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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > Quest for the perfect kegerator
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Quest for the perfect kegerator

I would like my next kegerator build to be a lot closer to perfect than my last one.

I built a kegerator last year and have since noticed several things I would do different. So as I prepare to build my next one (7 taps instead of 3) I would like to know what things you would change about your own kegerator.

Here's my dream list so far:
Build something for the kegs to set on to keep them from freezing at the bottom.
Use 12V computer fans instead of the very noisy bilge air pump I'm using now.
Add a alcohol sensor to detect keg leaks (finding 3+ gallons in the bottom of the kegerator created this)
Move more cold across the faucets to keep them from foaming during the first pour.
Build a shelf into the top of the collar to keep the coils of beer line out of the way when I'm changing kegs.
Move more air across the kegs setting on the hump because they routinely run about 10 degrees warmer than the other kegs.
LCD screens to show info about each beer on tap like ABV, description, brew date, and amount left in keg)
Be able to remotely (via wifi) view the status of the kegerator (temps, alarms, etc)
Automatic emails if anything goes wrong (low keg reminders, temp alarms, etc.)
Built in CO2 scale so I will know when the CO2 is running low.
Way to disable dispensing when I'm out of town (RFID, solenoids??)
Motion sensor to 'wake up' the kegerator when someone approaches
Inside kegerator temp as well as outside ambient temp (mine is located outside and it gets hot in Texas)
Internal heater because it sometimes gets cold in North Texas.
Extra condensation/moisture control is needed due to the outside location.

I'm probably not going to be able to get them all in the initial build but would like to at least plan for the features during the initial build.

So what am I missing here? What is it about your kegerator that is annoying that you would like changed/added?

All suggestions welcome.

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Old 07-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #2
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How are your kegs freezing? How cold exactly are you keeping your freezer?

Even with mine set at 36, because all my ball lock kegs have probably a 1-2" rubber bottom they arent directly touching the freezer coils.

Are you submerging your temp controller probe in water? What im guessing is happening is every time you open up your kegerator a bunch of hot air is getting in, kicking your freezer on even though your kegs are already at 36, thus chilling them again and freezing the kegs.

If your probe is in water, it will never happen because the water will be the same temp as the beer in your kegs, opening the kegerator for a few minutes wont move the water temperature more than maybe a fraction of a degree in typical use cases of keeping the kegerator open for 2-5 minutes to take out kegs and hook up new ones. As long as your freezer/fridge doesnt have huge overshoot this shouldnt be happening.

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by raysmithtx View Post

Here's my dream list so far:

LCD screens to show info about each beer on tap like ABV, description, brew date, and amount left in keg)
Be able to remotely (via wifi) view the status of the kegerator (temps, alarms, etc)
Automatic emails if anything goes wrong (low keg reminders, temp alarms, etc.)
Way to disable dispensing when I'm out of town (RFID, solenoids??)
Motion sensor to 'wake up' the kegerator when someone approaches
Inside kegerator temp as well as outside ambient temp (mine is located outside and it gets hot in Texas)

All suggestions welcome.
Take a look at Kegbot.org (http://kebot.org)

It will do the Beer Info, the Flow monitoring, you can add RFID and solenoids to control access, temp monitoring and such.

Its an open source project that runs on a server and android tablet plus an arduino processor and they say it can handle multiple taps with an arduino mega.

I'm starting my keezer build and plan to use the kegbot for flow monitoring (so I can keep track of who drinks what and how much) and temp. I considered access control, but I'm not too worried about that.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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I tried submerging my probe in water and it kept freezing up.. hung it in the air and set the temp at 3degrees C and everything worked fine...until the kegerator bit the dust... getting ready to start a new build this week.. my main issue is how to attach the seal to the collar. Last time it was not good.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Yep, I have the temp probe in a gallon milk jug filled with water and that is setting on another milk jug because the probe cord is too short to reach the floor. Temp is set to 36 degrees and the kegs setting on the bottom always freeze the bottom few inches of beer. I have had a couple of them freeze to the point that they would not dispense. Never a problem with the keg on the hump.

I may go for weeks without opening the lid so it's not a problem with me letting hot air in.

I'm going to put a couple of plastic ceiling light grids on the floor of my next kegerator build. They are open grid plastic so the air/cold will still circulate but the kegs will be off the floor. I don't know for sure if this will work but I'll find out shortly.

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Old 07-24-2013, 06:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by raysmithtx View Post
Yep, I have the temp probe in a gallon milk jug filled with water and that is setting on another milk jug because the probe cord is too short to reach the floor. Temp is set to 36 degrees and the kegs setting on the bottom always freeze the bottom few inches of beer. I have had a couple of them freeze to the point that they would not dispense. Never a problem with the keg on the hump.

I may go for weeks without opening the lid so it's not a problem with me letting hot air in.

I'm going to put a couple of plastic ceiling light grids on the floor of my next kegerator build. They are open grid plastic so the air/cold will still circulate but the kegs will be off the floor. I don't know for sure if this will work but I'll find out shortly.
I would state that your temperature probe is wrong then. Beer shouldnt even freeze until like 28F because of the alcohol. If your really setting it to 36 and your probe is in liquid, there is no way your beer should be getting to 28F or lower unless your temperature controller is faulty. There is no freezer that will have enough cold air mass inside to drop that kegs and kegs worth of beer 8+ degree's after its turned off.

I would look into that asap. Pull your water jug out and test it with another thermometer. I always keep my old mercury thermometer i got with my brew kit in my ferm chamber to check on as a point of reference to make sure my chamber is behaving like it should.

Also now that i think about it what could be happening is your milk jug on the hump is absorbing heat from the compressor beneath it, keeping that temperature significantly warmer than the rest of the freezer forcing it to over chill? I just drilled a small hole in an old 8oz starsan container lid, filled the bottle with sanitizer, shoved my probe through, and screwed the cap on and stuck it at the bottom of my freezer.
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