Let's build a kegerator!

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by mattdev, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    As some of you may know, I've been brewing my own beer for the last few months, thanks to the SS gift from GOG. I started off bottling but have slowly moved to kegging. This was my original keg setup:

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    Just a basic picnic tap setup. But I figured, why not do something more? After a bit of reading and the acquisition of some parts and tools, I went ahead.

    So here's where we start, a Sanyo 4912. Other mini fridges will work, but this one works great because it lacks a freezer and is VERY large for a mini fridge. It's capable of holding two 5 gallon corny kegs and a 5 pound co2 tank.

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    Next, we're going to remove all of the shelves from inside the fridge (obviously) and take off the top of it. There were two screws in the front and 3 in the back.

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    There are some support fins in the middle of the top and we're going to remove those now. A dremel works, but so does just a simple razor blade.

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    A true work of art. We're now going to cut a 1/2" piece of wood to fit into that area. It's roughly 8"x8"

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    Fits like a glove. Next is the really tricky part. There is a line that runs across the top of the fridge for the compressor, and we do not want to drill through this because it will ruin the fridge and make it unusable. These fridges are hand assembled and the line position varies from fridge to fridge. How do we figure out where it is? Put together a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and corn starch. There aren't really any exact measurements, but we want the consistency of Elmer's glue. We then take this mixture and spread it out all over the top of the fridge.

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    Now, you want to plug the refridgerator in and turn it on high as soon as you can. In a few minutes, you'll notice a certain area of the mixture drying out much faster than the rest. This is where your compression line is located.

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    (I did that with my finger so you can see it better)

    It's a bit farther forward than many compression lines, but that's ok. We can just set the tap far enough forward as to not drill through it.

    So, mark where the line is and replace the top of the fridge WITH the wood piece in place. Time to Drill, baby, Drill!

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    Next, remove the top again with the wood in place still, and tape around the inside of the hole so you don't damage your beer lines. I didn't get a picture of this because I'm forgetful and retarded.
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    Finally, take your tap tower and position it on top. Mark the holes and drill all the way through the top.

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    This bottom area got a little messy so lets clean it up.
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    Now, screw on your taps, connect the keg to the taplines and the gas and you're set!

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    Fresh Perrier on tap!

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    All in all, this project was pretty cheap. I got the fridge on craigslist for $40, the tap tower and taps (high end perlick taps) cost me $160 and I already had the co2 tank and kegs. The wood was about $5 and I borrowed all of the tools.

    Happy drinking and brewing!
  2. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Wow, great tutorial. This is what i come to this corner of T3D for!
    An "intructibles" sticky would be tits man.
  3. Jackalope

    Jackalope NNNNEEERRRRDDDSSSSS!!!!!!

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    very nice man, I've always wanted to do this but costs have kept me from doing it.

    Maybe I'll get lucky and come across a sweet craigslist deal like you did. Your kegerator is a manly thing of beauty :) totes jelly.

    edit: well looky here http://houston.craigslist.org/hsh/1811854437.html
  4. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    Jump on that shit. The kegs and co2 tank/regulator are worth that alone.
  5. fornik8her

    fornik8her Junior Member

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    What kit are ya using to brew??
  6. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    I'd love to do something like that, but then I'd end up drinking way too much beer :p

    Nice work.
  7. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    Wtf, when did u get into brewing and kegerator building... lmao, this came out of left field to me. Thats an awesome tutorial and i like the trick with finding the compression line.

    Looks expertly crafted, the taps are quality.
  8. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    I started with much less, but now I have similar equipment to this: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/starter-kits/deluxe-beer-starter-kit.html

    The items are a bit different, of course. I also have a wort chiller, a 7.5 gallon pot, and a 210,000 BTU burner.

    Earlier this year. I've been a beer nerd for quite some time and I wanted to understand the process a bit more to identify the ingredients more precisely. Plus it's a whole lot cheaper than buying beer.

    Good idea. I also want to remove the shelves from the door, and put some sort of shelf in the back for the co2 tank. Maybe I'll even run the gas lines outside of the fridge...
  9. funkgab

    funkgab Junior Member

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    wow amazing craftsmanship
  10. Octane91

    Octane91 <smartass comment> Staff Member

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    Have you seen this for cleaning your carboys?

    [video=youtube;bseNrmJUb0w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bseNrmJUb0w[/video]
  11. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    Nice job there Matt... never knew you were handy. ;)
  12. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    If I hadn't given up all booze 23 years ago, I'd be joining Matt in the brewing hobby. It really sounds like a hoot. I did get into moonshine for a bit with a home made still, but those daze are long gone. My wife (at the time) and I were in a bit of a competion to see who could create the best booze. me with a still, and she with making friut brandys. I have to admit, her's was tastier.
  13. tex

    tex jive turkey

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    yeah, same here. I got on craigslist to look for a fridge and then realized "wait, bad idea"
  14. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    This is pretty badass. I may have to invest...
  15. randomtask

    randomtask Chimp.

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    very cool, looks good
  16. Octane91

    Octane91 <smartass comment> Staff Member

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    My friend got one a few months ago and has been worshiping it like pussy.
  17. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    matt could probably MAKE his own carboy cleaner..

    two strips of flat sponge, cut to the diameter of the inside with a bit extra length for safe measure, staple or fasten them to a long rod, attach rod to power drill... clean inside.
  18. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    It's funny, I was cleaning out my carboy and didn't have a carboy brush so I decided to make one. Coat hanger, paper towel, and rubber band did the trick :D
  19. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Agreed, and agreed. As with most things if I had unfettered access eventually I'd end up with my head under the tap! :drinkers:
  20. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    I don't drink as much as you'd think. I brew my own beer for session beers at home and usually only have 1 or 2 per night. If I want something special, I'll usually go out. There's a nice bottle shop down the street with 20 rotating taps and 300+ bottles.
  21. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Are they still having the brewers festival down at the waterfront?
  22. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    Which one? International is there today and OBF was last weekend. Next week is something else I believe.

    Have you read about the huge stink with the state fair and the homebrewing competition? OLCC cracked down on it with some archaic law and it's the first time in ~25 years that they won't hold the competition.
  23. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    You think OLCC sux, try the DEQ. Secret meetings that are legally supposed to be public, passing policy change that amounts to outright bans, fees/taxes without voter/public hearings. Starting to get as bad as congress here.
  24. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    The bavarian hef turned out pretty fucking awesome. Perfect temp, perfect carbonation, perfect flavor.

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