Monthly Archives: May 2012

How to Convert a Refrigerator to a Keg Cooler

Did you know that you can convert an old refrigerator into a Keg Cooler? While this may not pass a health inspection for your restaurant or bar, a converted refrigerator Keg Cooler makes an excellent backyard drink dispenser. The Internet is full of how-to’s, and well…. here’s one more.

Step 1: What You’ll Need…. Check appliance stores, Craig’s List and your local newspaper for old refrigerators. Make sure the refrigerator is at least 24 inches high and 17 inches wide if you want to fit a standard 1/2 barrel keg. We also recommend that you leave about 5 inches on the top to leave room for the shank and hose. Next, get the Keg Conversion Accessories. You’ll need:

  1. Aluminum CO2 Tank- 5lb tank will last 7-8 kegs and the aluminum will not rust.
  2. CO2 Gauge
  3. 5/16″ CO2 Line
  4. 3/16″ Beer Line
  5. Shank
  6. D-Style Coupler
  7. Faucet
  8. Drip Tray
  9. One Fiber and One Neoprene Washers
  10. Clamps
  11. 3/4″ Hole Saw
Step 2: Get the Interior Ready…. Find your location and set the shelf  (which can be reinforced with bricks or lumber to keep it propped). With the hole saw, drill a hole in the front of the refrigerator for the shank. Go slow and take your time to ensure a clean hole.
Step 3: Install the Keg…. Insert the shank through the door and attach the flange, faucet, and handle on the refrigerators exterior. Then attach the CO2 hose and beer line making sure to pay attention to the IN and OUT pressure. Next assemble the CO2 regulator, place the keg on the shelf and attach the coupler.
Step 4: Pour and Enjoy… I don’t think you need directions here.

Cool Keg Cooler Designs!

Ok, so if you decide you want to be a bit more creative with your beer dispensing machine than the standard commercial Keg Cooler, get inspired by these unique Keg Cooler designs that we found after scouring the web. Which is your favorite?

For the Geek in you!

Beer. Robot. Enough Said!

How can you make Draft Beer and Video Games cooler? Combine them!

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

What To Do Before A Installing Keg Cooler

Always read the operations manual of your Keg Cooler before installing the unit. Small errors can lead to not only a ruined unit, but also a voided warranty. Below are a list of tips from True, Turbo Air, and Beverage-Air that should be reviewed before plugging in your Keg Cooler.

Before Installing… Use a voltmeter to make sure your establishments electrical voltage will support the Keg Cooler. If anything less than 100% of the rated voltage for operation is noted, correct prior to hooking up the unit. Compressor warranties are void if compressor burns out due to low voltage.

Before Loading…. We recommend you run your unit empty for two to three days to ensure electrical wiring and installation are correct and no shipping damage has occurred. Most manufacturer warranties will not cover product loss.

Before Tapping… Ensure that all beer faucet in the serving location are in the off position. Completely remove the dust cover/ identification cap from the keg.

Electrical Precautions… If you’ve unplugged your Keg Cooler, wait 5 minutes before restarting the unit. Never plug a Keg Cooler into a breaker with other units or use an extension cord.

Helpful Hints On Maintaining The Correct Pressure:

  • Know which pressurizing agent to use on which product and why.
  • Monitor your regulators to ensure applied pressure remains constant
  • Keep equipment in good repair

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Yikes! There’s Mold in the Drain Pan of my Keg Cooler!

We cannot stress the importance of keeping all of your kitchen supplies and equipment clean! The health inspector, your customers, and of course you do not want to see mold or yeast growth in the drain pan of your Keg Cooler. A Kansas restaurant was recently cited when the health inspector found, “about 200 fruit fly larvae and some adults in a drain below a keg cooler, a layer of mold in a drain.” The drain pan is the grated section below the beer tap that accumulates beer spillage. Mold likes cold and since a Keg Cooler is a refrigerated unit, mold growth is a serious risk.

To keep the drain pan clean, use hot, soapy water and a toothbrush and scrub away any beer residue, drippings, or leaks. This should be done daily. Never use an abrasive cleaner or a steel wool pad as this will leave corrosive iron particles on the stainless steel finish.

Keg Cooler Maintenance

Don’t wait until your Keg Cooler breaks down to realize that you are not properly maintaining this expensive equipment. Like everything in your commercial kitchen, well-maintained equipment will outlast those that have been neglected, saving you money in the long and short run.

