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Old 08-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default My kegerator build, two tap tower, external gas.

I recently moved into a new apartment with my girlfriend and we now have space for a kegerator. I started using Cornelius kegs this year but until now I have not been able to easily serve the beer, especially not without using about 8 metres of 3/16 OD line to reduce the needed pressure.

I opted to keep it cheap whilst still buying a new fridge. Unfortunately the choice of fridges in Sweden where I live is quite poor, especially for mini fridges, there are no stainless steel, black or silver painted fridge options at all. Luckily for me it will be standing next to our regular fridge and freezer in the kitchen, these are white so I guess it will fit in better, but it's not going to be the prettiest.

I got a Matsui MUL1308GWE. I measured it up in the shop and found I could get two kegs in side by side without modification to the door panel, excellent. Here's the fridge pre-op:



The first thing I tackled was also one of the easiest modifications. I have a 5kg CO2 tank which means I can't stand it inside the fridge, so I decided to provide a gas in port, I also decided to provide an extra port for beer out for when I choose to use my hand operated beer engine so I can keep the beer cool and pull the beer out through that port. I am using John guest fittings throughout as is common in Europe, especially in the UK, where I'm from originally.

I used John Guest bulkhead fittings to take the line through the fridge wall at the top of the "hump" for the compressor and then out the side of the fridge. I drilled through from the inside to the width of the screw thread on the bulkhead connector then from the outside I widened the hole so I could screw on the lock nut.



These holes will later be filled back in with expanding foam but for now I'm leaving it as is until i've finished the project and confirmed it holds gas without leaks.

The second port is for the beer out, unfortunately the position of it is immediately next to the fridge condensation drain and actually exits the fridge right onto the drip tray from this drain.



Here you can see the drip tray in place, obscuring the beer port. The solution is to drill the drip tray and run the pipe straight through and seal the gap between the drip tray and pipe, probably just with hot glue.



Next I drilled the holes in the side of the fridge in the back corner, I drilled to 10mm (the largest size the drill will take) and expended it them with a dremel, I was a little careless, I should have used masking tape as I usually would but I thought i'd be neat, I wasn't, and ended up scratching the paint, not to worry, I have a paint pen on its way which will easily fix those little scratches



Here it is with the pipes in place, you can see the clear beer line poking through the drip tray and the grey gas line has been bent with heat to avoid kinking and is connected. I can't finish the beer line yet as I'm waiting for a 90 degree fitting to arrive, I don't want to bend the liquid line further than I have to, the slight compression of the gas line if perfectly acceptable.



Next up will be the insulation of the tower. Update to come soon

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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Looks good so far. I'm looking into doing this exact thing, so I'll be following your thread with interest! Thanks!

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Old 08-25-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Update: Insulating the Tower

I bought my tower on Ebay here. It came with perlick 525SS taps and lengths of 3/16" ID hose. I will be replacing the hose to fit in the the John guest system I am using.

Because the tower will be exposed to the fridge space, I wanted to ensure it was as insulated as I could manage. I decided the best plan would be to put a tube down the middle and then fill the void with expanding foam. I also had to leave space for the shanks and barbs as well as space to assemble the taps after insulating.

The tube down the middle is made from 40mm drain pipe. I used some plastic from an ice cream tub to create a leave-in form to create the void for the taps.

Here you can see the construction of the form with some support braces, as the plastic is quite thin (it's also flexible rather than brittle so perfect for this)



It's not pretty, I know, but it will all be encased in foam anyway so that's fine.





I placed some cling film (plastic film) over the top and stood the whole thing upside down on the table to ensure the top was kept nice and neat.



I then filled the space up with expanding foam and let it cure.



Here you can see the end result, a really nice smooth finish on the top with it perfectly centred. Unfortunately, at the bottom it ended up a little off centre but that's no big deal.

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Old 08-25-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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Very cool, well done!

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Old 08-28-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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Default Electronics

The electronics have been by far the easiest part. I'm using an eBay controller which we're all familiar with along with a probe in a yeast tube filled with vodka.

Here's the inside of the thermostat and light unit before I played with it. Notice there are two channels runnind through the moulding around the light bulb enclosure leading to a small hole, perfect for running my wires!!



