Author Topic: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator  (Read 1579 times)

Offline ch3notwooo

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:28:46 PM »
 I recently started kegging my homebrew and the time had come to buy or build some type of kegerator or keezer. I decided to try and convert my old 1970’s Vendolator soda machine that was collecting dust in the corner of the basement. I had quit using it a few years ago since my kids are grown and gone. I thought this would make a great kegerator because its industrial cooling system is already thermostatically controlled in the right temperature range, the machines are made to disassemble quickly for ease of maintenance and they are designed to handle the elements so it can be used inside or out.

The only parts that needed to be removed were the glass soda access door, the can dispenser mechanism and the feeder shelves. I had to build a stand that was strong enough to hold 2 full ball lock kegs above the evaporator but minimize the restriction of airflow from the recirculation fan. I welded up a stand out of 1/2 inch angle iron and tack welded expanded metal mesh under the base. To mount the taps I cut and ripped a 2x6 inch piece of poplar to fit the area where the glass soda access door was. I then put 2 lag bolts through a piece of 2x4 and screwed and glued it to the back of the poplar board. I drilled holes for the lag bolts in two pieces of leftover angle iron and screwed on a couple of nuts to pull the poplar board into the machine and hold it against the door seal. Next I drilled the holes for the taps and mounted the drip trays. I stained the poplar to match the faux wood grain of the metal coin mech door and then applied 3 coats of polyurethane before the final installation. Lastly, there wasn’t enough room inside the machine for the CO2 bottle so I mounted it on the back. I like this configuration better anyway because it’s easier to keep an eye on bottle and tap pressures without having to open up the machine, plus the regulator is not subjected to the cold and of condensation possibly forming in the gauges. I drilled a hole through the back of the machine just large enough to fit a 1/8 inch brass pipe nipple through it. I used silicone sealer to seal the pipe in the hole and attached a 90 deg fitting on the outside. I screwed on 1/4 inch hose barb fittings on both ends. Then I installed a 2 port gas manifold on the inside and tubed everything up. I painted the machine, put it on wheels and installed a couple of handles on the back to make it easier to move.

I’ve had the kegerator running for over a month now and it works great. I haven’t found anything that I would do differently so far.

 











Currently the machine is set up for a wedding we are hosting soon. The lighted sign is easy to modify for whatever I am serving and the background color is just colored cellophane and easy to change as well.

Cheers!

People who drink light beer don’t like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot

Offline phillamb168

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2338
  • Lardy, France
    • View Profile
    • My Job
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 01:08:09 AM »
Holy cow. Amazeballs. That thing is awesome!
I'm on twitter: phillamb168
----
morticaixavier for governing committee!

Offline Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1946
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 05:11:14 AM »
Cool use of an old machine!  Nice job!

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5563
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 05:17:51 AM »
Pretty cool. Nice job !
Jon H.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5823
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 06:42:38 AM »
Nice modification.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline jaftak22

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 06:44:03 AM »
That's a sweet idea

Offline yso191

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1030
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 07:31:10 AM »
Now I'm keeping my eye out for one!  Great job.
Steve
All Hands Brewing

Offline ch3notwooo

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »
Now I'm keeping my eye out for one!  Great job.

Thanks! You can find them around for cheap. Usually missing parts like the can/bottle feeder shelves and the coin mech. A lot of times the dispenser mechanism is damaged and the glass in the door may be broke but none of that matters since those are the parts I removed anyway. As long as the refrigeration system and fans work, you're good to go. I bought my machine at a yard sale for $50.

Cary
People who drink light beer don’t like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot

Offline ch3notwooo

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 07:56:36 AM »
Just as a side note, it would take an hour or less to reinstall the original parts and have the machine vending soda again. Why I would ever want to do that is beyond me!  :o
People who drink light beer don’t like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot

Offline glenmoorebrewing

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2014, 10:48:32 AM »
Sweetness! Great build man.
-AK