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Thread: The Keezer Project

  1. #1
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    Default The Keezer Project

    When I got back into home brewing after a over a decade away, one of the things that I knew I was going to do differently was to keg instead of bottle. Of all things brewing, bottling was the one thing that always felt like a chore.

    I was fortunate enough that a friend of mine had a single keg and CO2 bottle that he was not using, so I was able to keg my first batch without too much hassle.

    Of course, one keg is never enough, as you all know, so nature took it’s course and the keg count in my closet began to multiply. I soon started thinking about just how I was going to serve all the beer that I was going to be filling these glorious stainless steel beer cans with, when I came across a picture on the interwebz of a beautiful chest freezer conversion by a gentleman who goes by the name BrewPastor on another forum:



    I was hooked - I knew I wanted to have a chest freezer/coffin box beer dispenser in my living room! I had recently started fiddling around with a free 3D design tool called SketchUp, and I came up with a basic design for my ‘Altar of Beer.’



    I even came up with a name for my project: The Keezer. Everyone had been referring to this type of conversion as a kegerator – a combination of the words keg and refrigerator, of course! But this wasn’t going to be a fridge, it was going to be a freezer! So you put keg and freezer together and, voila, you get Keezer! I had never seen the word used before on the brewing forum I was reading, and even a Google search didn’t turn up its use, so I guess I made up a word – yay me

    My plan was to put a wood shell on the freezer, and attach the whole top to the lid, making construction as straightforward as possible. To accommodate the coffin box tilting towards the wall when opening, I would put the freezer on a base with casters. This would allow the whole unit to be rolled away from the wall to provide clearance for opening.

    I thought I was going to be having 5 taps based on the size freezer I was looking for. Luckily, I couldn’t find the freezer I wanted and I had to get one that would hold 7! It’s a Kenmore 13 cf. After bringing the freezer home, I test fit the kegs



    If it was 1/2" wider or deeper, I could fit 8, dammit!

    Soon after I posted my intentions, I received some feedback about the wisdom of enclosing a freezer that uses the exterior to expel heat. I was not aware when I first started looking into this that today’s freezers use the exterior skin to shed heat. To provide ventilation, I decided to add an air gap of 1” and place a cooling fan in the base to draw air in from the bottom, up the sides of the freezer, and out the overhanging lip of the lid. The fan would be connected to the same temperature controller as the compressor, a Ranco single stage unit, so that whenever the compressor came on, so would the cooling fan.




    Just FYI, the 1" spacers are not drawn full height - I was just trying to get the details for the venting. They will go all the way up to the lip of the freezer.

    The final design differs slightly from this, and is much simpler. The construction photos should explain it pretty well.

    About this time, I had a party and needed to have something on tap – pretty ghetto, but very effective!



    Not long after, I put together version one of my (rather leaky) CO2 manifold.



    Then I found a really cheap source for regs and built this (still leaky) manifold.



    In a later (non leaking) version, I added check valves to protect the regulators. There was some commentary at the time that this manifold was complete overkill, and that nobody needed 7 different serving pressures. Any the commenters were completely right, and I don’t give a rats ass! The regs were ridiculously inexpensive, and I wanted to go all out, so I did.

    In a burst of expenditure, I ordered a bunch of hardware for the project.



    Next up was to order the stone and get some lumber. I was gonna say wood, but…

  2. #2
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    Here are some cutaway SketchUp pictures that detail the construction.






    Time to actually build this puppy! What follows is sort of a diary of the build.

    First, strips of ply that will register the top unit on the freezer lid. The hole routed in the front is for the slightly raised handle on the front of the freezer.



    On the top side, there is a hole routed for so that the drip tray will be flush with the marble.



    Here is the drip tray test fitted.



    Next, the marble tiles for the top are cut and placed to make sure I didn't screw anything up.



    Here is the back view of the coffin that will hold the taps.



    And here is the coffin placed on the top. Also the first part of the surround trim has been installed.



    So, after about 8 hours of effort (plus another hour or so trying to find tools around the house!) here is where it is.



    Next up will be getting exterior wood on the top, drilling the tap holes, and then staining the wood and caulking the marble.
    Last edited by Jester369; 01-13-2009 at 04:56 PM.

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    A little more progress yesterday.



    With a little help!



