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Old 08-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #1
EFaden
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Jan 2006
Rochester, New York
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Hey All,

I added a McCann Big Mac Carbonator to my system. My wife drinks a lot of seltzer and it seemed like a fun project. I picked up the carbonator used and it was pretty cheap. I hooked it all up this morning. My setup is as follows...

Water Line -> Carbon Filter -> Pressure Reducer -> Carbonator -> 5 Gallon Tank via Gas In -> Liquid out to Perlick 525. The only issue I ran into was that spring on the gas in popet wasn't strong enough to open the disconnect up so I wound up just removing it and sticking a needle valve on it to control the flow. It's a hack, but it worked...

Let me know if you have any questions. Just thought people may find it cool... see the photos.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
KevinM
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Sep 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Glad to hear you made the decision. What was the cost breakdown? I think mostly of the carbon filter and the carbonater unit. Definately something I'd like to look at when I get out of the apartment. Let us know the full results after a day or two. I assume that even though you're getting cold water into the keg, you're probably chilling it a bit further.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
EFaden
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Jan 2006
Rochester, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Glad to hear you made the decision. What was the cost breakdown? I think mostly of the carbon filter and the carbonater unit. Definately something I'd like to look at when I get out of the apartment. Let us know the full results after a day or two. I assume that even though you're getting cold water into the keg, you're probably chilling it a bit further.
The carbonator was $160... the filter + adapters ran about $50 (with the filter). Not too bad. I'll post results after I let the keg chill down to fridge temps.

Basically I used the carbonator to fill the keg with 5 gallons of room temp seltzer, then closed the lid, pressurized it, and put it into the fridge. My hope is that once that keg w/ 5 gallons gets down to fridge temps I can flow cold seltzer as it is displaced by room temp seltzer and so on. I should be able to get at least a few gallons of cold seltzer before it needs some more recovery time.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #4
ryandlf
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Mar 2011
Charlotte, NC
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I love your regulator!
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:13 PM   #5
ryandlf
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I looked it up but can't figure it out. What exactly are you using the carbonator for? Is it for beer or just seltzer?
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
KevinM
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Sep 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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I think mostly seltzer, which can be used for sodas as well. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/carb...er-tap-250351/

Though locationarily I'm now confused, but the setup's the thing. As mentioned, the refilling process is why I'm interested in a few days from now. I expect it to be fine. Except that now I keep eyeing my apartment walls, considering the best place to drill through so I can run a water line from one of the sinks to a carbonation unit.
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Primary: Sake
Secondary: GF Czech Lager
Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
Bottled: Infected Mead, Dry Hard ciders, Accidental Sorghumwine, various unnamed.

 
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:00 PM   #7
david_42
 
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Oct 2005
Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I looked into a powered carbonator, but my local water isn't all that great. I haul cornies of water up from the country place and carbonate them in the fridge. The downside is the first couple days after a swap-out the water is relatively flat. Working on a kegger under the counter in the wet bar (aka downstairs kitchen). I'll have two water kegs there, one online, one charging.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:51 AM   #8
EFaden
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Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryandlf View Post
I looked it up but can't figure it out. What exactly are you using the carbonator for? Is it for beer or just seltzer?
Seltzer and soda. It is what a soda fountain at 7-11 uses.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
marzsit
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Sep 2009
kent, wa.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFaden View Post
The carbonator was $160... the filter + adapters ran about $50 (with the filter). Not too bad. I'll post results after I let the keg chill down to fridge temps.

Basically I used the carbonator to fill the keg with 5 gallons of room temp seltzer, then closed the lid, pressurized it, and put it into the fridge. My hope is that once that keg w/ 5 gallons gets down to fridge temps I can flow cold seltzer as it is displaced by room temp seltzer and so on. I should be able to get at least a few gallons of cold seltzer before it needs some more recovery time.
my system is similar, although my carbonator is a selmix santa fe fast flow model with a bigger tank than your mccanns unit. i have found it best to force carbonate a full keg of water at 70-80psi overnight, then connect the carbonator and tap lines to the keg, basically with the keg already chilled down and carbonated the external carbonator will maintain a better flow than if you start with warm soda in the keg.. but, YMMV as always

now that you have a steady supply of soda, you can think about adding postmix heads (faucets) to your system..... well, not really simple faucets, but faucets that mix soda with flavored syrup.

 
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
EFaden
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Jan 2006
Rochester, New York
Posts: 545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marzsit View Post
my system is similar, although my carbonator is a selmix santa fe fast flow model with a bigger tank than your mccanns unit. i have found it best to force carbonate a full keg of water at 70-80psi overnight, then connect the carbonator and tap lines to the keg, basically with the keg already chilled down and carbonated the external carbonator will maintain a better flow than if you start with warm soda in the keg.. but, YMMV as always

now that you have a steady supply of soda, you can think about adding postmix heads (faucets) to your system..... well, not really simple faucets, but faucets that mix soda with flavored syrup.
That actually sounds like a better idea.... Which carbonator do you have? Is a bigger tank better? Did you have any issues with the disconnects not opening?
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