Draft Beer Links
Cooling Your Beer Tower
Ever wonder why the first 1/2 beer you pour from your kegerator is warm and foamy? But after your first
beer, your beer faucet is so cold that the faucet actually sweats?
The answer is really simple. Because warm air naturally rises
and cold air naturally sinks, cold air from inside your
kegerator can't circulate into the inside of your beer tower
without a little help.
And the end result is that the beer shank & beer faucet stay
at room temperature until you pour a little beer through them.
Actually, two things to happen when your faucet & shank stay
warm. First, CO2 breaks out of the beer inside the shank &
faucet and causes bubbles to form. Second, the first ounce or so
is warm and the next couple of ounces warm up as they cool off
the faucet and shank.
I've always advised customers to mount a small fan inside
their kegerator in such a way that the fan 1/2 overlaps the beer
tower opening - this solution works well.
But Eric, a local homebrew club member and customer, took the
idea one step further. He added a forced air cooler to his Danby Model DAR440BK
based mini-fridge 2 keg
kegerator and he was nice enough to let me post his instructions
With a little plumbing, the same setup could be used to cool
a 2 or 3 tower kegerator with one fan. You'd need to run the
hose up from the fan & then tee off a branch for each tower.
We now offer a version of this tower
cooler completely assembled and ready to install
Parts List with suggested sources:
9V 100mA power supply - Radio Shack (other power
supplies will work, just make sure its a 9V and marked DC)
4" x 6" hobby box - Radio Shack (P/N 270-1806)
12VDC three speed 3" (80 mm) PC fan (other PC cooling fans will work,
just make sure its 3" to fit inside the box) - Radio Shack, local
computer shop, Staples
45 degree 1" PVC elbow - Local home improvement store
Length of 1" diameter flexible hose - Local home improvement store
And your kegerator, of course!
Place the fan on the front of the box, then use a marker to mark the
mounting holes & the center cut-out.
Place the 45 degree PVC fitting
on the top if the box, then use a marker to mark the outline and
Open the box & use hand tools to cut openings - the plastic is soft
and is easy to cut with a drill and hacksaw.
Mount the fan on the inside & route the fan's power plug to the
outside of the box.
Mount the 45 degree PVC fitting to the top of the box. You can use
silicone or white bathtub calk to hold the fitting in place - silicone
(any color) really works best. Blue gasket former, sold at most auto
parts stores, does not work well.
The flexible hose does not need any glue - it should fit tight inside
the PVC fitting.
Splice the power supply wiring to the fan wiring & test to make sure the
fan is pulling air in. Eric used an incense stick - you can also test
with your hand.
If the fan is pushing air out, reverse the wiring and
test again. If the fan just hums & does not turn, you bought a AC power
supply instead of a DC power supply.
Eric also bought the mating power plug from Radio Shack so that he
can unplug & replace the fan later. If you don't buy the power plug then
you will need to cut the small connector off the end of the fan power
cord before splicing.
Note the cool blue light. This would look nice in a glass front
Unplug or un-splice the fan connection and run the power in through the
Then re-connect the wires in the same direction they were
before. If not sure, just wire & test again.
You can see the connector the Eric used on his - this is not
necessary but will be convenient if you want to replace the fan later.
Here's a picture of the power cord coming in from the back side of the
Trial fit the fan inside the back of the kegerator, route the flexible
hose up to the tower, measure and cut.
The right length should look
like this picture, with the hose sitting at least 1/2 way into the beer
tower so that friction between the flexible hose, tower insulation and
beer lines can hold the hose in place.
If the hose tends to fall out of your beer tower, you can always tape
it to the 2 beer lines for suport.
Here's a picture looking down from the top and you can see the hose
sticking up in the left side.
Note: The top of all round beer towers
just pops off.
And the final product, with the kegs sitting in front of the fan & hose.
You can tell its there only because of the cool blue light.
One observation that Eric made later - the fan actually cools too
well and water condenses on the outside of the tower. But is this really
a bad thing?
To prevent this, he has started plugging in the fan only when serving
beers from his kegerator.
I believe a better solution would be to wire a cut-off extension cord
end or outlet in a box into the thermostat circuit and then to plug the
fan power supply into the outlet. If done right, the fan will come on
whenever the kegerator turns on. But to do this, you need to understand
more about how the kegerator is wired and there are too many brands and
models out there to include wiring directions for each one in these