My first consideration is single or double tap? Is there any reason I shouldn't buy a double tap setup and usually use it as a single but have the option to tap two different brews for the occasional party?

    If the answer to my first question is yes, the features of the following item appeal to me and it is at about the top of the price range I want to spend: SBC490STTWIN For that amount of money, should I be looking at some other kegerators or shopping another source?

    If the double tap Summit I am looking at is an okay solution, what other accessories or items will I need or should consider?

    Maybe most importantly, what question(s) have I not asked that I should have?

    TIA for any helpful info you might provide.
  2. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Starting with a dual tap setup is easier than upgrading down the line...but a tower change is a pretty easy install

    There is one other keg box I would consider in that price range, it's the Beverage-Air BM23 here: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/bev...eer-dispenser-24-1-keg-kegerator/185BM23.html

    The price will pop up when you select your finish.

    While the two boxes appear to be within $15 of each other, there are a few things you will want to figure in.

    The Summit comes with all the couplers and the CO² tank, while you will need to buy the coupler, regulator and CO² for The Bev-Air, approximately $115.

    From where I sit, the Summit would cost me $120 for standard shipping while the Bev-Air ships free anywhere in the lower 48...making these two a wash.

    If the situation is also equal for you, I would choose the (commercial unit) Bev-Air every time.
    kudzu likes this.
  3. camil1mj

    camil1mj Initiate (0) Oct 4, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    In regards to "accessories" I would make sure to get Perlick faucets unless you plan on having a beer every single day. The cheap faucets have the potential to lock up if unused for a week or two. It happened to my buddy before he bought his Perlicks. He lost a good 64 oz of Breakfast Stout on his floor when his cheap faucet locked up on him.
  4. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Wow, thanks! I did not know a Beverage Air might be within reach. If I understand correctly, besides the coupler, regulator and CO2 tank, I would also have to buy the Bev Air two-faucet 3" column ($190) and an additional coupler to have a double tap set-up. Is there anything else?
  5. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Well, a day without beer is a sad day! Thanks for the info, I will keep that in mind.
    camil1mj likes this.
  6. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    One other thing you will need is a 'Y' connector to split the CO² from the regulator to the two couplers as well as a additional CO² line.

    If you're looking to save a little money on the two-faucet, 3" tower, Foxx Equipment Co. has a polished stainless version for $107.71 and a solid-brass unit for $126.44 on page 119 of their current catalog: https://www.foxxequipment.com/catalog.php
    kudzu likes this.
  7. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Well, some regulators have two outlets. The one that came with mine did. But the goddamn fitting was in with loctite and I shredded the brass trying to get out. (As an aside, why the bloody fuck do regulator manufacturers use loctite on everything? This isn't the first time I've been completely unable to get a fitting out, and it doesn't seal any better than a bit of teflon tape. Super frustrating.) The T's 1/2" NPT (which I think these all are) aren't cheap either, but fortunately I was able to "borrow" one from work.
  8. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (335) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Make sure you understand what kind of maintenance you are taking on (and hopefully committing to). Line cleaning every two weeks, line replacement, etc. Also, at that price you probably stay upside down forever on your investment unless you are drinking Herculean quantities of draught beer. Think how much beer you could buy for $1,200.

    Then again, it would be really cool and I would be jealous.
  9. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    After talking to WEBstuarant several times and Beverage Air once, thinking everything was good-to-go, I ordered the Bev Air BM23. Shortly after placing the order online, I got the following email:

    To which I replied:

    I was excited about getting the Bev Air product but not excited enough to void the warranty. We will see what happens!
  10. canoale

    canoale Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

    just one point i'd like to make,just because you use perlicks (which i whole hartedly endorse ) they can leak (lost 8 gal of bells best brown). i installed shut off valves on top of the keg couplers.(which won't fit most kegerators due to clearence ) still must remember to shut them tho. I know the other tappers stick badly. oh & perlicks couplers are the best too.

  11. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Wow...just wow. I can see where trying to shoehorn a commercial Wolfe grill into a residential application would fall under those guidelines, but a single keg box? :rolling_eyes:
  12. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    That warranty thing is total bs. I bought my BM23 three years ago and had no issues whatsoever with the warranty being 'honored'. Of course I have had no problems with it and never have had to deal with the warranty.
  13. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Yes you have to maintain the unit but with all due to respect you are exaggerating a bit. I homebrew and only clean my lines/taps/homebrew disconnects whenever a keg kicks (every 2-3 months) before placing a new keg on. I have had the original lines for nearly three years with no issues whatsoever. My beers tastes just fine. Can you clean them every 2 weeks? Sure. Is it absolutely necessary? No, in my opinion.
  14. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Yeah, after chewing on it and reading Bev Air's warranty for myself, I emailed "Kylie" again and told her I definitely wanted the unit for my home and to please process my order and ship it to me. If there is a warranty issue, I will wrestle with Bev Air. Even the worst case scenario would not be a disaster. So, I am excited again!
  15. julian

    julian Devotee (454) May 31, 2008 Washington

    The only other point I'd make about the Bev-Air commercial kegerators, is that they are (from what I'm told) much louder than "consumer" kegerators. They're built like tanks and offer more internal space, but they're made to last and made for commercial use where sound is not an issue. If this is going to be in your living room, it might be an annoyance and something to consider before you purchase. My 2 cents...Also, I have a 2 tap Summit (stainless steel) kegerator and love it (actually upgraded it to 3 tap - it fits 3 kegs and co2 tank but it's tight).
  16. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Yes, I have seen discussions on the noise issue. I am going to try it first in my kitchen. If it is too noisy for that location, I can move it to a room where noise will not matter. I valued the virtues you mentioned more than I was concerned by the noise level.
  17. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,611) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Beer Trader

    So you've had no problems with the warranty being honored, even though they say they won't and you've never tried to get any warranty work done? Huh. That's a thing.
    canoale likes this.
  18. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Well, if he has a problem, covered by the warranty, the warranty will be honored. Not that I ever doubted it, but the dealer has now acknowledged that the warranty will not be void because I use in in my home.

