Wednesday 26 July 2023

KegLand Series X Kegerator - Outdoor Kitchen Setup

As part of a recent new home build, I was fortunate enough to be able to integrate a new kegerator setup into the outdoor kitchen located in the alfresco area at the rear of the house.

The KegLand Series X kegerator I opted for was actually purchased way back in 2021, and has been sitting in storage since then whilst I patiently and eagerly awaited the opportunity to unbox it for install at the new house.

Imagine my disappointment and frustration upon opening the box to discover the lid of the kegerator had been damaged in transit when it was first delivered back in 2021!

A big lesson learnt here - I did notice what I thought was some innocuous damage to the box upon initially receiving it, but assumed it would have been fairly well packed so would be OK. Turns out it wasn't. Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing, but after a brief mourning period I picked myself up and moved on to the next step - fixing it.

I sent an email to KegLand to see what my options were - after checking the damaged location, it appeared to only be the black plastic lid that was damaged - the door still opened OK and didn't affect the sealing of the actual fridge compartment, so it seemed to be purely cosmetic damage.

Thankfully, this lid is a replaceable part (I'm sure we're not the first person to experience damage to this component) - and to their credit, KegLand came to the party offering me a discounted rate for the replacement lid, even though the purchase was made almost 2 years ago. Certainly can't complain with customer service like this - so thank you, KegLand!

The replacement lid arrived within a couple of days, and fitting was relatively straight forward with a few screws on the front and rear underside of the lid to hold it in place. Another couple of screws to hold the display/control panel in place, and that was it.

Moving on to the outdoor kitchen install - now because I had this Kegerator purchased prior to the final house and outdoor kitchen designs, I was able to have the space for it customised to ensure the required ventilation spaces on the left and right sides of the fridge were adhered to. The Series X is a little different to regular kitchen fridges as the radiator components are located in the side walls of the fridge, hence why this space is required on the sides for heat transfer.

There's approx 10mm of space between the top of the fridge and the underside of the stone benchtop. The stone benchtop has a 50mm hole in it to allow the cooling fan hose from the kegerator, and the 3 x beer lines to pass through and up into the font. Although an estimate, this turned out to be an almost perfect sized hole for everything to fit through with not much additional space left over.

I went for the triple tap setup, and opted for the all black Nukataps as well. These were also purchased some time ago with KegLand since redesigning these taps - in particular the nozzle piece which is now stainless steel. I'm almost certain this is because the black powder coating inevitably comes off the nozzles with use - as I've experienced with the Nukataps on my homebuilt kegerator. These all black ones look great for now, and once the black starts peeling off I'll either remove it all myself completely or replace the nozzles with the stainless ones. Any combination of black and stainless/chrome will look great with the same colour scheme on the built-in Weber BBQ right next to it.

The font itself is fastened to the stone using 4 x 35mm M5 bolts and washers/nuts. The four bolts has it feeling super sturdy and rock solid which helps give the tap operation a nice feel since there is absolutely no movement at all in the font.

Installing the taps can be quite tricky - there's plenty of YouTube videos outlining the process which I studied multiple times prior to attempting this. I won't go over every detail, but I will say the best thing to do is to start with the lowest tap in the font first - in my case, the middle tap as this is the hardest to reach. In the triple tap font there also isn't enough diameter/width to fasten the internal nut on the shank using the included multitool - some long nose pliers saved the day here for me! A second pair of hands doesn't hurt either, as I fed the lines into the kegerator before mounting the taps which meant maneuvering the lines, internal nut, and shank piece got a bit tricky, though I only dropped everything back down the font once!

With plenty of cabinetry, there's space for storing a 2.6kg CO2 cylinder out of sight, as well as other various bits and pieces for cleaning etc.

What will be interesting to see is how the Series X performs in this location as the front of the fridge cops a fair amount of afternoon sun. Some retractable shading may be fitted to the alfresco in the future, but I think the Series X will have it's work cut out for it on some of the hotter days here in North Western Sydney.

I'm also curious to see if the gap between the top of the Series X and the stone/font has any noticeable impact, as this space is essentially "open" and not sealed off. The font cooling hose attached to the fan inside the kegerator will inevitably help keep the font cool, with the cool air presumably falling back down the font and into the kegerator. Perhaps this "flow" will prevent any problems with hot air creeping in - or perhaps there won't be an issue at all since the hole is in the top so the cold air should just stay in the kegerator and not rise out of the top? Time will tell.

A full test is yet to be completed, but for the time being I'm happy just admiring how great this setup looks. 

Next step is to get a few beers brewing to hook up - after being a little time poor lately I've fallen a bit behind on brewing but looking forward to getting things going again.

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