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Old 12-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
buckeyejb
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Default First Kegerator Build

I pick up one of these for $30 on Craigslist with the intent of converting it to a kegerator. (Danby dar452bl) I've found resources to help along the way but I figured I would come here to solicit advice.


Being my first build, I'm a bit naive to the process but I'm pretty handy.
My concerns were about the logistics of the system. I want to do this as cheaply as possible so purchasing a complete system is my last option.

My questions/concerns:
- Where is the best place to find cheap components?
- Is the PVC tower acceptable in lieu of a stainless one?
- I would like the option to use with purchased beer, do commercial brewers use different 5 gallon kegs than the HB Corny?
- Anyone have any extra equipment they want to sell/ get rid of ?
- Any essential advice or mistakes to avoid?
- Links to resources?

Thanks in advance for the input, I'm looking forward to never bottling again!

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Old 12-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyejb View Post
I pick up one of these for $30 on Craigslist with the intent of converting it to a kegerator. (Danby dar452bl) I've found resources to help along the way but I figured I would come here to solicit advice.


Being my first build, I'm a bit naive to the process but I'm pretty handy.
My concerns were about the logistics of the system. I want to do this as cheaply as possible so purchasing a complete system is my last option.

My questions/concerns:
- Where is the best place to find cheap components?
- Is the PVC tower acceptable in lieu of a stainless one?
- I would like the option to use with purchased beer, do commercial brewers use different 5 gallon kegs than the HB Corny?
- Anyone have any extra equipment they want to sell/ get rid of ?
- Any essential advice or mistakes to avoid?
- Links to resources?

Thanks in advance for the input, I'm looking forward to never bottling again!
Well, cheap is a relative term. But if you are buying either Home Depot or Lowe's will do.

Is a PVC tower acceptable, sure. May not look are pleasing as a brass or SS tower. However, PVC allows for more customization I suppose.

Commercial breweries use typically a "D" type sankey tap and homebrewers use either pin lock or ball lock corny kegs. So you would need two different connections for that.

My advice to you would be to find a chest freezer. You will eventually want to have more than one or two taps and your buy, while a good one, wont fit them. I personally found a beast of a chest freezer on CL after a month of patience.

A great resource is right here on the DIY forum of HBT. Many of us here all build our own and have great ideas, advice, and resources.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #3
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Nice find for $30. I got a similar model (DAR482BLS) with the plastic top trim (made for mounting trim rails very easy... just used 3 18" stainless drawer pulls), and stainless door for $109. I picked up a tower from keg cowboy here on this site, but had considered building the plastic tower and just painting it.

I contacted danby via email and they told me where the internal coils where located. (none in top on the DAR482BLS) Tap tower did need to be mounted towards the back since temp controller in just about dead center.

I used a Cheap Harbor Freight hole saw set (used largest 2.5" hole saw in set). Get some 3 in 1 oil and keep cutting area & blade well lubed and you should cut through no problem.

I did sleeve my beer lines in 1/2" copper pipe and ran that up into tower to keep inside of tower cool. seems to be working well. 5' 1/2" copper pipe was only a few bucks cut in half filed edges smooth after cutting so it wouldnt damage beer line.

Inside door shelves are removed very easily, replaced with Plexiglass. pretty sure foam insulation would get moldy if it wasn't covered.

I have room for 2 ball lock kegs (not sure 2 pin locks would fit as they are a bit wider) a 5lb co2 tank with a 3 gauge 2 pressure regulator and an extra 20oz paintball tank as back up all stored in the fridge. CO2 needs to be bungied in as it keeps wanting to tip over but small bungies hook right into the shelf mount slots.

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Old 12-17-2010, 01:07 AM   #4
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thanks for the tips, i disassembled the fridge and it seems fairly straightforward. The cooling mechanism lines the back so no worries about drilling in to the top. I think I'll try the plastic tower, keeping my eyes out for parts.

I'll post pic's when I get up and running

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Old 01-10-2011, 12:59 AM   #5
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Finally got the ball rolling on this after the grind of the holidays.

2 corny kegs fit snugly, I had hoped to use one side for a commercial brew but with the added 1/4 in the width of the commercial keg, there's no way it fits in there with a corny. Not a big deal, I'll just have to brew more!

Pic of the cleared out inside.



I had to cut the molded plastic that held up the bottom shelf. A sharp utility knife cut like butter once you plunged it in. I think I'll need to cover those up with some tape or something

http://picasaweb.google.com/breenjon...68516052784994

The door, I ended up using a fluorescent light cover for a dropped ceiling and sprayed it with some black paint. It actually turned out nice but the plastic was tricky to cut.

http://picasaweb.google.com/breenjon...68364249944482

I cut off the shelve that was in there and it may be useful for something?

http://picasaweb.google.com/breenjon...68462266258354

Is this OK?

http://picasaweb.google.com/breenjon...68516052784994

As far as parts, I found a local company that refurbs cornys, I picked up 2 for $50 bucks. Also found a 5 lb CO2 tank for $50 on sale.
Keg Cowboy really does have the best prices! My draft tower is en route, I know what I'll be hacking away at next weekend.

(Anyone know why I can't post pics directly in my post?)

Cheers!

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Old 01-10-2011, 01:00 AM   #6
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Pic of the inside that was dropped out.

http://picasaweb.google.com/breenjon...68516052784994

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Old 01-10-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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I've been told to keep co2 upright. looks like were using a similar fridge. I had to use some bungees to keep co2 upright. but works fine.

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Old 01-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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I've been told to keep co2 upright.
+1

I think the reason: Under pressure, CO2 is part liquid, part gas. You want to pressurize with the gas, and it draws from the spigot at the top of the canister, so you have to keep the tank upright so it will use the gas not the liquid. Hopefully that isn't too far off-base.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CorneliusAlphonse View Post
+1

I think the reason: Under pressure, CO2 is part liquid, part gas. You want to pressurize with the gas, and it draws from the spigot at the top of the canister, so you have to keep the tank upright so it will use the gas not the liquid. Hopefully that isn't too far off-base.
Nope, thats about right actually. Other reason is to prevent the valve from being broken off by it accidentally rolling around.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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I did sleeve my beer lines in 1/2" copper pipe and ran that up into tower to keep inside of tower cool. seems to be working well. 5' 1/2" copper pipe was only a few bucks cut in half filed edges smooth after cutting so it wouldnt damage beer line.
I was thinking about doing this. I'm guessing the copper pipe would slide up into the tower. How did you get get it to stay in place?

Did you add any more insulation to the inside the tower?
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