I operate a chest freezer-style kegerator (“keezer”), and like most homebrewers, purchased a low-end model that does not feature a defroster. While I’m not an appliance expert, I understand this generally means that moisture will accumulate inside the unit. Given that the freezer never actually reaches freezing temperatures in its service as a kegerator, however, this means standing water! In order to avoid standing water issues, most homebrewers–myself included–will use something like an Damprid and/or an Eva Dry unit.
Even with two DampRid refillable units, and with one Eva Dry 500 unit, I found that water still pooled at the bottom of my kegerator, especially in the summertime. Searching the internet, I found most recommended some sort of fan solution to circulate the air to improve both cooling and moisture capture.
If you want to build your own fan box for your kegerator, here’s how:
- Radioshack 7″ x 5″ x 3″ project enclosure
- 120mm computer fan
- 120mm fan grille (optional, recommended)
- 1.5″ diameter hose, about 2-3 feet in length
- Large rubber washer or grommet (optional)
- AC-to-DC wall plug
- Heat-shrink tubing
Any 120mm computer fan will do; I used a spare I had lying around. For the hose, I found a moderately flexible, thin-walled piece of drain hose from the hardware store; any similar hose will do. You’ll also need a cutting tool (I used a jigsaw and a dremel), a wire stripper, and a blow dryer or a hot-air gun.
- Place the fan face-down on the metal (or other target) surface. Use a pencil or marker to trace the interior circle of the fan, and mark the four fan screw-hole locations.
- Cut the circle and drill out the screw holes.
- Fasten the computer fan (and grille, optional, though highly recommended) to the target surface using the screws provided with the fan. Take note, and make sure you thread the wires appropriately to ensure the fan is as flush to the target surface as possible.
Decide which exit surface you want for the hose, and cut the hole. I opted for the 3″ x 7″ bottom side. I recommend erring on the side of caution to ensure the hole is slightly smaller than the hose, to ensure a tight fit.
Squeeze the hose into the opening. If the hole should be too loose–as it was for me, initially, you can try engineering a tighter fit with a large rubber washer. If I had to do it again, I’d instead use electrical tape to slowly increase the diameter until the fit was sufficiently tight.
- Select your sacrificial AC-to-DC wall plug and clip off the adapter end, leaving as much wire length as possible. I used the plug from an old DSL modem, though I did also try a cell phone charger. Depending upon the listed output of the unit, your computer fan will run either faster or slower; higher DC ouputs will result in a faster fan speed.
- Strip the wire on both ends of the fan and the wall plug.
- Thread two sections of appropriately-sized heat-shrink tubing onto the wire (positioned so that they can be slid into place when finished).
Twist the wire pairs together. You’ll need to do a bit of experimenting here; the fan will run in forward or reverse depending on which pairs you match-up. I had an extra pair of electrical connectors I used for fun, but they’re unnecessary. Note: Be aware of your intended placement of the final product; if the wire needs to pass through a tiny hole, you’ll need to put this part in place before you compete steps 9 or 10.
- Once you have wired your fan into your desired airflow direction, slide the heat-shrink tubing into place over the exposed wires and use a hot air source to shrink the tubing securely over the wires. Ten seconds with a blow dryer will work if you don’t have a hot air gun.
All done! I used double-sided mounting tape to mount the completed fan box to the desired location on the interior of my kegerator.