SPT BD-0538 Mini Kegerator & Dispenser Review
When you think Kegerator oneself is prone to instantly flies off the handle and start envisioning belt-high ice-boxes with a price tag of 700 or more. Well, luckily, we live in the 21st century, a time where micro is what’s hip.
SPT is an appliance company that has a clear obsession with countertop doodads. From dishwashers, to stoves, they have their finger on the countertop pulse. As such, when kegerators became a craze and started waltzing into the limelight, becoming the next Kanye of home products, SPT instantly started grooming their own bad-ass rapper.
The SPT BD-0538 Mini Kegerator & Dispenseris an attractive, bucket size, beer dispenser hits the bullseye on many key points. The main one, the BIG selling point, is the fact that it’s the size of R2D2’s baby… Tiny! It manages to store your beer cool and ready for frosty festivals and, due to it size, it doesn’t really ratchet up the electricity bill… Unlike those energy hogs out there.
Let’s take a look at the many features of this little wonder.
- Chills your choice of brew within 19-21 hours, storing your suds and bountiful mana at optimum temperature for up to 30 days.
- Accepts standard 5lt kegs (some home brewers now use these types of containers apart from those legendary Growlers) as well as store bought 5L kegs from all the mayor beer brands.
- Equipped with a pressurized CO2 cartridge. It even includes 3 extra CO2 Cartridges for future replacements.
- Has an LED Temperature display with easy push button functionality for all of us who think the instruction manual is nothing more than a nuisance.
- Thermoelectric cooling system.
- Removable water drip tray for easy clean up.
- Stainless steel housing.
- Power cord length: 4ft.
- Gross weight 19lbs.
- Units Dimensions: 10.7w x 16.3D x 16.93H inches.
- Price $150-$250; depends on where you buy it.
- This is basically a plug and play kegerator. Once you instal the CO2 cartridge and feed the baby its keg of holy juice all you have to do is stick the chord into the wall socket and wait for the magic to start.
- It has an adapter for some of the more troublesome – not standardized – brand kegs. Those spotty and contrivance prone fellows like New castle and Heineken.
- Can be used for other pressurized and carbonated liquids.
- Can force carbonate a home-brew beer in 36 hours.
- Small dimensions: that’s the biggest feature this baby has in its bullet list; the fact that its countertop size. It easily fits next to your coffee machine or microwave oven.
- Price: unlike the your normal size kegerators, this little wonder won’t tax your credit card too much. It costs approximately 75% less than those monstrosities.
- Due to the size of the model, the CO2 cartridges only give you one chilly keg. Depending on how often the beer is tapped and for how long, a single cartridge will last approximately one lonely keg.
- It’s a very noisy machine when switched on and cooling your beer. The fans used are a bit louder than those employed in tower-format desktop computers. Outside, while swinging your rump at a pool party, music blaring, you’ll hardly hear it… Inside, in your man-cave or kitchen, we are talking about an incessant buzzing that might drive you mad.
- The cooler isn’t very efficient. Most Kegerator (those that have a heavy price tag) advertise a rapid cooling system; a fancy little button that once pressed goes all Frozen on your keg. In comparison, this tiny tank isn’t very power efficient. The energy output stated is 65w, which is only about 40% of the power sucked by a full-size refrigerator. It takes a long while for your suds to reach that chilly sweet spot.
- The hoses are small diameter, as such the fluid stream is a bit weak. A full-size kegerator spits out a pint in less that 10 seconds, this counter-size pretty takes its time, rocking out glasses at 40 seconds a pop.
- The power chord is extremely short. You’ll need to place the cooler near an outlet or invest in an extension chord.
- Getting a hand on foam fuss, particularly on the first cups, will be a a hassle. Most good sized kegerators have this troublesome quirk down to a science, you’ll be lucky if you see so much as a finger of foam more than desires. On the flip side, this countertop play-thing seems to relish on the fact that you’ll be fighting your way through swamps of foam every time you try to get a cold one.
- The CO2 cartridges can’t be refilled. Once you’ve used them up you’ll have to buy new ones.
- Doesn’t come with an adapter for the super-model of all brown sugars, the great stout of the East… GUINNESS. You can buy an adapter, if you simply can’t live without your black beauty of brew online.
You are basically paying for what your buying, in other words if it seems cheap then it is cheap. The SPT BD-0538 Mini Kegerator & Dispenser is an excellent toy. A great play thing to entertain your friends. A majestic knickknack to spruce up your man-cave. A curio, a game, a novelty, a trinket… Rounding it up: A TOY.
The cons, sadly outweigh the pros in this little artifact’s favor. If you’re a true die-hard enthusiast of the craft, if you truly love a good keg of beer, then run for the hill if this baby waddles into your path. For a bit more you can buy a used second-hand kegerator. One that will allow you to truly appreciate the keg experience and whoa your neighbors on your next shindig.
To sum it all up:
“You’re buying nothing more than an inebriated coffee machine that fell off the wagon.”
Now, if that’s not what you’re after, if you simply want a new curio to amuse yourself with then by all means flip out your credit card and start shopping.