Portable igloo cooler kegerator

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Dr_Deathweed

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I know there are several portable kegerator threads out there, but the information was kind of scattered when I tried to find if for my build. For that reason I thought I would write up my build with a parts list and links for anyone who wants to build one of these in the future, as well as some tips and pointers that I discovered along the way. All things considered, this is a very easy project that anyone could do, the only problem is the expense of the parts that it requires.

IMG00051.jpg

Above are the parts required for this project:
1 - 70qt Igloo cube cooler ~$50 at Gander Mountain
2 - 3 gallon kegs $80-120 depending on site
1 - pinvalve regulator for paintball CO2 tank link $55
1 - 20oz "paintball" CO2 tank link $22
2 - 4 1/2" faucet shanks with 1/4" tail pieces link $18 each
2 - faucets, leftover from when I switched to perlicks, dont remember the price
2 - tap handles link $3 each
10' 3/16" ID tubing ~$3.50 from home depot
5' 1/4" ID braided tubing - left over from another project
1 - 3 way tee link $5
2 gas connects - standard from anywhere
2 liquid connects - standard from anywhere

Tools:
Power drill with 7/8" spade bit
Framing square
Sharpie marker

I am using the 70qt cooler since I want to fit 2 3gallon kegs in here. The 60qt is plenty big enough for a single keg and is about half the price of the 70qt. The only problem is there is a hump in the rear for the wheels that makes the second keg sit slightly higher and with gas/liquid connects it is impossible to close the lid.

I also used 4" shanks, which as you will see are slightly long. You may be able to get away with 2" shanks, but I just used what I had on hand.

IMG00052.jpg

The first step on the cooler was to measure and drill the holes for the shanks. I went as high on the cooler as possible so that the shanks would slide over the top of the keg in the front, and also so I could put a PVC ring around this at a later date so it will float (project will be documented in the future.) I drilled my holes with a 3/4" spade bit, but this was slightly too small, and my 1" was too large. Instead I just stuck with the 3/4" and slightly enlarged the hole with a dremel tool. The shanks slid right in, and used the nuts to secure.

IMG00053.jpg

This is a shot showing how both kegs fit inside with the shanks. I could probably get shorter shanks, but these were what I had ordered and i did not feel like going through the return process.

IMG00054.jpg

Next step is attatching the beer line to the shanks. I went with 5' of 3/16" ID tubing for each tap so that I can coil excess at the bottom of the cooler where it will sit in cold water and help chill while serving. Also 5' should be enough to help eliminate foaming at a serving pressure of 8-10psi.
 
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Dr_Deathweed

Dr_Deathweed

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IMG00055.jpg

Put regulator on tank, use braided hose, 3 way tee, and gas connects to complete gas system

IMG00056.jpg

Stuff everything in the cooler! There is quite a bit of room for ice, and I plan on putting the CO2 tank and regulator in a plastic bag to help keep dry when in use, however this diagrams how everything will fit inside.

IMG00057.jpg

Finished project with the lid closed! After acruing all the parts, this whole project only took me about an hour to complete. The hardest part was getting the parts, especialy the 3 gallon kegs. I plan on christening this kegerator this weekend and will post "action" shots once I have them.
 

Teufelhunden

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Thats awesome!! Is that a paintball tank? If so, how did you getthe regulator to fit on it?
 
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Dr_Deathweed

Dr_Deathweed

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Still working on the tread, just wanted to get places held before you early responders started chiming in :D Ill go through and answer questions once I finish adding in all my links and prices and everything.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Towers work nice on those coolers, too:



Go to wally world and get a metal bike water bottle holder. Remove the hardware and use some bolts and rubber washers to mount it in a back corner. That will hold the paintball bottle steady.

I can fit a 20lb bag of ice in mine with the kegs and everything else.

Once I have the time, I am adding a "collar" between the bottom and the lid. I thing about 8" will allow me to fit 5 gallon kegs inside.
 
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Dr_Deathweed

Dr_Deathweed

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Thats awesome!! Is that a paintball tank? If so, how did you getthe regulator to fit on it?
The link I posted is for a pinvalve regulator so it will fit directly on the paintball tank. The link PinkyOFloyd posted is for an adaptor so that a regular regulator will fit a paintball tank. If you have an extra regulator you can go the adaptor route, but I was going to have to buy a regulator either way so i just went with the pinvalve. I am considering getting the adaptor and an extra paintball tank for when my 5lb tank runs out on my home kegerator. That way I have a backup incase I run out over the weekend or when I have company (or to drunk to drive to get it refilled:drunk:)
 

cl8n

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Would a 5 lbs tank inside the igloo cube 70 with the two 3-gallon kegs? It looks like you have extra room where the 20oz paintball tank is located. It would be great if I didn't have to get a new tank and regulator.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Would a 5 lbs tank inside the igloo cube 70 with the two 3-gallon kegs? It looks like you have extra room where the 20oz paintball tank is located. It would be great if I didn't have to get a new tank and regulator.
No, I don't think so. It is tight already with 2 kegs and a paintball bottle.
 

danger831

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another option with a 5 gallon keg. I like the two keg option what is the diameter of those small kegs? If they are the same as the five gallon I wonder if you could put two five gallon kegs coming through the top like I did with the single I will have to measure.

