I've been reading these forums for about three years and have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in a short time. I can't thank the homebrewtalk community enough for their advice, patience, and willingness to share their projects and experiments with everyone else.
I'm a poor graduate student that has been moving my wife from Michigan, to Missouri, and now to Texas. Things are definitely different between the upper peninsula of Michigan and south Texas! One of the biggest differences that I didn't think about in time was my brewing and fermentation setup. In the UP I never had to worry about fermentation temps or taking extreme measures to cool my wort after a boil since so most of the time temps are below 70 degrees. In south Texas we don't keep our house below 78 degrees and hose water used to cool my wort with the counter-flow chiller is just short of bath water. Needless to say I had high fermentation temp off-flavors that I hadn't experienced and it nearly ruined an imperial russian stout I had been excited to brew for some time.
Now that the background is out of the way I'll take you through my progress from small kegerator to the new and improved kegerator / fermoire.
First I would like to thank the following posts for the ideas and documentation they provided:
I started out with a simple mini fridge that could fit 2 kegs and a 5# co2 tank. It served its purpose but I knew I always wanted to upgrade
I took the top and the door off and built a box around it. I thought I had more pictures of this process but they've disappeared somehow. I just used 1x2s to build a frame and plywood for the walls. It looks cheaper this way but I was going for something functional for a good price that swmbo wouldn't throw out. I added 3/4" sheet insulation around the fridge and it fit snugly. To the rest of the box I have 2 3/4" insulation between one foam sheet and a lot of extra sheet insulation I found in the attic. Oh! Never let home depot cut your plywood sheets. This unit was definitely not square because they can't cut straight. I don't have the tools to make those longer cuts so I had to make do with what they gave me.
To keep the condenser cool I drilled 5 holes to allow air intake.
Here I have all the insulation installed, the plywood floor, and everything has been caulked and sealed
I attached 3 fans to a 15v dc adapter. Two of these fans (both 90mm) are seen in this picture and remove hot air from the condenser. The other fan will be seen in a later picture and moves air within the unit. also in this picture is a setup of the aquarium temperature controller. I followed the post listed above and installed the unit in a small project box. I keep the fridge plugged into this and have it set for 9 degrees C. The temperature probe wire and the 3rd fan wire run to near the top of the fridge where I drilled a hole and sealed it.
I toyed around with real stone and decided that for the price and pain of installing them i was better off going with laminate. I cut the 18x18 sheets of laminate into 6x6 squares and used caulk grout to fill the spaces. I also used a bit of mastic to make sure they stuck and didn't go anywhere. This is a pic of testing the spacing
These next pictures are the last I will upload for this project. It is 99% completed. I'm still trying to decide how I want to do the last bit of trim on the back side. I'm either going to put handles on the door or leave a gap in the trim so I have somewhere to grab.
This is a picture of the front of the unit. A wedding gift of a nifty leaf tray that we've been using as a drip catch.
This is the back of the unit.
Inside the unit with 3 kegs (and an unseen carboy).
This is a picture of the inside of the unit. I wrapped up all the insulation in that metalic tape and also added weather stripping to the door. I have two 6" copper pipes running up into the tower. I used pipe insulation I had sitting around to wrap the pipe. I ran 10" of line from the kegs to the tap. I tested it out and the beer comes out perfect. You can also see the circulation fan I mentioned earlier.
Thanks for checking out my build! I hope it helps some folks out on their future projects.