Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through May 09, 2007 * Small keg for a fridge shelf (using a regular CO2 tank fitting) < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Thomas Brett Hall
New Member
Username: Bretthall

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2007
Posted From: 149.117.164.28
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've seen quite a few solutions for trying to fit a small keg-like beer dispensing device in a regular fridge like the party pig, tap-a-draft, beer machine, mini-keg (philtap). With some research each of them seems to fail in some major way compared to 5Gal cornelius kegs in durability, generality, foaming control, etc.

I've been brewing for 3 years and am getting tired of bottling. I already have several 5-Gal cornelius kegs, CO2 tank, regulator, tap hose, etc. My problem is this: My wife won't let me buy another fridge that fits a 5Gal Cornelius so I have no way to keep all that beer cold. I've been working on getting another fridge for years with no progress and am looking for other creative solutions. (If you must know she doesn't want the extra power draw of a 2nd fridge. I'm working on putting in a solar panel... but that's a big expensive project..)

She doesn't mind me taking up some room in the regular fridge for beer serving.. it's already clogged with bottles anyhow.

The ideal solution that comes to mind would be some kind of shorter cornelius keg that would fit on a normal fridge shelf. Even the 2.5 and 3 gallon ones are taller than my fridge can fit, and I've never seen a 1-2 gallon cornelius. I could hack the bottom off of one of mine, but I'm not a welder and I'm afraid the innards would have lots of crevices to harbor bad things if I re-welded it back together. Maybe it's worth a shot anyway?

Possibly the aforementioned "party" solutions would be the right size, if only they could use regular CO2 bottle fittings and weren't plastic.

The most insightful thing I've seen to date was a Party Pig conversion on hbd which looks like the right direction.

I thought to myself "some other homebrewer must have this problem too...". Any advice anyone? Is there a product for this that would be perfect, but expensive?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6976
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 01:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I think "The Snout" adaptation to the Party Pig referenced in the archived thread linked to your post is probably the best compromise, given your restrictions and assuming it's still being sold. It seems pricey to me for what it is, especially considering that you might want several "Snouts," but it would do the job.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4278
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 03:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Consider a cold plate. They are about the size of a phone book. As with all things, except my wife, everything has pluses and minuses. The minuses to a cold plate is that you have to drill holes in her fridge somewhere and they do not deliver for parties when used in a fridge. The pluses are that your keg and CO2 tank can be outside the fridge!

As for parties, they are actually made for them, but require the use of a ice filled cooler.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Andy Hancock
Member
Username: Ahancbrew1

Post Number: 211
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 143.183.121.2
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this wouldn’t be beer on tap, but have you considered using 2 litter soda bottles and a cabonator cap. You could bottle a 5 gallon batch in 10 bottles.

I would keep 2 in the fridge and store the rest in a cool dark place. With a carbonator cap you can add Co2 to the bottle after each use so it won't go flat.
 

Mike A.
Intermediate Member
Username: Mike_a

Post Number: 303
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 128.173.15.155
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 03:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The energy draw of a compact fridge to hold 2 kegs is not very much. A Sanyo 4912 is energy star rated at 316 kWh/year and at an average cost of 9.86˘/kWh that's only $31/year. It's roughly equivalent to 10 gallons of gasoline, so drive less and drink cold beer out of kegs :-)
 

Brett Hall
New Member
Username: Bretthall

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2007
Posted From: 149.117.164.28
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 05:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good replies all, thanks for the leads.

I have actually tried the carbonator caps for soda, but I haven't tried it for beer yet. Seems like a good and low-cost option. Although storing beer in 2-liters for extended periods may not be a great idea, I could keep it in a Cornelius and transfer and force-carbonate when 2-liters are empty.

The cold plate is a nice idea, drilling holes in the fridge might be the challenge there. How can I make sure I don't hit a refrigerant line or something? Seems like I might have foaming/carbonation problems if I'm keeping the keg stored warm and only cooling the beer in the cold plate? What I read about having long beer lines was that controlling foaming was difficult, even with a jockey-type box at the tap.

I'll work on the energy argument, thanks Mike A.
 

Miker
Advanced Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 655
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.15.183.207
Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With a dedicated beer fridge with outside taps, you won't have to keep opening the fridge every time you want a beer. Think how much energy you'll be saving! Surely this will offset the extra energy draw of another fridge.

Beer in soda bottles, party pigs, etc., does not compare to keg beer fresh from the tap. Get the fridge.
 

Rob Farrell
Intermediate Member
Username: Robf

Post Number: 444
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.50.104.138
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 12:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My wife won't let me buy another fridge

Somewhere, Tranquil Liza is chewing through her restraints.

Thomas, if you prefer ales, you can keep that fridge at about 48F and it will hardly ever run. An ale fridge conserves energy.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6979
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 02:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Beer in soda bottles, party pigs, etc., does not compare to keg beer fresh from the tap."

I'm not sure I completely agree with that. For the normal consumption time of homebrew, I don't think there is any degradation in quality. That doesn't mean I don't favor and use corny kegs for several reasons, but my considered opinion is that the fear of staling in plastic containers is greatly overblown.
 

Miker
Advanced Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 656
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.15.183.207
Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Somewhere, Tranquil Liza is chewing through her restraints."

Oh, man. If I would have had beer in my mouth when I read this, it would be coming out my nose. I was thinking along the same lines when I first saw this post, but you put it quite eloquently, Rob. I needed a good laugh to start the morning.

I shouldn't have used the word "fresh," Bill. I don't think there is any difference in the freshness. I just meant that soda bottles, etc. do not compare to pouring and drinking a beer from your own tap. (Almost) nothing beats that imho.
 

Brett Hall
New Member
Username: Bretthall

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2007
Posted From: 149.117.164.28
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 06:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding the extra fridge I have explained that it will be kept at a higher temp than normal, and using an ultra-efficient chest freezer converted to 48F (I do prefer ales) won't run much. No dice. For now I need an alternative until the fridge magically shows up one day in the basement (wow, I don't know how that got there honey!).

In the meantime I need a way to keep smaller volumes of beer in the main fridge. I don't have tap envy, if I can get fresh beer that is cold and properly carbonated in my glass I don't particularly care how it got there. Plastic bottles are fine provided the beer will keep reasonably.

The ideal container would be something I could force carbonate in, but that looks like something I'd have to make myself. Maybe I'll find a metal shop to do some work to shrink a 5Gal cornelius to fit in my fridge for me for a few homebrews at some point. At the moment I'm thinking the tap-a-draft system is the most appropriate. I can keep beer in cornelius kegs at 60F in the basement and fill up the tap-a-draft bottle when it's empty with carbonated beer then refrigerate. The bottle isn't too large, so I will drink it in a reasonable time.

Will I be able to add any additional pressure in the tap-a-draft if it's a little flat?
 

Brett Hall
New Member
Username: Bretthall

Post Number: 4
Registered: 04-2007
Posted From: 149.117.164.28
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 12:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Woo Hoo! Major update, if anyone is still reading the thread.

I've gotten permission to buy a fridge. It looks like the Frigidaire FFC0522DW is the most efficient at 242kWh/yr even before I plug in the little johnson controls regulator to keep it at ~45. I've not been able to find the interior dimensions anywhere, I hope I can jam 2 Cornelius kegs in there. I wonder how much power the little regulator thing uses..?

In talking with my friend who is familiar with TIG welding, I think I'm going to have his shop shorten a 5-Gal cornelius to 11" high so I can keep it in my upstairs fridge and have beer at my fingertips without a trip to the basement. I can occasionally fill it from the cool kegs in the basement and force-carbonate in it if I need to.