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Whats the popular fridge for DIY kegerator

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jschnyderite

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I'm finally starting a project of building a kegerator into a simple small bar area. Half a year ago when I was looking into it, Fridgadaire had a pretty popular model but it seems to have been discontinued. Anyone know where they're still available? or newer models that will fit 2 corny's + CO2? extra space for a mug or two wouldn't hurt either ;)

Thanks!!
 

paulster2626

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2 cornies + 5# co2 will fit in just about anything. You may need to make a collar like I did, but it'll fit. You want the tap a little higher anyway. No sense building something low enough for a 5 year old - beer on tap is for MEN!!

Your ideal freezer is the cheapest one you can find in your neighborhood!
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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Thanks...I've heard 4.4 is about the minimum I should be looking at..is that correct?

I also want something i can drill for taps on the top of. Any recommendations? I found a fridgadaire at lowes that seems to fit the bill.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_326299-47224-LFPH44M4LM_4294857965_4294937087_?productId=3256590&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Compact%2BRefrigerators_4294857965_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

2 cornies + 5# co2 will fit in just about anything. You may need to make a collar like I did, but it'll fit. You want the tap a little higher anyway. No sense building something low enough for a 5 year old - beer on tap is for MEN!!

Your ideal freezer is the cheapest one you can find in your neighborhood!
 

Revvy

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Take this thread with you if you have a smartphone or tablet device and go hit the big box or discount appliance stores, or go through the stores and write down the model numbers of the fridges in your size/price range, and see what fits your needs and your budget.

Sizing your Chest Freezer for Corny Kegs

That's what I'm doing right now. (If you go to abc warehouse the sales folks are carrying I-pads, one of the sales men looked up the thread for me while we were looking at them. He'd never heard of installing collars on chest freezers, so he was all excited, and wanted to do one for himself after seeing the thread.)

Like Paul said the best one is the one that fits the amount of kegs you want, is the size you want, in your price range.
 

paulster2626

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Thanks...I've heard 4.4 is about the minimum I should be looking at..is that correct?

I also want something i can drill for taps on the top of. Any recommendations? I found a fridgadaire at lowes that seems to fit the bill.
Build a collar though, it'll look nicer and will impress your friends more. Also I recommend moving the hinges to the side, depending on where this thing will sit. If it's going to be near a wall, you won't be able to open it up from the front easily. Just be careful you don't screw in to a coolant line (should be fine)!

I prefer to use used things when I'm going to start doctoring them up though. That way if I totally botch something I didn't ruin a new expensive item.

People sell chest freezers all the time on kijiji/C-list. Just keep an eye out.
 

texasbrewer73

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I got the Danby DAR440BL. Found it on Craigslist brand new for $100 (score!!!). It was a pretty simple conversion, but if you use pin lock kegs, they supposedly don't fit without a little modification (so I've read).

Whatever you get, make sure it doesn't have a freezer. The Frigidaire sold a Lowe's has a freezer but con be converted. There are threads here about how to do it.

If you're buying new, I suggest the Danby. Don't forget to scour Craigslist. With College kids done, there are bound to be plenty of these on Craigslist for the taking.
 

Schumed

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anything that works, fits your needs as far as size, and is free on Craigslist..is my favorite :)
 

zymurph

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The 4.4 cu. ft Frigidaire is a pretty easy conversion, and you can still get them at Lowe's and Best Buy. I recently did this conversion, and it very good. If I were to do it again, I might look for a cheaper option with a used fridge, but my SWMBO really loves the way this one looks, which means I can keep some of my brew equipment in plain sight. There isn't much that qualifies for that... Here's one of the original threads about it:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/frigidaire-model-frc445gb-mini-fridge-kegerator-conversion-89013/
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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few questions..I'm not quite a pro at this yet.

is it possible I'll be stuck using pin-lock? I didn't plan on buying kegs, but rather renting from a local beer shop..i think they just want a small deposit and i return for new ones whenever i finish. not sure which style is more popular.

