Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More than meets the eye!

Alright, a lot of big steps have been completed and we're down to some of the final touches.  Things are getting very encouraging. 

Mounting the tower was a breeze thanks to KegConnection.com.  Most of the tower was completely assembled.  All I had to do was screw on the taps using the included wrench.  I lined up the tower nice and straight, marked and predrilled the screw holes, and screwed it down.  It came with bolts, but since I have almost 1.5" of plywood I figured screws would work.

The beer lines are fed through the hole in my bar top and freezer lid.  I used hot water to soften the ends to push them onto the Corney Keg quick disconnects then tightened the hose clamps.  You might also see in the above image my new emblem for covering the holes where the old one was broken.

I ordered this Transformers Autobot emblem off eBay for about $7, shipping included.  Cheap plastic as expected, but looks pretty good and will suit its purpose.

The emblem was a simple peel & stick.  Covers the holes nicely and looks great.  I love the chrome, black, and dark wood combination.  It looks like it has always been there and is a great metaphor for what this freezer has been through.

Time to finally make the drip try.  What's in the pictures until now has been just the metal part pictured above.  If you haven't guessed it yet, this is a furnace grate duct cover.  Looked at actual drip trays online and most seemed way to expensive for what looks like something a kid made in shop class.  I settled on using this furnace grate from Home Depot.  Cost about $15.

After pushing little tabs the top metal cover seperated nicely from the plastic sleeve and vent grills.  A few careful cuts and the plastic open/close grills seperated from the sleeve.  Next I cut a piece of wood to fit exactly inside the sleeve to for the basin. Sealed it up with Silicone and painted black to match the sleeve and you would never know it wasn't made that way.  The basin now fits perfectly inside the hole in my bar top and the metal grate covers it all.

I have the option of drilling a hole in my freezer lid and running a hose from the drip tray to a bucket inside the freezer, or since my bar top is thick enough I could route a trough underneath and have the line go to a bucket behind the freezer.  For now the small basin is more than enough to catch the few drips that escape my glass.

This last step is one even many people who buy pre-built kegerators must complete in order to avoid foamy beer.  This is because the beer in the lines in the tower tends to get warmer causing the CO2 to release from the beer much easier.  The solution?  Bring cold air from the bottom of the keezer up into the tower and let it flow back down.

I'm not sure who originally came up with this idea, but it works great.  The picture above is my take on it.  Just a PC fan in a box (ziplock container) and a hose (flexible conduit) to run up into the tower.  Using a 12VDC transformer I found at Value Village for $2.99 to power it.  I run the hose right up to the top of the tower just below where the beer faucets are and the box sits on the bottom of the freezer.  In addition to bringing cold air up into tower to flow down the outside of the beer lines this also helps the overall air circulation within the freezer.

This is wrapping up the Kegerator project nicely.  Not much left except to get the CO2 cylinder in there and start pouring beer!