Kegerator build: need help deciding how many taps

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Tom R

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In my case, the shank nut tightens against the inside surface of the metal door panel. I needed a larger hole to be able to tighten the nut (and install the lockwasher).

You can also see the plywood rings that I used to stiffen the shanks. I didn't want to remove the liner, it has shelves that are useful to me. But I also didn't want to tighten against the door liner, it is too compressible. And I really didn't want the shanks to be able to rotate once mounted. With this method, the shanks can be torqued plenty tight. And I get to keep my shelves.
IMG_0621.JPG
 

Oleson M.D.

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There is no such thing as too many taps! Just like there is no such thing as a garage that is too big.
 

bwible

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IME, having the gas bottle, and regulators, outside means you have more room for kegs.
Depends on the design of the kegerator. Mine has a little shelf inside in the back with metal brackets to hold the co2 tank in place. I don’t even think a 3 gallon corny would fit there. And there’s no hole to run a hose through. Mine is a kegerator, not a converted fridge. But with converted fridges and freezers this is probably mostly true.
 

bwible

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I’m a big fan of CO2 in small paintball tanks. You can easily have two or more in the fridge just laying on top of the kegs or hanging beside on reg hoses. Easy to have kegs at different pressures for carbonating & serving. And you never lose a whole tank of CO2 if there’s a gas leak.
This is one of those issues thats been debated up and down the block. What is the current consensus on this? Is CO2 just CO2 or are there real differences between “food grade” and tanks and cylinders that are not labelled food grade? I remember hearing that the little gram CO2 cylinders for bb guns and such have some oil or lubricant added. I’m not sure about paint ball products, I have no experience with those.
 

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This is one of those issues thats been debated up and down the block. What is the current consensus on this? Is CO2 just CO2 or are there real differences between “food grade” and tanks and cylinders that are not labelled food grade? I remember hearing that the little gram CO2 cylinders for bb guns and such have some oil or lubricant added. I’m not sure about paint ball products, I have no experience with those.
I only use the paintball bottles when taking a keg someplace. It SHOULD be straight CO2 without anything added. Personally, it's far easier to swap out the regular size bottles as needed than try to get to the closest paintball supply store that fills bottles. Not to mention the cost of getting CO2 that way is higher than swapping out 5#, 10# or 20# bottles (I have one of each).
 

Ki-ri-n

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In my case, the shank nut tightens against the inside surface of the metal door panel. I needed a larger hole to be able to tighten the nut (and install the lockwasher).

You can also see the plywood rings that I used to stiffen the shanks. I didn't want to remove the liner, it has shelves that are useful to me. But I also didn't want to tighten against the door liner, it is too compressible. And I really didn't want the shanks to be able to rotate once mounted. With this method, the shanks can be torqued plenty tight. And I get to keep my shelves.
View attachment 745317
What I did was to make a "spacer" between the outer skin of the fridge and the inside plastic liner. I took a spear that was removed for a keggel, and cut it to length to fit between the two. Happened to fit perfectly over the shank. Made the install rigid and looks a bit cleaner on the inside, if you have OCD.

If you use a hole saw, you might not need to go "a little" larger. The hole saw will "walk" a little and make a slightly larger hole than the actual size.
 

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I have a keezer that holds six 5-gallon kegs and two 2/12 -3 gallon kegs on the hump. I have 4 taps: 2 for beer, 1 for sparkling water/hop water and 1 for kombucha. When I just had beer on tap, 2 taps were plenty. but when I started kegging kombucha and stopped drinking beer during the week, I needed 2 more taps.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Did anyone go duotight for the gas side? I’m wondering if I should even bother with a manifold and just buy some duotight fittings and build it out as I need it. Maybe add some inline regulators down the road if I need different psi. Any thoughts on that?
 

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Did anyone go duotight for the gas side? I’m wondering if I should even bother with a manifold and just buy some duotight fittings and build it out as I need it. Maybe add some inline regulators down the road if I need different psi. Any thoughts on that?
I would like to hear opinions on this too. I'm in the same decision making boat.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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I would like to hear opinions on this too. I'm in the same decision making boat.
I was thinking about building it out similar to what they have laid out on this board. It would only be worth it to go this route if you intend on using the inline regulators. It seems to be cheaper to go the manifold route but not worth it if you intend on getting inline regulators down the road. Saving money is somewhat a factor for me. And it would be nice to be able to have the option of controlling psi on each line. These are my thoughts so far.

https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Hom...lypropylene-Gas-Board-for-4-Inline-Regulators
 

Beerstein

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I was thinking about building it out similar to what they have laid out on this board. It would only be worth it to go this route if you intend on using the inline regulators. It seems to be cheaper to go the manifold route but not worth it if you intend on getting inline regulators down the road. Saving money is somewhat a factor for me. And it would be nice to be able to have the option of controlling psi on each line. These are my thoughts so far.

