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Old 10-20-2009, 02:43 AM   #1
eboeing
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Default Custom Refrigerator

Hi, Everybody:

I just stumbled on HomeBrewTalk.com while doing a few Google searches, and I'm really glad I did; you guys seem to have the most active home brewing forum around.

This question has probably been asked before, so please feel free to direct me to appropriate threads.

I live in a cramped apartment and we have absolutely NO room. There's no way my wife will approve of any kegerator even as big as a dorm fridge. (And heck, I shouldn't blame it on my wife; we're so cramped that even I don't want a kegerator that big!)

Perfect for me would be the smallest possible refrigerator that could fit a corny keg. I'm thinking something like a 2-foot tall column with a 12"x12" footprint.

I'm surprised nothing like this exists. But since it doesn't, I'd really like to try building one myself.

Can anybody here direct me to custom fridge-building resources?

Thanks! I'm glad to have joined your forums!



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Old 10-20-2009, 03:01 AM   #2
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I'm not sure how you'd build one, (but I'm thinking peltier chips?)....but also remember you need a CO2 bottle...which has at least the footprint of a keg...plus some....I'd plan on 15x20 for a footprint....

Good luck!


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Old 10-20-2009, 03:05 AM   #3
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Good point about the CO2; I've seen kegerators where the CO2 tank is kept externally, & I was thinking about doing something similar. (Unless of course, that's an absolutely terrible idea.)
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:09 AM   #4
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Welcome to HBT!
It's pretty rare when we get a first post question that hasn't been asked before but I think you might have done it. Congratulations!

I don't have an answer but have you looked at smaller keg option? You can buy 2.5 gallon kegs that could fit in your kitchen fridge. Not quite as cool but with a picnic tap, it would work.

We have a bunch of do-it-yourself guys on here so hopefully one will come along that can help you.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:18 AM   #5
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Lol. I'm VERY surprised none of the enterprising people here haven't looked into this one before.

I considered 2.5 gallon kegs (and even bought the "party pig"-- hated it), but even our fridge is tiny & I wound up having not enough room for food!

I'd say shortyjacobs was thinking along my same lines when he mentioned peltier cooling; I used to hang out with a bunch of hardcore computer overclockers, and all those guys used to design their own custom peltier cooling systems. I figure if they can do that for their computers, I can do something similar for my beer!
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eboeing View Post
Good point about the CO2; I've seen kegerators where the CO2 tank is kept externally, & I was thinking about doing something similar. (Unless of course, that's an absolutely terrible idea.)
That's a fine idea....just wanted to remind you that it still takes up space, either inside or out. If you go the peltier route, hell, keep it outside so you can have a more efficient cooler.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
That's a fine idea....just wanted to remind you that it still takes up space, either inside or out. If you go the peltier route, hell, keep it outside so you can have a more efficient cooler.
Haha, I'm thinking the fire escape/landing is exactly the right place for the thing I have in mind!
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:08 AM   #8
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Have you looked at the Tap a Draft system? I hate bottling and didn't have room for kegging when I first started so I used the TAD system for over a year. It isn't as nice a corny's but I thought it worked pretty well. Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:58 PM   #9
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OK, I've combed through the archives and found a couple of interesting things:

Back in 2008, "TheMiller" wanted to do something similar to what I have in mind, converting a whiskey barrel into a fridge. I'm not sure if he got anywhere with it, but he did post a link to this cool thing, but it's like $375 and you'd have to ship it from New Zealand.

I also found this thread about making a fermentation chiller out of styrofoam, chilled by ice, and then there was this other awesome thing where Yuri Rage welded a cooling device to the inside of a keg!

Unfortunately, it seems like nobody's really been able to make a go of even making a fermentation chiller with a peltier system, much less a kegerator for serving purposes, which would be running 24/7/365.

SO....

I may have to resign myself to finding & buying THE SMALLEST fridge that can still fit a corny keg.

I've found some 2.8 cubit foot fridges, like the Haier NuCool (17.75 x 20.75 x 28.75), the Curtis FR280 (17.5 x 18.7 x 31.9), or Frigidaire FRC03L2DB (19.5 x 19.8 x 27.7). But these are a little bigger than I'd like, and they seem very difficult to find.

Better for me would be the "Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler," which comes in at 17.25 x 16.0 x 24.0. Problems: a) it's meant for camping & tailgating and probably isn't supposed to be left on all the time, and b) it looks like it may be difficult to extend a tap from the top.

New question: Has anybody here tried to make a kegerator out of a Coleman PowerChill (or something similar)? Any pitfalls I should look out for?
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eboeing View Post
OK, I've combed through the archives and found a couple of interesting things:

Back in 2008, "TheMiller" wanted to do something similar to what I have in mind, converting a whiskey barrel into a fridge. I'm not sure if he got anywhere with it, but he did post a link to this cool thing, but it's like $375 and you'd have to ship it from New Zealand.

I also found this thread about making a fermentation chiller out of styrofoam, chilled by ice, and then there was this other awesome thing where Yuri Rage welded a cooling device to the inside of a keg!

Unfortunately, it seems like nobody's really been able to make a go of even making a fermentation chiller with a peltier system, much less a kegerator for serving purposes, which would be running 24/7/365.

SO....

I may have to resign myself to finding & buying THE SMALLEST fridge that can still fit a corny keg.

I've found some 2.8 cubit foot fridges, like the Haier NuCool (17.75 x 20.75 x 28.75), the Curtis FR280 (17.5 x 18.7 x 31.9), or Frigidaire FRC03L2DB (19.5 x 19.8 x 27.7). But these are a little bigger than I'd like, and they seem very difficult to find.

Better for me would be the "Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler," which comes in at 17.25 x 16.0 x 24.0. Problems: a) it's meant for camping & tailgating and probably isn't supposed to be left on all the time, and b) it looks like it may be difficult to extend a tap from the top.

New question: Has anybody here tried to make a kegerator out of a Coleman PowerChill (or something similar)? Any pitfalls I should look out for?
No idea if you could convert it. I just thought I'd mention that both the NuCool and the PowerChill use Peltier chips for their cooling.....not sure if you realized that ....

I know people use NuCools for lagering fridges, (search HBT for nucool), so I bet it would work for a kegerator.


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