    However, the story takes another weird twist! They say the warranty will be in force and they will be happy to sell me the machine as long as I understand installing the commercial machine in my home may void my homeowner's insurance! I guess this is an extreme case of CYA.

    Well, suffice it to say, I have a little experience in insurance coverage and litigation and I will worry about that about as much as I worry about a meteor falling on my house.
  19. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    No ever told me in writing or on the phone that my warranty would not be honored. If had to use it (which at this point I only have one year left on the compressor), I am sure I could.
  20. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,611) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Beer Trader

    OP stated that the manufacturer said they wouldn't honor the warranty. Regardless of whether that is correct or not, how can you state that you've had no problems with the warranty being honored if you've never tried to get any warranty work done?
  21. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Why would I have a problem though? I have a documented copy of purchase date along with a documented copy of the warranty. As far as I know that's how a warranty works.
  22. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    It is a non-issue. Note subsequent post which included:
  23. kudzu

    kudzu Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2008 South Carolina

    Actually, it was the dealer who said manufacturer would not honor warranty. They have since notified me that was not so and the warranty would be fine.
  24. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    ::: Shakes head :::

    Common sense...isn't so common anymore. I believe you are right about the CYA, because there is no way that installing a commercial washer and dryer in your laundry room would void homeowners insurance
  25. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (310) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    whoever is telling you about your property insurance is talking out of their ass. first, they have not read your policy, they do not know what is covered. that much is fact. they assume they know something, when they are just some dudes selling kegerators, right?

    second, homeowners coverage is not "voided". claims are denied, but the policy is in effect ---if you are current on your premium, you are the owner of the property, the loss is for a legal item (you can't insure your marijuana for example) and finally, you can legally enter into contract, then the policy is 100% good. that much is a fact.

    however, it is possible, even likely, that covered property defined as household appliances must be manufactured primaraly for household use. the loss of a commercial item could be denied based on this description. further, a subsequent loss that results from the non-covered loss, a fire, water damage etc., that would likely be covered.

    your insurer has a policy coverage available for commercial items as well as household items. they aren't trying to screw you, but they expect their insureds to pay the appropriate premium. commercial appliances may have outsize voltage requirements, run hotter, require special protection, licensed installation etc etc. the underwriter can't take all of this into account for the 500,000 individual policies in effect, thus exclusions do apply. you could ask your agent for advice, perhaps even adding the BevAir as a listed item. but it would probably not be worth the premium after the deductible is cosidered.

    so thats Property Insurance 101 for today. yeah, i was a property examiner for AIG back in the day. my checkered career...
    IceAce likes this.
  26. htomsirveaux

    htomsirveaux Poo-Bah (1,611) Feb 8, 2002 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I'm not saying you would have a problem. I'm saying you have no basis to say whether you would or would not have a problem. Previously you said:

    'That warranty thing is total bs. I bought my BM23 three years ago and had no issues whatsoever with the warranty being 'honored'. Of course I have had no problems with it and never have had to deal with the warranty.'

    If you've never had to deal with the warranty, how do you know if it would be honored or not?
    canoale likes this.
  27. Fluteswell

    Fluteswell Aspirant (285) Feb 15, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I have a True commercial kegerator, and that SOB is loud. I might have reconsidered my purchase if I knew how loud it was going to be. When the compressor kicks on, I can hear it throughout the house.
  28. Susan8

    Susan8 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2012

    I bought my husband a True commercial kegerator about two weeks ago. As soon as they plugged it in, the rep said it didn't sound right. It was out on our screened in porch, but you could hear it inside the house! They kept it under warranty and sent someone to fix it. The guy replaced the motor. This was a new unit, keep in mind. It is now a lot quieter, but I can still hear it kick on and off. Was told by the repair guy that you wouldn't notice it in a commercial installation. It is now in place inside in our basement (was only outside due to a party). I'm still not happy with the noise. It is a lot louder than either of our refrigerators. My husband thinks we can somehow insulate it when we build our bar in the basement. Does anyone have experience doing this? I was told by the repair guy to make sure it can draw air from below and to the right of the unit.
  29. brownswisscow

    brownswisscow Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2012 Vermont

    Any reason you aren't building your own?

    I recently finished up a 2 tap keezer in my house.

    Probably spent ~ $750 for brand new everything (freezer, temp controller, couplers, co2, tower, regulator, lines) and all we had to do as far as 'constructing' it went, was putting holes in the freezer lid for lines and screws (we are putting a nice wood collar/lid on at some point but just drilled holes to get the thing pouring).

    Beyond that you learn how all the pieces fit together, so that when you need to fix/repair/upgrade parts, it is that much easier.

    Mine will hold (2) 1/4 barrels or 4 corny's.
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