Quantcast

The Great Fridge Project

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
I don't know what it is, but eventually, you just need better "stuff". I've made some upgrades to my brewery this year, the most significant was making it possible to brew 10 - 12 gallon batches. I upgraded the kettles to handle the volume, and then found a perfect 60 quart cooler at Sears for mashing. I'm all set - except my keg fridge still only holds 3 kegs. This just won't do will it? So I break the news to my wife, "Honey, I need a new beer fridge". She's all over it. She looks at our kitchen fridge and says "why don't we get a new one for the kitchen and you can have this one?" Score. I break out the tape measure and it will easily hold 6 kegs with room to spare. The goosebumps start to appear.

Then, through sheer serendipity, I get a call from someone who wants to buy one of my favorite toys, my beloved landsailor. For those of you scractching your heads, go here: www.nalsa.org. So now, I have built-in financing to go hog wild and trick out the fridge. And the best part is, I already found someone to buy the old one! Homebrew clubs, you gotta love 'em.

I've decided to document the whole conversion with lots of pics and text. I'll post back to this thread on my progress.

Prosit!
 

loopmd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
656
Reaction score
7
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?!? Can't wait to see the project as it comes along.


loop
 
OP
tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
Sam75 said:
So what's your new username going to be? :D
I'll keep my name. I'll always be a landsailor at heart. The guy I sold it to lives in Vegas and said I could go out there any time and sail with him. I'll keep it in mind. In the meantime, brewing goes on.......

The first snag in the otherwise seamless fridge project has reared it's ugly head. I never thought to check the height of the fridge compartment. It was bigger, so surely it was as tall or taller than the current one, right? WRONG! There's less than an inch of clearance between the top of the keg and the ceiling. That won't do, especially with 6 kegs. Trying to reach the back kegs to disconnect anything is impossible with this little space at the top. Plus, I need space to mount the gas distribution manifold. Pin lock kegs are a bit shorter, but they are also bigger around which prevents 6 from fitting inside the space.

So, I tear out the shelves, including the bottom drawers which I was hoping to keep in tact, and see what can be done. Removing the drawers yields about 8 inches of vertical space, but just like most refrigs, there is a slope from the very bottom of the compartment under the bottom drawers that takes up about 1/3 of the depth and slopes up toward the back. The good news here is that removing the bottom shelf frees up at least an inch of vertical space in the very back, and I think I can stack the front row of kegs on the very bottom and the back row right above the slope. This gives a two tier configuration with enough vertical space to access the connectors on all the kegs and enough vertical space to mount the gas manifolds just above the front row of kegs. Not what I originally planned, but workable.

A picture says a thousand words, and I'll take those soon to show everyone what I have to work with. I just have to excercise my carpentry skills to build a new base for the interior to hold the kegs vertically where I need them. The bottom drawers would have made a great storage bin for other stuff, but the beer is more important, so the drawers must go. I still have all the shelves on the inside of the door.

So, despite the small set back, we are still a go for the project. I've put together the materials list and will begin ordering parts shortly. The conversion begins......
 

loopmd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
656
Reaction score
7
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
"The bottom drawers would have made a great storage bin for other stuff, but the beer is more important, so the drawers must go."



Glad to see you have your priorities straight!

loop
 
OP
tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
The project continues......

It is actually nearing completion. I've fitted the bottom with shelves and completed the gas distribution manifold. I'm waiting on kegs and faucets which should arrive this week. I'll have a PDF file completed of the conversion including lots of photos by next week. Wish me luck.

Prosit!
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
Good god that's beautiful! Ventmatics or Perlicks?

I also noticed a guitar magnet/bottle opener on your fridge--Hard Rock Cafe? That's wierd, my wife just got back from Panama and she brought back a guitar magnet/opener from the HRC over there. It went right on my beer fridge. :D

That is some manifold!

I'd be curious to see your carpentry work for the shelf.....
 

kornkob

Resident Crazy Uncle
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
28
Location
Madison WI
Me= jealous and wishing I had a house that would support such a thing (too small)
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
179
Location
Oak Grove
I mounted my gas manifold on the inside of the door under the tap shanks. That way, they are easy to reach and they line up with the taps. I tie-wrapped the ale and gas lines together, so I don't get them mixed up.
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
166
Location
Pepperell, MA
tnlandsailor said:
I break out the tape measure and it will easily hold 6 kegs with room to spare.
Nice beer-fridge and great idea with the magnets!!!! I also like your kegging 101 article.

