wine in the tap box of a new keezer build suggestions?

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winetap

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I like beer but I also like wine. I would really like to keg premium wine from good wineries so I can have a glass or two when I want and not have to finish an entire bottle or feel bad about opening an expensive bottle. I don't have room or want 2 keezers. I am thinking about a new keezer build with smaller kegs. Thinking about 1.5 to 2.5 gallon kegs for my small freezer (3.5CUft). With a 6 inch collar I can get as many as 8 kegs. It will take me a long time to drink 10 gallons of 2 beers. I would much rather have a selection of 8. I plan on a root beer, ginger beer, a Vienna lager, Pale ale, Wheat Beer, possibly a stout, cold brew on nitro, a white wine and a couple red wines on nitro. I can handle the co2 and nitro. My concern is I like cold beer 40 degrees but can't have wine that cold. White wine around 55 and my reds around 70. I was thinking of putting a tap box or a "wine box on top of the keezer. The hole that the lines come through will chill the wine box but not nearly as much as the bottom of the keezer where the beer is. I was wondering for those that built a keezer with a tap box what the temperature of the tap box gets. I was also considering 2-3 separate wine taps on the top (tap box) and have the collar for beer taps. I would put 2 thermostats one on top for wine and one on collar for beer. The bottom would control the compressor and the top would control a fan to blow cold air into the wine box. Could also run a tube from the back of the collar freezer to the back of the wine tap box. would hardly be noticeable from the front and wouldn't have to drill any holes in the freezer.

Has anyone tried this? Any temp readings on those that made a top tap box before they tried to get temperature down with fans.
 

John Paul Stoddard

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Will need Fans or sure to circulate the air in the Box...Basic Science..Hot air rises cold air sinks. Good luck.. let us know how it goes. I like wine also but countertop wine units are coming down...I think I would rather go with a glass door wine cooler. I am getting old and lazy...
 

John Paul Stoddard

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The idea is to have premium wine on tap.
Understand but many folks don't wanna have to run a Separate Gas system to maintain the wine correctly. Recommended for Red Wine: 75% Nitrogen/ 25% CO2, AKA Beverage Gas or “Guinness Gas”, ensures that the wine tastes exactly as the winemaker intended, from the first pour to the last glass. Pressure gauge reading should be between 4 – 10 PSI and for Sparkling Wine. Use beverage grade CO2 gas only Keep the pressure around 20 PSI (will vary depending on tubing length). But that also opens up the possibilities of Nitro Beers. :)
 
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winetap

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John thanks for the reply,

I read a lot and am just doing my fact gathering and came to the conclusion that beverage gas is not good for wine because it will carbonate the wine over time. From my understanding straight nitrogen or argon is the way to go. I can also use for tapped coldbrew. Seems beverage gas also has the same problem with cold brew. Commercial establishment that goes through a keg in 1-2 days won't taste the affect of Beverage gas. From my reading straight Nitrogen will not infuse with the liquids. I though of the nitro beers or guiness but then I would have to have 3 gases. Seems to be a heated debate of beverage gas, Argon or Nitrogen. I can see the problems with long term tapped keg on beverage gas. Argon has been used for years to prolong opened bottles. Nitrogen can be used for other products. I'll keep researching. I can buy commercial kegs with premium wine made for restaurants but they are 5 gallons Not sure I want that much of one type of wine at $300 to $500 a keg I want to be sure it doesn't go bad.

I know some of the people that build keezers have a tap box. I was hoping to get some feedback of what the temps are running in the tap box prior to adding fans.
 

BBBF

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It's recommended that you use a Nitrogen/CO2 blend because wine should have some co2 dissolved in it. However, I have my kegged wine on 100% nitrogen.

You could try keeping the red and white at room temperature, outside of the kegerator, but run the white wine into the into the kegerator and through a stainless steel coil. The first couple ounces will be 40 degrees and the warmer rest will be a little warmer.

If you feel like spending some money, this is what I use for my wine.

http://www.tapyourkeg.com/Wine-CiderCoffee-Beer-Dispensers-with-Stainless-Taps_c9.htm
 
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winetap

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Why do you recommend nitrogen/CO2 yet you use nitrogen. That is what my research is coming up with. Have you used argon? plus or minus? I am just gathering information. Once you tap a wine how long have you had it on tap? Do you taste any degredation? I have heard you need to finish in 3 months? Thanks for the input
 

BBBF

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https://www.micromatic.com/Article-Sankey_Brings_Back_Wine_On_Tap-aid-433.html

According to the link above and a few other sources that I have read, it is recommended to use the beer gas mix.

Why do I still use 100% N2? N2 is cheaper than beer gas. That would be a good reason, but I mix my own gas, which is cheaper than buying it already blended. It mostly comes down to laziness and the way I already have my regulators set up, and also not being able to tell if the wine is suffering from the lack of co2. I'm also kegging homemade wine and my co2 levels might be high to start with. You can always start with 100% n2 switch to the blend if you want to later. The equipment is all the same.

I have not used argon, but it should work the same as nitrogen. Use it if you have it. It is a little more expensive, but it isn't a big deal on such a small scale.

