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Old 10-26-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
Cpt_Kirks
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Default Mini Fridge Kegerator?

SWMBO has proclaimed that my kegerator made from a large, full sized fridge is too big to come upstairs to my office (even though I measured and it will fit).

It is to stay in the garage. I will have to go downstairs to get a draft.

That will work short term (and be a very nice fermenter long term), but I need something for my office.

I am thinking of building a heavily insulated box, just big enough for four kegs. On top of it will be a 1.7cf dorm fridge, attached to the box below. The bottom of the fridge will be cut out, allowing the cold air to fall into the insulated box, cooling the kegs, and allowing a place for the beer lines. The four taps will be either inside the mini fridge (open the door to pour) or mounted through the door of the mini-fridge. The CO2 bottle will be external.

The question is, will a 1.7cf dorm fridge cool enough BTU's to keep the kegs about 40*?

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Old 10-27-2008, 03:29 PM   #2
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Would it be a good idea to allow a little "dead space" between the kegs, and between the kegs and the walls, to allow air circulation?

Or, should I make it as tight as possible?

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Go with a larger mini fridge

I would suggest saving some effort, and going with a larger minifridge, such as the Oster 5.0 CU at Best Buy (Oster - 5.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator - Silver - OR5005M3M). With very minor mods, it can hold 4 kegs (Search the forums for similar conversions). I recommend this, as I think you will have issues with a 1.7 CU fridge keeping them cold. You could make it work IF you prechill the kegs downstairs, and use really thick insulation. But I suspect the compressor will still run 24/7, and die within a year. If you have the fridge already and have nothing better to do with it, go ahead. But I anticipate issues. I think it will work better when it is full with 4, rather than 3 or 2 kegs, as fridges and freezers work best when full with (already cold) water, rather than air that can leak out. No matter what, expect issues if you have not prechilled the kegs.

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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I say grab a friend, get a fridge on CL, and hide it in the closet...

Ok, maybe a bad idea.

Setup a L shaped desk, the one side being a chest freezer :-)

Don't listen to me; I'm not married... I think simnick is on the right track for an agreeable solution to your problem.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simnick View Post
I would suggest saving some effort, and going with a larger minifridge, such as the Oster 5.0 CU at Best Buy (Oster - 5.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator - Silver - OR5005M3M). With very minor mods, it can hold 4 kegs (Search the forums for similar conversions). I recommend this, as I think you will have issues with a 1.7 CU fridge keeping them cold. You could make it work IF you prechill the kegs downstairs, and use really thick insulation. But I suspect the compressor will still run 24/7, and die within a year. If you have the fridge already and have nothing better to do with it, go ahead. But I anticipate issues. I think it will work better when it is full with 4, rather than 3 or 2 kegs, as fridges and freezers work best when full with (already cold) water, rather than air that can leak out. No matter what, expect issues if you have not prechilled the kegs.
No way you are getting 4 kegs and a tank in there. Most people just run 2 cornys and a 5lb tank.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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I have an Oster and it only holds 2 kegs and a 5lb thank.

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Old 11-04-2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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Raw math:

Compressor is about 400 BTU (390, actual).

Inside dimensions: 20x20x27" = 10800ci = 6.25cf

That comes to about 62 BTU per cubic foot of space.

Supposedly, the small refrigerators, up to 5 or 6 cf, use the same, 390 BTU compressor.

So, in theory, a heavily insulated 6.26 cf box that is rarely opened should be able to be cooled by a 390 BTU compressor.

All that being said, I am still up in the air on this. This project is still in the planning stages, I have my huge kegerator fridge in the garage for now. If I come across a CL steal on a small freezer, this project could be abandoned.

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