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Continuous Carbonation Soda Water from Kegerator

Discussion in ''Non Beer' Brewing' started by Josh Dodd, 5/11/19.

 

  1. Josh Dodd

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    Posted 5/11/19
    I use the standard methods discussed elsewhere in the forums to dispense a root beer soda from a 3 tap Kegland series 4 Kegerator. 2 beer kegs and one root beer keg, dispensed through the standard 3 tap beer font. Dual regulator on the CO2 keg, long beer lin on the soda to prevent foaming... It's pretty easy, and while I love having the dedicated root beer on tap (I make it up in 19L batches using Fermentap Root Beer syrup) it would also be great to have plain soda water readily available. I want to keep the pre-mixed root beer, but have an additional option for plain soda water.
    I'm excited to see that Kegland recently announced their auto carbing lid for Corney kegs and I'm really digging the idea.

    (They also announced their Series X kegerator designed to hold four kegs, but I don't fancy replacing my 6-month-old series 4.)

    My thought is to replace the one 19l root-beer Corny keg with two of the smaller 9.5l half kegs, and use one for root beer and install a carbonation lid on the other for plain soda. The kegerator lives in the garage, on the other side of the wall from the kitchen sink. I could drill a small hole in the back of the under-sink cabinet, and through the wall into the garage to feed the water lines through for the carb lid. I would probably need to drill a new hole in the back of the Kegerator for the soda line as we're looking at two C02 lines (one for beer and one for the two soda kegs) and two water lines for soda (one in and one out - see below).

    First question - can I stack two of the smaller kegs (with the added height required for the carbing lid) inside a series 4? I'll measure at home tonight but curious if anyone already stacks these smaller kegs in a Series 4 kegerator.

    2nd thought - I have a 3 tap font on the kegerator. I will need a 4th outlet for dispensing the plain soda. Not really interested in replacing the font or trying to add an additional tap to the existing font. While I'm doing this, it would be great to have the soda water accessible in the kitchen. Thinking I can feed the soda dispensing line back through the hole in the wall and connect it to a standard filter tap mounted on the kitchen sink. Dispense carbonated water directly at the kitchen sink? (Even better would be to run ALL the beer and soda lines through the wall and mount a font on or near the sink/counter-top to have the taps in the kitchen instead of out in the garage, but can't see that one getting past the missus)

    The 3rd thought is around keeping the soda in the line cool. I blow the chilled air from the kegerator fan into the font using the included tube and it does a great job keeping the beer lines cool. My thought would be to put a y-shaped splitter in this tube, keep one tube of chilled air into the font as normal and feed a second tube through the wall, with the soda line inside it, all the way up to the base of the soda tap. Maybe even replace the thin corrugated plastic tube with an insulated hose to ensure the air stays cooler. Depending on the thickness of the insulated hose, I would need to drill a larger hole in the wall to pass the water-in line and the insulated hose and a large enough hole in the kegerator as well.

    4th, has anyone drilled additional holes in the back of teh Kegerator Series 4? I know it's common to drill through a standard fridge, but the series 4 comes pre-drilled, and I'm not sure how easy/safe it is to drill again.

    In theory, all that's needed is the Carbonation lid, a filter tap from bunnings, some standard beer line, a way to split that chilled air hose and some insulated hose. That and some holes drilled in the wall.
    Depending on the water pressure from my RO system, I may need to add an additional 12v water pump to increase pressure into the soda keg.
    Are there any obvious flaws with this plan that I'm missing?
    Has anyone stacked the smaller kegs in a Kegerator? Has anyone drilled additional holes in the back fo their Kegerator? If the pass through to the kitchen tap proves too complex I can just install a picnic tap on some beer line and maybe run it out the top of the font or something, but I like th eidea of integrating it all cleanly.
     
  2. Josh Dodd

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    Posted 6/11/19
    Well, further info has come to light thanks to help from KegLand. Two 9.5l kegs won't stack in a kegerator, and the carb lid adds even more height so a four keg setup in the series four isn't really feasible. I'd need a Series X to keep my current drinks and add a fourth.
    I'm still very keen on the continuous carb idea. The problem is that my soft-drink of choice is root beer, which is almost non-existent in Australia. The Fernentap concentrates are good but they're designed to be about 100ml's diluted into 19L. Thats about 1ml concentrate per 160 ml of soda (and I think Gnome is even more concentrated). Using them to make up individual glasses of root beer would require an eye-dropper! And I'd still need to add sweetening. That's why I have one keg currently devoted to Root Beer. I need to track down a source of soft drink syrups that includes Root Beer. The SodaSream syrups are great for some flavours but you can't get their root beer in Aust.

    ...Or... hmmn. What if I make up 1-litre batches of rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar and water) add enough of the concentrates to make up my own soda syrups. Probably need a little trial and error to get the mix just right... That could work.

    Hmmn. Time for some more research and maybe some old school science experiments!!
     

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