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My Kegerator Build

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by zackcamp, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. So I'm just sitting around at the fire station twiddling my thumbs so I figured I would share my kegerator build/experience/review...

    I looked around for a long time for the right dual-tap kegerator that would fit my needs and not put too big of a dent in my bank account. After scouring the interwebz and reading hundreds of reviews nothing really gave me the "warm and fuzzy" for a decent price. What I found was that while the refrigerator cabinets often worked well for many of the models I looked at, the supplied hardware (tower, faucets, regulator, etc.) were generally subpar. I am not one to just settle for something I am going to spend a bit of moolah on,, so therefore I decided I would dive into the realm of custom kegerator building.

    Granted, I kind of cheated. What I decided to buy was the Edgestar BR2000. It is basically a stripped down version of the Edgestar KC2000. It contains the fridge with casters, hand/guard railing, plastic drip tray, and exterior CO2 mounting bracket. The holes for the tower and the CO2 line-in were predrilled which made things a bit easier (or so I thought...continue reading).


    *I purchased it through kegerator.com at a pretty good price with free shipping. The model I got was the BR2000SS, which has the stainless steel door. It appears it is no longer available, but they still have the BR2000BL with the black door in stock (and for a pretty damn good price, $267.31 with free shipping). Here is the link if you want to check it out-

    I then pieced together all of the other hardware from beveragefactory.com to include 3" tower, Perlick 525SS faucets, dual pressure CO2 regulator, couplers, beer and air lines, fancy drip tray, etc.


    So all Edgestar kegerators apparently use a "twist-in" setup for their crappy towers, which meant it was time to make modification #1: Drilling holes in my brand new fridge to mount the tower. I had read that there was absolutely no coolant lines running through the top of the cabinet, but I called Edgestar just to make sure and they confirmed it. Being the perfectionist I am (it's a gift and a curse) I measured and created a template that precisely centeredthe tower directly over the predrilled hole. I then drilled, test fitted, and voila. "This is going pretty well" I thought, then issue #1: the supplied bolts that came with the tower were not long enough to secure it. I searched all of my local hardware stores for 3.5-4" phillips head stainless steel bolts and had limited success. Every bolt I found over 3" was far too large to fit through the holes in the tower. I ended up ordering some 3.5" bolts from kegworks.com for $5.50 (http://www.kegworks.com/fastener-bolt-set-for-draft-beer-towers-870-p175998?_s_icmp=nextopia) which gave me the length I needed.

    With the tower securely mounted I then turned my attention to mounting the CO2 tank and running the lines to the interior of the fridge. The tank mount basically slides into guides and is pretty secure.


    Then I ran into issue #2: The predrilled air-in hole can only accommodate 1 5/16" line, and it's a tight fit. In order to run two lines in (so I could run 2 separate pressures) I would have to make the hole larger. I called Edgestar back to confirm that there was no coolant lines running in close proximity of the predrilled hole on the back of the cabinet. The answer I basically got was "you will just have to try it and find out". Real comforting. I started by once again, making another template.

    Had I been drilling a brand new hole this process would have been as simple as using a hole saw, but since there was already a hole there it was a much bigger pain in the ass. I ended up using a dremel tool with grinding bits to very slowly cut the metal away from the cabinet (while inspecting I wasn't about to hit anything important). Once the metal was cut away I then used a hole saw to tear through the foam insulation and plastic on the inside. Once I had confirmed both air lines would fit I had to make it pretty. I ordered a subwoofer port tube off of ebay and cut it to size and inserted it in the hole. It sticks out a tiny bit from the edge of the fridge, but effectively covers up the hack job I did with the dremel and looks pretty damn good in my opinion. Finished product:

    Now I had read some conflicting reviews on whether or not this model would fit two sixtel kegs or not. After further research I confirmed that it did, as this is the exact same fridge Edgestar uses for their prefabricated dual tap model (KC2000TWIN). However it is indeed a tight fit...

