I know I'm something of a rare bird here, as I work on a *seltzer* rather than beer setup. But I know the equipment overlaps quite a bit and there are some really experienced soda techs on here. Basically, I'm looking to hack a Cornelius Venture Pre-Mix Soda Fountain into an undercounter seltzer unit.
If you don't have experience with *continuous flow* seltzer (as opposed to force carbed seltzer) or ice-bank soda fountains, you probably don't want to waste time reading further.
I invested a bunch of time and money into a setup with a McCann's Big Mac, running at ~95psi to a 3-gallon refrigerated corny, dispensed with a post-mix soda dispenser
. The results are ho-hum. The bubbles aren't quite soda can or seltzer bottle level -- they're more Perrier like (about 2 volumes of CO2) rather than big/biting (about 4 volumes of CO2). And the quality quickly degrades after a couple pours (as the room temperature carbed water mixes into the ~34 degree keg water). I'm told by some very knowledgeable seltzer folks that the ONLY way to get true continuous flow seltzer is by passing it through a wet ice-bank -- the passive corny in the fridge just won't do.
Flash chillers are over $1000. Way too much for me. The cheapest way to get a wet ice bank is buying a used fountain, like this Cornelius Venture
But, since this is for a *home* installation and I want a minimal footprint (I'm not putting a soda fountain on my counter-top), I wanted to see if I could "hack" it into a (slightly) remote unit. Basically, I would store this in an outdoor cabinet on the other side of our kitchen wall. I'd need about 3-4 feet of line to get it into the house and up to a tower or gooseneck tap.
I found an exploded view
of the unit that shows an easy way to connect beverage line where the built-in faucet normally would connect. That solves the first issue. I think.
The next issue is going to be keeping that 4 feet of line chilled. When I was doing this in a fridge-based setup, I was going to run cooling fans through pvc housing the beverage line. I doubt I can do that with the ice-bank system. Does anyone with familiarity with the Venture model know whether there may be a way to use the icebank and a fan to mimic a kegerator tower cooler? It would take some creativity, but it might be possible.
Anyway, I know this is a weird project. But I thought some soda installers/techs might have enough familiarity to tell me if this might be possible.
Thanks in advance. And please feel free to suggest other approaches!