Low-tech kegerator

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Low-tech kegerator

Unread postby mook1979 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:31 am

I thought I would share my very basic setup. We moved house (Kent, UK) a few weeks ago and I have a garage for the first time. I built a fermentation box from an old computer cabinet and insulated it with 50mm Celotex insulation boards, since everything had to be done in the shed in the previous house. It allowed me to maintain a steady fermentation temperature in the garden shed by swapping out one or two bottles of frozen water once or twice a day in the summer or hot water bottles in the winter. It's a bit of extra effort, but I found that I would check up on progress at least once a day anyway.

I found bits of timber in the garage and put the upright support for the tap in place last week. The temperature in the garage is around 13C during the day and dips down to around 6-8C at night at the moment. I manage quite well to avoid drinking beer during the week, so I place a bottle with frozen water inside the box on a Thursday night and then swap that out once a day over the weekend. I can easily maintain a decent serving temp. I am really happy with the results so far.

I do not have electricity in the garage, which is something I would like to sort out in the near future. The rest of the house needs attention before I can start spending cash on the garage. The acquisition of kegs, a CO2 tank and a BM has drawn enough attention from SWMBO (with no issues to date), so best not to push it too far. I bought a couple of LED lights with motion detectors from Costco over the weekend. This gives me good lighting when I need top up my glass at night. It is not an ideal setup, but I am really happy with the fact that I managed to get this together with minimal effort. I do not have exact control over fermentation and serving temperatures at the moment, but at least I do not have any running costs in terms of electricity at the moment. The plan is to sort this out before summer.

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Two kegs inside my fermentation box


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There's my 20L BM on the right and a bottle of frozen water ready to go into the box.


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This is how my second batch brewed with the BM (Bohemian Pilsner) is being fermented at the moment. Several boxes from the house move underneath, a roll of foil insulation sheeting wrapped around and a towel on top.

Our under-stairs cupboard stays around 18C, so that is fine for fermenting ales at the moment. The batch that is fermenting away in the garage is a bit of a gamble, since I do not have a temp probe anywhere near it to keep an eye on it. I'm hoping that the heat that is generated during the busiest phase of fermentation will not raise the temp too much. I know it is pretty close to 12C at the moment, so that is good enough for now. An STC-1000 and fermentation fridge is next on my wishlist. Having beer on tap in the garage is a good idea. I don't think I could resist the temptation if it was in the house.
A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.
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mook1979
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: West Wickham, Kent & London
Model: 20 litres (2015)

Re: Low-tech kegerator

Unread postby royco » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:38 am

Mook this is very well done. I like your creative thinking.
royco
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:48 am
Location: Durban, South Africa
Model: 50 litres


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