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Old 06-19-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on homemade jockey box - you might want to see this...

It's taken me three weeks of nagging a Craigslist seller, but I finally went and picked up this little gem just the other day:





That's a 16V "Kid Trax" SRT Viper ride-on car for kids. It doesn't run, and it only cost me $20 bucks.

I'm going to cut the car in half, width-wise, just behind the dash, and build this car into the ultimate beer-fest jockey box! My homebrew club is very active in the area, and we're always serving at different events in the Pittsburgh area. With this little badboy, we'll be the talk of the town for sure!

One of the first things I need to figure out is how I'm going to build a cooler into this thing. Space is somewhat limited, so while I'm looking for possible options to modify a store-bought cooler to fit into it, I'm also considering buying some plastic sheeting and building my own cooler inside.

What I haven't figured out yet is exactly how the beer will be cooled inside the cooler.

I've googled "How to build a jockey box" and seen everything used from simple food-grade silicon tubing, to copper coils, stainless steel coils, and chill plates.

I'm trying to keep this project from ballooning into hundreds of dollars, so I'm looking for the most cost-efficient option while being able to fit into a somewhat cramped space.

I can get a 4-circuit chill plate for around $160 bucks. My question is, can I beat that using copper or stainless steel coils, considering that I need to attach all kinds of fittings and who knows whatever else... Can I even use copper? (Someone suggested it adds off-flavors, but don't forget this is only for a few hours of use at a time...)

Any input is appreciated, and yes, I'll post pictures of my progress! I start the body work this weekend - painting this puppy Viper GTS Blue Pearl. ;-)

Jeff

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Old 06-19-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
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This is going to balloon into hundreds of dollars, and yes you can use copper in a jockey box...

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Old 06-20-2014, 12:05 AM   #3
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Well yes, it'll be a few hundred. I'm going to try to keep it from being a LOT of hundreds of dollars... :-)

Nice thing is, my work "status" might get me some pretty neat custom parts... ...for free. May have sourced a stainless steel, custom cut panel for the tap handles at no cost, provided a engineering coworker can help me put together an autocad drawing...

And going with copper tubing will save me a fortune. I can always upgrade to stainless or a cold plate later on.


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Old 06-20-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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I'm confused as to how this is going to work out exactly. At CHI Company, you can get 2 2-circuit cold plates (8x12") for about $75 each, but they don't come with fittings. Stainless Brewing has 25 ft stainless coils for $25 each, you could pick up 4 of those, again you'd need fittings and I'm not sure coils for 4 taps would fit. (unless your request for a 4 pass coldplate was for multiple passes on fewer taps) If I were you I'd custom fab a cooler with fiberglass cloth/resin rather than plastic sheeting, unless you have the capability to thermoform the sheeting or the plastic sheeting you're thinking about isn't rigid.

Yeah, I see this ballooning into a money pit. Very interested to see where this goes.

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Old 06-20-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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You should NOT use copper with fermented beer. Sounds cool, expensive, but cool

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Old 06-21-2014, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
I'm confused as to how this is going to work out exactly. At CHI Company, you can get 2 2-circuit cold plates (8x12") for about $75 each, but they don't come with fittings. Stainless Brewing has 25 ft stainless coils for $25 each, you could pick up 4 of those, again you'd need fittings and I'm not sure coils for 4 taps would fit. (unless your request for a 4 pass coldplate was for multiple passes on fewer taps) If I were you I'd custom fab a cooler with fiberglass cloth/resin rather than plastic sheeting, unless you have the capability to thermoform the sheeting or the plastic sheeting you're thinking about isn't rigid.

Yeah, I see this ballooning into a money pit. Very interested to see where this goes.


I find it interesting that on a site with people doing so many crazy projects, no one seems on board with this...

I wont be able to do 100 foot of coil in the car - just ain't gonna fit. Each line will get 12 foot tops. As I'll mostly be serving 3-4 ounces at beer fests, it shouldn't be a big issue. I can't imagine that an 8x14 4 circuit cold plate would have more than that much line in it per circuit anyways...

Now, the fiberglass cooler seemed like a no-go for me, until I found the sheeting at Home Depot for dirt cheap. Now, I'm not sure how I'll form it into the dimensions I want, so I'm working that out now.

Starting the body work this weekend - only up to about $140 at the moment...



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Old 06-21-2014, 01:15 AM   #7
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Default Need advice on homemade jockey box - you might want to see this...

PS, this link, second paragraph under copper, says I'd be fine using it in a jockey box.

https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/1144-metallurgy-for-homebrewers

A few paragraphs down it explains the problem with beer stored in copper, but says that using it in a jockey box "should be fine."

So I think I'll start with a $30 coil of copper and upgrade to a chill plate next year.


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