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Irish

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Question for the keg & wet bars guys @CraigT78 @Old State

How did you guys run your beer lines from the kegerator to the bar top mounted tower? I've built several kegerators but those all had the tower directly mounted to the top of the mini fridge, so this is slightly new territory for me. Here's what I was thinking of doing:

Cut outs for drip tray and tower lines, the top of the mini fridge is about 4" below the counter surface:
246629


I found a piece of pvc pipe that will fit just inside tower, I was thinking if running this through the hole in the counter, down to the hole (not there yet) in the top of the fridge, putting a little putty on the end of the pipe to help seal it.

246627


246628


246632


246630


I don't plan on adding a fan to force chill the tower but I thought this would work to keep everything relatively sealed. Any thoughts, feedback or other recommendations?

246631


246626
 

CraigT78

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Question for the keg & wet bars guys @CraigT78 @Old State

How did you guys run your beer lines from the kegerator to the bar top mounted tower? I've built several kegerators but those all had the tower directly mounted to the top of the mini fridge, so this is slightly new territory for me. Here's what I was thinking of doing:

Cut outs for drip tray and tower lines, the top of the mini fridge is about 4" below the counter surface:

I found a piece of pvc pipe that will fit just inside tower, I was thinking if running this through the hole in the counter, down to the hole (not there yet) in the top of the fridge, putting a little putty on the end of the pipe to help seal it.

I don't plan on adding a fan to force chill the tower but I thought this would work to keep everything relatively sealed. Any thoughts, feedback or other recommendations?
I used PVC - not sure what type, it's thin. Inserted it up through the beer line hole, into the keg tower.
246643

Then I put insulation into the tower. 1/4 inch black neoprene like stuff, probably for pipes.

246642

This was all good, but I was always getting a foamy first pour, so I ended up adding a forced blower, which kept my inside air temp more stable, and also keeps the beer faucets and shanks cold. Every pour is now perfect.
246644


So it looks like you have the right idea - spray paint that PVC black, and you won't even see it under there.
 

CraigT78

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I used PVC - not sure what type, it's thin. Inserted it up through the beer line hole, into the keg tower.
View attachment 246643
Then I put insulation into the tower. 1/4 inch black neoprene like stuff, probably for pipes.

View attachment 246642
This was all good, but I was always getting a foamy first pour, so I ended up adding a forced blower, which kept my inside air temp more stable, and also keeps the beer faucets and shanks cold. Every pour is now perfect.
View attachment 246644

So it looks like you have the right idea - spray paint that PVC black, and you won't even see it under there.
246645
246646
 

Irish

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I used PVC - not sure what type, it's thin. Inserted it up through the beer line hole, into the keg tower.
View attachment 246643
Then I put insulation into the tower. 1/4 inch black neoprene like stuff, probably for pipes.

View attachment 246642
This was all good, but I was always getting a foamy first pour, so I ended up adding a forced blower, which kept my inside air temp more stable, and also keeps the beer faucets and shanks cold. Every pour is now perfect.
View attachment 246644

So it looks like you have the right idea - spray paint that PVC black, and you won't even see it under there.
Awesome dude, thanks for the details and pics, that's a huge help!
 

Old State

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Question for the keg & wet bars guys @CraigT78 @Old State

How did you guys run your beer lines from the kegerator to the bar top mounted tower? I've built several kegerators but those all had the tower directly mounted to the top of the mini fridge, so this is slightly new territory for me. Here's what I was thinking of doing:

Cut outs for drip tray and tower lines, the top of the mini fridge is about 4" below the counter surface:
View attachment 246629

I found a piece of pvc pipe that will fit just inside tower, I was thinking if running this through the hole in the counter, down to the hole (not there yet) in the top of the fridge, putting a little putty on the end of the pipe to help seal it.

View attachment 246627

View attachment 246628

View attachment 246632

View attachment 246630

I don't plan on adding a fan to force chill the tower but I thought this would work to keep everything relatively sealed. Any thoughts, feedback or other recommendations?

View attachment 246631

View attachment 246626
This is basically how mine is set up too. My lower bar top was close enough to the top of the kegerator as to not require the PVC solution you have. The hole in the top of the kegerator was already there with a plug in it. There were also pilot holes to mount a tower. Instead I found a metal flange that had the same spaced holes for screws. I attached that and it took up the space under the bar. I wrapped the two kegs lines in foam pipe insulation.

Also, I too made a beer tower cooler.

Hopefully when this thing kicks the bucket I will be able to get another kegerator that will line up.

Looks like you have a good set up. Just make sure you leave space around the kegerator for it to move air as it is not an under counter model. Neither is mine, but we built in a 4” gap behing the lower bar for air to move. Not sure if you can make that out in the picture.


