Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kenmore 4.6cu ft. Kegerator Build
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
Mike_M
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 49
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Kenmore 4.6cu ft. Kegerator Build

Nothing new or groundbreaking here, but I figured I'd share my first mini-fridge kegerator build. The refrigerator is a Kenmore 94689 4.6 cu ft model. Mine is the model with the black door. It is the same as the stainless steel door Kenmore 94683. It has a slide-out tray for the freezer compartment and a removable freezer door. This makes it easy enough to convert without needing to worry about bending coolant lines as is needed on some other mini-fridges with freezer compartments.

Below is a shot of of the interior after I removed the front door and the freeze compartment. Apparently I forgot to take a picture of it with all the shelves and the freezer compartment still intact. The main problem with this conversion was that the refrigerator is too narrow to fit two ball-lock kegs (it will NOT fit a ball-lock and a pin-lock, let alone two pin-locks). As can be seen in the picture below, there are rails on the side walls that are used to hold the shelves. These will need to be ground down. Also, the temperature control on the right hand side will need to be relocated.



A closer shot of the temp. controller.



Let's get the conversion started. First up is removing the door and cutting out the door shelves. The picture below shows the intact door after it has been removed.



Peeling back the door seal/magnet strip reveals the screws that hold the seal and door shelves in to place.



Here is a picture of the door after the seal and door shelves have been removed.



Two kegs will not fit in the refrigerator with the shelving on the door in place. However, something rigid is required to hold the door seal on the door. I chose to cut out the perimiter of the plastic from the door and use it to mount the seal in place. My first attempt at cutting it out was using a cheap Harbor Freight Dremel knock-off. I don't own a Dremel, and didn't want to spend the money to buy one. For the $8 the HF cut-off tool cost I figured it was worth the gamble. That was a gable I lost. It had very little torque and stalled out quite often while trying to cut through the plastic. My angle grinder and Rotozip would have been too imprecise. I settled on using a jig saw, which made quick work of the cutting. Here is a picture of the frame that was left over after cutting.



This is what the door looks like after reassembling with the plastic frame and the door seal. I suppose I could have used something to increase insulation, but the fit of the kegs was going to be tight enough without sacrificing that small amount of space.

__________________
Mike_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
Mike_M
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 49
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I wanted to remove the housing for the temp controller and light bulb before I started grinding on the interior, so I took a picture of it to show me the wiring layout.



Now it is time to start grinding off the interior shelf rails. The angle grinder made quick work of these, and with a small amount of patience made for clean and accurate removal. This picture is before I removed them all and smoothed them out.



Rather than remove a large section of insulation along the top left and right walls, I made grooves for the keg handles to slide in to. This allowed the kegs to fit while retaining as much of the inuslation as possible. This is a shot of the left side.



Two ball-lock kegs will not fit side-by-side, even after grinding down the shelf rails. They have to be offset. So rather than completely remove them on both sides, I only removed as much as was needed on the right side. This shows how little needed to be taken off and also shows the groove cut for the handle of the right-side keg (as well as my super high-tech protector for the temp. control).



To get the kegs to fit, about 1.5 inches needed to be ground off from the right side shelf rails.



It appears that some refrigerant lines run along the top of this unit. Rather than cut a large hole for the faucet tower, I drilled two holes near the center to run the beer lines through. I believe I used a 5/8" bit so that I could run 1/2" copper tubing.



Looking at the pattern on the inside of what I believed to be the refrigerant lines, I carefully checked if I'd be able to drill mounting holes for the tower. Fortunately the mounting holes lined up along areas that had no lines. These next shots show where to drill the mounting holes with measurements using the grid pattern along the fridge top for guidance.



__________________
Mike_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
Mike_M
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 49
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

The wires are too short to locate the temperature control. Using 18 gauge speaker wire and some butt connectors, I lengthened the four wires.



The box now fits neatly in the top back corner of the right wall, out of the way of everything.



A picture with two kegs inside and the CO2 tank hidden in the back. The 5# tank sits nicely on the back shelf with no real need for modification or extra support. Unfortunately I do not believe a 10# tank will fit. That is a real shame as it only costs about $2 more to exchange a 10 pounder than a 5 pounder.



For extra cooling of the beer lines and tower, I used copper tubing. This is a single 5' section of 1/2" tubing cut in half. It worked perfectly for the tower and 5' beer lines I have.



A shot of the tower mounted on top.



Two final pictures of the finished product.





I just plugged the kegerator in today and it is cooling down nicely. I have two batches of beer crash cooling in my garage fridge before I transfer them to kegs and hook it all up.

It is hard to say how much time was put in to this conversion as I worked on it over a few weeks as time permitted. I doubt it would have taken any longer than three hours if I could have done it in one sitting. Overall I am quite pleased with the results. I can't wait to pour my first beers out of those taps!

__________________
Mike_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
orangehero
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Northeast
Posts: 911
Liked 107 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 184

Default

Will a 6.5 gal carboy fit in there?

__________________
orangehero is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
day_trippr
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Stow, MA
Posts: 10,341
Liked 1234 Times on 997 Posts

Default

Well that obviously took some courage to pull off
Good job on your build! Looks great!

Cheers!

__________________
day_trippr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #6
Mike_M
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 49
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangehero View Post
Will a 6.5 gal carboy fit in there?
I'm not sure. I only have 5 gallon glass carboys and 6 gallon Better Bottles, in addition to some other oddly shaped fermenter buckets. My 6.5 gallon buckets (short and wide, unlike ale pail style buckets) and 5 gallon glass carboys fit in there without problem. I was using as a fermentation chamber until I did the conversion. The short, wide buckets fit in there with the bottom shelf installed in the fridge, and the 5 gallon carboys fit in there without the bottom shelf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
Well that obviously took some courage to pull off
Good job on your build! Looks great!

Cheers!
Thank you! I'm looking forward to finally kegging my beers after many years of bottling. I can't believe it has taken me this long to switch.
__________________
Mike_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
Mike_M
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 49
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

One more picture, this one with everything hooked up and chilling. The beer was at 38℉ this morning, so it has no problem keeping things cold (or even too cold, in this case). I'll see if the stock temperature control works well enough, or if I'll need to build my own.

__________________
Mike_M is offline
ASassyBeerChick83 Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2011, 03:07 AM   #8
pizzachef
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3
Likes Given: 1

Default

Thanks for the write-up! And good timing too, I just found one of these on craigslist and was wondering if anyone had tried converting. Glad to hear it goes pretty well

__________________
pizzachef is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #9
ZeroLozen
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 11
Default

Could you please explain or show photos on how you attached the copper to the top, near the faucets? I like this idea, and am going to entertain the idea sooner than later.

__________________
ZeroLozen is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #10
hypergolic
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 214
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Do you think a 6 gallon better bottle would fit in the fridge before modification?

__________________

Last edited by hypergolic; 11-17-2011 at 10:20 PM. Reason: poor english
hypergolic is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
new kenmore 4.6 cu ft slide out freezer tray *KEGERATOR* help mattp420 DIY Projects 27 05-01-2013 02:21 AM
My Kegerator/Bar Build reddskinnfan DIY Projects 6 02-22-2012 01:59 AM
Vinny V's keezer build - Kenmore 8.8 vince805 DIY Projects 20 07-30-2011 04:29 AM
another kegerator build, a little bit different jordanpace DIY Projects 4 08-16-2010 03:02 AM
If You Have To Build A Kegerator All Over Again ScottishPete DIY Projects 15 05-06-2010 07:03 AM