Cleaning Bar System… Clean draft dispensers every 2 weeks using cleaners provided by your beer provider and follow their cleaning instructions. A poorly cleaned bar system can lead to a less satisfying draft taste and look.

Cleaning Condenser Coil… Since condensers accumulate dirt, they need to be cleaned every 30 days or your warranty will become void. Use a soft brush or vacuum the condenser with a Shop-Vac or pressurized air to remove dirt, grease, and lint. To avoid injury eye protection is recommended.

Prevent Rust on Stainless Steel Units… Never use abrasive pads, hydrochloric acid or chlorinated cleaners to clean stainless steel components. Many manufacturers recommend that you use soap, ammonia, or any good commercial detergent to remove grease, oil, and routine cleaning.  Clean along polish lines using a plastic scouring pad or soft cloth. Always rinse and allow to air dry so that oxygen to maintain the passivity film.

Clean Door Gaskets… Ensure a proper sealing when you close the Keg Coolers door to prevent spoiling. Wipe door gaskets daily and remove any debris or spills.

Clean Faucet…. This should be done weekly. Remove the faucet from the shank and clean with hot water and detergent. Rinse and reinstall.

Purge Tap Lines…  To prevent beer from backing up into hose and regulator, purge the CO2 line before tapping a new barrel. To do this, quickly open and close the regulator outlet valve to allow a surge of gas to travel through the line and tap.

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Guinness-Chocolate Cake

While delicious and tasty as a beverage, Draft Beer is not just for drinking! For all your chocolate loving customers, take your restaurants standard chocolate cake to the next level by adding Guinness.

Guinness-Chocolate Cake (makes 12 generous slices)Guisness-Chocolate-Cake-on-Plate


  • 1 C Guinness, from tap
  • 1/2 C Butter, cubed
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 3/4 C Baking Cocoa
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 C Sour Cream
  • 3t  Vanilla Extract
  • 2 C  All-Purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2t  Baking Soda
  • 8oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 C Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream


  1. Grease a 9-in. Spring Form Pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended. Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and cream; beat until smooth. Remove cake from pan and place on a platter. Ice top of cake so that it resembles a frothy pint of beer. Refrigerate leftovers.

How to Tap a Keg

Now that you’ve purchased your awesome Keg Cooler and selected the finest draft beers, it’s time to get those kegs hooked up and ready to make you some money. Below are step by step directions to install a keg. Instructions may vary slightly by manufacturer so please refer to your owners manual for assistance.

1. Connect line from the pressure source to lap nipple with a clamp. Using a coupling washer, connect beer line to thread on probe. Holding flats on probe with wrench tighten wing nut or hex nut on beer house.

2. Align tap with lugs on barrel, insert tap.

3. Turn tap body handle, 1/4 turn clockwise until tight to secure tap to barrel. Turn on pressure regulator.

4. Rotate wheel handle 1/4  turn clockwise. Make sure handle is turned as far as it will go to stop to ensure that the beer and gas ports in the keg down tube will be fully opened.

If you have any questions feel free to post below and we’ll respond!

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Troubleshooting Problems with Your Keg Cooler

A Keg Cooler will be a highly used product in your restaurant or bar, especially if your place becomes known for serving perfectly poured beer. The last thing you want is for problems with the Keg Cooler to hinder sales on busy nights. Below you’ll find a list of common problems that occur with Keg Coolers and how to quickly troubleshoot those issues.

Unit Is Noisy….

  1. Loose mounting or parts— Find loose bolts or pieces and tighten.
  2. Weak floor or leveling feet are not set correctly- Adjust feet or reinforce the floor so that the unit is level back to front and side to side.
  3. The backside of unit is too close to wall— Move unit at least 3″ away from1 wall.
  4. Tube rattling— Reform to be free of contact
  5. Bent fan blade is causing vibrations— Replace fan blade
  6. Fan motor bearings are worn— Replace Motor

Compressor will not start….

  1. Line cord not plugged in— Plug in cord.
  2. Fuse removed or blown— Replace fuse.
  3. Temperature control stuck in open position— Repair or replace temp control.
  4. Wiring improper or loose— Check wiring against owner’s manual diagram.

Unit operates continuously….

  1. Dirty condenser— Clean condenser
  2. Shortage of refrigerant— If there is a leak, repair it. Then add correct amount of charge.
  3. Temp control contacts stuck or frozen— Replace temp control.
  4. Evaporator coil iced— Defrost coil.
  5. Restriction in refrigeration system— Determine source of restriction and remove.

