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Old 09-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #1
runningweird
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Dec 2009
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So I got an old 6 tap tower from a kind gentleman in Florida and I set about trying to get my giant 26 cubic foot freezer inside the house so I could make a keezer. Needless to say the house is too small and the freezer to big, so in a flash one late night I decided to put the kegs in the basement in a fridge and run a line upstairs to the tower.
This is how it started – a cheap pine cabinet from Just Cabinets – I am not a woodworker( at least not a good one) and the tower.

The original owner had dissasembled the tower for shipping, and after an hour in a hardware store searching for a bolt/screw that I thought would work I gave up and called perlick. They said haha you are dumb, not a screw, a pop rivet. So off to the pop rivet section I went. a few stainless washers and I was all set, what was once a rickety tower was now sturdy and solid.



I ordered a 100 foot roll of that bev line offered by BirdManBrewing a while back in the vending section. That stuff is hard to get on the barbs but once on there it will not come off.

you can see that I added hose clamps - i was just trying to be cautious and as of right now with three lines running there are no leaks.

After reading about how to keep beer cool along the lines I was either going to use the glycol setup in the tower or use a fan, the space constraints got me to go with the glycol lines - instead of glycol I am using saltwater in a bucket in the freezer of my fridge downstairs and a 29 dollar pond pump from Lowes that advertised a head height of 4.1 feet.


The glycol setup was made of copper while the beer lines were stainless steel coming out of the tower. Onto the copper glycol pipes I fitted 1/2 inch vinyl tubing - around 15 feet long on both the in and out - and onto the beer lines I put the accuflex bev tubing. Getting those on was tough and required lots of cursing and two pots full of hot water. A pro tip for using this stuff - use welders gloves to handle it after taking it out of the hot water.


To make the trunk line - instead of buying one for 98 dollars a foot premade - I placed all the beer lines around one of the vinyl tubes(which had been arbitrarily chosen to be the "cold fluid to the tower" line in a semicircle to keep them in contact with the cold fluid and keep down foam. I secured the return line to the back of the cold line and secured them all together with zip ties every few inches. I know that professional trunk lines have a plastic interior, so I decided to make the interior easier to work with and try to stop condensation by wrapping the entire thing in saran wrap. worked pretty well and made getting the foam closed up easier than it could have been.



The foam had two self adhesive sides that stuck together to hold the tubing shut, I wanted more than that so I decided a wrapping with electrical tape would help - and it did. It made feeding the line through the hold I cut to the basement a lot simpler and rip free. I even had my son help me do it - and telling an 11 year old what to do with something like this while you yell commands and directions through the living room floor is not supposed to be as easy as it was.




EDIT: I had one of the QD posts break off of the bev seal line and tried the boiling water thing to fix it( which involved a jet boil stove, a headlamp and me burning my fingers and some arm hair. I bought a heat gun for $20 from True value which made working with the tubing so much easier. A heat gun is a must for anyone using this tubing.



Reason: trying to help the project seekers

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
runningweird
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I was initially prepared to drill through our hardwood floors, then I thought about this hideous knicknack cabinet next to our fireplace one room of our house that we had previosuly had covered with a bookshelf, so I drill through that.

and into the basement along the foundation - lucky placement.


I cut a hole in the fridge - I tried with a hole saw but quiclky went to my old friend the angle grinder.
The hole had some sharp edges but a flapper pad and some weather tape made me forget about those. I fed the trunk line through the hole, along with the co2 supply and the power cord for the pond pump(which I hope will function well in sub freezing temperatures) and sealed up the hole with duct putty.



The inside of the fridge is an aweful mess - I have no idea how to organize the lines for the co2 distributor and the beer lines, I will figure something out if I really need to.


I had thought that in order to fit 6 kegs in my fridge I would need to remove the door shelving, luckily this fridge is perfect and can fit 6 kegs without further modification( which is good because after three days of puttering with this stuff I was ready to drink and not work on planning to drink)

Chilling the Line
In the image below you can see the chilled salt water lines routing up to the freezer compartment

in order to power the pond pump seen working in its saltwater bath here


The pump and chiller work great, I have to dial in the temperature dial on the freezer so that I don't accidentally freeze any of my beer lines if they are exposed to sub freezing temps for long period of times( probably won't happen but who knows)

here is what it looks like when its running, you can see the return line on the top rim of the bucket( high tech I know) the flow is great, moves liquid well even though the top of the tower is easily 6 or 7 feet above the freezer. The faucets, not the tower, are cold enough to be drawing condensation already just a little while after chilling the salt water.


Below is the almost finished project ( i need 3 more Perlicks and need to make 3 more tap handles - as well as paint/stain the ones pictured here)


I still need a drip tray for this thing - anyone know where I can get a cheap 18 inch long drip tray to put under the taps?

I will post a picture of my pours from my taps when I get all the kegs chilled down - initially the warm beer was foamy but as I continue to pour more testers its getting better and better



 
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
weirdboy
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Quote:
a 29 dollar pond pump from Lowes that advertised a head height of 4.1 feet.
So, uh...have you tested that the pump can actually get the saltwater all the way up to the top of the tower from the basement?

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Old 09-29-2011, 01:21 AM   #4
runningweird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
So, uh...have you tested that the pump can actually get the saltwater all the way up to the top of the tower from the basement?
yeah, it works great, pumps all the way up and down, I did have to help it up the line the first time but after that its going like a champ

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Old 09-29-2011, 01:37 AM   #5
runningweird
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Here is a picture of the coldest beer I have pulled from the tower, they keep getting colder and man are those perlicks nice to use.

this is a honey belgian double that I made a while ago

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Old 09-29-2011, 02:23 AM   #6
JRems
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How long are your beer lines? What size are they?

 
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:35 AM   #7
runningweird
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its this stuff: Accuflex Bev-Seal Ultra barrier line 3/16"
I bought from Birdman brewing supply through the vendors section.

The lines are each 15 feet long from tap to keg.

 
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:37 AM   #8
DannPM
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Dude that is a SWEET setup!
__________________
Time to have some fun

 
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
chemman14
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not gonna lie. a bit jealous. Bad ass man!!

 
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:18 PM   #10
runningweird
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So i had the top freezer compartment on full blast all night, went down to check the salt water pump and its still flowing at a great rate. There is some condensation forming along the outside of the trunk line downstairs and I think i will have to do something about that - perhaps a dehumidifier down there or something.

The beer upstairs is coming out at around 33 degrees from the tap - think I need to turn down the freezer so the lines don't freeze.

but the Salt Water bucket and pond pump are still going strong and I think I have proven proof of concept for using that as a cooling system. I will probably replace the salt water every so many months and might go with propylene glycol at some point to help with longevity.



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