Kegerator vs Keezers – Compared In 6 Different Ways
When you first get interested in setting up a home taproom, you’ll hear a lot about kegerators and keezers. You might wonder if these are different devices, or if “keezer” is just a slang word for “kegerator”. We’re here to tell you that there’s a difference, and the difference matters. This post will compare kegerators and keezers to help you figure out which is best for your home.
The key to the difference is in the names. Both are devices for storing and tapping beer kegs. But a kegerator is designed like a small refrigerator, while a keezer is made from a full-size chest freezer. That means keezers demand more space but less electricity. They’re also quieter than kegerators.
That covers the basics, but you’ll need to take a closer look at both options to know which one will work for you. Keep scrolling to learn the pros and cons of each!
The 6 Differences Between Kegerators and Keezers
#1: A Keezer is (Usually) Homemade
For those who prefer their beer gear with no assembly required, a kegerator is an obvious choice. It’s easy to find a ready-made beer fridge, often with nice features like guard rails for your drink glasses or digital thermostat displays. Once you bring it home, you can plug it in and get started chilling your beer right away.
A keezer is almost always a DIY project. For many people, that’s the point! Drinkers who love brewing their own beer often get a lot of satisfaction out of crafting the perfect keezer to store it. If you do find a pre-made keezer, it’s either a custom job or something from a hobbyist’s garage.
DIY kegerators are a thing, too. You can buy a simple conversion kit online. These come with all the parts you’ll need to transform that old mini-fridge into a working kegerator. This is much easier than building a keezer from scratch. But a keezer gives you more freedom to customize. It’s easy to give yours a unique and personal feel that matches your decor.
#2: Kegerators Are Slimmer
Since a kegerator is a modified refrigerator, it’s more tall than wide. A keezer is just the opposite. It uses a chest freezer as its chassis, which is longer in the horizontal direction. It’s often easier to find space in your home for a kegerator.
However, that roomy profile means keezers can store more kegs at once than kegerators. Most brew enthusiasts find that a kegerator can hold 2 or 3 slim quarter kegs at most. That’s fine for many casual beer drinkers, but if you want a full-on bar with 5 or 6 taps, you’ll need a keezer.
#3: Keezers Are More Efficient
Chest freezers need to keep food cold for long-term storage. That means they’re much better insulated than fridges. Thanks to those extra-thick walls, keezers use a lot less electricity than kegerators. Neither device is going to bankrupt you, but if you value low power consumption, a keezer is better.
Note that this can vary quite a bit depending on your build. If you drill through the top of your freezer to add a draft tower, you’re making a big hole in that insulation. Sure, you can add some extra padding inside the tower or a blower fan to cool it. But you’ll still be losing some efficiency.
Many keezer builders prefer to add a collar. This is a square frame of thick wood that sits on top of the freezer box. You can move the lid from the main body of the freezer to the collar. Then you can drill holes for your taps through the wood instead of punching through the freezer wall. If you build a sturdy enough collar, you won’t have to worry about your keezer wasting power.
A keezer also improves efficiency by reducing how often you need to open the lid. Since you can have quite a few kegs on tap, you can go longer before swapping in a new one.
#4: It’s Easier to Swap Kegs in a Kegerator
Why does this matter? When you need to put a fresh keg into your keezer, you have to lift it all the way up and over the lip. Even if you’re crushing it every day on the kettlebells, that’s a serious chore. A full half-barrel keg weighs in at 160 pounds, and even a smaller quarter keg is close to 90.
Lifting that weight a couple of inches to slide it into a fridge is much less daunting. For some people, that difference is enough to make the kegerator a better choice.
#5: A Keezer is Quieter
One side effect of the thinner insulation on a kegerator is that it has to work harder to keep your beer cool. That means its compressor cycles more often, creating a noise that can be distracting.
Keezers aren’t as noisy. Depending on your setup, this may not matter much. But if you’re looking to set up a bar, say, inside your basement rec room, it could be important. When you’re watching a movie, you don’t want to hear a fridge humming during the quiet, dramatic scenes.
#6: Kegerators Are Easier to Clean
We’re not saying you’re a slob, but sooner or later you’re going to need to clean your beer chiller. Between leaks from draft lines and ordinary dust and grime, it’s going to get dirty. You’ll have to scrub it out with some soap and water.
Keezers are a bit more of a pain to clean, since it’s trickier to get all the way to the bottom when reaching over the collar. You may have to use special tools like a long-handled mop and a shop vac.
Although kegerators are simpler to clean out, they make a bigger mess if beer spills or leaks inside. The liquid will trickle out of the door and create a puddle on your floor. A keezer contains any spills in the bottom, keeping your bar area tidier.
Keezers and kegerators are both great ways to serve beer. We’d recommend a kegerator if you value ease of use and want to buy something off-the-shelf with little setup. They’re also good if you need to fit something in a narrow space. Keezers are great if you enjoy building and customizing stuff, or if you want to tap a lot of kegs at once.
Thanks for reading our post! We hope you have a better sense of whether a keezer or a kegerator is best for you. For more tips on maintaining your beer equipment, take a look at some of the related articles on our site.