|It's easy to pour a pint of delicious draft beer but most people have no clue what's happening behind the scenes.
From the keg to your cup, there are several key kegerator parts that work together to bring you your beer. Learn about them here:
Often referred to as a tap handle or faucet knob, the faucet handle is the magnificent little lever that you pull forward to coax the beer through the faucet spout and into your pitcher or pint. This kegerator part brings personality and character to your draft beer system and KegWorks carries all kinds of tap handles for all kinds of bars and beer drinkers.
There are industry standards for tap handle threads, so it's easy to screw almost any tap handle onto your faucet. Keep in mind that tap
handle threads are different in North America than they are in Europe, so if you have a European
faucet you will need a European handle.
The industry thread standard for US produced draft beer tap handles is 3/8"-16 UNC threads.
The faucet is the tap that your beer is dispensed from. Faucets are available in different grades and vary in quality, appearance and price. With so many modifiers, your faucet options are endless. It's wise to have an idea of the performance you want to achieve, the look that you're going for and how much you're willing to spend before you choose this particular kegerator part for your system. Also keep in mind that to serve Guinness or other nitrogen dispensed beers you will need a European Specialty faucet or Stout faucet.
All of the faucets sold at KegWorks have standardized North American attachment male threads, for connecting to the shank (1-1/8-18 UNES-2A). Faucets from outside of the US (most commonly European faucets) will not attach to shanks with North American threads but specialized adapters can be purchased to make this work.
No matter what kind of faucet you choose, it should be disassembled and cleaned regularly. Faucet maintenance should be a part of your standard system cleaning.
This very important kegerator part is what connects the beer line to your faucet. So what exactly is a shank? It's an externally threaded chrome-plated brass tube that runs through the hole you drill in your fridge door or through the hole in a draft tower. The faucet screws onto the front end of the shank and the beer line attaches to the back end, via the threaded fitting or hose barb.
North American shanks have standardized female faucet threads at their fronts and male threads on their bodies. This standard assembly conveniently makes different brands of faucets and connecting nuts interchangeable. It can prove to be problematic if one is trying to use equipment from outside North America, however as a foreign faucet will not thread on to the shank.
The standard North American shank thread is a 7/8-inch x 14 straight pipe thread.
An integral part of kegerator systems, the beer line is a piece of dense 3/16-inch Inner Diameter, food-grade tubing that connects the keg coupler to the rear of the shank assembly. Beer line can be purchased by the foot or as a pre-made jumper, complete with the hex nut connectors that you need to secure the ends of the beer line to the shank and coupler.
An important part of a kegerator fridge, the coupler attaches to the flange on top of a keg and allows the gas into the keg so that it can push the beer out. There are six different types of the beer keg coupler available and which keg tap coupler you need depends on the brand of beer that you want to serve. We've got everything to figure out which one you'll need! Check out our coupler list!
As you can imagine, the air line is the part of your kegerator system that the air runs through. This very important piece of 5/16-inch Inside Diameter, heavy-duty plastic tubing allows air to flow easily from the regulator to the keg coupler. Like beer line, air line can be purchased by the foot or as a pre-made jumper, complete with the screw clamps needed to secure the ends of the air line to the regulator and coupler.
The regulator is the part of your kegerator fridge that connects to the CO2 tank. It regulates the gas pressure and keeps it at the proper level for dispensing beer. Most of the kits that you'll find at KegWorks come with a double gauge regulator. One gauge tells you the pressure going into the keg and the second gauge tells you how much air you have left in your air tank.
KegWorks sells secondary regulators designed for use in conjunction with a primary regulator. These secondary regulators allow you to dispense two or more beers at separate pressures. The number of beers will be determined by the number of regulators connected in series to form the secondary regulator. The only catch is that your highest pressure must be configured to run from the primary regulator. Secondary regulators must be set at a lower pressure than the primary regulator.
KegWorks sells 5 and 10-pound Aluminum CO2 tanks, and 10-pound Aluminum nitrogen tanks (for serving Guinness and other nitrogen dispensed beers). When choosing your tank, keep the following in mind:
Insulated draft beer towers make it easy to dispense cold, delicious beer from the top of your kegerator or right from your countertop.
- Aluminum tanks are much lighter than steel and they won't rust in damp or wet cooler/refrigerator environments.
- A 5-pound CO2 tank serves about 5-7 half kegs of beer.
- Welding supply companies, fire extinguisher supply companies, and gas dealers can fill CO2 tanks. Look under "Gas" in the yellow pages in your local phone book for dealers near you.
- All tanks that sold at KegWorks are new, fully inspected, have valid hydro test stamps and bear all the correct US DOT and Transport Canada crown markings.
- All CO2 tanks have CGA 320 valves installed.
- All Nitrogen tanks have CGA 580 valves installed.
Keg towers are available with one or several faucets, so you can serve as many beers as you'd like. When it comes to the shape and style, you've got options! Choose a draft beer tower that compliments your style and your bar.
Before you choose your tower, check out these commonly asked questions:
All of our tower kits include the faucet head and about 3-feet of beer line. They even come fully assembled.
You'll have to get a faucet handle and mounting screws. The screw holes are already drilled into the base of the tower but every surface is different, so the actual screws are not included. The type of mounting screws you need depends on where your tower is being installed.
The obvious answer is that the diameter is different. When it comes to performance, we do recommend the 3-inch. The extra space allows you to circulate some of the cold air from your refrigerator into your tower, which keeps your beer line chilled and reduces foaminess.
We do carry replacement parts, however there are many tower manufacturers out there and each one uses different pieces inside the tower to connect the beer line to the faucet. It's very difficult to match up those pieces. Although there are some generic replacement parts available, you're usually better off replacing your old tower with a new one. Often times the replacement parts will cost you more than a brand new tower.
Any type of faucet tap handle with standard US threads will screw onto your faucet head.
We are constantly updating our supply of branded tap handles at KegWorks. You'll notice unique tap handles from all of your favorite beer brands, even hard-to-find craft breweries! If you don't see the brand you're looking for today, check back in a week to see which new brands have been added.
Fact: Dirty beer lines are the leading source of home draft system problems, according to the KegWorks' Customer Service Team.
Don't fret. We know what causes these problems and we've got what you need to avoid them. Over time your beer lines collect deposits of yeasts and sugars that can affect the taste of the beer and cause irritating excess foaming. So, as with any system, regular preventative maintenance is key. Cleaning your lines is important for the taste and quality of your draft beer. Not only will you have better immediate results when you clean your lines regularly, your kegerator system will live a much happier and much longer life.
We recommend that you clean your lines after each ½ keg.
We sell two types of cleaning kits: hand pump units and kits that use CO2 pressure from your CO2 tank. Both types are simple; they use air pressure to push a mixture of water and beer line cleaning solutions through the beer lines. The solution is specially developed to clear any harmful deposits from and sanitize your lines.
Note: All parts sold at KegWorks are made to conform to US draft industry standards, which makes it convenient to interchange parts from different manufacturers. If your kegerator is listed on the chart below, some of our parts might not fit your system as these makes and models have not conformed to industry standards:
||Model Years Affected|
|Danby||2004 and earlier|
|Haier||2004 and earlier|
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