Restoring a kegerator

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NOISEpollution

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I'd like to start kegging my beers but after opening up an old kegerator I noticed that it was empty. What I have is a fully functional refrigerator with a tap on top. That's it. No tubing, no co2, no keg.

What will I need to get to be able to hook my beer up to this thing besides a keg and a CO2 tank? Also, how small can my CO2 tank be? I have smaller ones that are used for paintball guns, would those work?
 

Dirtie

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I know you can use a paintball tank but I'm not sure if you can use one that has had Co2 in it for paintball use being as that it has a lube in it that is not good to consume. I don't know about how you would go as far as cleaning them or if it is necessary. I've ready where even a 5lb tank will dispense like 30 gallons. I've got a paintball tank myself that I've thought about using when u get my kegerator up and going and would like to know as well if I need to clean it before filling it up with food grade Co2. That's my .02
 

mh-brews

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If your fridge has a shank already, then you will need: beer nut, washer, 3/16 beer line, liquid disconnect, c02 tank, regulator, 5/16 gas line, air disconnect.
I would also get some sort of cleaning kit.
You can get a 5 lb co2 tank

The tank is the most expensive part
 
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NOISEpollution

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mh-brews said:
If your fridge has a shank already, then you will need: beer nut, washer, 3/16 beer line, liquid disconnect, c02 tank, regulator, 5/16 gas line, air disconnect.
I would also get some sort of cleaning kit.
You can get a 5 lb co2 tank

The tank is the most expensive part
The shank is the piece that sticks out of the top of the kegerator and holds the faucet, correct? If so then yeah, I have that. Where would the beer nut be attached and is 5 feet long enough for the beer line and the gas line?
 

solbes

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For your beer line (liquid out), go with 10 feet of 3/16" line. 5 feet extra if you like high carbonation levels. The longer the length, the less you will deal with foaming.

For gas line, you only need to keep it long enough so you can easily remove the kegs and tanks separately. Say 4 feet for that. Also order the 1/4" barbed keg disconnects. No hose clamps needed if you put the line ends in really hot water for 20 seconds. The heat will allow it to be pressed over the larger barb.

5 lb tank will last between 5-10 kegs if you force carbonate. If you sugar prime them you may get roughly double.
 
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NOISEpollution

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solbes said:
For your beer line (liquid out), go with 10 feet of 3/16" line. 5 feet extra if you like high carbonation levels. The longer the length, the less you will deal with foaming.

For gas line, you only need to keep it long enough so you can easily remove the kegs and tanks separately. Say 4 feet for that. Also order the 1/4" barbed keg disconnects. No hose clamps needed if you put the line ends in really hot water for 20 seconds. The heat will allow it to be pressed over the larger barb.

5 lb tank will last between 5-10 kegs if you force carbonate. If you sugar prime them you may get roughly double.
I would need a gas disconnect and a liquid disconnect, correct?
 

solbes

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For Corny kegs yes, one for gas and one for liquid. You would first need to decide if you wanted to go Ball Lock (Pepsi which are taller and skinnier) or Pin Lock (Coke which are shorter and fatter) first. Ball locks are somewhat more popular and have a pressure relief valve ring to purge the O2 easier. Pin locks have the advantage of not being able to reverse the fittings and are sometimes a tad cheaper.

If you are looking to use commercial beer kegs with Sanke fittings, I'm not much help.
 

20GT

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For your beer line (liquid out), go with 10 feet of 3/16" line. 5 feet extra if you like high carbonation levels. The longer the length, the less you will deal with foaming.
(cant quite get this quote thing)

1. does that foam trick work with this setup (see pic below, that's what i have only older, and without that thing with words on it at the end of the beer line)

2. my door is thicker this time, can i get a 4" replacement part for my spout?
or do i have to buy a new one?

3. my regulator hasn't been used in 20 years should i get a new one?

4. do they sell caps/bolts in case i want to cap off my door hole and move it a few inches down?

5. i have a 20# tank how long will that last
6. what is "sugar prime"

thanks

kegger.jpg
 

solbes

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I don't have any experience with mounting to a door, so I'm skipping #2 and #4.

1) Foam trick should work in most/all setups. Looks like the one pictured has a sanke style connector for commercial kegs. I use cornies, so I don't have one of those.
3) I'm assuming your regulator would still work. Try it out and replace only if needed.
5) A full 20# tank will cabonate and dispense a lot of 5 gallon brews. Figure it would carbonate and dispense 20-30. If you were just dispensing (sugar prime) you can just about double that.
6) Sugar priming is a re-fermentation that occurs in a keg or bottle. You add about 1/2 the sugar that you would to carbonate a bottled batch. Yeast eat the small amount of sugar added which creates more CO2, which carbonates your keg. You need to add the correct amount of sugar. Its easy to do if you don't have space in your keg for a newly kegged batch, but you will get more sediment in your first 2 or 3 pours from additional yeast created. Lots of threads out there on this.
 

Brewnoob1

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If you are talking just dispensing and not force carbing, a 5lb co2 tank can dispense between 15-22 kegs. A 20lb co2 tank can dispense 62-87 kegs. Note, these are 5lb corny kegs. If you want commercial brew (1/2 barrel or 15.50 gallons) a 5lb tank can dispense 5-7 of those. A 20lb can dispense 20-28 1/2 barrels. (This info can be found here http://www.micromatic.com/beer-questions/how-many-beer-kegs-dispensed-out-co2-tank-aid-89.html)

As for what you need, hose, disconnects, regulator, co2, keg. That's it.
 

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