I found a hotpoint and a fridgadaire on CL that might work...but how long do these types of fridges generally last? should I worry about something thats already 2 years old lasting? are some brands better/more reliable than others?

someone mentioned a certain type of faucet being better than others (started with a P). what makes it better? are there kits available with those faucets, all the tubes and CO2 tank I'll need?

Is there any extra consideration to account for in mounting my faucet to a table top (right above the fridge). I want to sort of make a bar (though not nearly as fancy as some I've seen). I assume I'll need longer lines, but are there temperature issues, etc I should factor in.

Thanks again
 

Schumed

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Newer fridges suck...they are made to last the warranty and are very difficult to repair....

The older the better IMO

I've got a fridge from the 70s been working like a champ for years
 

Schumed

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You know a place that rents corny keg?

You making this to serve commercial beer or Homebrew?
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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You know a place that rents corny keg?

You making this to serve commercial beer or Homebrew?
well in NJ, they said they'd fill it and I bring it back when its done and they'll exchange for a new one..they just take a deposit.

I'd like to homebrew eventually, but for now its just commercial beers.
 

texasbrewer73

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is it possible I'll be stuck using pin-lock? I didn't plan on buying kegs, but rather renting from a local beer shop..i think they just want a small deposit and i return for new ones whenever i finish. not sure which style is more popular.

I found a hotpoint and a fridgadaire on CL that might work...but how long do these types of fridges generally last? should I worry about something thats already 2 years old lasting? are some brands better/more reliable than others?

someone mentioned a certain type of faucet being better than others (started with a P). what makes it better? are there kits available with those faucets, all the tubes and CO2 tank I'll need?

Is there any extra consideration to account for in mounting my faucet to a table top (right above the fridge). I want to sort of make a bar (though not nearly as fancy as some I've seen). I assume I'll need longer lines, but are there temperature issues, etc I should factor in.
I would suggest buying kegs. You can find them at your LHBS or on craigslist. Renting is a cool idea, but over time, it'll be cheaper to just buy them. I would only consider a rental if you needed something for a one time use. Get Ball lock.

Perlick faucets. The design of the seals is what makes it better, but they are also more expensive. I bought a two faucet tower with "regular" faucets at beverage factory for less than $100. I eventually got Perlick faucets, but only because I was tired of how easily the regular ones would cause stickage. They certainly look classier, but I got them more for functionality.

As for making a bar, I would suggest doing more research and creating your design. Once you have your design, post drawings and explain your design. You'll get a lot more feedback that way. Many of the keezer builds have a bar design around them and less so with the kegerator. My experience has been people build kegerators generally as a stand alone fixture.
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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I would be open to a keezer as well. though I probably only need 2 kegs. the bar area would really only be 50-75" long so I was going to have a side shelf as one support and the wall as the other. it'll be more like an island coming off the wall.

As for the kegs..they wouldn't charge me rental really...they take a $30 deposit. I keep the keg as long as it takes me to use and bring it back...they give me another keg for whatever the beer costs. i don't get my deposit back til i decide to discontinue getting kegs from them.

I'm a little confused about sizing though..I called two local places. One didn't sell anything but full kegs. The other sold a few sizes, but didn't know what a corny was. They said they sold 'sixths' or pony kegs which look like they are different. I'm not sure they use the same connector or would fit in a 4.4 cu ft fridge. Is this really all that rare? maybe i should contact some smaller local breweries.






I would suggest buying kegs. You can find them at your LHBS or on craigslist. Renting is a cool idea, but over time, it'll be cheaper to just buy them. I would only consider a rental if you needed something for a one time use. Get Ball lock.

Many of the keezer builds have a bar design around them and less so with the kegerator. My experience has been people build kegerators generally as a stand alone fixture.
 

texasbrewer73

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I posted before I read you were getting commercial beer. Not sure if a full or pony keg would fit in the Danby, but my guess is it wouldn't. If you are basically wanting a tap(s) for commercial kegs, your cheapest route would probably be a keezer build - especially if you're building a bar of some sort around it. Just need to measure the outside diameter and height of the largest keg you would want to put in there and find a freezer that can handle it (plus some extra height for fittings, etc). Add a temp controller and tap tower and you're all set. Then it's all about how you want to build your bar around it.