246649
246650
246651
246652
 
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Irish

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This is basically how mine is set up too. My lower bar top was close enough to the top of the kegerator as to not require the PVC solution you have. The hole in the top of the kegerator was already there with a plug in it. There were also pilot holes to mount a tower. Instead I found a metal flange that had the same spaced holes for screws. I attached that and it took up the space under the bar. I wrapped the two kegs lines in foam pipe insulation.

Also, I too made a beer tower cooler.

Hopefully when this thing kicks the bucket I will be able to get another kegerator that will line up.

Looks like you have a good set up. Just make sure you leave space around the kegerator for it to move air as it is not an under counter model. Neither is mine, but we built in a 4” gap behing the lower bar foe air to move. Not sure if you can make that out in the picture.


View attachment 246649View attachment 246650View attachment 246651View attachment 246652
Thanks and nice setup, much appreciated. I left 3+" in the back and on each side of the fridge for air circulation so it should be good.:tup:

Edit to add: the bar top on this is a little higher than standard because I have the flush mounted drip tray, so I need a couple of extra inches for the drain.
 

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If its not too late, I highly recommend getting an under the counter refrigerator that exhausts out of the front kick panel. The ones that exhaust out the back are typically not made for under the counter use. The hot air gets trapped under the counter and the inside temp of frig suffers and it runs for longer period of times. I stopped using the one I got for under my wet bar. Was going to get a front exhaust one but ended up with a full size one in my laundry room which is right next to my wet bar. My under the counter frig is just for decoration now. :)
 

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If its not too late, I highly recommend getting an under the counter refrigerator that exhausts out of the front kick panel. The ones that exhaust out the back are typically not made for under the counter use. The hot air gets trapped under the counter and the inside temp of frig suffers and it runs for longer period of times. I stopped using the one I got for under my wet bar. Was going to get a front exhaust one but ended up with a full size one in my laundry room which is right next to my wet bar. My under the counter frig is just for decoration now. :)
Being a commercial food equip tech / sales guy this statement is totally true, good suggestion @Tommy
 

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Being a commercial food equip tech / sales guy this statement is totally true, good suggestion @Tommy
This is my plan as well...once these things go. I got the kegerator, a bar fridge, and a wine fridge for free from a points program at work. Figured I would use them until they broke and then buy front venting ones. Knock on wood, five years later and they are all still working. When I stick my hand under my top bar and over the venting area I can feel the heat when the compressors are on. Not bad but it makes me glad I made that design feature. I also have an inch or two around the front, sides, and bottom of each unit, but I think the venting out the top back is the key to creating a natural draft for airflow.
 

Irish

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If its not too late, I highly recommend getting an under the counter refrigerator that exhausts out of the front kick panel. The ones that exhaust out the back are typically not made for under the counter use. The hot air gets trapped under the counter and the inside temp of frig suffers and it runs for longer period of times. I stopped using the one I got for under my wet bar. Was going to get a front exhaust one but ended up with a full size one in my laundry room which is right next to my wet bar. My under the counter frig is just for decoration now. :)
Being a commercial food equip tech / sales guy this statement is totally true, good suggestion @Tommy
Understood, but I do already have both mini refrigerators (both the same as the one pictured). When I started researching this 2 years ago, I was running into 2 problems - keg clearance and price. These Danby units are very popular for keg conversions, with a few pretty easy modifications, you can fit two home brew corny kegs in them (and a 5lb CO2 cylinder, though I think I'm going to store mine outside in the cabinet). They have minimal electrical or coolant lines in the top & sides, so as long you double check them they're easy to drill through for the beer lines, CO2 hose, and temperature control/fan wiring. They also only run $200. I built my first kegerator out of an earlier version of this unit, it ran for 10 years in a similar configuration (under cabinet but with 2"-3" clear) before I stupidly chinked a coolant line trying to remove some built up frost :banghead::banghead::banghead:. The built-in compact refrigerators with the front vents are really nice, the problem with most was for a unit with the same height, the kegs didn't fit due to the front venting system reducing the vertical clearance. Most of the built-in units are commercial grade and started at $800-$900, and the ones that are designed for kegs to allow for the extra clearance inside were well over a grand. For my humble setup, I know these Danby units work well, and even if I only get 5-10 years out of them and then have to replace them, I'm good with that. :)
 
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Irish

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The last week or so work has been primarily on the liquor and glassware cabinets that will go above the chip displays and the trim work around the sink, tap, & drip tray.

Trim
250615


Test fit (i have a little over 1/16" to spare lol)
250614


Cabinets ready for the face frames
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Face frames
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I also spent a little time figuring out how to fill in the areas between the chip displays. I thought with all the stained cabinets that the look of the bar was getting a little too rich/dark, so I orderd a piece of curly maple to go between the chip displays. No stain for these accent pieces, just poly.

