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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > Kegerator tower cooling
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:44 AM   #1
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Default Kegerator tower cooling

I bought a kegerator off craigslist for $25 (no tower, but I already had one waiting for a refrig to become available, instead a commercial kegerator did!). I am waiting for some spare parts to arrive to fix it back up to its original condition, but was wondering what I could do about insulating and cooling the tower. I don't particularly want lots of condensation externally, so I was thinking of possibly insulating it fairly well. I ordered a blower assembly online with a hose to run to the top of the tower, but I was wondering what the best way to insulate the lines was. I saw the following diagram on micromatic' website, showing a tube within an insulated tube design that i think is meant to be used for long runs of beer line:


Would this be the best way to insulate it, or should I run a 1.5" copper pipe up the 3" wide tower and run all the lines and blower up that, then fill the space between the copper tube and the tower wall with great stuff foam insulation? I could also use great stuff foam to fill in the space between the beer line insulation and the tower wall if I built a system like the linked picture above, as well. The insulating foam that came with the tower is just SO WIMPY. Might as well not be there at all. Anyone ever tried blow in insulation on a tower before?

Any thoughts?

Klaus


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Old 11-16-2010, 07:44 AM   #2
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Went to Lowes today to try to find something that would work well as a tower cooler. Ended up buying 5x 3" long 2" diameter copper pipe, sticking them together with metal duct tape, and covering them with insulating rubber tape so it will just barely fit into the tower. It gets about 1/4" of rubber insulation all the way around.

My theory was, I want a thermal mass that can stay cold longer, and then I will run the fan only when the compressor cycles. I am hoping that the copper will cool off and stay cold for a while (it will also extend slightly into the kegerator itself), but the insulation will stop heat from being transferred from the outside in. I also hope this will make it so the tower doesn't start condensing all the moisture in the room onto it and be constantly dripping wet.

When its all done I'll post a picture.

Klaus


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Old 11-24-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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Update:

this method of cooling the tower works VERY well. Even though the recirculation fan isn't running most of the time (it is switched along with the compressor via the Ranco controller), the copper pipe that is in there keeps very cold. The insulation around it prevents all condensation outside of the tower, and I have not had any issues with foaming at all.

Klaus
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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Here is the diagram of what I did. Works great. The upper part not in the diagram was filled partially with great stuff insulation just along the walls. It actually expanded quite a bit more than I was expecting and got in the way of the airflow and required trimming.



The copper tube extends about 2" down into the kegerator, so it also get some cooling from that, as well.

Klaus
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Klaus, (Irish I bet?), I like your thinking and cooling assembly.
On my tower I added a brass plate 6" x 1/4" x 10" long (a 16' slab fell off a delivery truck into the street a free find). American Iron & Brass wrote it off I called on my find told to keep it.
I hole sawed in the center then slipped over my 3 1/2" copper, soldered and secured up with 1/2" nylon spacers for airflow above the brass plate.
This added mass increased the cooling within the tower, yes my taps sweat
I have 68% to 80% average humidity.
I've played with both full time on muffin fans vs on with compressor
only, settled on the muffin fan that cycles by a electronic time delay
cube (eight pin) which cycles every 12 minutes for 30 seconds.
The fan will also run when the compressor runs.
BTW have a happy, safe and warm Thanksgiving....=o&o>.....
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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Wow, that's a good idea! Lucky find. I would love to do this, but I am not so good in the soldering department. Initially I attempted to solder the little copper tubes (each about 3" long) together, but I failed miserably in the process and ended up sticking them together with metal duct tape instead, so they are probably not all that good at conducting heat between them. Right now they are just basically thermal inertial mass. Would be GREAT to be able to transfer the heat comign from the tower to a metal plate in the fridge for better cooling. Perhaps one day I will figure out the soldering process better. It may be an equipemtn issue... I don't have a very powerful soldering iron/torch.

Klaus
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
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A propane torch is a must unless you have a BC plumbers acetylene bottle and torch to heat a large mass. You need a solid connection to pull off your tower tube heat plus more mass inside the keezer, yes you'll see a difference.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:27 AM   #8
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I'll see if I can find anyone here who has a propane torch. Thanks for the advice.

Klaus
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:05 PM   #9
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A large "Turbo Torch" should handle it with enough heat output, those HD torches are for copper up to 1" or 3/4" if soldering a Tee, kind of weak in output. So called "MAPP" gas bottle for more BTU heating, all depends on the amount of mass your adding to the big tower pipe.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:21 AM   #10
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Did you get the metal duct tape and insulating rubber tape at Lowes as well? I'm thinking of doing this myself.



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