Examples of other users
|Here are some photos from Gary, showing his bargun setup. Click the pictures to see a larger version.|
From someone who asked not to be identified
|Here are some pics and info from
"A", who asked not to be credited. A nice looking setup!
This is a " 'Lil Fella" self-refrigerated, six head unit from International Carbonic (http://www.ici.us). It has a 15 lb ice bank (which forms on the cooling coils), and a 1 gallon carbonator reserve.
Some notes on the self-refrigerating feature: The carbonator tank sits in the cold water tank at the top of the unit with the pump, compressor, and radiator underneath. The lines from the syrup run in copper tubing in circles around the carbonator tank (4 passes each) to chill the syrup just before it is dispensed. We love not having to deal with ice.
We got all the parts on eBay. The main unit was poorly advertised - it didn't indicate that it was self-refrigerating. We researched it, though, and got a steal at $150. Shipping was another $100 from California to Ohio. We also got a great deal on the syrup pumps - $56 for six Flojets ($9.66 each!!). The whole thing ended up costing about $530, not including the cabinet.
Also, you may want to mention for your readers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan that GFS Marketplace stores (http://gfs.know-where.com/gfs/) sell all Coke products for $50 / 5 gal BIB. Pepsi products are SO much harder to find. Another good resource is http://www.weekendbrewer.com/kegginghardware.html . This is where we got a lot of the harder-to-find fittings (like left-hand threaded fittings for our nitrogen regulator). The good people there will even help you puzzle out what you need over the phone.
A good maintenance pointer for those who don't filter their tap water - every pump head has a Y-strainer on it (the hex nut that sticks off the inlet side of the pump). If you loosen that nut you can remove the screen inside and clean off any scaling or mold that has built up. It's a good idea to do this every few months, as a clogged strainer can starve the pump, resulting in cavitation and other permanent damage. Make sure to shut the water off first :-)
Finally, I worry about some people building these machines because of the electrical and suffocation hazards. My machine was improperly grounded and gave me a nasty shock when I stuck my finger in the water. And 13% CO2 in the air will kill a person in just a few minutes. For liability reasons, you should probably include a disclaimer on your site recommending that people NOT do any of this.