Polypropylene Gas Board for 4 Inline Regulators
That is a lot of parts. For my purpose I only need two or three different pressures total across 8 kegs. I was looking at a manifold that has MFL, so you can attach the duotight connectors to it and skip the barbs.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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That is a lot of parts. For my purpose I only need two or three different pressures total across 8 kegs. I was looking at a manifold that has MFL, so you can attach the duotight connectors to it and skip the barbs.
That’s the route I was originally going to go. I think no matter what I’ll be going duotight for the gas side as well. I was just considering eliminating the manifold altogether but I’m thinking I might just go that route and not worry about different pressures for now.
 

Knightshade

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Yes like that exactly
Yeah..think the 5mm ID for gas, 4mm for liquid. If that was the recommended setup, that is what I did. I could look again to confirm.

I'm pretty happy w/it. I use the coiled up one to pressure transfer, hook up to that carbonation cap in the upper right to quick carb in the kegerator itself, or pressurize a growler. The top 4 are 0-15, the bottom one is 0-60, although I'm going to switch it out to 0-30.

I also ordered one of those polypropylene boards, just haven't taken the time to transfer everything over yet.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Yeah..think the 5mm ID for gas, 4mm for liquid. If that was the recommended setup, that is what I did. I could look again to confirm.

I'm pretty happy w/it. I use the coiled up one to pressure transfer, hook up to that carbonation cap in the upper right to quick carb in the kegerator itself, or pressurize a growler. The top 4 are 0-15, the bottom one is 0-60, although I'm going to switch it out to 0-30.

I also ordered one of those polypropylene boards, just haven't taken the time to transfer everything over yet.
That is amazing. Inspiring. I think I might do that. I’m just going for three taps anyway but can easily add to that later if I change my mind.
I forgot that they have a 5mm ID.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I went with 5mm ID EVABarrier for all of my gas systems for the O2 barrier property.
Used something like 50 PTC fittings and ~2-1/2 rolls of tubing total. Worth it though...

Cheers!
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Is there a duotight connection that replaces the barb on a tap rite regulator?

edit: never mind I should have just looked at it. No barb.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Thanks to all of you who responded. I know these kinds of threads are so common but I really appreciate it. All responses were very helpful.
Got 3 nukatap and assemblies, all Evabarrier and duotight fittings for both gas and liquid. Ditched the manifold and got the inline regulators. I’m excited to get this thing built.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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I’m so certain that no one cares at all but I decided to do 4 taps instead of 3 because I found this on more beer and I figured if I couldn’t keep 4 kegs filled I could get this growler filled with something good and keep it on that fourth tap. Plus 4 taps just look better then 3. I’d do 5 but I have to draw the line somewhere. This is becoming more expensive than I anticipated.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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You mean like this?

Hey @Knightshade do you see any issues with putting the regulators inside the fridge? Since Im using Evabarrier tubing I could possibly forego drilling a hole for the gas. If I put the regulators outside like you have them I would have to drill into the side.
 

grampamark

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Do you have a manifold or are you using multiple regulators?
I missed this when it was posted a couple of weeks ago. FWIW, I use a single regulator and a manifold. I don’t see a need to use multiple regulators. When carbonating a new keg I only have the pressure set higher on that keg for 24 hours. During that time, the pressure in the headspace of any other kegs on tap will serve more than a few pints. As always, YMMV.
 

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Hey @Knightshade do you see any issues with putting the regulators inside the fridge? Since Im using Evabarrier tubing I could possibly forego drilling a hole for the gas. If I put the regulators outside like you have them I would have to drill into the side.
I don’t think so? I had some inside for a short period of time and they didn’t fog up or anything. Just put them out, so I could have a cleaner setup.
 

jseyfert3

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Hey @Knightshade do you see any issues with putting the regulators inside the fridge? Since Im using Evabarrier tubing I could possibly forego drilling a hole for the gas. If I put the regulators outside like you have them I would have to drill into the side.
My tank and regulators are inside. There's no issue with it, they work fine. Many others here do the same.
 

Beernik

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I’m in the same boat. I’m the only drinker and seldom have company. I guess its one of those things where if you go with two taps you’ll wish you had more but if you go with three or four you’ll never keep it stocked.
I’m not the only beer drinker in my house but I don’t drink a lot anymore & my wife drinks even less.

I’m working on my build. My freezer is large enough to hold 3 kegs + 1 fermentor bucket or 5 kegs.

My plan is to start with 3 taps on a tower with the ability to expand to 6 taps with one being warm seltzer water. One tap may also be soda.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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I’m not the only beer drinker in my house but I don’t drink a lot anymore & my wife drinks even less.

I’m working on my build. My freezer is large enough to hold 3 kegs + 1 fermentor bucket or 5 kegs.

