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I am new to kegging and I am trying to build a kegerator. I am short on living space so I am considering a particularly low-footprint concept. My question is: what do you guys think about this concept and is there a device I can buy instead of make?

Basically I want it to be an open-top small fridge, with only enough space to insert the bottom part (e.g. 1/3) of a keg.

Of course there would be heat loss and condensation issues (on the outer part of the keg), but if used for only a short time (cool and drink) I think it would be useful. I am using Cornellius kegs. Please share your thoughts.

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I'm guessing you are thinking of getting a small bar fridge, then turing it over so the opening points to the ceiling?

Honestly I am not sure that would work at all. You would need to chill the keg for at least three hours in a completely sealed fridge and with the door open it might take much longer or maybe not even work at all.

I see two options which you could do. The first is if you are only interested in cooling and chilling for stints at a time. The second is what I would personally do.

  1. Insulate a 5 gallon bucket with reflective insulation or styrofoam and fill it with water and salt. Put the keg in the bucket. The salt will lower the temperature of the water. You can then add in ice to further chill your keg.
  2. Buy a small keg i.e 1 gallon or 2.5 gallon keg. Fill the keg periodically from your main keg using a jumper connection and place the smaller keg in your fridge. The 1 gallon can sit upright like normal and the 2.5 gallon keg can have its dip tube bent so the keg can rest horizontally in your fridge.

Warning: With repeated heating and cooling of your beer you can also develop permenant chill haze.

Chill haze is a haze that forms when beer is cooled and disappears when the beer warms up. Repeated heating and cooling cycles can cause chill haze to turn permanent. Chill haze is formed when proteins in the beer bond weakly with polyphenols (also called tannins).

Source: http://byo.com/mead/item/645-fining-your-beer-techniques

Here is a photo of a 2.5 gallon keg in someone's fridge: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=108840

  • fthinker is right. You definitely don't want to turn a fridge on its side. That will mess up the way the compressor works. You also probably don't want to cut a 9 inch hole in the top of a fridge for fear or hitting any coils that are pumping anti-freeze throughout the walls of the fridge. All around, this seems like a bad idea. There are other ways to cool your kegs - commercially available kegerators that can hold two cornies and have a tap tower on top is just one example. Or, you could build your own out of a small chest freezer that does not take up much space. – BoilerBrad Oct 15 '15 at 12:15
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I think you will have problems trying to keep the keg cold, and this will be terribly inefficient: The temperature of the beer in the keg will tend to equalize, and so the exposed keg will constantly be warming the beer as the refrigerator tries to cool it.

Have you considered a jockey box? For short periods of time, they are very effective at chilling beer on demand. For a more permanent setup, you could try building the coils into a small refrigerator that would slow the melting of the ice, although if too cold, it could freeze the beer during periods of non-use.

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