My kegs have definitely been on longer than 3 months and I often swap them out with another wine when I feel like a change. The nitrogen or argon will protect the wine in the keg. I did pay extra for beverage hose with less oxygen permeability, but I can't honestly say how much it is helping because it is the only type I have used.
 
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winetap

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Thanks I read that article. The comment "readily available premixed gas of 75% N2 and 25% CO2 works pretty well " had me concerned. The fact that the article was written almost 8 years ago is another concern. The concept of wine on tap has been around for a long time. I remember installing and cleaning wine line lines when I sold wine 20 years ago in restaurants. These were 18 Liter boxes on a gravity system. More like your common bag in the box now. This was not premium wine and not infused with gas lines. Locally we have a few tap house that serve primarily beer but are starting to carry premium wine on tap. I can order a keg of wine from my local store. They over 60 premium kegs but they are 5 gallon Sankey kegs. Not sure I want that musch.

Made my first all grain homebrew with a friend a couple weeks ago. His son is really into it and has made 100's of gallons. He worked with us old guys to show us how easy it is. I had a great time and becoming hooked. He mentioned a Sankey system is much better than the ball or pin lock systems that many homebrewers use due to the one seal. When cleaned properly you will have less spoilage and lease seal leaks. Makes since but to me they are harder to clean if you don't have a commercial setup. Like I mentioned before I am more of a wine guy than beer and trying to design my system now so I'm not wasting time or money on something that will be obsolete. I may be trying to design a system that is to complicated and not feasible. I want 3 temperature zones and 2 maybe have to go to 3 gas configurations. I have most of it in my head. Maybe I just have to start doing it.
 
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winetap

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I pretty much want to try and build a keezer with the functionality of Perlick DZS36 but made for smaller kegs 1.5-2.5 gallon kegs. If you had one more compartment with a 3rd zone for beer !!!! maybe hold 3-4 beer kegs. This will hold 4 kegs and a dual temperature. Almost perfect for wine setup I'm sure wouldn't be hard to adapt for smaller kegs and double your taps. 2.5 gallons each, of 8 wines on tap to be served by the glass to friends. Have to find smaller craft wineries that would be willing to fill smaller kegs. I'm starting to drool. Will probably be into this much making my own keezer and wont be as clean
 
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BBBF

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I take "pretty well" to mean ideally you want to add some co2 and 75/25 is as close as you are going to get with an off the shelf gas. It isn't exact and you can't be exact because there is no one size fits all. It makes a difference if room temperature is 65 degree or 75. 


Speaking of bag in a box, there are Key Kegs, which are bag in a plastic keg. You use co2, nitrogen or just regular air to squeeze the bag and dispense the wine. You won't oxidize or carbonate the wine because the gas never comes in contact with it. If you go down this direction, shoot me a PM. I have a pair of Key Keg couplers that I should get rid of. 

I use both sankey and ball locks. He's correct that sankeys have fewer points of failure and they really aren't that hard to open and clean, once you learn how, but there are some benefits to the ball locks. They are easier to tear down and clean. They are lighter than sankey kegs, which could make a difference if you are an older "old guy" and lifting them into a chest freezer. The disconnects are less expensive and made of plastic & stainless steel. The sankey coupler is more expensive and you want to get the special 304SS ones because the acidic wine will dissolve brass parts. They also have a smaller diameter, which makes a difference to me because I can fit 5 BL kegs in my fridge, but only 4 sankeys. 

The biggest decision is where are you getting your wine from and how do they sell it. If you are making it, you can put it in whatever type and size of container you want. If you are buying it, the decision is most likely made for you and it will be a sankey keg or a key keg. And you don't have to worry about cleaning the keg because you will be trading your empty keg in for a full one and cleaning it will be the winery's job. 

I don't think you will find a system with 2-3 different temperature zones. Once option would be to have 2 small fridges or chest freezers and build a bar around them. Then you can have 3 zones (room temperature reds, 50 degree whites and 35-40 for beer)
 

cegan09

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Your idea to build a box on top of the keezer would work, if you used a temp controller. Have a hole into the keezer below, and a fan that blows into the top box. (two holes work work better so you have an in and out for air to move through). Hook up a simple temp controller and throw the temp probe in a glass of water inside the top box. When it gets too warm the fan kicks on to move cool air into the box and lower the temp. Might take some experimenting to size the holes such that the box doesn't just stay too cold, but no reason it wouldn't work.


as far as gasses, I know argon is used on occasion with wine, but it's avoided with beer usually. I think for a few reasons. First argon is simply more expensive than nitrogen. Second it is actually more soluble in water than nitrogen (i don't know how that changes when you talk beer and wine, but it's a good starting comparison). This means storing under pressure you'll dissolve more argon into your beverage than you would have nitrogen. Though both are significantly less than CO2. Last is that there can be health concerns with having an argon tank inside. No that argon will harm you directly, but because argon is so much heavier than air, if you breath in a good undiluted amount you'll have a harder time getting it out of your lungs. The risk is very low, but if you had a large leak form in a closed room like a basement, it could be a problem. It's why you should never store welding bottles in non ventilated spaces. I know I know the "I've been using it forever with no problems" comments are coming, and I'm not trying to preach a complete avoidance of argon, just trying to give the warning so you can set it up safely should you decide that's the route you want to go.
 
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