Sanyo 4912 Kegerator Conversion

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John Beere

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I know this has been covered by many but I'm doing a few things different that I haven't seen anyone else do (for better or worse) - so I thought I share...

First thing I did after throughly testing the fridge was take the inside of the door off to make more room. The screws are under the rubber seal and there are a LOT of them. There are also two different type screws so be careful to note which screws come out of which holes. Here is the plastic door insert after removing the rubber seal:



I then noted which side of the insert was the top and pulled out the dremel tool. From the back side of the insert, I began cutting the plastic right at the ridge all the way around and ended up with this:



I then cleaned it up a little, reinstalled the rubber seal, and screwed it all back together.

 
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John Beere

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The next thing I did was to see how cold the fridge would go if I just turned it on "maximum". I don't know exactly how cold it will go b/c I stopped it at 26 degrees... this was good news because if "maximum" wouldn't go to at least freezing I was going to have to bypass the thermostat.

I then wired up a Ranco thermostat to the unit and mounted it in the rear next to the compressor.



By setting the fridge to "maximum" I can now completely control the temperature of the fridge all the way down to freezing if I want...

For the temperature probe, I did the exact same thing as my walk-in cooler and used a White Labs yeast container filled with the goop from a freezer pack. I pushed the probe through the drain plug into the fridge and mounted it at the very top as near to the front as I could. It is attached with two heavy zip ties.



Thats as far as I've gotten so far as my tower hasn't arrived yet... so it will be a few days before I get to drilling out the top.
 
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John Beere

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A caveat to cutting the door out like I've done is that the light switch will not be depressed when the door is closed so the light will always be on. My solution was to just remove the bulb...
 

aekdbbop

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nice man, i did the same with the door, only a little more crazy like. But after i was done ripping it up, i covered the insulation with black duct tape.. it was an easy thing to do that made it look a little nicer.

 

aekdbbop

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John Beere said:
A caveat to cutting the door out like I've done is that the light switch will not be depressed when the door is closed so the light will always be on. My solution was to just remove the bulb...

ha i didnt even think about the bulb... it has been on for 4 days now.. oops.. yeah i just unscrewed it a little. when i need it to see, i can just turn it a bit to make it come back on...
 
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John Beere

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I finally got around to finishing up my kegerator. I bought a taprite dual regulator (model #5754-wmhp-tay) off ebay. I quickly fashioned a mounting plate for it out of a piece of scrap metal and bent the metal so it would stand out about a 1/2".



 
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John Beere

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I took the top two screws out of the cold plate in the back of the fridge and mounted the regulator to it.



Here it is hooked up to my 5 lb tank.



And finally, with the two kegs.



I'm dry running everything for tonight to check for leaks and hope to hook it up for the first time tomorrow!
 

Tony

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Looks great!

I have the same fridge, and back when I made mine, I removed the inner door of mine as well to make more room. I simply removed the gasket, then removed the door, then replaced the gasket. No plexiglass or anything, as since I figured the door is insulated enough, and I keep steady temps inside still.

I ran into the same problem concerning the light. I noticed that the inner door, of course, was what depressed the pin switch for the light. What I did was disassemble the control box, and unplugged and removed the switch. Different method, same results.

My curious question for everyone who has one of these, is what dial setting are you all having to set yours to, to get proper temps? I notice John Beere's is set to max to test, but have heard others having to set it the same for regular serving temps. I have mine set to near 3. If I set it to exactly 3 it gets down to 38. If I set it between 3 and 4, it gets down to 32. If i set it at 4 or more, it gets below 25.

Just wondering if I have a odd ball.
 
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If you look back to post #2 you'll see that I added a Ranco temperature controller to the fridge to exactly regulate the temperature.

I got the fridge down to 26 degrees when I tested the max setting. Not sure how much colder it would have gone but it was still running when I stopped the test.
 

todd_k

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do you have any problems maintaining higher temps such as 55F?
 

Flyin' Lion

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todd_k said:
do you have any problems maintaining higher temps such as 55F?
This fridge might actually hold at 55* without using a Ranco. I've kept mine in the garage and it has held at 40* on a setting of 3. It intially got down to 20* when I had it set to full cold, so setting it on 5 (or 1, I forget which is coldest) could net you 55*.
 

todd_k

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John Beere said:
Right now its holding the temperature at 33 degrees with no problems at all. I'm sure it would also do 55...
can you fit a 6.5 gal carboy in there with all of the modifications that you did. Right now I want to use it to lager but later I want to use it as a kegerator. I just don't have any kegging equipment right now.
 

todd_k

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Sweet..... I'm going to get one tonight, a Valentine's Day gift from SWMBO!
 

Buford

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Bought one last week - just waiting on parts from Northern Brewer and Micromatic right now. Then it's off to Lowes for the remaining hardware bits and a hole saw.
 

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Anyone compile a parts list for tower and faucette parts, shanks, fittings, nuts, etc. that you can post/share? Part numbers or models along with suppliers and prices would be a big plus, too. Trying to do this and clueless, but I did buy the 4912 today!
 

whodwho

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aekdbbop said:
nice man, i did the same with the door, only a little more crazy like. But after i was done ripping it up, i covered the insulation with black duct tape.. it was an easy thing to do that made it look a little nicer.
Another thing you can use is a piece of whiteboard, instead of cutting the original plastic out you can cut the outer dimension of it on the whiteboard and install the mag strip over it. You can use it to keep track of what is on tap or any notes.

