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Old 12-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
Heckle
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Default Kitchenaid Kegerator build

I got a Kitchenaid fridge (KTRI18KBW00) off of craigslist for $30. I plan of turning this into a kegerator. My plan is to set it up with four kegs (Beer, Hard Lemonade, Wine for SWMBO and Root Beer) with the taps coming through the door with a drip try. It will fit four kegs plus a co2 tank in the fridge compartment. Would like to use the freezer compartment as spare freezer space. The refrigerator works fine but I forgot to check the temp before removing the doors.

This will be my first full size conversion and I have some questions.

1. Do I need to use a temp controller?
2. With the taps coming through the door, how far apart should they be from each other?
3. How far below the taps should I place the drip tray? My glasses are 7" tall and the drip tray will have a drain.
4. If I need a temp controller, how would I get the probe inside? Through the side or just run it in a lower corner by the front.

I have looked through many threads but could not fine one where someone has used this model (or even a Kitchenaid) to make a kegerator. I will take pictured or the process and post it for anyone who may be in the same situation. Besides, beer porn is always good.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideas.

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Old 12-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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I just did this.
One consideration I had was ability to add more taps at a later date, only put in two to start. The fridge should have it's own temp controller, but it will be with numbers as opposed to degrees. You can use a thermometer inside to check the temperature settings and it is possible to mess with the fine temp controls to achieve pretty good temperatures to what you are shooting for. See this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ther...erator-251837/

As to tap placement, eye it up in the place you're going to have it. Remember to level your keggerator before you do anything. If it is not level, I'm told there can be problems with the actual refrigeration machinery (though I confess I don't know much about the guts of it). Is it 1 door or two? try to space them evenly apart. Good idea to put some masking tape on the door and use a center punch to make a dimple before you try to drill.

One thing I didn't consider is you'll eventually prolly want to fill growlers from it. Get pone and check the height from the drip tray before you mount it. Leave a couple extra inches between the tray, the top of the growler and the tap.

Do a mockup and mark one the door where everything will be. See if you're happy with it before you drill. Pencils and masking tape work great for it.

If you really want to get a temp probe in there, drill a small hole, put the probe through, and seal it with caulk. I have my CO2 outside so I can have more room for kegs and stuff inside. I wound up enlarging the hole that a water line came in through the back. I wasn't using the water line and could be sure there were no cooling elements there to hit and destroy. I'll try to post a couple pics later.

Good luck!

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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img_0387.jpg
Here's mine

img_0389.jpg
And the inside of the door.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:15 PM   #4
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img_0388.jpg

This is the interior. You can see I mounted the manifold at the back right and the CO2 line is coming through below the the manifold right through the back wall.

The drip tray is low enough for me to fit a growler under it with a filling tube. I've still got the other door if I want to enlarge to 4 or even 5 faucets.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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Mine is an older one that was manufactured in 1997. It has the freezer on top and fridge on the bottom (two doors). I took all of the shelves out and left the drawers in (to set the kegs on). There are no fins on the back (it is all flat) so I am not sure where it is safe to drill holes to run the co2 and temp probe line. I know the door is not a problem. I am going to start with two taps and when I get my smaller kegerator sold, get two more taps to put in.

Chuck - You have the same model?


I posted a picture of the freezer and fridge sections. At least of the parts that should provide the cooling (I think). Don't mind the stuff in the freezer, as I said, I am working on the doors.

20121209_191245.jpg   20121209_191308.jpg  
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #6
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Here is the link to what I did building my smaller kegerator.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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The condenser fins are probably on the bottom. There should be a plastic plate you can take off the bottom front. If you pull it off, you should see the fins under there if you look with a flashlight.

In your first picture, there is a white line going in. What is it?
In your second picture (of the freezer) it says it is set up for an automatic ice maker. That tells me there is a spot for a water line to go in. Look around on the back for where the water line would go in. You can drill through that spot with impunity and won't hit any cooling lines.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:39 AM   #8
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I pulled the bottom cover off and there are cooling fins underneath (need a good cleaning too). So where would the coolant lines be at?

Regarding the Temp Controller. If I can get this thing down below 40 degrees, would I really even need it? Or would it be "better safe than sorry".

And now three more pictures.

Picture 1 (no laughing, I am an IT guy and ex helicopter mechanic, NOT an artist). The red line is next to the white wire. The white wire (last pic item 8) runs from the diffuser (last pic item 17) to the control box (last pic item 2).

Picture 1 numbers.
1 = Wire Assembly.
2 = Control Box.
3 = Diffuser.
4 = Cup
5 = Not sure but appear to be vent holes. They go up and back and I can feel Styrofoam.

Picture 2 is the front of the control box.

Picture 3 is the cup (last pic item 35) which is under the drain which ends up under the fridge (next to the cooling coils) exiting to a drip tray.

Picture 4 (of course) is an exploded view of the "Separator Compartment" parts.

There is a plastic tube on the back with a plug which is for the water line for the ice maker. I assume (guess) that I could run the temp probe in through that, drill a small hole in the bottom of the freezer compartment near the back and run the probe into the fridge compartment that way. I would just hate to nick or hit a refrigerant line. The back panel in the freezer compartment looks like it will come out so I may take that out tomorrow to "explore" some more.

Thanks for the feedback and info so far!

wire.jpg   controls.jpg   drain.jpg   ukxwlpa8.jpg  
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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If there's a plug for the water line, try using a piece of wire to get from the plug to the inside of the freezer compartment through the hole. I would definitely use that as my insert place for thermocouple. Should be easy to go from inside freezer to inside fridge without hitting anything.

If you're going to keep your CO2 inside, you don't need to worry about a hole for that.

In terms of whether you need a temp controller or not, you need to test the fridge and find out for yourself. If it is just to keep beer at serving temp, then probably not.

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