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Old 11-07-2012, 05:01 AM   #1
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Default No-drill enclosed kegerator

Hey everyone! I've been brewing for about a year now and regularly lose sleep thinking about a new beer I want to brew. I've been lurking around HBT for quite a while now, but I thought I'd start a thread on a small DIY project I'm undertaking. I'd love your input/suggestions as I get it together.

Here's the deal: I'm a grad student and I live in a rented house. The house came with a spare fridge in the basement, which has sat empty since we moved in. Since it belongs to the landlord, I'm reluctant to start drilling holes in it. My plan is to build a kegerator inside the fridge, with taps available as soon as I open the door. Here's the fridge (you can see I'm racking my newest brew, Kal's Electric Pale Ale):

2012-11-06-22.14.24.jpg

Being a grad student, this will be a 3 phase project to spread out the cost a little:

Phase 1: Corny + CO2 + Regulator + Picnic Tap = lamest kegerator ever. This is just to get the most expensive parts together. This morning I ordered a 5lb CO2 tank, one pin-lock corny, and a premium 2-keg basic kit with a dual regulator upgrade from KegConnection. The dual regulator might be overkill, but I thought it would be nice to be able to serve at different carb levels and I wanted to try to future-proof the setup as much as possible. I took out the door shelves and installed a simple floor, which seems to work well so far (that's a 5-gal carboy for scale):

2012-11-06-22.55.51.jpg

Phase 2: False wall and Perlick faucet. I plan to put up a false wall inside the fridge a few inches inside the door and run faucets through it (with the kegs and CO2 tank behind it). I still need to figure out how I'm going to hinge it and keep it closed, as well as figure out lighting in front of it. I'm thinking about a rope light or LED strip across the top with a piece of moulding to make it look nice (any idea if I could power it from the existing interior light with a light socket/outlet adapter like this?).

Phase 3: Second keg and tap. I just can't help myself. Hopefully will be easy after installing the first.

So what do you guys think? Doable? Suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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I have pretty much this same type of set up. I have a perfectly good upright fridge that I didn't want to butcher to build a kegerator. However, I didn't go through the trouble of building an entire false wall. My set up is a little simpler since I only run 2 taps. I could fit 3-4 corny's plus my CO2 tank inside. My set up also allows me to just use the fridge light to see. I'll have to post a pic later if I remember.

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
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Cool idea! What if you just framed out some 2x4 or 2x6 to mount your taps to?

I like the idea of a stealth kegerator if you will and not butchering a fridge. Only down side is some cold tap handles!

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Old 11-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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a whole false wall seems overkill... i like the idea of a horizontal 2x6 for taps near the top

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Old 11-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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I can see how a wall might be useful so you don't loose your cold air on the floor every time you go for a refill. It seems like a half wall would work just as we'll though.

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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Honestly, I've been going with the false wall idea just to make it as much like a "real" kegerator as possible. I could probably just frame it up like you suggest Gator, but I'd like it to look a little more finished.

I was also thinking that having the taps on the inside would actually be beneficial to reduce gunking of the taps/lines. The whole thing is chilled!

Of course, once the beer starts flowing, finishing it out drops down the priority list.

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:42 PM   #7
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Picnic taps may not be much to look at, but I have found they work well and have not bothered to move beyond them.

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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I'd push up the purchase of a second or third+ kegs over the perlicks. Whether you force carb, prime, or go low and slow - onlyvone keg will result in gaps in beer supply. With only one keg you'll likely end up rushing your brew and burn half a keg "testing"

A picnic tap inside the fridge will work just fine until after graduation. There's an in-fridge build where someone mounted multiple taps on a horizontal band that was pretty clean.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/upri...1/#post2809138

Edit - found rigid picnic tap build thread.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starman View Post
I'd push up the purchase of a second or third+ kegs over the perlicks. Whether you force carb, prime, or go low and slow - onlyvone keg will result in gaps in beer supply. With only one keg you'll likely end up rushing your brew and burn half a keg "testing"

.
Yea...having one keg is like having one leg, tow or even three will work far better unless you want to drink half the time, one keg is always conditioning while the other is ready for consuming.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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Color me convinced. Additional kegs are at the top of the buying list...as soon as my Sugar Mama gets paid again. Good thing SWMBO likes homebrew.

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