My plan is to start with 3 taps on a tower with the ability to expand to 6 taps with one being warm seltzer water. One tap may also be soda.
I am having a hard time deciding between 3 and 4 taps. I’m probably going 4 because I know I can keep at least 2 beers at any given time, I can always make a mead or cider because it takes like 5 minutes and some nutrient additions to make, and thinking about doing soda on the other one. This, of course, if I cant keep 4 beers on tap.
 
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I have an MFL on my regulator, just to confirm if anyone knows: when connecting the duotight fitting to mfl that does NOT have the plastic on it like ball locks do, I need that little white washer, correct?
 

Beernik

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I am having a hard time deciding between 3 and 4 taps. I’m probably going 4 because I know I can keep at least 2 beers at any given time, I can always make a mead or cider because it takes like 5 minutes and some nutrient additions to make, and thinking about doing soda on the other one. This, of course, if I cant keep 4 beers on tap.
If I was you, I think 4 would also be my plan.

I guess I should clarify on my post, my first 3 taps are planned for 2 beers & a cider. My expansion would be 2 session beers, 1 heavy beer, a cider, a soda, & a seltzer water.
 
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This Evabarrier is incredible. It’s small enough I can feed the co2 line between the door seal without having to drill another hole in the fridge. It can also bend 90 degrees without kinking. I just cut a small styrofoam block to go over the line to cover and insulate that little bit of gap left in the door seal from the line.

Absolutely amazing.
 
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@Knightshade have you ever had any leaks in your duotight regulators? Mine are hooked up and I have 2 kegs carving. No leaks that I can tell. Hit it all with some starsan and didn’t see anything leaking. But those things just look like they would leak. So many connections. Guess I’m paranoid.
 

Knightshade

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@Summa_Brewologica I haven't. I suspect that like you, my faith wasn't there until it just finally was...but I still kind of wonder from time to time. After my initial hookup, I sprayed with Star San, Soapy Water, etc., watching, waiting to see bubbles and I never did.

A couple of weeks ago I actually turned off gas at the tank for a couple of days and just waited for the regulators to show some movement and they never did even after tap, tap, tapping.

I suspect that this is why I bought the polypropylene board very recently, along w/the stupid precut tubing. I figured with everything just so, and aligned perfectly vs. my done by hand, some tubing not quite the same length..my faith is just a little off, although the setup has yet to fail. It is still sitting off to the side, because I'd have to unhook everything and then the board itself is just a little bit bigger so it wouldn't be flush anymore.....blah, blah..

Williams Brewing did mention to me that if you suspect a leak, to remove the valve and make sure that the o-ring has some keg lube on it, or re-apply as you think necessary for periodic maintenance. I did this when I changed them out for lower PSI gauges.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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@Summa_Brewologica I haven't. I suspect that like you, my faith wasn't there until it just finally was...but I still kind of wonder from time to time. After my initial hookup, I sprayed with Star San, Soapy Water, etc., watching, waiting to see bubbles and I never did.

A couple of weeks ago I actually turned off gas at the tank for a couple of days and just waited for the regulators to show some movement and they never did even after tap, tap, tapping.

I suspect that this is why I bought the polypropylene board very recently, along w/the stupid precut tubing. I figured with everything just so, and aligned perfectly vs. my done by hand, some tubing not quite the same length..my faith is just a little off, although the setup has yet to fail. It is still sitting off to the side, because I'd have to unhook everything and then the board itself is just a little bit bigger so it wouldn't be flush anymore.....blah, blah..

Williams Brewing did mention to me that if you suspect a leak, to remove the valve and make sure that the o-ring has some keg lube on it, or re-apply as you think necessary for periodic maintenance. I did this when I changed them out for lower PSI gauges.
I opted for that board as well. I read that those pieces were 50mm so I cut some 8mm tubing to that length. Seems to be good but like I said everything just seems so sketchy.

I didn’t change out the gauges but I did pull each one out to change the orientation. I did not think to apply keg lube or anything. Nothing Is leaking, that I can tell. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see and hope for the best.

On the morebeer site, someone mentioned using m4 x 16 screws. I can confirm that they work for installing the gauges, in case you didn’t see that already. Pack of 12 at Lowe’s was $2.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Here’s the final product. I’m thinking about covering the water and ice dispenser on the freezer side with a chalkboard of some kind to list the beers. It isn’t hooked up to water and is inoperable. I’ll also put a drip tray on at some point. Other than all that I’m pretty happy. All the gas is hooked up and lines are cut for the beer but I haven’t hooked those up yet.

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41E2C8D2-A928-4F03-BA0E-015FF6A2FB74.jpeg
 

Knightshade

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Veddy nice!

Is there any need/desire to for seltzer water? Not certain how to tie that into water dispenser, but a thought?

Otherwise, like the idea of covering with a tap list of for no other reason to clean it up a bit.
 
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