Upgrade to undercounter kegerator for new wetbar

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by cal_golden_beer, Sep 10, 2020.

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  1. cal_golden_beer

    cal_golden_beer Feb 27, 2014 California

    Hi all,

    I'm planning for a wetbar as part of a home remodel and looking for advice on possible kegerator upgrades.

    I homebrew and already have a cheap Danby kegerator so I'm not new to draft beer (I learned a lot from this forum when I first got my kegerator, thanks!). I'm dreaming big with the new wetbar and am considering a kegerator under the counters. The wetbar currently is planned to be a straight, linear run of cabinets against a wall with a sink and a 24" slot for a kegerator. On top of the kegerator and cabinets, we'd lay plywood and quartz counters. I'd need to have the quartz fabricator cut hole(s) in the counter for a draft lines.

    I've done some homework and read lots of informative threads on here. Based on my research, I need a front venting, builtin kegerator if I'm not going to leave any air gaps on the the sides or rear of the kegerator (kegerator will be almost flush with the neighboring cabinets). Am I correct so far?

    I've seen some warnings about builtin kegerators being loud. Roughly how loud? The kegerator will be close to a family/TV room and an open stairwell up to the kitchen and dining room. It doesn't have to be quiet as a mouse but I don't want it to sound like a lawn mower. As a point of reference, my current Danby is a cheapo model with coils/compressor in the back and is very quiet by my standards; way more quiet than I need it to be. If the builtin kegerators are very loud, I might switch my plans to a freestanding version with air gaps and no quartz counter on top. It won't look as nice but I think I'd take the quiet over the polished look.

    For a solid builtin model, the price range seems to be $1,500 to $2,000, right? I'm drilling a hole in my counter top for this thing so I want it to last and be a joy to use.

    I was looking at this Marvel:
    And this Komos:
    And this Summit:

    Do you have suggestions for other brands or specific models? I know Bev-air, True and Perlick are popular suggestions around here but I couldn't find any of those brands in the $1500-$2000 range. Perlick seems to be $3000 for a builtin model. I don't have a budget yet but I'd like to see if I can keep it under $2000. I'm looking for something 24" wide and not taller than 34.5" to fit under the counter and plywood box.

    I'm curious how to install the draft tower. From my research, I think I will run an insulated PVC tube from the kegerator through a hole in the quartz counter to the tower will keep the beer lines cold (tower fan is a must, I know). The PVC tube would fit snug with the inside of the draft tower and I'd also use silicone caulk to secure the tower to the quartz. It seems like the screw holes on most draft towers are too close to the tower opening and the quartz might crack if I drill holes to secure the tower with screws. What do you think of my installation plan?

    Here's some helpful threads that I've read:

    Thanks for your help in the past and in the future
  2. cal_golden_beer

    cal_golden_beer Feb 27, 2014 California

    Sorry, maybe my first post was a little too long. Maybe this is easier:

    It seems like the go-to recommendation for a freestanding kegerator is the Bevair BM23. What is the go-to recommendation for a builtin kegerator?

    Thanks again
  3. matthewp

    matthewp Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    The world of kegerator owners is pretty small and the world of undercounter kegerator owners is a small fraction of that so it's probably the biggest reason you haven't gotten a reply. I don't own an undercounter kegerator so I can't directly help you but I think from the perspective of your approach you are repeating most of what's in the first thread link you posted which is from billandsuz. I'm not sure there's anyone on here who has more experience or knowledge of kegerators than him so I think if you are following his advice then you've got a good plan in place.

    I've seen a few people suggest that Summit model so its probably a decent bet, haven't seen anything about the other two models but I haven't researched it either. Noise is a harder one to answer and is a bit subjective, how much noise is too much noise? I'm not sure it will be a problem in an adjacent room or up the stairs IMHO. My office is in my basement where I have a dehumidifier, 1 full size fridge, 1 mini fridge, and a kegerator. The dehumidifier is the loudest of them when its running and is on the other side of the room (roughly 12-15' away). I have a foldable room divider behind me that shields me a bit from the rest of the room and appliances. Its about a 20 dB drop noise difference between standing in front of the dehumidifier and sitting at my desk. I can hear the dehumidifier but I can hold a normal conversation without it impacting me. I would guess the undercounter kegerator is going to be quieter than the dehumidifier I have and the other rooms will be fine.

    If you are in the room where you are going to have the kegerator and the dishwasher in the kitchen is running, how loud is it compared to standing in front of it? Perhaps someone who owns a commercial kegerator on here can give you a comparison in loudness of the kegerator to something like a dishwasher rather than just say its "loud". Not sure if that helps you any.
    billandsuz and DougC123 like this.
  4. Kerednai

    Kerednai Feb 22, 2021 Minnesota

    What did you go for in the end and are you happy with it?
    7irondave likes this.
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