    Double-checking some measurements in SketchUp



    The tap board is in place now, just need to drill for the shanks



    And here it is with the rope light lit up, and one tap installed



    Here is the top (without the coffin) attached to the freezer, held up with a prop.



    Here is what it will look like assembled - the boards on top of the coffin have not been attached. Once the glue has fully cured, they will be attached.



    Here it is with 5 of the 7 taps in place. I don't have the other 2, so I only drilled the 2 outmost shank holes to within 1/4 inch of the face (just when the pilot point broke through.) When I get the new hardware, I can just drill the last 1/4 inch from the front, using the pilot hole as a guide. In the meantime, I'll just plug the pilot holes with a couple of nice brass screws.



    I just loved the look of this shot, so I'm including it

    Last edited by Jester369; 01-13-2009 at 05:01 PM.

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    Here it is disassembled with the first coat of stain. One more coat tomorrow then final assembly can start!



    Here are some details of the inside of the coffin. There are three 2” thick layers of foam stacked together that form the ‘chase’ for the beer lines.






    Well, it still needs plumbing (only one tap is hooked up), some electrical, and of course the bottom cabinet still needs to be done, but for the short term, it's operational!!




    Made some more headway on the Keezer today. Tore it all down to get the base finished - man, that sucked!

    Here is the dolly, upside down obviously! The thing in the middle is the fan that will draw air up from the bottom and force it up the sides and out the gap between the top of the walls and the overhanging trim on the lid.



    Here it is with the luan bottom on it



    Here is a closeup of the fan - the trim ring has not been installed yet, it's just there to check clearances.



    So a small update. I added the internal ducting to control the distribution of air capacity, and in a wonderfully unplanned occurrence they ended up perfectly lined up to the side vent walls.



    Here ya go - first pint has been pulled!

    Last edited by Jester369; 01-13-2009 at 05:08 PM.

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    Last real construction part, the sides and skirt.




    Here it is, almost done – just needs the extra two taps.




    And at last, got the last two taps bought and installed.



    I need to find a picture with all the plumbing hooked up, but this is more or less what it looks like in there.



    That is pretty much it. I will include some info that others have requested below, about sources and whatnot.

    -----------


    The regs were from American Scientific, but I think they are out of them finally.

    Can't remember where the gauges are from, but any of the online places like micromatic has them.

    The shutoff valves were from McMaster

    The Ball Check Valves (not in the picture - added later) were from Northern Brewer

    The PC fittings (not the same as the picture - changed to work with the ball check valves) were from Innovative Homebrew Solutions

    The copper nipples, end plug, and elbow are just regular fittings from the hardware store.

    Here is a list of parts for each tap:

    Beer Side
    Ventmatic Faucet
    Stainless Washer (replaces the stock black plastic one)
    El Cheapo Black Handle (to be upgraded at some point)
    4" SS Shank (probably should have gone with the 6", but they work well enough)
    SS Tail
    Tail Washer
    Tail Nut
    Beer Line
    Ball Lock Liquid Connector
    2 Oetiker Clamps

    Gas Side
    Guage
    Regulator
    Nipple (to connect to the next reg in the manifold)
    Shutoff
    Check Valve
    PC Fitting
    Hose
    PC Fitting
    Ball Lock Gas Connector
    Last edited by Jester369; 01-13-2009 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Beer Ó Flannagáin's Avatar
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    blown. away.

    That's a beautiful site Jester. Thanks for sharing.
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    Imaginos BeerBilly's Avatar
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    Fuckin awesome!Nice work Jester.
    Prince of Ales Nanobrewery and Garage Pub Est.2006

  8. #8
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    Holy mother of god, that's unbelievable.

    Makes my keezer look like a pile of puke!
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    If it wasn't for rambling bullshit, the internet wouldn't have much purpose now would it. Computer sales would collapse, and then the book of Revelations would be upon us. I consider trashing shit on the internet to be of the highest value imaginable. I think I may be a fucking superhero. Or some kind of mega-jesus on wheels with heat seeking troll missles. And so on until I stop drinking...

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    Wow, that is effin nice!
    "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall hang separately." - Ben Franklin

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  10. #10
    Loaded to the Gunwales Diver Down's Avatar
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    That is some great work! I love the way you put the light in
    "Dammit, I'm mad" spelled backwards is "Dammit, I'm mad"

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