A kegerator is a device used in the home to contain kegs of draft beer, and a kegerator tap is the attachment that dispenses the beer. Kegerators are either kegs housed in converted refrigerators, or special refrigerators originally manufactured to serve as kegerators. The kegerator tap handle is typically found on the door or on the top of a kegerator so that the beer can remain chilled inside and dispensed without opening any doors to access the keg. Many beer lovers prefer the taste of draft beer, and by housing a keg of beer in a refrigerator, they are able to have it chilled and on hand at all times, without the need to pop down to the local bar.
The kegerator tap is basically a beer spigot, working in conjunction with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and sometimes nitrogen gas (N2. The beer in the keg is pressurized with these gases so that it is forced into the kegerator tap and is drawn into the dispenser when the kegerator tap handle is engaged. More CO2 is used for beers that should be highly carbonated, and more N2 is used for beers that have a smoother, creamier taste. Beer in a pressurized keg will remain fresh for up to eight weeks.
There are several different types of kegerator taps, so it's important to select one that will work with the type of beer that will be purchased. Different brands of beer will come in different types of kegs, but it is usually dependent on which country the beer comes from. For instance, most American beers use a "D" system tap coupler, which is also known as the American Sankey. This tap system will work for Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Coors and most of the other American beers. European beer brewers such as Heineken and Beck's package their beers in kegs that work with the "S" system, or European Sankey.
The kegerator tap system refers to the main part of the tap, which is known as the coupler, but another piece of the kegerator tap which owners must select is the handle. The handle is displayed on the outside and is the piece that is pushed or pulled to dispense the beer. Kegerator tap handles come in many different styles. Some prefer to use a handle that displays the brand of beer to be dispensed, but options are endless as handles come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes.