Review: Kegmate Keggerator

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ozpowell

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What's a Kegmate?

The Kegmate is a bar-fridge sized auto-defrost refrigerator manufactured so as to accommodate either one 50L commercial beer keg or three 19L cornelius kegs. It can also function as a simple 164L, 3 shelf bar-fridge if so desired. For home-brewers, the Kegmate would be of interest to those who would like to start kegging but are either unwilling or unable to convert a standard refrigerator.
kegmate.jpg
DIMENSIONS
Height: 900mm
Width: 620mm
Depth: 610mm
Weight: 52.5 kg.​
SHIPPING DIMENSIONS
Height: 970mm
Width: 660mm
Depth: 660mm
Weight: 55.5kg.​
How Much Is It And What's Included?

The RRP for the Kegmate is $799.00, however you should be able to find it at least $100.00 cheaper than that - check out our sponsors! At that price, it is certainly not an inexpensive alternative to a refrigerator conversion.

In addition to the keggerator itself, you also receive the following:
  • 2 Shelves
  • 1 Drip Tray
  • 1 Beer Keg Stand (for squat kegs)
  • 2 Chrome Rail Sections
  • 1 CO2 Cylinder Support Stand
  • 1 Exterior Cabinet Plug
  • 1 CO2 Air Line Hose Plug
  • 4 Casters
Notable omissions:
  • Font
  • Taps
  • CO2 Cylinder and Regulator
  • Beer/Gas Lines and QD's
  • Kegs
Review of Major Features

There's a digital thermostat on the front of the Kegmate. Normally it displays ambient temperature (in either Farenheit or Celcius) within the fridge but can also be used to set the desired running temperature (down to a minimum of 2oC). It appears that the temperature probe for the termostat must be located toward the bottom of the fridge, as I have measured as much as a 2oC variation between the temperature at the top and the bottom of the cabinet. There is a small computer fan attached to the right hand side of the interior of the fridge which (I assume) draws cool air from the bottom of the cabinet and circulates it through the top. I did not, however, perform any temperature measurements with the fan disabled to compare with those measured with the fan enabled.

The base of the interior of the cabinet is lined with what looks like aluminium. This is a nice touch and does a good job of protecting the floor of the fridge from bumps and scratches when moving heavy kegs about.

The size of compressor-step section at the bottom of the interior of the fridge is greatly reduced when compared with regular bar fridges and provides sufficient room for a third Cornelius keg - I suspect you would only fit two corney kegs into a regular bar fridge. There is a small step section however in the lower right hand corner and is large enough to house the CO2 cylinder internally if so desired (though there is a gas line hose plug at the rear if you're like me and want to keep your cylinder external).

Probably the most significant issue I have encountered with the Kegmate would be the fact that the cooling system internal to the fridge is not sufficient to keep the beer lines inside the font cold (even though the interior of the font is insulated). This means that your tap(s) and about 30cm of beer line(s) are warmer than the beer being poured. For me, this resulted in about 10cm of froth in my glass if I had not poured a beer for more than about 30 minutes. To work around the problem, I have installed another computer fan attached to one end of about 1 metre of flexible cable conduit (making sure that the fan was orientated so as to draw cool air in from the fridge and blow it into the conduit). I then inserted the other end of the conduit as far as I could into the font. This keeps the font cool enough to avoid the frothing problem. The font now actually has a permanent layer of condensation giving it a
flooded font look. BTW, in case you're wondering how I attached the fan to the conduit, I used a balloon :) .

The Kegmate comes with a mounting bracket for a 2.3Kg CO2 cylinder, which sits flush with the rear of the fridge and allows for easy access. Gas lines enter the cabinet via a small plug in the upper right hand corner (when viewed from the front).

The top of the Kegmate is finished with Chrome rails and a drip tray. The rails are hollow and feel a tad flimsy, but are probably sufficient for their purpose. The drip-tray is plastic and is easily cleaned. However, I couldn't help but think that, for the price of the fridge, plastic was a bit stingy and a stainless steel tray would have been a nicer inclusion.

As mentioned above, the Kegmate comes with 4 casters whose use is optional. I have decided not to use them, but did spend a little time trying to locate the correct holes in the base of the fridge to screw them into - I failed :( . I can't imagine the product would ship without the correct screw holes for the casters, so I'm sure if I had spent a little more time fiddling under the fridge while my wife held it at 45 I would have located them, maybe...

In summary, I'm very satisfied with my Kegmate and though it does have a few shortcomings am happy to give it the thumbs-up. :icon_cheers:

Piccies

Here's some pictures of my unit.

IMG_2149.jpg
View from the front​

IMG_2150.jpg
Interior, complete with 3 corney kegs​

IMG_2155.jpg
Empty interior (note protective metal sheeting on the floor)​

IMG_2151.jpg

IMG_2152.jpg
Views of the top of the unit (note stingy plastic drip-tray)​

IMG_2148.jpg
Rear with CO2 cylinder attached​

IMG_2153.jpg

IMG_2154.jpg
Additional fan setup to cool font section​
 

InCider

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Great article Ozpowell. Thanks for making the effort to show us. :D Are you a technical writer by chance?

InCider.
 

Linz

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did i read that right...$799 with NO font or tap?? :blink:
 

ozpowell

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Great article Ozpowell. Thanks for making the effort to show us. :D Are you a technical writer by chance?

InCider.

No problem - that's what this forum's about right? I'm an engineer :)

Cheers,
Michael.
 

Hogan

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If you hunt around E-bay you'll get the same fridge with a single tap font, gas bottle and keg connections delivered from Melbourne for around $550.00 (or less). Got one of those for my son and he thinks it's great.


Cheers, Hoges.
 

BEC26

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If you hunt around E-bay you'll get the same fridge with a single tap font, gas bottle and keg connections delivered from Melbourne for around $550.00 (or less). Got one of those for my son and he thinks it's great.


Cheers, Hoges.


Good deal, but is it an authentic kegmate, or a lookalike?

Not having a go at all, as both are probaby made in the same factory. Is the gas botle an Aus Standard one?

eBay sellers name??

Cheers
 

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