Outdoor (marine rated) kegerator Or fridge recommendations?

mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,048
Tx coast
I’m curious what you guys/gals think about outdoor fridges and kegerators.
I’m located in a hyper saline body of water and recognize the associated risks of rust...should I just do an icebox and call it good? Do fridges exist that can tolerate such a harsh environment? The only reason I mention a kegerator is a keg of shiner strawberry blonde would make me a happy man.

Feel free to make recommendations, provide helpful insight, or provide other comical input.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
750
West Palm Beach/Florida
I had a cheap kegerator that I kept outside and it was not great. If I were to do another kegerator then I would go higher end, but that is more about flow valves drains and less foamy beer. I think a fridge is different for that I would think cheaper is better and replace often.
 

clduncan

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2019
51
Waco,Texas
We have the cheaper kegerator I think igloo $400. If you adjust the thermostat by taking it apart and adjust were it will actually get the beer cold, ours will actually freeze if you turn it to high. Not sure how well it will work outside but just fill a pitcher and put it in a cooler and no need for it to be outside. The beer stays fresh and cold.
 

clduncan

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2019
51
Waco,Texas
I had a cheap kegerator that I kept outside and it was not great. If I were to do another kegerator then I would go higher end, but that is more about flow valves drains and less foamy beer. I think a fridge is different for that I would think cheaper is better and replace often.
Sometimes the lower end kegerator do not have big enough beer lines you can order and replace those lines fairly cheap and that should help with the foamy beer .
 

mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,048
Tx coast
What is your budget and do you plan on covering it with anything, or just having it in the pool. Need a lot more info on this to make a recommendation.
budget is really impossible to say...flexible. Fridge will be a part of an outdoor kitchen that will have some shade from a cedar arbor. The fact I’m looking for something marine grade should elevate the price and I’m okay with that if it will last.if a kegerator is silly outdoors I’m okay doing a fridge.

I have sea spray to deal with which makes me very nervous.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,168
Morris Cnty NJ
nothing is gonna last with marine enviroments. I would get something that you would be okay tossing in a few years and just keep replacing. Lots of people use their own tap setups and just drill into a cheaper fridge that way you can invest in a quality dispensing system
 

mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,048
Tx coast
nothing is gonna last with marine enviroments. I would get something that you would be okay tossing in a few years and just keep replacing. Lots of people use their own tap setups and just drill into a cheaper fridge that way you can invest in a quality dispensing system
I honestly wondered if that was the case. Thank you.
 

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
127
Chesapeake, VA
We live 20 miles from the coast in Virginia and have an outdoor kitchen. I've been using a $200 4' tall Stainless Steel mini fridge - the "outdoor rated" ones are very very expensive and have terrible reliability. 2 things I do in the winter is put a custom vinyl cover over it and unplug it. Heck, if it lasts at least 4-5 years I'll be happy. A kegerator wasn't worth it for me. I just keep the fridge well stocked with my favorite drinks.
 
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mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,048
Tx coast
We live 20 miles from the coast in Virginia and have an outdoor kitchen. I've been using a $200 4' tall Stainless Steel mini fridge - the "outdoor rated" ones are very very expensive and have terrible reliability. 2 things I do in the winter is put a custom vinyl cover over it and unplug it. Heck, if it lasts at least 4-5 years I'll be happy. A kegerator wasn't worth it for me. I just keep the fridge well stocked with my favorite drinks.
zero issue with it maintaining temp in summer? I believe Virginia can get near 100 in summer?
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
920
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I homebrew. Not as much as I would like anymore, though. The cheapest solution is an Inkbird controller (look at Amazon) and a chest freezer. These are referred to as "Keezers" and can be very inexpensive if you can find an old used chest freezer. I suspect they would last and well as anything else would. The only issue is that the smaller ones are too narrow for full sized sanke kegs but they do the "Corney" kegs that homebrewers use and poniess just fine. If you don't mind ponies, a 7 cu ft can do three of them and have some room for cans/bottles.

I recommend Intertap faucets, stainless flow control. Very good and very inexpensive. Some swear by Perlick. I've had both.

No matter what you use, building an enclosure around it would probably do more to improve lifespan than anything else. If you go "keezer" you will likely want to build an insulated collar for it rather than attempting to drill though the unit as coolant lines are everywhere in chest freezers. You can build an outdoor enclosure at the same time.

Keezers are nice because they are well insulated and are absolutely just loafing keeping beer at 38-40F as compared to a refrigerator. Even at 100F. I have one in the garage in AZ and it gets close to that ambient a couple of times a year. The Inkbird controllers can run heaters as well, so if you add that, you can prevent freezing in the winter. A heater can be as simple as a lightbulb in a virgin paint can.

I would suggest that this under a porch would last a long time. Maybe it would in an enclosure as well. The controller will need to be waterproofed for sure.

Commercial kegerators and not all that good and wwwway overpriced. An old fridge is better too, honestly if you get one cheap. Use the same controller...
 
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goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
127
Chesapeake, VA
nope, no problem with holding temperatures, even on the hottest days. It IS in the shade all day though, not sure if it was in the sun. I keep a remote read thermometer inside just to make sure. Sometimes if I know I'll be out of town or not using the back yard for a week or two, I'll unplug it. Takes about 24 hours to get to the proper temp when I plug it back in.
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
678
South-Central WI
No matter what you use, building an enclosure around it would probably do more to improve lifespan than anything else. If you go "keezer" you will likely want to build an insulated collar for it rather than attempting to drill though the unit as coolant lines are everywhere in chest freezers. You can build an outdoor enclosure at the same time.
Just make sure the enclosure is ventilated somehow to let the heat out.

EDIT: Most chest coolers use the outside walls of the unit to release heat, so make sure whatever you surround it with doesn't touch the chest on any of the four sides to allow cooling airflow.
 
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