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Old 12-23-2011, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default Look Ma no fans Coffin Cooler

Look Ma no fans Coffin Cooler
This is a work in progress and I will post pics as go. I already have a two keg kegerator that uses copper pipe extended from the fridge to just below the taps. For me this works great for eliminating first pour foam, but I needed more variety. So I am building a similar but larger version. The heart of the build is a Kenmore 15cf chest freezer off of Craigslist for free. It’s quite old but that’s why it was free.
I have already changed plans several times so feel free to post suggestions and I may change things again. I will use pieces of copper baseboard element for more surface area that will be attached to the underside of the lid. Copper extensions will go up into the coffin. The baseboard element will be filled with water and the beer line will pass through the copper pipe through a compression fitting. I thought surrounding the beer line with cold water would be more efficient than cold air. Originally I was going to use the vinyl tubing and push it through the compression fitting but I may go with some SS tubing instead for better conduction. The original plan was to hold it 0together with “Cross” fittings but due to availability and price I had to switch to “Tee” fittings. The scan of my drawing came out terrible since it was done in pencil and I had darken it up quite a bit but you can get the point.




On a side note I have wondered why people use 2x4s to construct the walls around keezers, it seems like overkill to me. I had some extra strapping lying around and it seems to be strong enough, we’ll see.


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Old 12-23-2011, 04:29 AM   #2
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The drawing does help clarify what you were telling me for what you have planned... Will be interested in seeing how it comes out.

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Old 12-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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My lid is heavy enough without adding more metal weight to it. Fans and 12volt transformer are light and cheap. Guess if you only have a couple of taps it would be ok,

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Old 12-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default no fans

I worked a little on it yesterday, cutting up the heating element, figuring the spacing and test fitting. No soldering was done. Here is what I did with a few pics.

The aluminum fins on the element are just pressed fit onto the 3/4" copper pipe. After measuring I separated the fins where I was going to cut just enough to slip a hacksaw in between them and cut.



I then removed just enough fins so that I have enough room to solder the Tees on. One side of the fins is flush but the other has four triangular shaped prongs that grip the pipe. Since the area of the pipe that is finned will only be around six inches I tried to keep as many of the fins as possible. I moved the last fin to the end of the pipe and bent the four prongs up out of the way and pushed the fin back with the rest.







I then test fit the pieces together. There will be three of the cooling elements in the keezer. Two will be connected to two taps each and the third will only be connected to the middle tap. When its done I will take temps of all of the taps and see if there is any temperature difference between single and double taps. The plastic compression fittings are similar to the shark bite ones. The 1/4" OD vinyl tubing squeezes perfectly through the fitting but I will try some SS tubing when it arrives.



Including the fittings the length of each element will only be around eight inches. I am guessing that the short length of the elements will be sufficient to cool the taps due to the surface area of the fins, cooling liquid and the relatively short vertical run of the pipe. If I need more cooling later I can always increase the length of the element.

The only issue I see so far is that it may be difficult soldering the Tees on due to how close the fins are.

For those concerned with how heavy this will be I will weigh each element when done and let you know the number is. I would guess that it will be right around the weight of one tile that people are attaching to their lids.

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Old 12-28-2011, 04:07 AM   #6
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Default No fans

I ran into two issues today first was the soldering of the cooling elements. It seems the fins work too good and were wicking away the heat making it difficult to solder than the rest of the pieces. Originally I had the fitting touching the last fin but without additional space the solder would not flow between the pipe and fitting. I had to pull a couple more fins off of each end of each element so the solder would flow.

In this pic you can just see some of the white oak (top right) I bought today for $1 bf. For those in Massachusetts if you need rough cut lumber he in on CL in Barre, Ma great guy and great prices. It was a bit of a ride for me but worth it. His select wood was $2 bf!


The second issue was the plastic compression fitting. I know I was able to push 1/4" vinyl tubing completely through the fitting while in the store. Well it turns out that you can push the tubing into the fitting but the hole then narrows preventing the hose from passing completely through. I was a bit frustrated and drilled out the narrower side of the fitting with a 1/4" bit and it worked. I had to be careful not to go too far and damage the o-ring. What I did was chucked the drill bit in my drill and turned the fitting by hand, it ended up working quite well. Sorry no pics of the fitting before it met the drill.





I figure I will keep a couple of taps with the vinyl hose and the rest with the SS to record the difference in temp.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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Default weight

I only had a little time today to work on this so not much was accomplished. I cut part of the underside of the lid removing the protruding part which will be replaced with a sturdier section of plywood. This will give me a flat surface to mount the cooling pieces to. I also tested for leaks and weighed each cooling element without water in it. I took a couple of quick pics while weighing them. The double armed ones held 6 oz of water each while the single held 4 oz.

The first double armed cooling element weighed 1lb 4.2 oz



The second one weighed 1lb 4.4 oz



The single armed one weighed 12.6 oz

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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Here is a pic of the copper cooling lines mounted to the keezer top.





My initial idea was to make this keezer look like an old chest with a cask on top of it. The cask would open like a clam and inside would be a five tap coffin with low profile tap handles. Well I found a cask and after taking it apart, reassembling it several times and dealing with the small interior, I gave up. I was so focused on the tap spacing and getting it just right when I realized that the coffin would not fit inside the cask.



On to plan B, the cask was still going to be on top of the keezer but now the taps would be mounted directly to the cask. It would look similar to one ones sold online for $1500 but my cask would be horizontal.



After bolting is back together yet again I realized that the vertical copper lines did not have to be exact and could be crowded together a bit.
Back to plan A, took the cask apart again and mounted the hinge. I had to tweek it a bit because once you take these things apart they never seem to want to line back up again.

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Old 01-06-2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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Great idea with the cask. Looking good.

Eager to see what temps you get with the conductive cooling...

Fins...never thought of that!

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Old 01-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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Instead of soldering the fins on completely, what about using thermal paste to fill the gaps? e.g. arctic silver

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