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Old 02-14-2012, 05:28 AM   #1
FreeLordBrewing
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Default kegerator build hopefully I didn't just waste $50.00

so I posted earlier bummer!! http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/bummer-303732/ about how I would not be able to make my mini fridge work as a kegerator but another member "Day trippr" has brought to my attention the fact that converted ball lock kegs (originally pin lock "coca-cola") are about 3" shorter in body (but wider at 9"), and about 2" shorter at the connections than regular ball lock "Pepsi" kegs (thanks!)

I'm hoping that a converted pin lock will fit at 23"
http://www.cornykeg.com/catalog.asp?...showprevnext=1

so pretty much here goes nothing or everything lol here is my build up of a 2.7 cubic foot mini fridge/freezer combo from Magic Chef. model number MCBR270B, MCBR270S, MCBR270W.





at 2.7 cubic feet I don't have much to work with at 25" tall on the interior I am really pushing this to the limits! but I figure I'll work with what I got and if I destroy or ruin it I am only out $50.00 but not even that because this thing has served as the beer fridge in the band practice spot for the past couple of years with no issues!! and if I mess this up well time for bigger and better things.
25" from top to bottom of interior of fridge.


the other interior measurements are 15" wide, 14.5" from back to outter edge.




the other issue here is a pin lock keg is 9" in diameter, but the fridge is 8" from the compressor hump to the outter edge of the door so even after I remove the door tray package (which will gain me 5/8" verified) I will still need gain a minimal of 1" so I am going to build a collar around the door.




now I started working on the interior portion of the fridge.

I first removed the freezer door by pulling/bending it slightly in the middle which allowed the pins to come out of the holes.

freezer door installed in unit.


freezer door removed.


left mounting hole for freezer door.


right mounting hole for freezer door.


looking at it I found the complete fridge is cooled by the freezer plate, which originally formed a 90 degree angle (and should make running a tower a little bit easier). I carefully bent the plate "ears" away from the original freezer plate mounting locations, which I was able to manipulate the plate out of without distorting it too much. I then continued to fold it down and the refrigerant in/out line so now it makes an upside down "U" shape and placed it far back enough to clear the forward portion of the interior compressor hump.

this is where the freezer plate originally sat on the left side.


this is where the freezer plate originally sat on the right side.


this is the line that houses the in/out refrigerant lines bent down slightly.


this is looking "up" from the bottom of the fridge to the freezer plate.


I then used two pieces of scrap wood I had laying around to take up the gap between the freezer plate and the sides. I placed some self adhesive foam strips to the back of the pieces of wood, I then screwed the freezer plate to the pieces of wood using pre-existing holes in the plate.

freezer plate mounted to piece of wood left side.


freezer plate mounted to piece of wood right side.


at this point I plugged in the unit in hopes I didn't pinch a line in the freezer plate/evaporator. I stepped away as I plugged it in hoping nothing would explode lol and the compressor has been cycling on and off so far for the past 3 hours with no issues, no noises that are out of the ordinary, and the freezer plate gets nice and frosty!!! just as it use to!!

this was a blessing in disguise because had I not checked the operation at this point I would of never realized the condenser coils are located on the left and right sides of the unit (warm to the touch) this is a good thing as I was about to screw the pieces of wood through the interior of the fridge to make a secure mounting location and I could of possibly ruined a refrigerant line running through the side whew!! dodged that bullet lol this also reminds me I will have to double check to make sure this fridge has no refrigerant line running through the top of the unit from left to right which I will check using the cheap vodka and cornstarch trick. http://community.livejournal.com/hom...ng/413981.html
so by bending the freezer plate ears outward I have created a friction mount that I might use some liquid nails or some form of adhesive on in the future, but at this time is holding secure and is quite rigid.

here is what I got so far now only if I can make the keg fit


I might install a fan with tube to cool the tubing and tower, and also install a plate with holes in it, in front of the freezer plate so that the cold temps are not concentrated in one area and evenly distributed using the fan.

and also due to the freezer plate only being able to be bent in the downward position I no longer have room to fit a co2 bottle, so I'll either run an external tank or have a siphon tube fitted into the tank and fit it in between the gap between the hump and bottom of freezer plate. that's it for today but I will update the thread as I make more progress cheers!! - Shawn

p.s. pictures were taken after modifications if you couldn't tell lol.

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Did a little bit more today to my "soon to be" kegerator.

Started working on the door/collar.

here is the door removed from the unit, the shelve assembly removed from the door, along with the rubber/magnet door seal.






I had to sand down these little securing tabs to get the wood collar to sit flush against the door




sanded down


I made the collar out of some wood my dad had sitting around his shop I think they are 2 X 2's but not sure (they measure 1.25" x 1.25" x 36"). with the addition of the extra 1.25" and the shelves in the door being removed I'll have ample room for the 9" diameter keg!! and should have a depth of a little under 10" from the hump to outer edge of door.

collar under construction


so far other than time I have only some brackets invested into this build (a whopping $10.00 lol) all other stuff has been "freebies" and stuff I already had laying around, but when all is said and done I will try to put a tally together of everything needed for the conversion in case some one else cares to attempt to do this build.

here is the collar with brackets installed.


