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Old 01-09-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Mini-Fridge Door Rebuild

Hello HBT peeps-

I have come across a larger mini fridge and it has one flaw that I know someone out there can help me with-The door does not allow me to fit my fermenter with all the shelving (see pics). I have researched a little and read about people converting their mini-fridge door for kegerators so it must be possible to 1) remove the gasket and take of the plastic liner on the door and 2) rebuild an insulated piece to fit the door but leave me enough room to fit one of my fermenters. Any advice AND pictures of your build would be much appreciated.

My plan of action thus far is this: Use a razor blade to carefully remove seal from door and that should give me access to the screws attaching the plastic liner covering the door. Then remove the liner....that's all I have so far. None of the posts I have found seem to answer if the insulation beneath the liner on the door is molded to fit or if it is just a slab of sytofoam with a liner placed over it and exactly how easy it is to remove/rebuild. From one home brewer to another....please help!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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You shouldn't have to cut the seal to get to the screws. Just move the seal out of the way to expose the screws. You then remove the screws and door panel. However you will still want the outer edge of the panel to put back in to hold the seal to the door. All you really need to do is use a utility knife with the blade only partly out cut the panel just inside the seal. If you want then you can glue a piece of insulation to the door. The door is insulated seperate from the plastic panel. Just a slab of foam.
You can also use a utility knife to remove the shelf rails on the inside to make room for the fermenters if they are too fat.
The only thing to really worry about on these mini-fridges is the ice box section. You need to be really careful where you cut if you need the height.

Don't be scared be careful.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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Got it. Great advice and much appreciated! Here is what I was able to do after fiddling with it for a few minutes. The plastic piece was not screwed on, it had some grooves around the edge by the seal, that let me just peel it right out without removing the seal. The foam is molded to fit but it looks like I can just trim the edges to obtain a semi flat surface for the inside door and call it a day. I may, stressing "may" pull off the foam and try to fit a foam piece from lowes but honestly, it seems like an unwarranted step considering that I could just use some shrink wrap or sealant of some type to put over the styrofoam after I cut it. What do you think?

And the freezer part is something I may not even mess with. After close inspection, the freezer line is built into the ridges in the plastic container of the freezer (see pic). I have never seen that and that is only the first line! There is a second line coming out the other side (not in pic). Considering that I am not licensed to mess with the freon, I have no idea how to move those lines without damaging the system, etc, I may just leave the freezer. I read a thread about carefully bending the freon lines but I don't know...here is the thread I read:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/prep...ge-kegs-76627/

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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So I was able to shape the door with a hand saw. Not to pretty but it will get the job done. I think I will cut out a few sections on the top of the door to allow my 7 gal fermenter to fit but as of now, 6 gal carboy fits great! I am going to try and move the freezer section tomorrow. After closer inspection, the second line is the thermostat which seems easy enough to move. Updates to come!

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
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Great job nothing to it right? All the raised areas on the freezer are the freon, cut anywhere but there. If you bend it do it slow if it even starts to kink stop and DON'T go back up it will crack. It will be well worth the work.

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:55 AM   #6
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Sweet. Thanks! I am so stoked to get to do full 5 gal lagers I have a much smaller mini fridge, slightly visible in the first pic on top of the new, larger fridge. I have been limiting myself to 3 gallon batches and its great to get practice in buuuut now its time to unleash the beast! Thanks for the help!

I am still iffy on moving the freezer portion. I also read that if that freon line gets a kink, I'm boned, as you stated. I need to pull out the fermenter with lid and see how it all fits now, before I do any damage.

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:59 AM   #7
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Lowes/HD both sell a FRP board that will cover that door I skinned the whole inside of my kezzer lay the door seal on top and mark/drill the holessuper easy to clean up beer/wert spills

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaksnbeer View Post
Lowes/HD both sell a FRP board that will cover that door I skinned the whole inside of my kezzer lay the door seal on top and mark/drill the holessuper easy to clean up beer/wert spills
Great advice. Thank you. I was looking at Lowes but I didn't get to finish it today. Hopefully tomorrow. I was able to fit my 7gal plastic fermentor in there last night as is. I may just leave it. I am worried about the loose styrofoam but I went over it a lot with my dyson to get all the particles up. Contamination worries or paranoia?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Lots of pores in the foam for nasties to hide only takes a drop for mold to grow.

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Old 01-11-2013, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaksnbeer View Post
Lots of pores in the foam for nasties to hide only takes a drop for mold to grow.
Yeah I agree. The problem is even if I cut the middle section out, there are still a ton of pores. I need the styrofoam around the fridge door to keep the shape and keep it sealed correctly. I know I can get pieces to fit the size I cut out but the pores are still there, festering. Any thoughts? Ideas? I have heard people use dry erase board to cover it but the germs can still get into the inside of the door. Not sure how to proceed.
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