250609


250613


These little areas are here to house the electrical boxes for 2 outlets for any bar top appliances (coffee maker / ice maker / hot dog roller) and two switches for the display and under cabinet lights.

250611


Staining and finishing everything this week with the hopes of getting them installed and wired over the weekend. :tup:
 

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I was able to stain & finish the three top cabinets this week, then spent most of the weekend getting the outlets wired, LEDs for the chip displays installed, and top cabinets mounted. The middle top cabinet will be for liquor, it'll have glass doors and eventually will have one of those under lit LED liquor shelves. The side cabinets will have solid doors and be for glass ware and storage.

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Also mounted some under cabinet LED lighting:

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Couldn't help myself, had to load in a few racks of chips to test out how it looked :)
252371


With under cabinet lights on.

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And with the chip display LEDs on (it's a cooler white color but they don't appear quite this blue in person)

252372


Next up is tiling the counter top. It's still several weeks away, but the finish line is in sight. :LOL: :laugh:
 
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Tiled & grouted the counter top this weekend. I went with a rusted stone slate mix to complement the blues from the walls and reddish tint in the bar stain.

Glued down the oak trim around the sink, tap and drip tray, and laid out the tile pattern.
255573


I've done a few tile projects (kitchen & bathroom renovations) - typically you lay tile on a backer board, which I completely forgot to account for. So instead I coated the plywood base with a waterproofing membrane coat to seal the plywood and provide a good substrate for the thin set to grab.

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And then set all the tile:

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And then grouted (went with a gray grout) and installed the edge trim pieces.

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I still have to caulk around the perimeter of the tiled area. I'm going to be pouring a thin epoxy bar topping over the tile. The trim pieces will act like dams to keep the epoxy pooled over the tiled counter top, so it needs to be sealed to prevent the epoxy from spilling out.

That will likely be the last update for a while, I have a bunch of things coming up in the next several weeks at work and will likely be taking a break from pretty much everything else....
 

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I’ve used the waterproof membrane on a lot of tile projects I’ve done. Works great especially is basements where you get a lot of variance in temperatures. Looks great! Keep up the good work.
 

BGinGA

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Work is outstanding, sir. Great job on the cabinets, lighting, and tile. You have all this laid out in a master plan somewhere?

Couldn't help myself, had to load in a few racks of chips to test out how it looked :)
Are you installing glass doors on the chip cabinets? Would hate to see an errant splash from the sink or hot dog roller :eek: getting on the precious chipes....
 

Irish

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Work is outstanding, sir. Great job on the cabinets, lighting, and tile. You have all this laid out in a master plan somewhere?

Are you installing glass doors on the chip cabinets? Would hate to see an errant splash from the sink or hot dog roller :eek: getting on the precious chipes....
Yep, probably overplanned X10, but I had limited room to work with (especially vertically, 6'-9" min at the lowest point, once the subfloor was installed), so I detailed everything out really precisely in order to cram in everything I wanted. Incorporated into the planning:
  • Heights of the mini refrigerators plus clearance for air flow
  • Structural counter depth to span 4' over 2 the refrigerators (carrying the weight of all the chips, tiled countertop, etc.)
  • Clearance to plumb the drain for the drip tray
  • Set the heights/widths of the chip displays so I could get 6 stacked racks in each cubby, plus some room for fingers to grab them**
  • Accounting for the sliding door hardware in the above
  • Leave enough room for the top cabinets so I could display liquor bottle, ideally with enough room to build a small stepped display shelf
Add all that nonsense up, and I had about 1/8" of tolerance at the pinch point....

** An interesting aside that I learned from the planning, different brands of racks stack at slightly different heights. I originally measured and set the chip display heights based on filled Paulson racks, which hold my PNY set. Right before I started cutting, I realized that 2/3 of all my racks are Chipco racks, so I said let's double check with those. I found a rack of 6 stacked chipco racks was 1/2"+ higher. o_O It would have been a super tight fit had I not checked and adjusted.

I have everything drafted in CADD. Here's the "complete" plan with everything turned on:

255678


As I built each section, I turned on the relevant line work for each portion.

Cabinet frames only (dimensions are off, I dimensioned somewhat on the fly as I went):

255681


With face frames:

255680


And with doors (I haven't added the top cabinet doors to the model yet)

255679


With regards to the chip displays - yes as @allforcharity noted these will have sliding acrylic doors to keep both dust, hot dog juice and beer off the chips.
 

72o

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Wow nice work man! You’ve got some patience. Very impressed.