I always wanted to start kegging my brews but now I want to get going. You say that your fridge can hold 6 ball-lock cornies. How wide is the fride? Is this a common standard size, or do you have an especially large fridge?

I don't think I will go with the 6 tap option (3 will do just fine) but I'd love to have the extra lagering space.
 
OP
tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
Kai said:
How wide is the fride? Is it a common standard size, or do you have an especially large one?
Must....resist.....

Yes, the fridge is pretty big. I can't remember the exact dimensions off hand. Most refrigerators will hold 3 kegs pretty easily. If you want the extra space, take a tape measure to a ball lock keg and measure it at it's widest point. Use this measurement to evaluate the fridge of your choice. You can always take out the door shelves to get more depth, but I like having the shelves to store stuff. You also need to consider the inside height to make sure there is room to manipulate the connectors. I ran into issues with that which involved some carpentry. I'm working on a document that covers the whole project from start to finish, I'll try to put that on the front burner and finish it and post the link here.

Regardless, measure carefully before you buy. Better yet, take your kegs with you and see if they fit.

Prosit!
 

Catfish

Art by David Shrigley
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
840
Reaction score
18
Location
Nishinomiya, Japan
Damn. Your beer fridge is bigger than my house... and there's more beer in it.. hell, it's probably warmer too. :(
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
166
Location
Pepperell, MA
billybrew said:
To funny, I didn't even notice this when I wrote it and I may not have even proof-read the posting.


Well, I went in and edited the post.

I did some research on fridge sizes and found that the (extarnal) width ranges from 21in all the way to 35in. But the wider the fridge, the more expensive it is new and it may be hader to find used under $100.
 

God Emporer BillyBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
16
Location
Melnibone
Kai said:
To funny, I didn't even notice this when I wrote it and I may not have even proof-read the posting.


Well, I went in and edited the post.

I did some research on fridge sizes and found that the (extarnal) width ranges from 21in all the way to 35in. But the wider the fridge, the more expensive it is new and it may be hader to find used under $100.
Aww, you mean before Cheesefood got a chance to make an innuendo? Just because he's a new father doesn't mean we have to take all of his pleasure away.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
I have a pretty big fridge and probably could fit 4-5 maybe without measuring. But I share the fridge with the wifey.

I showed SWMBO the six-tap setup pictures and was immediately put in my place. :eek: Guess I'm stuck with two taps for a while yet. :(
 

OtherWhiteMeat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
162
Reaction score
1
Location
Rochester, MN
tnlandsailor, I was thinking about the freezer on your new beer cooler. Now I dont know much about refrigerators so this is all a shot in the dark. Are there two compressors in a refrigerator that control the frezzer and the fridge seperatly? How is the frezzer colder than the fridge? What im basicly asking is, can the fridge and the freezer be powered independently by rewiring the back? Someone explain to me how a refrigerator and freezer have diffrent temps so i can understand if im way off base here.
 
OP
tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
If I'm wrong on this, someone correct me, but I'm pretty sure this is how it works:

The freezer is the only thing that is directly cooled. Air is directed out of the freezer by a fan into the fridge compartment via a controller and thermostat. There are two different thermostats, one for each compartment, but for the fridge, you are using freezer air for cooling. So, to answer your question, yes you can dial them to different temps, but only within the design range of the appliance. They are not independant of each other since the freezer is the thing that actually cools the fridge compartment.
 
OP
tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
533
Reaction score
21
Location
Knoxville, TN
Ok, I've finished the documentation for the fridge conversion. It's in a PDF document and rather lengthy, but hopefully good reading. Lot's of pictures.

Look HERE.
 

JOHN51277

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
16
Location
Orlando, FL
tnlandsailor, you are correct in your explaination on how the fridge works. There is only one condensor and compressor, and 2 thermostats.
 

JonGoku

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
54
Reaction score
1
Location
Orange County, CA
Ok, I've finished the documentation for the fridge conversion. It's in a PDF document and rather lengthy, but hopefully good reading. Lot's of pictures.

Look HERE.
The link no longer works. Do you have any plans to move it anywhere in the future? I really liked this write up and frequently recommended it to friends looking to convert a fridge.
 
Top