Friday, April 16, 2010

Get me some wheels baby!

Here is the kit I ordered from Keg Connection. I decided on their premium two tap tower kit. I'm not one that needs to have a huge variety at any one time, but it will be nice to have at least two choices for guests to choose from.

I did order this kit without the CO
2 Cylinder. Two reasons for this. First I wasn't sure about filling an American tank in Canada. Secondly I was able to rent a 20 lb tank locally for only $40/year and the 5 lb tank that's standard in this kit would have cost almost as much to fill.

I must say, the people at Keg Connection were GREAT and extremely patient! I had three VISA Gift Cards that my employer gave me that I wanted to use. They took all three, then the remaining balance from my PayPal account. This saved me a bundle.

This is the Freezer to Fridge Temperature controller I ordered at the same time. Basically this controller plugs into the wall, the freezer plugs into it, and the probe goes in the freezer. When the freezer begins to dip below the set temperature on the controller it cuts the power to the freezer. It works great and is holding my freezer at a steady 38 F.

With my Kegerator kit ordered it was time to begin the wheeled base. I want to be able to easily move my kegerator around, at the very least to pull away from the wall to open the lid to add and remove kegs. I bought four 3" swivel castors and a couple of 2x4's. Some good measurements (leaving clearance for trim), mitre cuts, and some toe-nail screws and I was set.

I would normally have preferred more screws for strength, but with the caster crossing the joint, the weight of the freezer from above, and the eventual trim I figure it's not going anywhere.

The view from underneath showing the swivel casters crossing the joints. The wheels will also swivel completely within the profile of the base just in case I want the trim to come down to act as a skirt as well.

Just to test I lifted the freezer up onto the base. Fits great! I'll remove it to add the trim, stain and clear coat.

Next step is the begin the "counter-top" I struggled with various ideas and options for some time. I was unsure about the option I ended up going with at first, but the end result has be extremely pleased.

Stay tuned for more after the break...

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm Batman...

OK, not actually Batman, but the Kegerator in progress has been MASKED. I decided to mask around the lid and seal since I won't be painting the inside. This way there will be a nice clean line and the lid won't get stuck shut.

It turned out that small indicator on the front, bottom left of the freezer was some sort of wired light to indicate when the compressor was running I guess. Decided it was best to pull it out slightly and mask it. The old emblem left two holes on the front, upper left. I ordered a new somewhat fitting emblem to cover these holes to be revealed on a future post.

First coast of good ol' Tremclad Glossy Black rust paint. Looking pretty good so far especially considering this was brush painted. Still needs a second coat at least, especially the plastic lid trim and edges. Even though I plan to cover the lid with a counter-top and trim I thought it was best to paint it all thoroughly for protection from further rusting.

Final touch ups have been completed. The masking of the lid seal and indicator light are still in place until the paint dries.

Here she is after a few more minor touch-ups and the masking removed. The nasty looking white seal around the lid was unavoidable. This is part of the reason I planned on adding trim to my lid. This trim should overhang and hide the seal, but still allow the opening and closing of the freezer lid.

Around this point I was pretty set and secure that the project was on track so I also ordered my Kegerator parts. Since this was going to be the bulk of the expense I wanted to make sure the freezer was working out.

More to follow soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's so big!

This good old freezer is bigger than most newer ones I looked at. The important dimension being front to back. This one is 18" front to back which is important if I want to put in a commercial Sanke keg that are 16.25" in diameter. Every freezer at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, and Wal-Mart I've looked at are only 15" front to back. Click here for a great list of keg dimensions.

In the pic above you can see the "hump" that makes room for the compressor, but takes precious space out of the internal dimensions of the freezer. For the record, the full internal dimensions of this freezer are 18" front to back x 40" wide x 30" deep with the hump on the bottom left that is 10" wide x 10" tall. Some people raise the freezer lid with the addition of a collar to add height allowing for additional kegs on the hump. Since I figure I can store five Corny Kegs plus the CO2 cylinder (or one Sanke, one Corny and the CO2 cylinder) without using the hump space I'm opting for no collar.

So, the freezer has been cleaned out and measured, next I thoroughly cleaned and sanded the outside to prepare for painting. Even the sides without rust I sanded to rough them up to allow the paint to hold better.

Next steps are masking and painting.

In the mean time a brief word about freezer internal dimensions. Hardly any manufacturers list them! No retail websites list them! The best you will find are external dimensions, and sometimes only the external dimensions of the shipping box which are both useless. A useful forum database of common freezers has been started here. If you don't find the dimensions of the freezer, or fridge, you are thinking about purchasing to convert to a kegerator the only thing you can do for sure is go into the store with a tape measure (or borrow one from the tool section) and measure the internal dimensions yourself. Make sure to measure the "hump" while you're at it and post your findings to help others.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deja vu?

Where have I seen this before? Yeah yeah, I know, the internet! I apologize if you've seen this before. The first few posts here are going to be a bit of a history lesson and repeat story. I completed my "Kegerator Project" and have posted pics, etc. on the usual forums a couple months ago.

Then I thought, "Hey! I want to blog about m
y continuing kegging adventures!"

So here it is, stating with a complete run down of my Kegerator (or Keezer) build from day one to present day homebrew draft drinking bliss.

I hope to create a bit of a "how-to" or "for dummies" with as much information as I can provide to help any DIY'ers out there that may be thinking of starting their own Kegerator project. I will also list many of the resources I found helpful along the way. If anyone finds this useful I will be pleased would like to see your pics and stories as well.

I'm planning to post almost daily until I get the full com
pleted project outlined from start to finish. For now I'll will leave you with the "before" picture of what I started with.

This was an old "hand-me-down" freezer from my Aunt and Uncle about six years ago. Since we bought our house about five years ago it's hardly been used. Most of the food that was in it was badly freezer burned. Still keeping good and cold at least.

I will be cleaning it up and painting it. Then adding a wheeled base, homemade counter-top and trim and finally the temperature controller, draft tower, taps, tower cooling fan, CO2 tank and kegs.

Stay tuned, more to follow soon...