The plans are awesome too. It’s nice to see another CADD guy around. Do you use it professionally or as a hobby for projects? CADD is my life. :)
 

Irish

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Wow nice work man! You’ve got some patience. Very impressed.

The plans are awesome too. It’s nice to see another CADD guy around. Do you use it professionally or as a hobby for projects? CADD is my life. :)
I'm a structural engineer but started my professional career very heavy in CADD 15+ years ago, primarily in Microstation & AutoCAD (learned on R13). I do primarily transportation/DOT related bridge & tunnel design projects. I'm a project manager now so I don't use CADD much day to day, but I still try to keep up with updates/versions so I can get into models when I need to. A big piece of me misses drafting all day, I very much enjoy being able to build something virtually, then see it come to fruition in real life.
 

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Thanks and nice setup, much appreciated. I left 3+" in the back and on each side of the fridge for air circulation so it should be good.:tup:

Edit to add: the bar top on this is a little higher than standard because I have the flush mounted drip tray, so I need a couple of extra inches for the drain.
Very nice setup. I have a kegerator as well. Only concern would be that if you don't force cool air into the tower, will you get foam? If so, should be easy to fix via the forced blower CraigT78 indicates in his pics.
 

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Very nice setup. I have a kegerator as well. Only concern would be that if you don't force cool air into the tower, will you get foam? If so, should be easy to fix via the forced blower CraigT78 indicates in his pics.
I've had this tower in place in my previous kegerator, didn't have any foam issues then but the room is a little warmer now that everything's finished, so I may just add the blower. I'm a little concerned about getting a lot of condensation on the tower, we'll see.
 

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I used PVC - not sure what type, it's thin. Inserted it up through the beer line hole, into the keg tower.
View attachment 246643
Then I put insulation into the tower. 1/4 inch black neoprene like stuff, probably for pipes.

View attachment 246642
This was all good, but I was always getting a foamy first pour, so I ended up adding a forced blower, which kept my inside air temp more stable, and also keeps the beer faucets and shanks cold. Every pour is now perfect.
View attachment 246644

So it looks like you have the right idea - spray paint that PVC black, and you won't even see it under there.
Does the fan running air to the tower run all the time or does it cycle on and off with the compressor?
 

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Yep, probably overplanned X10, but I had limited room to work with (especially vertically, 6'-9" min at the lowest point, once the subfloor was installed), so I detailed everything out really precisely in order to cram in everything I wanted. Incorporated into the planning:
  • Heights of the mini refrigerators plus clearance for air flow
  • Structural counter depth to span 4' over 2 the refrigerators (carrying the weight of all the chips, tiled countertop, etc.)
  • Clearance to plumb the drain for the drip tray
  • Set the heights/widths of the chip displays so I could get 6 stacked racks in each cubby, plus some room for fingers to grab them**
  • Accounting for the sliding door hardware in the above
  • Leave enough room for the top cabinets so I could display liquor bottle, ideally with enough room to build a small stepped display shelf
Add all that nonsense up, and I had about 1/8" of tolerance at the pinch point....

** An interesting aside that I learned from the planning, different brands of racks stack at slightly different heights. I originally measured and set the chip display heights based on filled Paulson racks, which hold my PNY set. Right before I started cutting, I realized that 2/3 of all my racks are Chipco racks, so I said let's double check with those. I found a rack of 6 stacked chipco racks was 1/2"+ higher. o_O It would have been a super tight fit had I not checked and adjusted.

I have everything drafted in CADD. Here's the "complete" plan with everything turned on:

View attachment 255678

As I built each section, I turned on the relevant line work for each portion.

Cabinet frames only (dimensions are off, I dimensioned somewhat on the fly as I went):

View attachment 255681

With face frames:

View attachment 255680

And with doors (I haven't added the top cabinet doors to the model yet)

View attachment 255679

With regards to the chip displays - yes as @allforcharity noted these will have sliding acrylic doors to keep both dust, hot dog juice and beer off the chips.
You do all the CADD work?

Edit: didn’t read far enough.
 

Irish

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There's a keg tower chiller on Amazon, I've been looking through the questions/reviews and it looks like some folks keep the fanning running 24/7, others turn in on before a party and chill it just before use. It also looks like they make a cover for the tower to help insulate it better and prevent the condensation issues.

https://www.amazon.com/Coldtower-Kegerator-Upgraded-MAXIMUM-cooling/dp/B00OZPJ9X0?pd_rd_w=MmUig&pf_rd_p=125a0326-ad5d-4104-b232-c142fce71642&pf_rd_r=KTN8TREGFJWW1KZ1TA98&pd_rd_r=1145ba4c-4b3d-46e2-ba7c-f37cef9b2810&pd_rd_wg=oiPGo&ref_=pd_gw_simh
 
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