 

Cpt_Kirks

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another option with a 5 gallon keg. I like the two keg option what is the diameter of those small kegs? If they are the same as the five gallon I wonder if you could put two five gallon kegs coming through the top like I did with the single I will have to measure.

The three gallon kegs are the same dimensions as the five gallon, only about 8 inches shorter.
 
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Dr_Deathweed

Dr_Deathweed

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The three gallon kegs are the same dimensions as the five gallon, only about 8 inches shorter.

ditto. its a tight squeeze with the 2-3 gallons, and if you have 5 gallons in there you are going to be cutting through the corners of your lid, leaving a not so aesthetically pleasing product. If you try it out, let us know, it would be interesting if it works, and hella cheaper than finding 2 3 gallon kegs.
 

CenturyStanding

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These look fantastic. Do you carbonate the beer with those little paintball tanks too, or do you use a 5# for that?

I've never kegged my beer before, but this seems like an awesome idea for BBQ's and parties. Would be a fun summer project for me to work on.
 

danger831

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I just use the paint ball tank for pushing I use a 5# for carbonating.Not sure about the summer project I think it took me maybe 30 min or so to build after I got the parts together.I built it the morning before a party.good luck
 

kmat123

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I just use the paint ball tank for pushing I use a 5# for carbonating.Not sure about the summer project I think it took me maybe 30 min or so to build after I got the parts together.I built it the morning before a party.good luck
What did you use to cut a hole in the top of the cooler? Also, do you have any problems with foaming by having the faucet screw directly into the disconnect?
 

danger831

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I used a jig saw with a long blade and a hole saw for the paintball tank.Yes some foaming problems but I just turn the pressure down real low I now have the mixer inserts to put it the dip tube to help this problem even more but I have not tried them yet I am out of beer :(
 

brownsbrews

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Those are sweet:rockin: I want one of those for when i goto the beach :tank: $6 beers goodbye lol. Just me and my Wife getting good and toasty lol. What is the parts list and cost on one of those?
 

ubermick

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Okay, now I DESPERATELY want one of these. Cheaper than a jockey box, less hassle... only problem are those damned 3 gallon cornies! I think I'll go the five gallon route, and get a little spray paint action to make it look like...



That's right folks. R2-Beer2
 

snisleziggy

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another option with a 5 gallon keg. I like the two keg option what is the diameter of those small kegs? If they are the same as the five gallon I wonder if you could put two five gallon kegs coming through the top like I did with the single I will have to measure.

What was the size and price of that cooler you used?
 

AnOldUR

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Or you could hack your Igloo MLT so that it subs as a portable kegerator. :eek:



With a small corny the 20oz CO2 tank fits inside and the lid goes on.



At first I tried the 16g CO2 cylinders, but in the long run the 20oz paintball cylinder was the way to go.
 

attitude

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yea I have ball lock and pinlock 3 gallon cornies. I had to modify the sides ( cut out and remove insulation). I'm looking at fiberglass tomake it water tight again. I also used a fire Extinguisher cradle to mount the tanks.
 

MeanGreen

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another option with a 5 gallon keg. I like the two keg option what is the diameter of those small kegs? If they are the same as the five gallon I wonder if you could put two five gallon kegs coming through the top like I did with the single I will have to measure.

I know you posted the majority of the details for the portable kegerator. How is your co2 bottle resting in the cup holder hole?

Also would 20oz be a wiser choice?

I don't think I have access to your regulator, so I would probably have to put all that inside the cooler, and just run the gas line up throught the hole?

I see that you went with the tap directly, is that due to concerns about the temp of the beer line
 

Encinoman

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I haven't even finished my first batch and I wanna start building one!:D MUST.....REESSSISST! Very cool thread.
 

danger831

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I drilled a hole with a hole saw through the cup holder just smaller than the co2 tank and then just pressed it in.I did the direct tap for simplicity and coolness I wanted to be able to make tap handles to match the party.
 

kmat123

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Building a portable keg cooler like Danger's would be more appealing to me because if going to a party/bbq/etc. I could simply grab one of my 5 gallon cornies out of my keezer, put it in the cooler and toss in a bag of ice = instant party!
 

BBBF

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I have the kegs, faucets and now the cooler. As for CO2, I have an extra (out of date) 20lb tank that I think can be traded for a smaller tank. Would a 5 or 10lb tank be best? Is a 5lb small enough to fit inside or attach to the outside or would I be better off going with the tank that will last the longest?
 
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