Unit is Freezing Products….

  1. Thermostat is set too cold— Turn temperature dial to a warmer setting

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Draft Beer Problems

In the event that your Keg Cooler is working properly, but the quality of beer is not where it should be there are also ways that you can troubleshoot the problems. To reduce the risk of draft beer problems, always follow manufacturers instructions for temperature and your beer suppliers CO2 pressure recommendations.

Flat Beer (lacks usual zesty flavor).. Caused by a contaminated air source, greasy glasses, not enough pressure (usually caused by pressure being shut off during the night), loose tap or vent connection, sluggish pressure regulator, or obstruction in lines.

Wild Beer (too much foam)…. Beer drawn improperly, faucet in bad or worn condition, kinks/obstructions in line, beer temperature is too warm, or too much pressure (usually caused by creeping gauge)

Cloudy Beer (not clear)…. Dirty glass/faucet, beer too cold or keg temperature variance, hot spots in beer line, cutting beer through faucet, beer line in poor condition, dirty lines, beer was frozen.

Bad Tasting Beer…. Dirty faucet, old or dirty beer lines, failure to flush beer lines with water after each keg change, unsanitary conditions at the bar, foul air or dirt in lines, oily/greasy air, temperature of keg too warm, or dry glasses.

False Head (soap-like bubbles that dissolve very quickly)…. Dry glasses, improper pour, pressure require does not correspond to beer temp, coils or direct draw beer lines warmer than keg, small lines into large faucet shanks, beer drawn improperly.

Product Palooza- Keg Coolers- continues throughout May! Make sure to leave a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary. Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Keg Cooler Accessories

Keg Coolers make any restaurant or bar complete. Not only will you save money with these beer dispensers, as opposed to serving bottled beer, keg coolers also allow you to have a more diverse selection of beers. Like with any other commercial kitchen equipment, there are several accessories that will optimize its function.

Keg Storage Rack You definitely want to stock extra kegs so that you do not run out on a busy Saturday night. Open shelving storage racks will keep your kegs easily accessibly anytime you or your crew needs to switch them out. Select from 4-10 keg capacity racks. We love the Advance Tabco 10-Keg Storage Rack which can easily hold up to ten kegs with its 1200 lbs. load capacity per shelf.

Keg DollyKegs are heavy. Really heavy. If your workers drop a keg or hurt themselves trying to carry a keg across your establishment it could lead to expensive repercussions. A keg dolly or cart can help avoid this problem. Some are made with an ergonomic handle and a kick stand to keep your kegs stable, while others may simply act as a resting place for easy transportation of kegs. This accessory is definitely a necessity if you’ll be serving draft beer.

Glass ChillersNever pour draft beer into a warm cup. Mugs should be ice cold (many of your customers will even expect to be served in a frosty beer mug). After washing mugs, place them in your glass chiller. To give your mug a head start in the chilling process, do not dry mugs after rinsing. Professional frosters take mugs and other glasses to sub-zero temperatures in a matter of seconds, providing an even layer of frost anytime you want it. There is one exception to serving beer in chilled mugs: Avoid serving dark, heavy beers such as stouts in frosted mugs, because these beers need to be slightly warmer to release their full flavor.

Beer Tap Plugs Don’t let your keg taps become dirty and unsanitary. Beer tap plugs are a sanitary solution for keg cooler taps. They help control yeast and bacterial build up inside draft taps, prevent beer taps from sticking, as well as keep pesky fruit flies away from taps.

Beer Mugs You’ve got your keg, keg cooler, and all of the essential accessories, but you’re missing one thing- beer mugs! The great thing about beer mugs is that they come in plenty of different designs, sizes, and are made from either glass or plastic. With a classic design, these mugs are made to last and fit in with any restaurant design.

Glass WashersWith all those beer mugs, you’ll benefit from the assistance of an upright glass washer. Available in manual or electric and as a submersible or non-submersible unit, upright glass washers are perfect for thoroughly and quickly cleaning mugs in a bar sink without the need to run them through the dishwasher.  Equipped with durable washing brushes and stainless steel construction, these automatic cleaning tools are perfect for packed establishments that don’t want to waste extra time and effort manually washing and rinsing each and every glass. Now, bartenders will always have beer mugs on hand for those busy Saturday nights.

Product Palooza- Keg Coolers- continues throughout May! Make sure to leave a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary. Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

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