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Old 08-03-2010, 06:13 AM   #1
hawkeye67
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Default Making a "Kegerator"

Ran across you guys while googling around. I have a GE Mini-Fridge (not sure of the exact model) but it's the one that you can find at walmart. One door, freezer compartment. I'm looking to make something that can hold a half barrel and keep it chilled long enough to finish it off. Not big party throwers, just thought it'd be nice to have a keg we can pour from instead of having to buy the same stuff in bottles and cans over and over.

First, can it be done? Can that fridge hold a half barrel and seal shut?
If so, what's the best way to draw from it? I was thinking that we could maybe just mount a pump-type tapper on top, and run a hose down to the keg/coupler. Am I on to something or am I way off? I'd like it to be:
1. Cheap
2. Functional
3. Decent looking

Pumping is not that big of a deal to me, and I don't want to mess with the CO2 and such. I'd also like to be able to swap out tap handles based on what's in there or just if I find some cool ones.


Any help would be greatly appreciated

Adam

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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That fridge will not fit a half barrel without modification. Search for "dorm chamber" or "cold box" and you'll get the idea.

If your planning on only using a pump style tap, and will usually finis the keg in short periods of time, why not jus get a large bucket with ice? Simply, cheap,and effective. A kegerator would be better if you planned on hooking up co2 and leaving the keg for extended periods of time.

With a pump type system you have to expire the keg within a day or two or else your beer will become oxygenated,ie taste like wet cardboard

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
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There are persistent myths about kegged beer.

A big one is that letting it warm up makes it flat and nasty. Actually, it's not the heat that makes a keg nasty the day after a party. It is the air that was pumped in to push the beer out.

The oxygen in the air reacts with the beer, ruining the taste. Also, since the CO2 has been replaced to a large part by air, you lose carbonation which makes the beer flat.

The point I am driving home is that a CO2 supply is essential. It does not have to be expensive. A paintball bottle, with an adapter and regulator, can probably push out a couple of kegs of beer, and only cost a few dollars to refill at any paintball shop.

Have you tried Cragslist? There are often used kegerators for sale at good prices.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:37 PM   #4
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Cpn Kirk makes a good point about kegs not necessarily having to be cold. If you are looking for a cool way to dispense your beer with buddies, maybe try a jockey box?

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Old 08-03-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. It would be for 2-3 people plus guests every now and again. Usually there won't be mass consumption in a given day. It'll be around a while.

Are there any threads or how-to's about rigging up a small CO2 bottle? I'm pretty much flying blind into this thing. If I make up a jockey box, will I have to keep ice on it all the time, or is there a better way?

Basically, I'm getting bored with summer and am getting the new house ready for the upcoming school year/sports seasons.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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You you brew or just drink Miller/Coors? You might look into the the fridge taps they have now!! Should fit nicely into the small fridge and are all ready to go.


Closeup of taps. They use small co2cartridges that are included I believe.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #7
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A .5bbl might not fit, what about a .25?

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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Also, what about Jockey Boxing the fridge? Would that work out, or would it not be cold enough to adequately cool the beer before it is poured?

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Old 08-04-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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Beer, especially keg beer, needs to be stored cold.

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Old 08-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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If any of you are interested, I picked up some parts and got to work. I went with the Jockey Box Idea, based on some other threads I found here. I have a tub with a coil up in the top of the fridge (near the freezer part, it should result in a nice tub of slush water to keep the line cold), line coming in from the keg and the faucet mounted on the left side of the mini fridge. CO2 pushing the beer. I'm excited. Off to the store now to pick up something to drink

BTW, any recommendations for future beverages? I'm near Des Moines, IA. I'm open to trying crafts and such, just haven't had a lot of experience with different beers. (I live with 2 roommates who believe that Bud Light is the gold standard of the beer world)


Thanks again, and I'll definitely keep coming back here to look around. Being in the store today got my wheels turning and seeing all the ingredients and people buying them made me seriously think about getting into experimenting with brews of my own. But that's a different discussion for another day =P


Edit: the nice thing is that at any point I can change 2 lines and make this thing a full blown kegorator. It won't quite do a 1/2 bbl but it will hold 1 or 2 cornies nicely

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