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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > My first kegerator! Lots of questions, expert advice needed
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:13 AM   #11
Gregwarro
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If you are going to stick with the 20lb cylinder I would cut a hole in the side so you have more room for beer

Then you can use that top shelf for six packs and bombers!

I think the reason they only painted one side is they probably ran out of paint and said F it. lol

My kegerator doesnt look much better than that... but I don't care, its in the garage and it stays cold. That is what really matters.


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Old 07-30-2012, 05:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwarro
if you are going to stick with the 20lb cylinder i would cut a hole in the side so you have more room for beer

then you can use that top shelf for six packs and bombers!

I think the reason they only painted one side is they probably ran out of paint and said f it. Lol

my kegerator doesnt look much better than that... But i don't care, its in the garage and it stays cold. That is what really matters.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:21 AM   #13
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I'm hoping I can make this thing come out nice enough that I can have it in my kitchen alongside my regular 'fridge. After seeing the cost of manifolds with individual regulators, I'm wondering (and again, I am relatively new to this sport), does anyone have any experience using Harbor Freight regulators. I saw a few examples that are less than $10 each including gauges. Granted, the reviews are terrible...

My next question is: Once a keg is carbonated, how much difference should there be in serving pressure? I understand that a heavier beer may take a slightly higher pressure to serve, but is it enough to justify a $200 gas manifold? I'm starting to think that perhaps I could design my system so that whatever needs to be carbonated could be on one valve/regulator, and the rest of the system could be on a set serving pressure. I guess my question now is: How much difference in serving pressure should there be between a (for example) heavy stout or porter, and a lighter lager or hefe? I would much rather spend my hard earned dollars on grain and yeast than pressure regulators. On the other hand, I want my finished product to be the highest possible quality and I would hate to see a good beer drop a notch due to poor carbonation. I anticipate that most of the beers I keep on tap will be IPA's, red ales, and brown ales, with the occasional stout and porter; so what is my most cost effective set up?
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #14
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I pour all of my beer at roughly the same psi. There is generally a sweet spot in between 10-14lbs of pressure. Almost any beer will pour at these pressures. I used to work for a distributor and any time I was setting up a keg I always used 12lbs as my starting point and worked from there.

I adjust to the beer, but 12lbs is a great place to start.

I have no reference to the harbor freight regulators. Probably not an area you want to skimp to much on, as there are usually only two things that make a beer not pour correctly. Temperature and pressure. Oh and make sure you have at the minimum 6ft of line between the Keg and the tap.

What I would recommend is getting a good regulator to start. Since most of your beers above will probably pour at all the same pressure you can run all of those off that. Then when you get ready for a stout of something that you like more pressure you can upgrade. Just have it in mind when you buy your regulator so you can minimize the number of parts you need.

You could by this which would power two kegs:

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...pid-842-2.html

When you are ready add one or two of these:

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...s-pid-841.html
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #15
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I pour all of my beer at roughly the same psi. There is generally a sweet spot in between 10-14lbs of pressure. Almost any beer will pour at these pressures. I used to work for a distributor and any time I was setting up a keg I always used 12lbs as my starting point and worked from there.

I adjust to the beer, but 12lbs is a great place to start.

I have no reference to the harbor freight regulators. Probably not an area you want to skimp to much on, as there are usually only two things that make a beer not pour correctly. Temperature and pressure. Oh and make sure you have at the minimum 6ft of line between the Keg and the tap.

What I would recommend is getting a good regulator to start. Since most of your beers above will probably pour at all the same pressure you can run all of those off that. Then when you get ready for a stout of something that you like more pressure you can upgrade. Just have it in mind when you buy your regulator so you can minimize the number of parts you need.

You could by this which would power two kegs:

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...pid-842-2.html

When you are ready add one or two of these:

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...s-pid-841.html
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Kegged: IPA, Holiday Porter
Coming Soon: Apfelwien, Holiday Porter
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #16
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I run mine with a 20 lb tank on the outside (plumbed through the side) to a 4 way gas manifold mounted on the inside of the fridge. This allows me the keep up to 4 kegs on pressure at any given time. In this setup I have to keep all of my kegs at the same pressure. When I build my keezer I will use secondary regulators, but this was the most cost effective at the time. The gas manifolds can be had for under 100 depending on how many ports the have. Just make sure the one you get has the check valves installed.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:23 AM   #17
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I wouldn't worry about different gas pressures at this point. Also, I would keep the 20lb tank and run a line through the fridge to keep it on the outside.

I started with a 5 pound tank and fairly quickly upgraded to a 20 pounder. I run all 4 kegs at the same pressure, around 13psi, through a 4-port block with check valves.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:36 AM   #18
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keep that 20 lb tank!!!
later if you have the need for another tank you can find a used one or buy a new smaller tank.
the reason I say that is I find it nice to leave my 20 lb tank on the keezer and use the smaller tank for sealing kegs after I fill them and then carbonating tanks when I have a full keezer and now another keg full of beer. you might not have the need to do this right now but later if you're making beer on a regular bases you may end up with a fermentation chamber that could double as a storage/clearing/lagering chamber.
Just give it some thought on what you might want to do in the future before you get rid of something that could end up costing you a bunch of cash later.
As for the second stage regulators. Love the idea of having it but most of your beers will be served at the same psi, or can be anyway. you can get a manifold or make one for much much less.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #19
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I'd keep the keg and sanke coupling, too, unless you get a fortune for it (you won't). You can then serve commercial beer, AND your homebrew. It'd be nice to be able to do that. With the keg, you may need it someday if you decide you want to either ferment in it, serve with it, or cut the top off for a boil kettle. They go for about $30-$50. So, you could get a few bucks from selling it, but I'd keep it.

I now have a 20# co2 cylinder, and I really like it. You can get a decent regulator for $60. Then, if you want more than one beer on tap, a simple T-fitting, or Y-fitting, will let you have two or more. A manifold is nice, but you don't need one.

You need one gray disconnect for each gas line (for each keg you'll have) and one black disconnect for each keg. They are about $7 each. You need some gas line- either beverage tubing or the red tubing from the auto parts store (for air compressors). And you'll need 10' of 3/16" beverage line for each tap. I think you could get all that for $100, with a regulator.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:22 PM   #20
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I highly recommend using 3/16" line and 1/4" barbs on everything. It's a tight fit during assembly, but it will never leak. Believe me, it sucks to lose 20# of co2. All of my gear came with 1/4" barbs except my micromatic regulator. For that, I just swapped the shutoff from an older regulator I had.

Also, some places wouldn't fill or swap my 5# tank, I had to go out of my way to a paintball shop that complained about the connection and that the tank was too heavy for their scale. I upgraded to a 20# tank and swap it near my house for cheaper.


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