You will need at least a 3.2 cubic foot mini fridge for a kegerator. A 3.2 cubic foot kegerator will fit one sixth barrel or slim quarter barrel. That being said, if you want to have more than one tap line, or a larger keg you will need to consider your options. Things to keep in mind are, the physical size of the kegs, how much beer you will drink, the height of the coupler, size of the CO2 tank and the space inside of a mini fridge. Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these considerations.
Keg Size Options for Kegerators
The first thing to consider when picking out a fridge for your kegerator is the size and number of kegs you want to keep in your fridge. There are five common kegs available for your kegerator. Each one has unique dimensions and holds varying amounts of beer. The physical size of the keg will determine how much space you need in your mini fridge.
It is also important to note that according to kegerator.com beer will stay fresh in a keg for 6-8 weeks. So, consider how many beers you can consume in that period of time. To avoid loss of freshness you want to consume a keg every 6 weeks or so. Let’s discuss the different keg size options.
A Cornelius keg is often used for homebrews but can be used for soda or coffee as well. This keg also called a coney keg measures 9” wide and 23” tall. A cornelius keg holds 5 gallons or about 40 pint beers.
A six barrel is the smallest commercial keg you can get for your kegerator. This keg, sometimes called a torpedo keg, measures 9 ¼” wide and 23 3/8 “ tall. A sixth barrel holds 5.16 gallons or about 41 pint beers.
A standard quarter barrel is a short and wide keg. This keg, sometimes called a pony keg, measures 16 ⅛” wide by 13 ⅞” tall. A Quarter barrel holds 7.75 gallons of beer or 62 pints.
Slim Quarter Barrel
A Slim quarter barrel holds the same amount of liquid as a standard quarter barrel, however, it is not as stout. A slim quarter barrel measures 11 ⅛” wide x 23 ⅜” tall. Just like the standard quarter barrel, this one holds 7.75 gallons of beer which is equivalent to about 62 pints.
A half barrel is what most people think of when they think of a keg of beer. This keg measures a whopping 16 ⅛” wide by 23 ⅜” tall. A half barrel holds 15.5 gallons or 124 pints.
Another thing to keep in mind is coupler height. A standard coupler used in the US is the “D” system keg coupler. This coupler will require 5-6 inches of clearance above and beyond the height of the keg. The “D” style is the standard, however, there are other options.
If you want to take off an inch or two of height from the coupler you can add an elbow fitting. An elbow fitting will angle the hose down reducing the height of the coupler to about 4 inches. These fittings are cheap and easy to install.
The final option for reducing the height of the coupler is to replace the standard coupler with a low profile one. These couplers fit a standard “d” system keg but reduce the height to just over 1”.
What are the dimensions of a Kegerator CO2 Tank?
A 5lb tank is what most mini fridge kegerators use. The dimensions of a 5lb CO2 tank are 18” tall and 5 ¼” wide. A 5lb CO2 tank will last you 6-8 half barrels. Although less common, because of the size, some people use a 10lb CO2 tank. This tank will last you twice as long as a 5lb tank or about 13-18 half barrels. The dimensions of a 10lb tank are 20” tall and 7” wide.
When you build your kegerator from a mini fridge you will need a CO2 tank. You have two options, keep your CO2 tank inside the mini fridge or build a passthrough to keep your CO2 tank outside the kegerator. Most people keep their CO2 tank inside the fridge, but there is no technical reason to do so. If you want more room inside the kegerator, moving the gas tank to the outside will free up room. You will want to purchase a 5lb or 10lb CO2 tank.
Can you move a Kegerator CO2 Tank outside the Unit?
As you can see from the numbers above a CO2 tank does take up a significant amount of space in a kegerator. You can move the CO2 tank to the outside of the kegerator. You will need a 1/4″ MFL Bulkhead Adaptor. This will allow you to thread the CO2 through the wall of the mini fridge and keep your 5 or 10lb tank outside freeing up valuable kegerator space. Of course this will take some extra effort and keeping a tank outside the fridge is not always aesthetically pleasing, but it is an option to consider.
What size mini fridge for a Kegerator?
By now you should know the size of keg you want, coupler and CO2 tank options. Now comes the fridge choices. Mini fridges come in varying sizes with many options. Each model is unique in its dimensions inside and out. For this reason we did some serious research. Here is what we learned:
- You want to rule out any mini fridge with a freezer. Some kegerator builders have disassembled the freezer compartment of a mini fridge to free up space. However, units with freezers have coolant lines that run through the top of the fridge which means you would not be able to safely drill into the top to add a tower. If you have a mini fridge with a freezer you will need to put the tap faucets through the door rather than the top.
