Horizontal tap handles vs tap tower?

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So I have a Whirlpool mini fridge that i'm going to convert into a single keg kegerator. The obstacle i have to get around now is figuring out where the cooling lines run if i want to drill a hole in the roof and mount a single tap tower to the top of the fridge. That is looking like it's going to be much more difficult to do, as there's not a seam on the fridge casing to pull off and easily see where they run. I read one article about mixing cornstarch and alcohol and spreading it across the top of the fridge, setting to the coldest and in about 20 min there will be a reaction that will show me where the lines are...I may still try that,

BUT

I was also thinking it would be monumentally simpler to just drill through the door (no cooling lines there) and mount the tap handles horizontally there.

My question to you all of you is, is there a benefit to one versus the other, door vs tower? Other than looks, of course, and, i suppose, convenience for your hands when reaching to operate the tap?

If there's no real benefit then i may go with the path of least resistance, despite already having a single tap tower (i have another kegerator in the house that i'm upgrading to a 2 tap tower, so i'll have the single tap tower as a spare).

Thoughts?
 

Dr_Jeff

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Through the door works fine, although it can be tough to tighten the nut securely inside.

You can get a general idea as to where the coolant lines are, just by setting the thermostat colder than it is now, causing the compressor to kick on and just feeling the outside of the unit for where it gets warm, run your hands on the sides and top. It will give you some idea as to where they run. You can also look up the make and model, find service documentation for the unit and it should have an exploded view, somewhere in the document or in the parts document.
 
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Through the door works fine, although it can be tough to tighten the nut securely inside.

You can get a general idea as to where the coolant lines are, just by setting the thermostat colder than it is now, causing the compressor to kick on and just feeling the outside of the unit for where it gets warm, run your hands on the sides and top. It will give you some idea as to where they run. You can also look up the make and model, find service documentation for the unit and it should have an exploded view, somewhere in the document or in the parts document.

I've searched high and low for documentation on the unit and all i can find is the generic user manual that comes with it....and that doesn't show anything useful. but i'll try what you suggested and use the door option if i don't feel comfortable drilling through the top.
 

william_shakes_beer

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my understanding is if you make a slurrey of water and baking soda and paint it onto the frige while running it will show the location of the refrigeration lnes.
 

bkboiler

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just drill thru the door... (unless u own a flir)
other benefit is access...when u stuff the thing full of kegs, u have full access to the back of the shanks when the door is open.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, mini fridges are so disposable it's not unusual that even exploded parts views cannot be found...
 

RogerMcAllen

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other benefit is access...when u stuff the thing full of kegs, u have full access to the back of the shanks when the door is open.

This. You want the taps facing the front so they are easy to reach. You want the door on the front so it is easy to load. Opening the door not only makes the shanks visible, but also moves them out of the way.

Also, the door is removable. This means you can take the door off and attach it to a wheeled trash can. Drop in the kegs, add some ice, and you have a portable kegerator. It also means if the fridge dies you can just buy the same model and switch the doors without needing to redrill.
 

KeggleBrewer

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Through the door works fine, although it can be tough to tighten the nut securely inside.

You can get a general idea as to where the coolant lines are, just by setting the thermostat colder than it is now, causing the compressor to kick on and just feeling the outside of the unit for where it gets warm, run your hands on the sides and top. It will give you some idea as to where they run. You can also look up the make and model, find service documentation for the unit and it should have an exploded view, somewhere in the document or in the parts document.
The easiest way to secure the nut is to put the shank into pvc pipe so you are tightening on the pipe and not the door.
 

DuncB

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I'd be wary about putting the taps thru the side, just move the fridge to a more convenient height and put tap thru door.

Sides are complicated
 

DuncB

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from the show us your kegerator forum ( don't read all the pages!! ) but the picture shows condenser lines, laser thermometer might work as well.

I had no luck at all with the distribution pattern of the cooling lines when I contacted the manufacturer ( they said it was an industry secret ), they seemed to think that a fridge that was 15 years old was likely to be remade and marketed by a competitor if they had these details. I would just cut one up if I was hell bent on cloning one for my production line.

Following up to Uslackr and Neobrew and concerns about airspace etc. We have a similar freezer to the one Uslackr converted, I had lined it up as a keezer convert but wife decided food storage. Though I do have some room for my hops so some result there. Another fridge now purposed as kegerator . Picture will follow of that at some stage.
Some fridges and freezers have their Condensers on the back ( that dusty black grille ) this tended to be the old fridge way and also for commercial fridges and freezers. Keep this clean if you have one improves efficiency.
Modern fridges and freezers tend to build the condensers into the walls of the fridge or freezer, this keeps it all neat and tidy. But the condenser needs airflow to help it work. Insulating it with wood or improving your fridge insulation on the outside reduces the ability of the condenser to work and the other components will have to work harder and use more energy.
So drilling those holes over the grill is helping to keep the pump/ compressor cool but little else, the wood is actually holding heat in towards your freezer.

