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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Siciliano's Kegerator Contest - Vote Now!

Update: Voting is now closed. Okay, folks, here's how to vote. First, study the five kegerators below. Second, choose the one you feel is the most creative, best designed, and most technically impressive. Third, vote for your favorite by clicking the corresponding bubble in the Buzz poll located in the upper right-hand corner of this blog. Fourth, celebrate your vote by drinking a tasty homebrew. Fifth, continue the celebration. Remember, voting closes Friday, September 16, at 12pm sharp. Good luck to all finalists!

Kegerator #1
David Butler's Chest Freezer

Greetings, I am submitting my entry for your DIY Kegerator Contest. I got my inspiration from my friend and brew mentor Eric Mis. I started with a 20 cubic foot freezer and purchased a Johnson Digital Thermostat Control #A419. I took the cover off of the freezer, glued 2x4’s down on top of the freezer and put the cover back on. I caulked both inside and outside the 2x4’s to save energy. I received a lot of technical assistance from Siciliano’s as well as various parts and pieces and several kegs.

My mother-in-law also gave me several kegs and the CO2 cylinder. I purchased a twin body CO2 regulator and 2 four valve distributors, this way I can regulate two pressures and have a keg charged and ready to go if needed. I had the luxury of building a new house and the ability to set up my home bar. I have two towers, each with three taps mounted on the bar. The tubing runs from the Kegerator in the mechanical room to the taps, about 4’. I have a 19” recessed drain tray that is connected to a floor drain.

Currently on tap I have four of my home brews (watermelon ale, mocha-java porter, very berry ale, Belgian triple with vanilla bean), two kegs of hard cider (Blueberry and Cherry) from Vander Mill that I alternate depending on my wife’s taste. I subscribe to the happy wife happy life theory. I also have a keg of Berghoff’s root beer, family and friends love the old A & W style root beer floats (you have to keep lots of vanilla ice cream on hand). I have been a “kit” brewer but with the help of my mentor I am going to move up to whole grain.


Kegerator #2 
Jackson Payer's 1952 Philco Kegerator

Built on the same premises as the ale it was designed to contain, my kegerator is not about size, production, or mass consumption. It proudly stands for the principles for quality, passion, craft, beauty and hard work.

Touting two Perlick Perl faucets, CO2 manifold, and a custom stainless steel drip tray; my kegerator project did not always have such high aspirations. The spring of 2008 I had decided to start brewing all grain batches and kegging, no more bottling for me. But with a total budget of around $160.00, I was looking for a cheap fridge and minimal setup. I picked up a ‘vintage’ GE fridge on Craigslist for a mere $15.00. Shortly thereafter my buddy acquired a small Philco refrigerator, which I soon convinced him to part with. Having the same internal dimensions as the large GE, but much smaller external dimensions, it had potential for a great kegerator.

Since winter was fast approaching, the Philco sat till the spring of 2009 before the start of its restoration journey. In the meantime the GE fridge took on its current role of cellaring homebrew and countless ales from Siciliano’s.

When spring arrived, I dismantled the fridge and started sanding. The chrome was sent off to George Iverson, an automotive trim restoration specialist in Minnesota. Tired of the way typical drip trays looked with their crooked drains, exposed screws, and non-conforming shape, I set off to design my own. With a curve to match the shape of the fridge, an internal drain, hidden studs and bullnose corners, it’s one of a kind. It has an internal sprayer to rinse the tray clean on each use. The refrigerator was completely restored from the ground up with all original parts, and high R-Value insulation. I settled on a 1956 Chevy color scheme of Adobe White and Sierra Gold. The summer of 2010 my buddy Russ over at Kenowa Body Shop painted it up for me.

The only thing left was to top it off with homebrew, which I did for the first time this spring. I eventually intend to create some custom chrome tap handles, but in the meantime my homebrewed, all-grain IPA tastes just fine on tap.


Kegerator #3
Joe Burdick's Port-O-Party

I had just completed my converted freezer kegerator and I wanted an easier way to bring my libation creations to the masses (family, friends, neighbors, etc.). Bottling became a pain in the ass and it was difficult to ask my hosts to clear out half their family fridge for a keg and CO2 tank for the evening. Upon much online research, the “Port-O-Party” idea started to form. I wanted something portable, flexible (i.e. more than one tap), and relatively easy to build and set up. I looked at other “trash can” set-ups and also jockey boxes, but this general design I found while browsing the HomeBrewTalk forums.

I especially liked the idea of having a smaller portable CO2 dispensing system and not having to buy a new 5lb tank or keep switching mine out. That was going to be the deal breaker for me. So I set out online to purchase a portable CO2 “system” at a good price. I finally found a JacPac CO2 regulator kit for a pneumatic nail gun that used a 9oz canister on eBay. And as it turned out the seller was local here in GR.

Now came time to assemble the apparatus. Three 5gal corny kegs fit very snugly in the can so I knew that 3 taps would be the limit. I also wanted to make it family friendly, a selling point to my wife and kids, so one of the taps was going to be for soda. I drilled the holes for the taps and decided that a facing would help stabilize the shanks, so I found an old cabinet facing from our kitchen and used that. To insulate the can I wrapped 1/4inch foam insulation in plastic and cut to fit the inside area. The tubing and ball locks came next. I used a stainless cross to distribute the CO2 to all three kegs and used a piece of PVC pipe to hold the CO2 canister and balance the regulator.

After getting the canister filled at a paintball facility I was ready to roll. Now I needed something to display what was in each tap. I usually make up some kind of label just for kicks for each beer so I decided to use baseball card sleeves attached to the lid with Velcro tape. This way I can easily slip the label in for each new creation. The maiden voyage of the “Port-O-Party” was a tremendous success with a Friday evening neighborhood happy hour. I next decided that I needed a drip tray so I added that. It is attached to brackets by Velcro tape so it is easily removed for cleaning. I chose to decorate the can with all the different labels I have created in a “ring of fame” around the top. I am thrilled with how this turned out and plan to use it as often as I “can.”


Kegerator #4
Josh Chilcote & Ryan Hanna's Converted Chest Freezer

A winter project that my friend and brewing partner undertook to better show case our hard work. We rescued a small chest freezer from and friends garage and quickly began research on how to construct the kegerator. We removed the lid and a made a collar out of 2X8's and then we use a 1X12 to create an over hang around the perimeter of the 2X8 collar. We then put tape foam insulation on both the chest freezer and the collar. Thus began the search for a manifold, taps, shanks, tubing, and thermostat overrides. We also included a small computer fan and an indoor/outdoor thermometer to monitor and even out the temperature in the kegerator. The entire collar is removable to allow for adding and removing half barrel sanke kegs and for ease of cleaning. The 2x8 collar also allows for the soda kegs to stand comfortably on the ledge inside the freezer, because of this we were able to fit six soda kegs and one half barrel sanke keg totaling about 45 gallons and 7 different beers being available! There is currently 4 taps on the collar now with plans to add 2 more since there is a six spot manifold. There is also a quick disconnect for the CO2 line.


Kegerator #5
Jason Locascio's 1948 Leonard Refrigerator

Here are a few pics of my vintage kegerator. I made this myself using a 1948 Leonard refrigerator that was made right here in Grand Rapids! Hope you like it!



  1. I think I like the first one... I am a kegorator purist, what can I say.

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