    I had read that temperature change in the beer lines from the fridge through the tower was a leading cause of excess foam, so I followed this tutorial (http://www.kegkits.com/kegerator5.htm) and built my own tower cooler for about $20. It works pretty damn well.
    (Cooling fan set in back of fridge, power cable ran through air-in hole)
    (Dryer hose attached to cooling fan run up through tower)

    The finished product:

    Overall I am pretty happy with my purchase and how things went. The big complaint that many people had is that the temperature of the unit does not get low enough straight out of the box. This is quickly remedied by disassembling the thermostat and adjusting one screw, which takes all of 5 minutes. Instructions can be found online or you can give Edgestar a quick call and they will email them to you.

    The only issue I am still currently running into is over pressure/foaming. When set at 10-12 psi the beer basically explodes from the faucet, leaving half a glass of foam. To run the kegs at lower CO2 levels would most certainly flatten the beer over time. Temperature of the beer is spot on at 38 degrees, so the only thing I can think of that may be causing this problem is that the beer lines are too short. I am currently running 5' lines but have ordered 7' lines to try out. Hopefully it helps.

    If anyone has any questions and/or comments feel free to post. Thanks for reading!
  2. EdTheEdge

    EdTheEdge Advocate (640) California Mar 26, 2011

  3. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Ohio Nov 12, 2010

    Very nice.
    What did you total cost end up being?
  4. ::Begins plotting out area of house for kegerator::
  5. Haven't calculated it yet but I'll look through my receipts and let you know.
  6. given2flybrewing

    given2flybrewing Savant (280) Missouri Dec 19, 2008 Verified

  7. Looks very professional. I keep wanting to build my own, but it looks like a lot of fabrication. I just don't want to overspend on craigslist for someones crappy old kegerator.
  8. Update: changed lines from 5 to 7 feet and the beer pours beautifully at 12 psi. Will get a total price rundown together soon and post it.
  9. Thanks for the CO2 line tip!
  10. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (425) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified

    That's beer lines to 7 feet, not CO2 lines.

    The 525 faucets are partially to blame, forward closing faucets flow faster and aggravate the foam issue. You might have also been facing a balance problem, in your picture up above of the finished product the keg on the left isn't balanced - there is a big air gap where the beer line comes out of the coupler.
  11. Appreciate the awesome build information. Think I will definitely take your lessons learned and build a similar setup. Would love to have a keezer, but we just don't have the room. Now I just need to find a way to do this to avoid wife agro.
  12. hailster

    hailster Aficionado (145) Wisconsin May 28, 2006

    Looks good! I have basically the same set-up except I didn't expand the CO2 line hole in the back. On mine the tower is bolted into place and not twisted, but I do know some of the Edgestar kegerators do have the twist on towers.

    What size beer lines did you buy? I'm having foam issues on mine and might try extending beer line lengths to see if that helps.

    If you ever run into issues with a keg being slightly too tall pick up one of these. http://www.kegworks.com/keg-coupler-elbow-90-degree-829-p21644 I had issues with one of the small breweries in the area using old soda kegs that were modified with a sankey connector that were slightly too high for this kegerator.
  13. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (425) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified

    if you are getting lines, get 10 feet and cut back if needed. If you have forward closing faucets you will need 8-10, if rear closing 7-8.
  14. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (425) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified

    You also need to make sure you have the proper balance based on temperature and the volumes of CO2.
  15. Care to elaborate? The only time I had a problem with my forward sealing faucets was when I used the stock spouts (not sure what size they were). I fixed it by switching to 8mm spouts. Perhaps the 8mm spouts simply provide more resistance? FWIW, I use 6' x 3/16" lines for both type of faucets.
  16. DougC123

    DougC123 Savant (425) Connecticut Aug 21, 2012 Verified

    Forward closers flow faster and aggravate foam all things being equal. An extra foot or two will slow it down while allowing you to keep balanced. My Perlicks don't have removable spouts, they are what they are. I could likely shorten up a bit, but it all works fine the way it is. If experimenting I always suggest longer, it is a thirty five cent investment per foot. Always easy to cut back.