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Old 09-14-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
mmurray
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Default Dry Ice Kegorator/Cooler

I'm thinking of building a portable kegerator to hold in the area of 8 to 10 kegs.



My idea is roughly drawn above... Have 2 pockets to hold Dry Ice and have fans to pull the cold air out of the pockets and circulate it around the kegs to hopefully maintain refrigeration temps (without freezing the beer!). Of course the box would be insulated, and I know it would hold temps. I'm trying to design something that wouldn't require the filling and dumping of ice and water. Put the dry ice in... close the box with a good seal and get it to around 38*... then put pre refrigerated ready to serve kegs in and re-seal it. I figure as long as it's not constantly being opened and closed it should hold temps.

I'm thinking my issues are two fold... testing to see how much dry ice it'll take to cool and maintain temps for about 8 hours, while making sure not to freeze the beer! I'm feeling confident that by keeping the dry ice in seperate compartments should help prevent freezing.

Ideas? Suggestions? Let me have 'em!

And for construction I was planning on building a plywood box, covering both sides with foam insulation (2"? Maybe?) Then once the structure is in place Fiverglassing the entire box inside and out where the foam and wood are 100% sealed inside preventing moisture and rotting. (Think Boat Hull!) Alot of details to work out... thinking 12v power supply for fans and 12v love controler w/ on-board self contained battery... maybe even put an external solar panel to keep the battery charged during festivities, depending on how much drain the fans and controler would have.

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Old 09-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #2
mkory
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I don't know a lot about dry ice, but I would recommend trying it on a small scale (igloo cooler?) first, just to make sure that it'll maintain temps. I'd also move the fans to the bottom of the dry ice compartment, and have them pull air out, with vents at the top.

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Old 09-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
mmurray
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Oooops... Sorry... The arrows are pointing at where the fans are and not direction of flow! I'm retarded... That was completely missleading!

My rationale was that Heat rises... so to take the cold air in the dry ice chambers would force the cold air to cool the warmer air at the top of the chamber and then flow down over the kegs. I guess I could put a vent at the bottom of the Chamber for return air like a refrigerator... Of course getting more complicated, I could look for blend doors and have hot outside air blend with the cold dry ice air to maintain 38*, but with the humidity, It would probably get messy as condensation forms and freezes...

Alot to think about! Thanks!

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Old 09-14-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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IMO, if you only need to maintain the temps for 8 hours, you could just as easily get by just using insulation. I think your design would work, but I would just look for a large used chest freezer. Often you can find them at less than what it would cost you to build a box. If you are planning to take it to a location without power, you could certainly use dry ice, regular ice or frozen water bottles in lieu of running the compressor.

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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Yeah, I thought about the chest freezer and it's a great idea... I'm just not 100% sure yet.

I was thinking of it's use being completely club use to bring to festivals and for club parties, etc...

If I did the chest freezer, I could use it at home as a regular Keezer and then build a dry ice box to maintain temps while on the road.

I suppose I need to figure out SWMBO's tolerance for a keezer first!

What size Chest Freezer will hold 10 kegs?

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Old 09-16-2010, 01:45 AM   #6
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Why not build a dual cold plate jockey box and use ice blocks? You can commonly find 6 pass cold plates, so that would give you a capacity of 12 kegs to serve from. You can get up to 7 pass in standard cold plate sizes, but they are not as common.

The jockey box will be much more portable than your keg box, and won't require any power at all, just ice blocks. You can make the jockey box look as nice as you want - I made a dual cold plate jockey box that can support up to 11 kegs (a 5 pass and 6 pass cold plate). I built it out of plywood, stained and spar eurethaned and caulked the inside, and built in a drain for the water. It is a bit heavy, but works well for any large events I want to serve at.

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