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Old 04-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
devilyellow
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Default First Kegerator Build

I've been lurking for awhile and I could have sworn I registered back many many moons ago. I recently picked up a free mini fridge from a friend and finally pulled the trigger on building a kegerator, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

I started with a Danby mini fridge (I believe it's a DAR452BL). I made 2 modifications to it before installing the tower. I removed the plastic top piece and used a dremel tool to cut out the supportive plastic webbing in the center. I replaced it with a piece of 3/16" thick plywood that I shaped to fit perfectly in the center. I then plastic welded the wood to the top.



My stubbornness got the best of me when I took the inside door panel off an replaced it with a sheet of black acrylic plastic. I initially wanted 3/16" but due to it being out of stock I had a local plastics company cut out a 1/4" sheet which turned out to be too thick for the gasket but made a perfect guide use to drill a 1/8" sheet. I cracked the first 1/8" sheet by using a hand drill. The second 1/8" remained intact when I used a drillpress and installed quiet nicely.



I picked up a kit that included a low profile coupler, a Perlick 525SS faucet, a 3" stainless steel tower and the rest of the bits needed. After a lot of careful measurement I was able to get the tower perfectly mounted.

I let it cool over night and picked up the first 'tester' keg the following day. It's a 1/6 of Sam Adams Summer Ale. I let that sit in the fridge for a day and I also cleaned out the beer line. The next day I tapped it, and without knowing the beer valve was open and with how my regulator was set I got a tiny bit of beer in the co2 line. I was able to get most of it out but (photo was taken before I tried to get the beer out of the line). It's not near the regulator. I will take it all apart when the keg is emptied to clean it out.

I was having foaming issues, but I had 2 problems. One I had my co2 pressure set a hair above 10psi. Lowering that down to 6-7psi helped out a lot. Also I seem to be able to keep the fridge at an internal temperature of either 30F or 40F. It's really hard to hit it in the middle and I don't want to go to a external controller just yet. I guess I'm having fears of the beer freezing if the temp is at 30F. The fridge will get down into the 20's if cranked. The foaming issues are not a 'first pour of the day' issue - it was after multiple pours. After trying to get the pressure and temps down I was able to get at least one 'perfect pour'.





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Old 04-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
hmmmbeer
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Sorry I have no thoughts about the fridge temp other then moving the dial a smidge. As for the foam on the pour, it can be like many parts of brewing, many things. Things to think of is do you have enough liquid line (I use 5 feet for all mine lines, I have 4), lines getting warm, there are so many ideas but I like the idea of either putting your liquid line through a copper pipe or using a cooling fan to cool the lines within the tower. All of these ideas are all over youtube and on this site (I love this site for such an amazing hobby!). Good luck.

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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That gauge in the fridge is very touchy. Changing it a millimeter seems to make a big difference. The fact that I was getting foam after the first pour made me think it wasn't the temp in the line. I did run a copper tube and that seems pretty cold at the top of the tower. I do have 5' of beer line but I was thinking I could use more.

These last few days have been pretty good. I think I have the co2 near perfect, if not just a hair low. I would eventually like to do a fan, but I think my paranoia is centered around what temperature is 'too cold' and where I'd have freezing.

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #4
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I really like the black acrylic on the inside of the door, very sleek.

On your foaming issue, there are a bunch of beer line calculators on HBT, find them and check them out. In my experience they give wildly different values so I guess my suggestion would be to buy a long length of beer line and experiment until you get the pour you want.

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