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post #1 of 8 Unread 04-20-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

So last year I got the parts to turn a fridge into a 'beer mesiter'. Then decided I didn't want a full size fridge...

Tomorrow I'm picking up a used 4.4 cf fridge that should be perfect. SO it's time for the 'build'.

Figure to come out the top...any suggestions/ideas on how to catch the spillage/overflow, etc? They sell catch pans...do they drain into a bucket/container in the fridge?

CO2 tank..inisde or outside? Must it be uprigight?

And cleaning the lines...I have a camper and sanitize the water lines with a bleach / water mix. Will this be ok for the beer line? I know they sell special chemicals, what do they do differently?

How often should the be cleaned? Every keg change? more often?

Lastly, if I get Guiness, is CO2 OK or will nitrogen be a necessity ? I know...purists demand nitrogen...girl friend likes guiness (I do too), but i have a co2 tank and plan to start wtih a domestic.
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post #2 of 8 Unread 04-21-2019, 11:22 PM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

if i may say keep two kegs cold at all times
nothing beats a good buzz down like a warm beer
lines should be just fine if you keep them full. fittings you could clean
co2 i don't like my self. tanks stay out side.. keep two of them also
catch pan you do need with a shield up to the tap.and clean it often


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post #3 of 8 Unread 04-22-2019, 03:47 PM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

I had a beer fridge for 15 years or so, until it got impractical. It was just a 5-foot-tall Frigidaire from the late '60s, before they got bought by White and went cheap on everything. Upper middle of the door was drilled for the faucet. I used to use 15.5 gallon half-barrels, the cost was substantially less per ounce than pony kegs. I pretty much stayed domestic; I used to be able to get Rainier for $25 per half-barrel, Budweiser for $32, Michelob (for special occasions) for $39, when buying from a Distributor. Those days are long, long, long gone.

Some thoughts for you:

You should never have to clean the lines, as long as they stay cold. Sanitize them once and rinse out really, really well, before the first use; otherwise ignore.

The faucet is a much different matter. Take it apart and clean it, every keg change. Get a bottle brush. Take the faucet off, go to the sink and tear it apart. Clean everything super-well, make sure you clean the relief port (you'll see it), using dishwasher soap dissolved in hot water, then rinse really well. I used to soak mine in the soap mixture for fifteen minutes, then brush out really well.

Opinions vary on the use of CO2 versus Nitrogen. I talked to a couple guys in the know and if your product is going to be under pressure for (I want to emphasize this) months at a time, it will get a slight bitter tang from CO2, and you might consider Nitrogen in this case. I found I went through product substantially quicker than that, so I used CO2. Never had an off-taste, and it was WAY cheaper. If you're buying a bottle, consider a fire-bottle size. It lasts WAY longer and is much cheaper and easier in the long run to exchange. Welding shops will always have a fire-bottle size of CO2. Always use the new gasket included. Using a used gasket is asking for leaks. Yes, the CO2 should be upright, if for nothing else than to protect the reduction valve.

Make sure you have a really good reducing valve with a gauge. I used to use about 8-12 PSI, it keeps the bubbles in and doesn't saturate the product with CO2. You might want to check with the seller to see what they recommend for a short draw on the tap. Some products require a higher pressure, and it would if you had a long distance for the draw.

Hope that helps.

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post #4 of 8 Unread 04-22-2019, 05:30 PM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

10+ year homebrewer here. I've never heard of not cleaning the lines. Look up BLC, or beer line cleaner for this purpose. Then run warm water and sanitize per the manufacturers recommendation. Iodophor is a great alternative to acidic sanitizers. In brewing we use Cornelius kegs which can be loaded with the cleaner or sanitizer as needed. Then it is pushed through with CO2. The faucets, as stated must be disassembled and cleaned every keg.

If you will have 2 different styles of beer you will need a multiple regulator setup, and possibly liquid line lengths. Don't just pick a random line length - you are unlikely to be happy with the pour. Research pressure drop, line size, and carbonation volumes for the styles you will drink. If using nitro or beergas, expect to shell out lot of money on gas. Try to set up everything with threaded connections rather than removing barbed connections.

Drip tray doesn't need to run anywhere provided you don't try to pour when you are too in the bag. :-) Just make it removable without fasteners so you can clean it every few days.

It took me about 4 years to get my 2 tap right...
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post #5 of 8 Unread 04-22-2019, 09:03 PM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

4 tap keezer guy here. Do I go overboard, yes. Does it work great, yes. I have a regulator off the tank plus a regulator per faucet. This allows me to do anything I would like. A lot of people would say it's totally over the top, but I'll have a cider on at the same time as a stout and something cheap. I clean after each keg, it's super easy if you have extra cornys because I keep one full of cleaner, one of sanitizer and one of rinsing water. Again.. I'm Bill... I have issues.

A non draining drip tray is fine as long as some jerk doesn't try to drain off 12oz of foam because they don't know how to pour a beer or your pressures are too far off. As for nitrogen for guiness if you are avid fans and plan to drink it often/constant, I'd pick up a second gas tank and have that tap be strictly nitrogen. Watching Craigslist etc for good buys is worthwhile. I found a 20lb tank that was just certified and full of co2 for cheap when I was hopping in. Then later found a beverage place going out of business and picked up extra expired co2 tanks for $20. Still cheap buy in for the tanks. Watch your temp/pressure table info... it helps a lot to have patience. You can't change pressure on a keg without giving it time to acclimate.

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post #6 of 8 Unread 04-23-2019, 07:57 AM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

All of this sounds real nice. So nice in fact that I thought about making it myself. Daughter even gave me a brewing kit for Christmas. Of course that was waay before the Craft Beer phenomenon that is all the rage now. But reading up on what little bit was out there at the time for doing home brews, it looked to be a lot of effort and really not much of a support knowledge base to call on for help. So instead of making a my own or a kegerator, I got a smallish 54" tall frig and stocked it with several different brews. So instead of worrying about yeast, hops, cleaning lines etc, I could just turn around and pick my beers of the day. Well funny thing about that. While recuperating from two consecutive knee surgeries (two new knees) I dropped 20 lbs each time and lost my beer gut. So as much as I hate to say it I now longer drink beer. Think I've have maybe two/three a year, at holidays or birthdays. They sure taste good but sticking with my choice. Now gin on the other hand... Love that Sapphire!
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post #7 of 8 Unread 04-23-2019, 08:48 AM
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Homebrewer here for 10+yrs. Cleaning lines isn't fun and it is difficult to get them clean inside.

I run up to 7 kegs at a time so I made line changes easy. I use icemaker tubing as it doesn't leech flavor like vinyl lines. My lines are hooked up with push lock John Guest fittings so I can change them in seconds instead of cleaning. Costs a couple bucks per change and icemaker tubing is readily available. I'll post a pic later when I'm at home.

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post #8 of 8 Unread 04-23-2019, 08:51 AM
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Re: Beer Keg/kegerator/beer meister question(s)

I started off with a home made Keggerator, but it could only hold pony kegs or transfer bottles. Buying beer that way is more expensive than by the 2-4; so I moved to a store bought Keg frig that could fit a Keg like the restaurants use. Much better price per glass and doesn't run out as fast. I use the kegger only in the summer at the cottage and clean the lines only at the end of the summer. I clean lines with hot water and small air compressor. The lines aren't that expensive, you could change yearly if you wanted to. I've only used CO2; you want to have two bottles; there's nothing worst than running out of CO2 when you still have beer in the keg. I've heard you shouldn't use metal taps for cider or Guiness, and you should use nitrogen; since I'm not a big fan of either, I doubt I could taste the difference.

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