– used to drill hole for tower and beer lines
- 3" hole saw
hand saw or sharp box knife
Tape Sharpie Marker
First you will need to place your keg and CO2 tank with the
regulator attached to the CO2 tank in the refrigerator to make sure the door
will close and seal properly. If the
door will not close properly, then remove the CO2 Tank and see if the door will
close. If so, you may want to design
the kegerator so that the CO2 Tank is outside of the refrigerator. If the door almost closes and is being block
by the bottom lip of the door or any door trays, you may be able to easily
remove the trays or the bottom lip.
Before you cut into the door trays or the bottom lip, make
sure you can’t first remove them without cutting. If the trays or lip are permanently in place, carefully draw out
the area that you need cut out so that the door will shut. Use a sharpie to do this. Next, carefully use a sharp utility knife or
small hand saw to cut out the area previously marked with the sharpie. Once the cuts are made, check to make sure
the door will properly close.
If you have to place your CO2 outside of the refrigerator,
you will need to make a small hole the size of the tubing on the side of the
refrigerator. Do not immediately make a
hole as you will run a good chance of breaking a refrigeration line and will
ruin the refrigerator. The first step
for drilling through the side of the refrigerator is to check the refrigerators’
manual to see if the lines are diagramed in the manual. If the refrigeration lines are not marked or
you do not have a manual, you will need plug in the refrigerator and let it run
for approximately 5 –10 minutes with the door open. Doing this will cause the lines to heat up and you should be able
to find the lines by touching the sides of the refrigerator on the
outside. Use some tape to mark where
the lines are located.
Next, you need to mark an “X” at the spot where you want the
CO2 line to enter the refrigerator.
Keep in mind this needs to be away from the refrigeration lines. Carefully use a small nail and puncture a
small hole in the outside shell of the refrigerator in the middle of the
“X”. Punching a small hole in just the
outer shell will help keep you from hitting a refrigeration line. Next, use the nail and carefully push the
nail through the insulation behind the outer shell. You do this to see if you can reach the inside shell without
hitting any refrigeration lines. Once
you are certain you are not going to hit a refrigeration line, use a drill and
drill bit the size of the outer diameter of the CO2 vinyl tubing and carefully
drill a hole where you have placed the “X”.
Feed the CO2 line through the drilled hole. If you have space around the line, purchase some insulation foam
spray and carefully insulate the area around the tubing. You do not want a leak
in your refrigerator where the cold air can escape. Now that the CO2 tank is installed and the beer keg fits in
the refrigerator and the door properly closes and seals, it is time to install
the dispense tower.
When you receive your dispense tower, measure the inside
column and make sure you do not cut a hole in the top of the refrigerator any
larger than this measurement. A well-designed
and durable tower will have at least a 3” column and some will be larger when
multiple taps are being dispensed from the tower.
Most towers will have a thickness of 1/16 inch. Multiply the thickness of the metal on the
tower by 2 and subtract this product from the diameter of the tower and this
will equal the maximum size of the hole to be drilled. For example, I have a 3 inch tower with 1/16
inch thick metal. The hole I drill
cannot be any larger than 2 7/8 inches [3” - (1/16” x 2)].
If you are able to find a hole saw that is approximately
this size (2 7/8”) then use the hole saw to drill the tower hole. If you are not able to access a hole saw,
then trace a circle on the top of the refrigerator using a glass or can that
has a diameter that is less than 2 7/8 inches.
Next, use a drill to cut small holes around the line you traced. Next, carefully use wire cutters or sheet
metal cutters to connect the dots you just drilled to cut out the large circle
for the tower. This process can basically
be thought of as connecting the dots using a small drill bit and wire cutters.
Before you cut into the top of the refrigerator, you will
need to find the center of the top and place an “X” at the center. Next, you will need to use a small nail and
puncture a hole in the outer shell of the top.
Carefully push the nail through the insulation and check to see if there
are any refrigeration lines in the top of the refrigerator. If you do not see any lines, then carefully
proceed with cutting out the top for the dispense tower. You will need to cut through both the outer
shell and the inner shell so that the beer lines will reach inside the
refrigerator and so cold air can travel into the tower. (You must make sure
that you are not going to drill or cut through any refrigeration lines!) Once you have a hole cut through the top of
the refrigerator, you are ready to screw down the tower.
Do not remove the insulation from the beer tower. This insulation is needed to help maintain
the cool temperature in the tower once it is installed. The tower should have come with mounting
screws and a drilled gasket. The screws
included with the tower are usually wood screws that are used to attach the
tower to a bar top or tabletop. Since
we are attaching the tower to a refrigerator and not wood, you will need to
purchase small screws and nuts that are the same size of screw as the wood
screws. Take the wood screws to a local
hardware store and look for screws the same size and that have threads the full
length of the screw. (You should be
able to find screws that are 2 ½” to 3” in length by #20. Make sure to purchase
the matching washers and nuts for these screws.) Most hardware stores carry stainless steel screws that work great
with the kegerator draft towers. You are ready to attach the tower once you
have the correct screws and nuts.
Feed the beer line through the rubber gasket and allow the
beer lines to fully extend into the refrigerator through hole drilled in the
top. Next, align the tower over the
center of the top of the refrigerator and use your sharpie to mark the four mounting
holes. Use your drill and drill four
mounting holes through the top of the refrigerator. Make sure you drill through the outer shell and the inner shell. Next, align the tower with the mounting
holes and mount the tower using your hardware.
Be sure to tighten the nuts on the tower, but not to over tighten as you
can bend the top of the refrigerator if the nuts are over tightened. You are now ready to attach the ball lock
fittings for your home brew keg.
The black ball lock disconnect is the beer out line. Cut the wing nut and tailpiece off of the
beer line that came with your draft dispense tower. Don’t cut any more length off the tubing than you need too. Attach the black disconnect and use a clamp
to hold the vinyl tubing to the disconnect.
Next, attach your CO2 airline to the gray disconnect just as
you connected the beer disconnect.
You will need to keep the same temperature from the keg to the faucet and not allow the beer to warm up in the beer line before it is dispensed. Do your best to keep
the beer in the keg and in the line approximately 37°F for
the beer dispensing experience. Do not allow the beer to warm up until it is in the glass. To help maintain the temperature on a refrigerator or a freezer, we recommend using a thermostat controler. This will bypass the internal thermostat of the refrigerator or freezer and allow you to better control the kegerator's temperature.
That’s it; you are now ready to pour your home brewed beer using your
A drip tray is a nice addition to your kegerator. The alternative is to use a towel as the top
of the kegerator is easy to clean.
Please email us at email@example.com
if you have any questions and check out all of our draft beer kegerators and parts at www.learntobrew.com.