Have attached a couple of photos showing the condenser array taken with my FLIR camera for our freezer, and also for the side of my ferment fridge.
The areas that are glowing are also warmer to the touch.
Consequently better to have your insulation inside the freezer, but that " wood " spoil the look.

Also of note is that if you aren't putting your taps in the door ie side taps you have to be very careful to not hit these condenser pipes as that will finish your fridge or freezer.

Obviously your keezer works and looks good , but you may be using a lot more energy and shorten its' life.
View attachment 722348 View attachment 722349 View attachment 722350 View attachment 722353 View attachment 722352
 

vandalay

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I drilled a hole in the roof of my Whirlpool and so far no problem. A technician told me that there are no lines on the roof, although there are lines on the side walls and on the rear panel

08 versión final (19).jpeg
 

DuncB

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Like the beer engine, I have finally sourced one down here at a good price and will be cleaning and checking it out before use in the next few weeks.
Any good resources or tips about the beer engine or did you just general search for info which I've already done.
 

vandalay

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Like the beer engine, I have finally sourced one down here at a good price and will be cleaning and checking it out before use in the next few weeks.
Any good resources or tips about the beer engine or did you just general search for info which I've already done.
In this part of the world (Argentina), beer engines are not as common as I would like. The norm is to follow the American style in beers, AAA, American IPA, NEIPA and other hoppy and sparkling styles. These styles are not the type to benefit from using a BE. None of my fellow homebrewers have a BE so I'm a bit self-taught, but although there is a lot of information on the WWW, the best insights I have gotten from UK forums.
Once you get to know the BE and the associated paraphernalia, it doesn't end up being that complex.
What I can anticipate is that any hop flavor or aroma is generally going to be destroyed by a BE, the beers that will benefit the most are those with a malty character and of course low carbonation.
Another thing I can tell you is that you have to get a "cask breather" or "aspirator". Your beer will not last in good condition if you use BE in the traditional way unless you consume it immediately. The "breather" can also be replaced with a propane gas regulator. These regulators do not withstand the pressure of a co2 tube, so the pressure must first be lowered with a traditional co2 regulator.
These regulators end up delivering just enough CO2 to overcome the vacuum produced by the beer service, avoiding the entry of oxygen and the consequent oxidation.
I do not know the etiquette of this forum regarding the mention of other forums or documents posted in other forums, but there are many places across the ocean from which to get very good information.
Excuse my English, it is a mixture of Google Translator and what I remember from my long, long time ago studies.
I hope this has been useful to you.
 

DuncB

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Vandalay thanks for your real world experience. BE are rare here in NZ as well, as a Brit now in Covid exile my only past experience was as a customer at home.
Again here the craft scene is cold, hoppy and gassy in most bars, a few with Beer engine, but true cask ale a real rarity. I think less than half a dozen BE in Wellington city bars yet more than twenty microbreweries on a population of 215000 approx. Couple of smaller places nearby also have Beer engine, but I'd say less than 10 within 100km of me.

I have a British Bitter from 5 points brewery recipe I'm going to brew this weekend and the brewery have been very helpful with the recipe so should be ready to go in time for a working BE.

I'm considering 2 options with the " cask " one is to condition in the small 5 litre kegs and then use them one at time for weekend session and just let them breathe. Other option is the beer in a bag which collapses as the beer is pulled. Not quite as traditional but meant to work well.
For your info I regularly link to helpful videos and internet sources in my posts. Haven't had my wrist slapped yet and many others provide helpful links in their posts.
 

vandalay

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Vandalay thanks for your real world experience. BE are rare here in NZ as well, as a Brit now in Covid exile my only past experience was as a customer at home.
Again here the craft scene is cold, hoppy and gassy in most bars, a few with Beer engine, but true cask ale a real rarity. I think less than half a dozen BE in Wellington city bars yet more than twenty microbreweries on a population of 215000 approx. Couple of smaller places nearby also have Beer engine, but I'd say less than 10 within 100km of me.

I have a British Bitter from 5 points brewery recipe I'm going to brew this weekend and the brewery have been very helpful with the recipe so should be ready to go in time for a working BE.

I'm considering 2 options with the " cask " one is to condition in the small 5 litre kegs and then use them one at time for weekend session and just let them breathe. Other option is the beer in a bag which collapses as the beer is pulled. Not quite as traditional but meant to work well.
For your info I regularly link to helpful videos and internet sources in my posts. Haven't had my wrist slapped yet and many others provide helpful links in their posts.
From what I have seen, both systems are used, with the folding bag being the one that, I believe, is the one most used among lovers of real ale.
The star of this system is the "bag-in-box".
It involves less use of "barrel vents", "aspirators" and other devices.
I paste the link and I hope that no one gets mad at this very enlightening document on this subject. Its author is Paul Baldwin AKA Peebee from UK: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5tRM-5EQUhZbDNPdmV1bWc/view
I take the liberty of doing it since the author has shown his generosity by offering it every time a homebrewer has any concerns about the subject.
 
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