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A kegerator is a device designed to cool and dispense draught beer. It’s made up of a number of parts that work in unison to propel beer from a keg into a glass. The main kegerator parts include the refrigerator, pump, coupler, and faucet.
The main component of the kegerator parts is the refrigerator, in which the keg and a cylinder of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) are placed. Nearly any size or style of refrigerator can be used, but the "mini-fridge" is a practical and popular selection. If a chest freezer is used, it will likely require a thermostat to control the temperature.
Most kegerators use the air pressure from a CO2 cylinder to move the beer from the keg to the glass. CO2 comes in refillable cylinders available in a range of quantities. The standard keg pump is sometimes used as an alternative, but it’s generally considered less desirable because it allows beer to go flat more quickly.
When a CO2 cylinder is used as one of the kegerator parts, it requires a regulator. This is a pressure gauge that attaches to the CO2 tank to monitor and maintain the level of gas pressure needed for dispensing beer. Regulators come in single and double gauge varieties. A single gauge measures gas pressure only, while a double gauge measures the pressure going into the tank as well as the air supply remaining.
The piece that actually attaches to the keg and allows it to be tapped is called the keg coupler. It must be connected to the regulator using a piece of tubing, called the air line jumper, to properly propel beer from the kegerator. To dispense beer, the keg coupler must be connected to the faucet, which is the actual tap where the beer comes out.
Two additional kegerator parts are required to connect the keg to the faucet. Another piece of tubing, called the beer line jumper, attaches the keg coupler to a metal piece called the shank. The shank fits in a hole that’s been drilled into the front of the refrigerator door. It attaches on the inside to the beer line jumper tubing and on the outside to the faucet.
In some circumstances, particularly when a chest freezer is used as a kegerator, a metal piece called a tower takes the place of the faucet. This long metal cylinder creates a more authentic "bar" look, and has its own faucet attached. Both faucets and towers require a handle, which is the knob that is pulled to dispense the beer. Beneath the faucet, a drip tray fits to catch any residual spills or drips.
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