I cut 1/4" off the lower 2 X 2 that sits at the bottom of the door (length wise) so that it clears the floor of the fridge and does not catch on the keg when the door is closed and opened. (a more simple solution, which I had to do any ways was to cut a piece of 3/8" thick plywood 7.5" deep by 15" wide to prop the keg and co2 tank up to clear the door. I would use a 1/2" thick piece of plywood next time and not bother cutting the 1/4" off the lower 2 x 2. The 3/8" plywood was another scrap piece of wood I had laying around).

to hold the rubber magnet/seal against the collar I used the shelve assembly from the door as a template to mark the location of the mounting holes on the collar, I then cut the outer edge of the shelf unit off and used it as a bracket to hold the seal in place against the collar, I then used some wood screws that were 1-5/8" long (1.625") to hold the seal, plastic edge, and collar against the door, and only going 3/8" into the door (the collar measuring 1.25" thick). (this was the resolution to my first attempt, in which I tried to glue the rubber magnet/seal to the collar using gorilla glue, and insulate it using tuffstuff foam (not a good idea lol) I spent a day cleaning, removing material, and repainting the collar after another members advice of cutting the outer edge of the shelf unit out thank you "ALucard1983". (see below ha ha)

After succesfully using the outer edge of the shelf unit I then spray painted the collar black, and the inside of the door white. And filled in the gaps between the wood and door with white silicon.

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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What you could of done with the magnet is cut the shelfs out of the plastic door... Then put magnet back on and then screws that plastic to the wood

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Thanks!! yeah that would of been so much easier!! I was resistant to cut it, in case I wanted to put it back to mini fridge status had this all not of worked out, the next one I'll be a pro at!! ha ha

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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How many kegs do you plan to fit only 1? I think if you used a 6" collar you could get 2 kegs inside. If you need measurements of a converted pin lock I have 2 let me know.

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Old 02-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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I only Plan on fitting 1 at this time, and if the need arises to fit more than I can attempt a larger collar. I will eventually get a/make a keezer when I have the space to do so, space has been a limiting factor for me right now. Another member from this board measured his converted ball lock keg for me (originally a pin/coca-cola) and ended up with 23" to the top of the hose/ball lock connectors which should give me ample room to play with thank you very much!!

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:56 AM   #7
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Ok finaly the collar is completed!! I re-used the factory hinge points for the door and simply drilled holes into wooden collar for the pegs to fit into!! works like a charm!!!

here you can see upper hinge point and a good idea of how much room I gained.


another shot of the collar


inside sealed with silicone then painted white


as described earlier I used just the lip of the shelve unit (trimmed it off the shelf unit using a dremel tool) to hold the seal in place and I also used it as a template to mark all the screw holes in the collar to line up with the existing holes in the door.



I gained a total of about 1 3/4" of an inch gives me approx. 3/4" of room to play with


a final touch for the night!!


will be working on aqquiring the tower, faucet, drip tray, and fan set up.

next on the "to do" list is to obtain the keg kit from cornykeg.com and after I have that I will work on purchasing the tower, faucet, drip tray, and fan set up. Which I will have to use the cornstarch and cheap vodka to double check for a refrigerant line running across the top of the unit between the two condensers on either side of the fridge!..... almost done!!

Also picked up my imperial pale ale kit from the brew shop, and 2 oz of Citra hops for dry hopping in the secondary I'm excited!!

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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so I did a little experiment, and since I am fresh to kegging is there guidlines as to what temperature I should keep my kegerator at ??

I found with the thermostat dial set to max (7) I set a glass of water at room temp in the fridge at approx area where the keg will be sitting, after a day I removed the glass and checked temperature although the water was still in liquid state the thermometer measured 30.5 F as soon as I removed the thermometer from the glass to get a better reading the glass of water flash froze, it was pretty neat but I assume beer being majority of water, that is not a good temp for a keg.

so I set the thermostat dial to "6" and let another glass of water set at room temp sit in it with the thermometer for a day. checked it that night and found the temp now at 32 F exactly!! with the very top of the water in the glass partially frozen. (like an ice skating rink/pond ha ha). Still not good for a keg I assume.

I then set the thermostat dial to "5" with another glass of water set at room temp. and after sitting for a day I came back and checked the temperature and found it sitting at 33.5 acceptable for a keg?? I think so but wasn't sure if there is specific guidelines at so what type of beer vs temp, or if you keg the temp should be set at such and such.... any insight would be helpful!! thanks in advance - Shawn

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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That is awful cold for a keg... as long as it isn't freezing it is a matter of opinion but I like mine around 42f.

Like the work though! It is coming along great.

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Nice build!

As far as temp it comes down to preference, I personally set mine as Tom said between 42f~45f.

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