Here is is all wired up. The control still goes through the fridge thermostat so I can turn it to 0 to turn it off regardless the output from the digital controller. under normal operation I will just have the thermostat set to the maximum cooling. I had to enlarge the hole out the back of the enclosure a small amount to fit the cables. I hot glued them into position to make re-assembly easier.



The controller is the one everyone else uses and how it can be wired has been covered a million times. I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the enclosure but it's pretty simple. out of the back of the unit there are two rubber grommets to stop any rubbing against the aluminium panel.



Here it is all in place with the wires neatly clipped up into place. I haven't taken a picture of the temperature probe but it's in a yeast vial, I hot glued it to a piece of solid core electronics wire so that it would remain stiff and in place in the middle of the container. the hole in the cap was resealed with hot glue.

In this photo you can also see the gas in and beer out ports. on the top of the "hump"

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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Default Tower Mount

In order to mound the tower I needed something more solid than the expanded foam insulation of the fridge to anchor it to. I got an off-cut of OSB from a colleague which was just the right size for my needs. the plastic top of the fridge is supported by a sheet of expanded polystyrene which is in turn sitting on the main fridge body of expanded foam. the polystyrene seems to only exist to support the top and doesn't really add much thermal insulation. As with all fridges of this type, there is also a "web" of thicker support material on the under side of the plastic top, this needed to be removed to keep everything nice and flat.

I started by finding where I wanted to have the tower then carefully tested the area where the hole would be with an awl, checking for any refrigeration lines. although I was already pretty confident that they only ran on the back of the fridge. I drilled the mounting screw holes then the main hole (not shown)



To get the OSB to the right thickness, I cut it in half then glued it together with contact adhesive.



I then cut this now 24mm OSB down to a square, placed it in position then marked where to drill and ended up with this:



The tower came with M5 mounting screws of just the right length. All I needed to do was knock in some tee nuts to the back side of the board to provide a really strong anchor for the tower:



Next, because the wood was now actually a little too thick, I cut down into the insulation to create a 3mm deep slot for the wood. it's not the neatest of jobs but it's going to be well hidden and expanding foam will expand out into most of it later. this has the added benefit of providing some extra lateral support for the tower when the taps are being used.


Next I drilled through the foam, using the hole in the OSB as a guide to keep it all perfectly aligned. I stopped before breaking through the inner wall of the fridge so that I could keep the inside as neat as possible.



As you'll have seen earlier, I placed a tube through the centre of the tower and it's my intention to continue this through the fridge wall and insulate the gap again. The pipe wasn't quite centred at the bottom of the tower so I had to ensure I kept it off centre through the fridge wall. I glued the piece of pipe with contact adhesive and it held VERY well indeed.



I then opened up the last part of the fridge wall with my Dremel (no photo i'm afraid) it means I've got a really smooth transition from fridge to tower, nothing protruding into the fridge (except for beer lines of course)

I then filled the gap up with some more expanding foam and kept it from overflowing using a piece of cling film, a drip tray and a small pile of medical books. the expanding foam will have expanded into the gap between the roughly cut original fridge insulation and the OSB but of course I can't confirm how far. This will also lightly adhere the board to the top of the fridge but I doubt it will be a strong bond.



Finally, for this post anyway, I cut into the original polystyrene which came on the top of the fridge so that I could replace it to support the rest of the top, here you can also see the finished insulated hole.

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #7
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Looking really good. A quality job for sure.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:01 AM   #8
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Love that gas bulkhead fitting! Any ideas where to source that in the US?

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy68 View Post
Love that gas bulkhead fitting! Any ideas where to source that in the US?
I'm afraid I haven't a clue. I already had to get the parts from the UK to be sent to my mother as the only place I found them doesn't deliver outside of the UK.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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Default Insulating the in and out ports

The 90 degree fitting arrived which I need to finish off the beer out line so that i can insulate the holes and fit the drip tray fully.

Here you can see the line now connected the the external bulkhead connector via the elbow.



Next I wrapped the thread and release mechanism of the bulkhead connectors in cling film and squirted in a little expanding foam. I hope that if I need to access this later, I will be able to dig out the foam and with a bit of luck, the bulkhead connector will still be serviceable.



All that was left was to trim the foam flush, install the fridge condensation drip tray with the beer out line running through it then seal around the tube with hot glue

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