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Old 08-01-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Keeping beer lines cool

Hey guys, I just got my keggerator up (converted chest freezer - Posted it in the show me your kegerator) and running but there is roughly 12 feet of beer line that won't be kept cool. I have a fan blowing the air up an 4 inch insulated tube with 4 beer lines running through it. Sadly I checked the temperature half way up and it isn't keeping cool enough. There are 2 bends in the tubing which I believe is preventing it from cooling the line up further.

I read some older threads about getting a pond pump and placing a filled water bucket in the freezerand having a continuous flow of cold water up to the beer lines. - I do have a concern about this though wouldn't the pond pumps motor heat the water up and prevent adequate cooling? I don't have a ton of space in my freezer I could probably get 2, maybe 3 gallons bucket to fit which I would have to think would get warm.

Less idealy I figure I could just plan ahead 20 minutes and turn on the pump before I start drinking to cool the line and unplug it when I'm done.

Any help would be wonderful!

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Old 08-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Check out my salt water pump build, it works great. I think even putting one in a fridge would work. The pond pump generates minimal heat which well dissipate inside the fridge. Sometimes my setup works too well and I get frozen taps

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Old 08-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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That is tough and I don't think there is any good solution. A submersible pond pump will add a little heat to the water but you could always get an external (dry) pump. How are you running the water setup? Are you wrapping tubing around the lines? Up and then back down?

One idea that I had was to blow CO2 from the tap back into the tank. That way once you are done you can empty the lines. Another method would be to get an aquarium chiller. These start around $300 though and not sure how good they are "on demand".

Maybe just freeze your glasses and prepare for a lot of foam the first pour.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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Does your airline also return to the kegerator, or just go to the taps? You need to have a complete circuit for the air.

I only have about 6 ft of beer line outside the fridge to my tower and my lines stay cold with just air. I made a complete loop of 2" flexible tubing that goes into my tower and then back to the fridge. This loop is encased in 2" rigid foam insulation. I put a small computer fan at one end and completely sealed it to the PVC connector mounted through the fridge wall. The fan is set up to BLOW INTO the fridge, so it sucks air through the tubing. The beer lines go in the other end where the coldest air is. I made a small slit in the tubing as it looped into the top of the tower so I could fetch the beer lines out.

There are some photos in my gallery of various stages of construction

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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I like your set up running but sadly I don't have a glycol system (as much as I would love one) and I am really trying to go on the cheap as much as I can. I am not to concerned about having a couple of feet of beer line being warm because I can just set my freezer down a degree or 2 more to account for that. I am just more concerned about keeping it cool when drinking so it doesn't foam constantly (I have 4 taps too so if I decide to switch it up I don't really want go through the foaming issue twice).

As for how I am going to run the water line.. I am not sure at all yet I don't have any of the equipment because I wanted to get a few idea's on how to run it before I did. I was planning on having the water cooling line wrap along the beer lines in the 4 inch tube.. I will probably get around 30 feet of line so i can have a fairly tight coil to keep the lines as cool as possible.. Ideally I would like to have the system run non stop so I can just get beer when I have the urge but even if I can just get the line cool before I drink it I'm alright with that haha.

I do have a complete circuit for the air but it just doesn't seem like it's enough and at this point I am trending toward water. I do like your set up that would work well.

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