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Old 10-09-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Insulating a corny

Hi all,

Just wanted to share the results of a little test I started last night.

I have an event tomorrow night that I wanted to take a keg to, but didn't really have a mobile setup. I have one of the "ice cube" square coolers with wheels that I was planning on using for the cause. I ordered myself:

Another regulator ($33 from Keg Cowboy - Kegerator Conversion Kits & Draft Beer Equipment See side note below!)
A 20 oz.paintball CO2 tank ($14.95 from Discount Paintball)
A Smart Parts Preset On/Off Valve ($13.99 from Discount Paintball)

My tank and On/Off valve are due to arrive today, but I've read that it is a regular CGA-320 fitting that a normal regulator will fit with and that since it has the pin built in, it will serve the same purpose as the adapters that some homebrew shops sell. If not, I'll order one of those and be bottling beer tonight I guess! I'll update tonight on whether it fit.

ANYWAY, I had all of that en-route, and then I stumbled across Ed's post here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/my-n...-system-72105/

That just looked too cool, and was very similar parts to what I ordered, so I started looking at the neoprene covers. I pretty much blew my monthly beer budget already, and found the neoprene to be a little more than I wanted to spend right now. It clicked with me that I already have some foam sheets here in the house that might be about the right size. I tried them on for size, and it was pretty darn close without even having to cut them (fits well into the new lazy lifestyle I'm going for).




Ok, so wrapped with blue masking tape it isn't nearly as stylish as the pre-fab neoprene (about 50 bucks or so) and the towels I put on top to help insulate where I was running my temp sensors in don't help in the beauty dept either.... But, I bought these foam pads (I have a couple, but only one is used in this test) at Wal Mart for about $5 (they are pads for putting under sleeping bags and about 1/4 inch thick... found in the sporting goods section in the camping area), so for now I'm ok with going a little sloppy if it actually works.

I filled up two kegs with 5 gal of water and set them in the keezer for about 20 hours. They got down to about 43F in that amount of time. I pulled both out, rigged up a couple of temp sensors and suspended one in each of the two tanks, midway down. I then wrapped one with the blue foam and let them sit there side by side for the past 20 hours or so.

Here is how it has turned out...

After 5 hours, the wrapped keg had raised from about 43F to 50F, or 7 degrees. The unwrapped control keg went from about 44F (must have been in a slightly warmer spot in the keezer) to about 57F, or 13 degrees.


Not that it has much real-world relevance, but after about 19 hours the wrapped keg raised to 62F, and the control keg went to 67F


I like the ice wrap that you can get with the Keglove, and think it's way more sexy, but I'm going to go ahead and give this a live test I think. For truth in advertising here, this didn't take into account the movement that would take place within the liquid, nor did it take into account the fact that the liquid level would be dropping during that time period. I think both of those will probably have a negative effect on temperature retention.



Off Topic: If you need a sharp looking regulator for a great price, I stumbled across these guys (Keg Cowboy - Keg Cowboy - Kegerator Conversion Kits & Draft Beer Equipment) on ebay, but they have an online site of their own too... $33 for a nice shiny silver regulator like this (hose was something I added, so not included). They were very friendly and I had my package the day after I ordered, so they get things out the door quick!



Thanks for lookin'!
Jason

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Just to let you know, atleast with the paintball tank I have, the threads coming right off the tank are already the right kind to go into the reg. So the on/off will make things a little easier but it really is neccisary. IMHO

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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What was the ambient temperature in the house where the kegs were left?

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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What was the ambient temperature in the house where the kegs were left?
looks like 75 from the graph
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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Just to let you know, atleast with the paintball tank I have, the threads coming right off the tank are already the right kind to go into the reg. So the on/off will make things a little easier but it really is neccisary. IMHO
Thanks Mike, that's good news! I was under the impression that the paintball tanks (that don't have an ON/OFF valve built in) still need something like this or the adapters that places like MoreBeer.com sell because they push in the pin on the tank (since the regulators themselves aren't able to do that). I may be way off... Haven't actually laid hands on one yet, just what I was able to piece together in reading up on 'em. I'm glad that you said that though... It has been hard for me to tell in any of the pics I've seen if the tanks actually did have that thread size, so that bodes well for me not having to bottle tonight!
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:26 PM   #6
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I could be wrong but atleast with the reg that I have it works. I bought the reg off of craigslist so it may not be a normal reg. Mine has something that pushes the pin in. I was mostly talking about the threads but now that I think about it I do remember people in the past talking about the pin so this may not be true in all cases.

The on/off will make it a lot easier though because with mine if the tank is screwed in then the air is on no matter what. There is no way to turn it off unless you take the tank off.

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #7
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looks like 75 from the graph
Correct. The green line is ambient room temp. It's set up in the entry way of the house, and gets a lot of sunlight during the late afternoon, so it was a relatively warm 77F when I started (but wasn't in direct sunlight). The AC cycled on once about 3 hours into the test. Didn't sway the room temp THAT much, but I do concede that a more stable temp would have been preferable. We drop the house temp around 10:00p, so I knew it was going to happen... I decided that I was already being way too nerdy on this as it was though, and opted to just let it be.
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:38 AM   #8
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Done for now! We'll see if the fine workmanship of masking tape will hold up at the party tomorrow, and if the temp can outlast the beer!

For the record, the co2 tank that I got was the pin-type (if there are others?). The regulator had nothing to depress the pin, but the On/Off valve did (and doesn't have a pin of its own on the "out" side) so it was indeed required in this particular case. When I pieced it all together though, it worked like a champ!

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Old 10-10-2008, 01:50 PM   #9
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What are you going to use to dispense? Picnic or faucet mounted to the keg?

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Old 10-10-2008, 04:24 PM   #10
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What are you going to use to dispense? Picnic or faucet mounted to the keg?
Picnic & about 5ft of hose coiled up... I'm itching to buy faucets for the home keezer (and thought about it for this too), but haven't been able to pull the trigger on that part of the wish list yet so I'm just going to rob one of my current picnic assemblies. If anyone makes fun of it at the party, I'll just cut them off.
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