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Old 01-22-2014, 12:37 AM   #1
spaceyaquarius
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Default Copper tubing in a kegerator?

I just converted a kegerator and want to keep the beer lines cool in the draft tower. I'm going to connect the PC fan into the tower, with a hose.

So does that mean I don't need to buy PVC pipe for the inside of the tower, and I know some people buy copper tubing as well that goes over the beer lines. Is that just overkill to do all three?



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Old 01-22-2014, 02:15 AM   #2
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PVC is a rather crappy insulator, if that was the intended use. Lining the tower column with 1/4" foam sheet or neoprene would be much more effective if you have the room.

I run a tower cooler fan (40mm fan blowing through 1" ID thick wall vinyl tubing) with six beer lines tie wrapped alongside. No copper used or needed - that's really more of a passive solution that's obviated with an active cooling solution...

Cheers!



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Old 01-22-2014, 04:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceyaquarius View Post
I just converted a kegerator and want to keep the beer lines cool in the draft tower. I'm going to connect the PC fan into the tower, with a hose.

So does that mean I don't need to buy PVC pipe for the inside of the tower, and I know some people buy copper tubing as well that goes over the beer lines. Is that just overkill to do all three?
I built a kegerator this past summer and went with a passive cooling setup that I adapted from one I saw here on HBT and am very happy with it. No humming, loss of space or power consumption from a fan. Just good old copper piping and my first pour is always cold and delicious... Here are the photos from it:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/kegerator-build-igloo-4-6-fr465-haier-hnse05-kenmore-183-94679-possibly-others-364119/index7.html#post5440306

Something to consider before going the fan route...
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:45 AM   #4
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I too also did the copper tubing and only use that. Ever pour is cold and not foamy. No need for fans

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovik View Post
I built a kegerator this past summer and went with a passive cooling setup that I adapted from one I saw here on HBT and am very happy with it. No humming, loss of space or power consumption from a fan. Just good old copper piping and my first pour is always cold and delicious... Here are the photos from it:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/kegerator-build-igloo-4-6-fr465-haier-hnse05-kenmore-183-94679-possibly-others-364119/index7.html#post5440306

Something to consider before going the fan route...
So, your copper tubing is not housing the beer lines at all? It just runs up into the tap tower? Interesting. Looks like a lot of bent tubing though.Hmmm.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceyaquarius View Post
So, your copper tubing is not housing the beer lines at all? It just runs up into the tap tower? Interesting. Looks like a lot of bent tubing though.Hmmm.
Look again: he has his two beer lines running through copper, plus he added a couple of copper "radiators" to those same two tubes - the two runs with all the fittings to get them out of the way...

Cheers!
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:31 AM   #7
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Doh! Now I see.

Thanks. It may be time to go to the hardware store...

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:50 AM   #8
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Fwiw, the copper works pretty well for a tower with column mounted faucets as you can carry the copper almost the entire way to the 90° tail pieces.

Doesn't work so great for a big ol' t-type tower like I have. There's a lot of volume to keep cool and tubing fanning out left and right up in the t to get to all the taps that would be improbable at best to encase in Cu.

I tried running copper up the column to the base of the t where the tubing breaks out and first pours were iffy in the summer as the top of the tower and the faucets all warmed up. Otoh, with the active cooling and plenty of insulation I'll actually get condensation on the faucets in the height of summer and the pours are nearly as good as the dead of winter. That didn't happen with the copper, hence the blower. It only pulls around 80ma, and my Kill-O-Watt says the 13cf keezer and the three fans within only cost 10 cents a day to run. I'm good with that

Cheers!

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Old 02-01-2014, 08:04 AM   #9
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Great! Two feet of 1/2" inner diameter copper tubing at Home Depot is $4 and they will cut it in half for you. I didn't attach the tubing to anything, just ran the 2 tubes into the 2-tap draft tower. Next time, I may buy two 14" or even 15" tubes instead of 12" tubes because there's plenty of room over that back shelf for the copper tubes to come down just a little bit more and transfer more cool temperatures into the draft tower.

Without my PC fan on, the draft tower is cool to the touch on the outside for the 1st time. Of course, it's still winter so I may still need that PC fan when it gets warmer.



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Old 02-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #10
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THANKS HOVIC!!!

I've just added the passive cooling method mentioned above tonight. Seems to work great with no fan. My Danby 440BL needed 12" for the draft tower, 7.5" for the fridge ceiling, and then 10" down the wall of the fridge (and of course four 90 degree copper elbows. The whole thing cost less than $10 from Home Depot if you buy the long 1/2" outer diameter copper tubing and cut it yourself.








What do you guys think about filling up the rest of the tower with those styrofoam things that come in shipped boxes? Would that help to insulate the draft tower, or would it restrict air flow into the tower (no PC fan). I'm thinking the styrofoam would help.



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