Decided to build a Keezer
Well, I have decided that the BrewCave needs 4 taps, instead of two (this brings the household to 7, so I think I have issues…).
Looked all over for a Freezer model that would work for my space. Man, it is frustrating how little manufacturers know about their own products! When trying to find a model that will hold the number of kegs you need, you have to obtain the interior dimensions. All that any company I contacted could provide were the exterior dimensions. Important, but not as critical in choosing a model for this purpose.
I found a super helpful forum at Homebrew Talk (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/chest-freezer-specs-and-layouts.377518/) where a user named Thadius assembled mass quantities of data for numerous models of chest freezers, for the express use of calculating what you can fit in each – with a collar, without, etc.
The issue with this info, however, is that it was compiled in 2012. Most all of the specific models are either discontinued, or renamed. Therefore, it was a leap of faith when I chose this model, because it seemed to closely resemble an older model that was listed. As you can see from the image – it works for 4 corny kegs. Snug, but workable. I plan on adding an 8-10″ collar, for the taps, so the additional height will provide the clearance for the quick connects and tubing.
Images of the Project
The only issue I have with this particular model, is that all 4 corners are rounded. This took a little work from me to have the wood collar mirror that same curve. To do this, I first cut the end of each piece to 45 degrees, and then used metal corner brackets to connect the pieces. After checking it for a good fit (measure twice, cut once), I carefully traced out the curve of each corner on the top and bottom of each piece. Then, I took a belt sander to each corner to roughly match the corner’s curve. Then, I filled any gaps on the corners with Stainable Wood Filler, and after that dried, used an orbital sander to clean up the corners.
Our look in the BrewCave features old barnwood, and distressed wood. I found a product made by Rustoleum, called Weathered Wood Accelerator. This stuff is awesome! You just paint it on, and as it dries, it gives the wood an aged, old look. I even took the belt sander to the lumber to “distress” it a bit further. I’m really happy with the look. Put a couple of coats of PolyCrylic to seal it up, and attached it to the freezer body with LockTite adhesive caulk. Put weights on the unit, and waited 24 hours for the adhesive to cure.
I knew I wanted 4 taps, so I measured out the spacing for them , and used a spade bit to drill the 4 holes. Bought 3 1/8″ shanks and Intertap Forward-Sealing Faucets ($22.22/ea), and got them installed. Pretty easy – just put them in place, and screw on the nut in the back to hold them in place.
Then, carefully attached the lid to the top of the collar with 8 wood screws, plugged in the unit to an InkBird ITC-308 ($35.00), whic is what will hold the temperature at perfect refrigeration levels. Drilled a small hole in the collar, and dropped the InkBird’s temperature probe in to unit, and turned it on!
I opted for a 4-way Kegco Secondary Regulator, so that I can set different beers to their own carbonation levels. This is attached with 4 screws to the inside of the collar, and I decided to use a larger 20lb cO2 tank on the outside of the unit, so I drilled the hole in the collar for the tubing, and set that all up by attaching the tubing with clamps.
For the Drip Tray, I found an inexpensive countertop (non-mounting) 19″ tray online, and screwed “L” brackets to it. Then, I took a magnetic knife bar, and screwed the brackets to that! Easy mounting, and no screwing into the cabinet. Removable for easy cleaning.
I also purchased 10ft of liquid line for each keg, to assist with keeping foam down. Using liquid line that is too short can cause your higher-carbed beer to foam up too much. Quick connects from amazon were attached, and we’re in business! All in all, an totally worthwhile and fairly easy project! CHEERS!