Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Upgrading a Costco Kegorator

I'm not sure how far Costco has penetrated into the regions of the world where I have blog readers, but my Canadian and US audience at least can appreciate the wonder and the horror that is Costco. Big warehouse store, which sometimes carries the odd gem. I know many brewers bought the Danby Kegorator that Costco carries one or so a year. I bought mine in the summer of 2012, and two years later have made a number of upgrades that I think greatly improve this fridge. These could be applied to any kegorator or keezer, so I hope you find them useful. Click for larger images

This is an obvious one - the kegorator fits two corney kegs (pin locks and ball locks fit). So a two-tap tower is a fairly obvious upgrade. Not shown here is making sure you beverage lines are 3-4 m (10-12') long will help provide smooth pours.
I always struggled with my long beverage lines getting in the way. Coiling them with pull-ties helped a little, but it turns out the real secret to getting your lines out of the way is a couple of feet of 3-conductor wire left over from a reno (yellow, more obvious in then full-sized image). First, wrap a bit of the wire around the coiled beverage lines, and then make a small "hook" at the end of the wire - this will let you hang the lines against the cold-plate, hooking into any of the multiple convenient cut-outs in the cold plate.
A gas manifold greatly aids in controlling CO2 flow to your kegs.
But wait...why a 3-way manifold?

Adding a 3rd line to the manifold, along with a MFL connection, allows for a "special uses" line. In my case I have three ends - a ball-lock gas-in for use with a carbonation cap or if a friend brings over a ball-lock keg, a pin-lock gas-in for purging the headspace of a filled keg or temporarily hooking up a 3rd keg, and a liquid-out pin-lock for purging kegs prior to filling and for use during carbonation (to bubble the CO2 through the beer)
Of course, no kegorator would be complete with some custom tap handles.

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