Your other option would be to just buy a pre-built kegerator that can hold the size keg you want.
 

Revvy

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Again, I encourage you to read the thread I linked earlier, the talk about sizing for commercial kegs as well.

They refer to this diagram a lot.



If you are shopping for a freezer you could bring along cutouts of the various diameter kegs you want to fit.
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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I browsed through though 51 pages is a little heavy for me to go through at work ;)

I may try the cutouts..I'm not really trying to reinvent the wheel though. I'd prefer to stick to sizes and models others have used and have worked.

How do those who don't make their beer get it? Am i just striking out on local liquor stores for corny's? should i try different types of places?

If you are shopping for a freezer you could bring along cutouts of the various diameter kegs you want to fit.
 

uechikid

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When I started looking to build my own kegerator it seemed more practical to get an upright refrigerator without a freezer. I bought a 16.7 cf fridge from Sears. It holds three corny kegs with lots of room for bottles, sodas, water... I installed three taps and a drip tray in the door.

Beer fridg.JPG


11-07-09_1241.jpg


07-28-09_1901.jpg
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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hmm, seems like liquor stores don't even know what corny's are. I guess everyone using these here is making their own batch?

looks like I'm going to have to go with a pretty big fridge/freezer, cause most popular beers come in 1/4 or 1/4 slim kegs..with micro brews being available in 1/6. im not gonna be able to fit 1/4's in a traditional fridge too easily.

back to the drawing board
 

BrewThruYou

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hmm, seems like liquor stores don't even know what corny's are. I guess everyone using these here is making their own batch?
This is a homebrew website, so most people are homebrewing their own beer, yes.

looks like I'm going to have to go with a pretty big fridge/freezer, cause most popular beers come in 1/4 or 1/4 slim kegs..with micro brews being available in 1/6. im not gonna be able to fit 1/4's in a traditional fridge too easily.
If you are handy, you can bump in/out some of the fridges.

You can bump in: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/fr...tor-conversion-89013/index13.html#post2820109

Or bump out: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/fr...tor-conversion-89013/index13.html#post2840952
 

paulster2626

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This doesn't need to be as complicated as you're making it out to be.

You might just want to suck it up and buy a commercial kegerator for about $800 give or take (probably cheaper in the USA). It'll last you forever, will fit what you want, and will be instantly awesome without any time or frustration on your part.

You might even be able to find a used one somewhere.

By the time you buy a new freezer, buy taps and a tower and a drip tray, you won't be saving that much money really.

It helps to know if you're doing this becasue you want to save $$, or because you want to make something awesome.
 
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jschnyderite

jschnyderite

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I'm doing it more to make something awesome...I like building things as a hobby. built an arcade a years back, and had this project on my mind a while.

I'm not a home brewer, but a beer enthusiast and would like to have some german beers on tap in my home, and maybe one basic yuengling or light beer.

I found a few keezer threads and have talked to a few liquor stores, and kegerator hardware suppliers so i think im on the path to having an idea what you all are talking about

I'm going with a 7 cu ft GE freezer..it should fit slim 1/4 barrel tanks or smaller. I'm going to start with 2 taps but build it with adding a 3rd in my 2 year plan. Thanks for everyones insight so far.

This doesn't need to be as complicated as you're making it out to be.

You might just want to suck it up and buy a commercial kegerator for about $800 give or take (probably cheaper in the USA). It'll last you forever, will fit what you want, and will be instantly awesome without any time or frustration on your part.

You might even be able to find a used one somewhere.

By the time you buy a new freezer, buy taps and a tower and a drip tray, you won't be saving that much money really.

It helps to know if you're doing this becasue you want to save $$, or because you want to make something awesome.
 

paulster2626

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Oh then that's easy - follow Revy's link, take a couple of cutouts to the store, stick 'em in the freezer, use a tape measure to check the height, and you're set! Don't forget to allow space for the connections on top!
 
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