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How Can I Get the Keg Box Colder?

Home Bar Forum Forums Beer Tapper & Keg Box Construction Keg Box Troubleshooting How Can I Get the Keg Box Colder?

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  • #19531 Score: 0

    we are having problems getting the keg box colder. If you have any suggestions please leave some ideas for us.

    #19636 Score: 0

    You probably need a really good compressor. I’m hesitant to build it the way it’s laid out in the plans for this very reason. You could probably try insulating more.

    #19637 Score: 0

    Well i figured it out i just added a bigger refrig and it is much colder now. On medium i got it down to 30 degrees. So i guess it would be a lot better to have a bbiiger frig then then what the plans call for.

    #19640 Score: 0

    Good to know. Thanks.

    #19648 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    That’s interesting…did you use a new 2.7 cubic foot model or an older model.

    Also, placing a small PC fan in the front of the freezer tray helps circulate the cold air.

    I scavanged a power supply from and old 486 desktop PC and bought a new “blue neon” fan which also acts like a fridge light.

    However, I can not emphasize how important it is to insulate as much as possible. If you have and “dead space”, I suggest filling those spaces with a combination of “great stuff” and Pro Pink Foam panels.

    My custom keg box is about 36″ long, 18″ deep and 36″ high and a Sanyo 2.7 Cubic Foot compact fridge keeps it at between 28-34F on medium setting, which is almost too cold…but I like my bear REALLY cold!

    I bought an inexpensive Raytec handheld infra-red non-contact thermometer (actaully used it for electronics, checking CPU temps) and I checked all surfaces to be sure I did not have any cold spots.

    You should also spray “great stuff” foam around the body of the fridge itself. Although, this could render is pretty much useless for anything in the future unless you first surround it in foil or wax paper.

    Steve

    #19651 Score: 0

    If you used a mall fridge that didnt have the coils on the back this could have been the problem. Refidgerators that dont have coils on the back have them inside – on the sides of the fridge. If you dont provide air circulation to the sides, then the refridgerator wont work well. A lot of the 2.7 Cu Ft refridgerators have the same compressor as the 4 Cu Ft fridges. Steve is right – it’s all about the air circulation. Both outside the fridge on the coils, and inside the keg box.

    #19652 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    stephens:

    Good Point!

    I have not seen this type of fridge with the internal heat exchanger. That could be a problem, so avoid that type.

    Back to the circulation method using a PC power supply:

    BTW, you can buy a cheap PC power supply or fans through the link below:
    Tiger Direct PC Components

    I recommend the : Powmax / LP6100C / 300-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm Fan / Power Supply – $17.99
    and the: Diablotek Quad LED Blue 80mm Case Fan – $4.99

    Most PC’s (personal computers) power supplies have a fan built into them. I arranged the mounting of my power supply to blow on the compressor itself. I figure “the cooler the better”.
    I have two other fans: As mentioned, one is inside the keg box, positioned right in front of the freezer plate (using a homebrew aluminum bracket) and just blows a light amount of air, but certainly enough.

    The other is on a switch and is located on another bracket and blows right on the heat exchanger.

    I only use the second fan right after I stock the keg box with a new 1/2 barrel. This helps speed the cooling process.

    Keep in mind, you’re not cooling a six pack! A half barrel is about 31 six packs! That’s a lot of mass to cool, so it WILL take a day or two, maybe three before the keg box gets to a stable temperature and the compressor starts to cycle on and off.

    My keg box has a cycle time of about 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off and hold 28-34F range on medium.

    The real trick is to KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED!
    The door must also seal tight. Any leaks and you might as well forget about geting the keg box cool enough. The door is the most critical part. Be sure you had filled it with Styrofoam AND Great Stuff. I first sprayed the great stuff around the edges and a thin layer on the entire back side, then pressed the styrofoam panel into the gooo.
    Then I again covered the exposed Styofoam with great stuff and then laid the aluminum sheet over that and used brass brad nails to secure the aluminum. You should get some great stuff oozing out from the corners. To work best, the door should not contain any air spaces.

    I will be posting some photos in the photo gallery very soon.

    Thx
    Steve

    Edited By admin on 1118073051

    #19653 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    I just purchased a Kenmore 2.5 cubic foot fridge for a steal. The compressor is on the back. Does anyone think this could a logical choice for my kegbox?

    #19659 Score: 0

    I should probably be more specific regarding the heat exchanging coils. If there are no coils on the back of the refridgerator exposed to the air, then they are built inside the sides of the fridge. You can confirm this by starting up the fridge and running it for a while. If you feel the side of the fridge – it will feel warm.
    For this reason, most of thos refridgerators have a waring on them stating “not to be used inset” or “maintain at least a 4″ clearance on either side of the refridgerator”.
    For these types of refridgerators, it is imperative that the airflow be maintained on the outside of the refridgerator to ensure it works properly.
    I used one of these inside my bar and completely enclosed it – except for two holes. I then put 2 PC fans over the fridge to force air across the compressor, up one side, across the top, and down the other side of the fridge. This works AWESOME and maintained a nice look to the bar by not having exposed refridgerator back.
    Whatever refridgerator you use – make sure you have good air flow (or plenty of open air space) on the hot parts of the refridgerator.

    #19661 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    Stephens:

    Yup! You got the idea!
    The whole principle of refrigeration is to REMOVE heat, not simply to make something colder.
    Two very important aspects of the keg box construction are:

    1. INSULATION: No air spaces at all. Any air spaces need to be filled with “Great Stuff” expanding foam.

    2. COOLING: of the high pressure side of the compressor and the compressor itself. The high pressure side is the heat exchanger that is mounted to the back of the fridge. It gets warm, so it’s best to help it stay cool, which removes the heat from inside the keg box.
    The low pressure side is the freezer plate inside the fridge. As the gas expands, it cools.

    Also, a PC fan mounted in front of the freezer tray or plate inside the fridge helps circulate air in the keg box, providing even cooling….or should I say, heat removal.

    #19662 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    Is there a specific reason for a PC power supply and PC fan or can you simply use a 110volt 80mm fan. They are available at most electronics stores, I used to use them for RC Car racing.

    Also, if you are using a larger 4.3 CF fridge is there any reason you can’t use the door you are removing from the fridge on the bar if the door is going to be hidden from your guests.

    #19663 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    Nope, absolutely not…
    You may use any type of 80MM or similarly sized fan.
    I just had a ton of old PC supplies lying around and figured most people have an old obsolete PC in the corner of the basement and the power supply and fans are easy to rip out.

    If you know of 112vac fans. feel free to post a link.

    Thanks!

    #19740 Score: 0

    Where do you want to place the fans in the fridge? In front of the freezer tray? I thought you would somehow mount it in the back of the fridge, behind the freezer tray to blow cold air out into the kegbox???

    Thanks!

    #19744 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    top:

    You could try that, but I simply placed them in front of the freezer box. This way I am blowing warm air from the box over the freezer plate. Be sure to defrost after the keg is empty and you’ll get the best performance.

    You can also add an extra fan just to circulate air in the box area. Good air flow is essential, just like in the commercial models.

    #19763 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    My beer ran out yesterday, so I opened up the keg box and inspected the freezer plate. As expected it was loaded with ice about 1 inch thick. This will reduce the cooling of the box by about 5 degrees. I thawed it out, replaced the keg and in 24 hours it went from 67F to 34F – almost too cold!
    With winter months approaching, then frost buildup problem won’t be so bad.
    The big thing is to keep the keg box closed as much as possible.

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