An often overlooked part of keeping your beer cold in your kegerator is poor circulation of air inside the unit. Since the method of cooling in store bought kegerators is a static method using a cold plate inside the cabinet, there is no provision for mechanically circulating the cooled air in there.
In therory the lack of a mechanical means to circulate air is not a problem when these units are used for their manufactured purpose (food storage) convectional cooling is adequate. However, when a full keg of beer is placed inside it blocks convectional circulation.
This will cause a considerable variation in temperature within the cabinet with cold air collecting at the bottom and warm air remaining at the top. This situation creates a couple of problems:
1. The beer in the keg is not uniformly cooled. This can cause foam problems with the colder beer being over carbonated and the warmer beer above being under carbonated. (including beer inside the beer line).
2. The cold plate in the unit will be more apt to collect a build-up of ice preventing it from functioning properly. Ice build-up needs to be removed by shutting down the kegerator - not a good thing if you have beer in there. Read more .
To correct the problem it is necessary to circulate air within the cabinet by constructing a fan similar to the one often needed for tower cooling.
A small 12 volt CPU or computer fan will suffice for the job. There are some available that are very small in size, but that can move a considerable amount of air.
To complete the project you will also need an AC/DC power source that matches the voltage and amperage of the fan. Mount the fan near the cold plate and out of the way of possible damage from pushing the keg(s) in place. Mount the fan in an upward or downward direction.
You'll need some sort of box or frame to set the fan in to protect it. A small project box from Radio Shack with the back cut out will work great.
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