- More cubic feet does not mean you can fit more kegs into it. Sometimes the floor layout does not allow for enough flat area to place a keg.
- You get what you pay for. Mini fridges range significantly in price and quality. There are two reasons people want to build vs buy a kegerator. Price or customization. If you are building to keep the price down, do not go for the cheapest mini fridge, you can find some quality budget friendly units that will provide you a better experience. (keep reading for our recommendations)
Below we have listed our fridge size recommendations for a single compact kegerator, a single tap kegerator, and a double tap kegerator. We have also included our suggestions for specific units. These units are quality budget friendly mini fridges. Let’s look at some specifics.
What size Fridge do I need for a Compact single tap Kegerator?
If you are planning to build a small kegerator for a sixth barrel or slim quarter barrel you want a 3.2 cubic feet mini fridge. We recommend the Magic Chef MCAR320B2 3.2 cu ft Compact All Refrigerator. This fridge is compact with no freezer. In our measurements we found that most 3.2 cubic feet fridges offered similar interior space, but there may be some variation in the measurements from brand to brand.
Outside dimensions: 17.5”Wx18.7”D x 33.4”H
Inside dimensions: 15”W x 16”D x25”H
What will fit in a 3.2cu.ft. kegerator?
A 3.2 cubic feet mini fridge is pretty small, but there is enough room to make a nice compact kegerator. Keg options for this size fridge include the cornelius keg, a sixth barrel and a slim quarter barrel. The low height of the unit will require a low profile coupler. With each keg option there is room in the mini fridge for a 5lb CO2 tank.
Single tap kegerator fridge size
For a single tap kegerator you will need a 4.4 Cubic feet mini-fridge. We recommend the Danby Designer DAR044A4BDD-6 Mini Fridge. The Danby brand has a reputation for quality in the mini fridge business. These fridges are consistently reviewed with high marks for value and durability. This particular model offers 4.4 cubic feet of storage inside. The measurements of this fridge matches the results of other 4.4 cubic feet fridges we measured, however there may be some minor variations.
Outside dimensions:20.16W x 20.16D x 33.16H inches
Inside dimensions: 17 15/16”W x 16 ¾”D x 28 7/8H
What will fit in a 4.4cu.ft. kegerator?
This mini fridge will fit any keg including a half barrel. This fridge will not accommodate a two tap system. You will also need to alter the coupler if you are using a sixth barrel, slim quarter or half barrel. You can do this by adding a cheap elbow fitting that will lower the coupler height an inch or two and allow it to fit nicely into your kegerator. Another thing to note, if you are using a half barrel keg in this fridge you will need to move the CO2 to the outside. However, all other kegs will fit into the fridge with the CO2 tank.
Double Tap Kegerator Fridge Size
If you are planning on building a double tap kegerator you are going to want a larger 5.5 cubic feet mini fridge. We recommend the Summit 5.5 cu. ft. Mini Refrigerator in Black without Freezer. This unit is large enough to accommodate a two tap system, is not to big and looks sharp.
Outside dimensions 23.63”W x 23”D x 32.63”H
Inside dimensions: 21”Wx 18”Dx 26 ¼”H
What will fit in a 5.5 Cu.Ft. Kegerator?
A 5.5 Cu.Ft. fridge is perfect for a two tap system kegerator. This fridge will fit any individual keg. It will also fit two sixth barrels, making it our recommendation for best overall fridge for a kegerator conversion. The interior height of the fridge is just over 26 inches which means you will need to use a low profile coupler. A 5lb CO2 tank will fit into the fridge with one keg but may need to be moved outside the unit for a two tap setup.
Mini Fridge Kegerator conversion Kits
Let’s talk about kegerator conversion kits. For a mini fridge you will be installing a tower kegerator conversion kit. You can expect to pay $130-$300 for the conversion kit. You can find keg conversion kits that are already put together with everything you need. We do not recommend these kits, they are not of high quality and do not provide you with any customizable options. We recommend the customizable kegerator kit from kegworks. This kit allows you to truly customize your system to what works best for you.
- Things you can expect to find in a kegerator conversion kit are:
- A Tower with one to two faucets
- A Coupler to connect the kegs
- CO2 tank with regulator to adjust and monitor CO2 pressure
- Beer lines
- Air lines
- Faucet Wrench
When deciding what size mini fridge you will need for your kegerator you will want to consider the size of keg, the amount of beer you consume, the location of your CO2 tank and the height of your coupler. We recommend that you purchase at least a 3.2 cubic foot fridge, this fridge will fit one small keg. A kegerator that fits one full barrel of beer will need to be at least 4.4 cubic feet. Finally, if you are planning to build a two tap system out of a mini-fridge you will need at least a 5.5 cubic foot fridge.