You can see it on the right of this photo but I will look for a better one.

 

LouT

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Nice, I just did mine with "chalk-board" - Lowe's was out of the "white board" and my 4912 has a black interior so the green chalkboard color is a bit better match anyhow.
Came out decent, and jeez, it's easily an extra 4 inches of space, if not more.
 

LouT

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This is mine, crummy phone camera photo but you can probably get the idea:
Sorry, can't figure out how to paste photo in here...
 

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whodwho said:
Another thing you can use is a piece of whiteboard, instead of cutting the original plastic out you can cut the outer dimension of it on the whiteboard and install the mag strip over it. You can use it to keep track of what is on tap or any notes.

You can see it on the right of this photo but I will look for a better one.

What are you guys doing to your Sanyo's, tearing out the insides and replacing it with something white?
 

whodwho

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homebrewer_99 said:
What are you guys doing to your Sanyo's, tearing out the insides and replacing it with something white?
Actually this is a Danby, it is black and stainless on the outside but white on the inside(Good for telling when it needs a cleaning). I picked it up for $80 new so I could resist at the time. I had 3 gal cornies so I was not overly concerned with the freezer compartment.
 

homebrewer_99

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whodwho said:
Actually this is a Danby, it is black and stainless on the outside but white on the inside(Good for telling when it needs a cleaning). I picked it up for $80 new so I could resist at the time. I had 3 gal cornies so I was not overly concerned with the freezer compartment.
OK, alles klar.

Make's sense. Nice find.:D
 

ill.literate

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Hey whodwho... we've got the same Danby in our kitchen right now.

Are you using a picnic tap? If not, how are you running your lines to the taps?

I got ours for about $60 at Target a few weeks ago.
 

whodwho

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Yes just been using a picnic tap for now, I do have a tower for it but haven't got around to putting it on.
 

whodwho

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eriklupust said:
what's the min. inside height to fit a Cornie in there:confused:
From the bottom of the fridge to the bottom of the freezer is 24 1/4". The freezer compartment could be bent down and swung to the back wall if necessary and you would end up with 28 1/2".
 

Fiery Sword

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Buford said:
Bought one last week - just waiting on parts from Northern Brewer and Micromatic right now. Then it's off to Lowes for the remaining hardware bits and a hole saw.
Funny....I bought a BestBuy sale 4912 last week and I've been hitting 'refresh' at the UPS site for 3-4 days now, tracking my parts. The stores? Northern Brewer (perlicks, tubing, ball locks, gas distribution tee, gas lines, handles) and Micromatic (elbow shanks and wrench)!!!! I priced out Austin, MoreBeer and a few others and the Northern/Micro mix seemed to make the most sense!!!! Looks like we came to the same conclusion. :rockin:
 

Buford

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Got the last of the necessary parts (shirron faucets, gas lines, etc.) today, although I did most of the work yesterday installing the tower and building a blower for the tower. I made one minor miscalc, that being the metal rails on the sides of the back edge are about 1/4" off from each other, and I didn't notice this until I had already drilled the holes to mount them. Eh, whatever, they're only there to keep glasses from falling off the back edge and the glasses pretty much hide them anyway.

I was looking forward to putting that porter I had in secondary in a keg but I checked it today and it's gone ropy on me :mad:
 

LouT

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Where'd you get the metal rails for the top?
Anyone mounting the tower closer to rear of unit vs. dead center on 4912?
Anyone seen a bracket of any type that's good for C02 tank/reg mounting?\
 

LouT

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Nice, Buford! Any pics of your kegerator?
Did you put them full length on sides & back -- also, was the back full width with sides only going back to the rear rail, or did you do the sides full length f-r and a short rear rail? I guess a pic would answer that...
 

LouT

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Oh, another question, did you just screw the rails into the plastic top while it was off (with nuts underneath) or did you tap right through and into the metal top of the fridge?
 

Buford

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I just put them on just through the plastic. The only thing I did to the metal top is cut a hole in it.

I posted it in another 4912 thread, but there are pics here.
 

LouT

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Buford, that was a top notch conversion, and I must say, a very well detailed and entertainingly written web log of the process! Kudos!
I hope mine comes out that nice. I'm going to skip the blower and the temp controller for now and see how it does, but I think the top rails are a must and you found some nice ones, it's a great look.
 

LouT

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Most unlikely, there's a small raised shelf molded in the back rear of the unit, the compressor is beneath it. Maybe a pony would fit if you built a platform to rest on the floor of the fridge in front of the shelf, but I can't answer for certain since I haven't tried.
If you want a cheap kegerator for 1/2 barrels, a craigslist free fullsize fridge is the way to go. These Sanyo conversions are sweet for homebrew kegs, though!
Side note -- anyone try to fit one of those microbrew 1/8 barrel "log" kegs into a Sanyo 4912 conversion? I'm thinking it might be a good option for times like now when I'm out of HB and keep buying microbrew sixpacks...
 
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