I would like to start off by saying that I have not had the pleasure of having ever tasted a Home Brewed Beer, but that will change very soon.
Hereís the deal...
I have been debating over numerous 50th birthday gift ideas for my father over the past few months, I finally settled on getting him a pre-assembled kegorator (or so I thought). My initial goal was for him have a keg on tap (probably some sort of IPA from BEVMO, sorryÖI know commercial kegs are shunned upon here on HBT). So after randomly finding the "show us your kegorator" HBT thread on Google, I came upon numerous cool ideas, but one really stood out... Jesterís Keezer. From there, I knew that a "Keezer" was the way to go. Not only would it allow my dad to have up to 3 commercial kegs from BEVMO (if he so desired), but it would also allow he and I to dive head first into the world of Home brewing. The plan is to give my dad the keezer before his birthday on Oct 5th, and it will be a cool father/son project to complete together with the completion goal close to his b-day (I know it doesnít give us much time!)
So I decided to spend countless hours researching keezers knowing that if i wanted to put this huge thing inside the house where our pool table is, it would have to look "nice enough" to be approved by my mom (SWMBO). So after showing her numerous keezers, we settled on a Coffin Keezer. I have named my little project Keezer "5ive" simply because it will have 5 taps.
Here is a list of Keezer "5ive" inspirations:
Jester369 - The 'Keezer' Project - 6/11/2008
JakeTheHopDog - keezer-build-another-one-way-169440
kegtoe - nates-keezer-build-153984
I know Iím forgetting lots of other people, so sorry in advance! I have seen hundreds of keezers over the past 2 weeks, and havenít bookmarked them all, but mine surely will take bits and pieces that Iíve seen along the way.
Here is a list of requirements for the build:
New Freezer (can save money on used, but want the reliability of new)
Must have coffin with drip tray because it will be over nice carpet
5 Taps (4 for beer & 1 for pre-mix cocktails/sodas.)
Must fit 4 corneys on the floor, a 5# co2 tank, and a 2.5-3g corney on hump
Small enough to not interfere with the pool table
Tall enough so I didnít have to build a collar
Only nice wood and granite could show
Must be mobile (We live in CA and we love to entertain in our backyard.)
Cost less than $1000 total ( I know, itís a pretty nice budget. :tank:)
Over the next few weeks, with the help of all of you, I will complete this project (while researching how to brew beer) and the end result will be to turn a light beer drinking father/son into home brewers all while building a keezer that looks good enough for SWMBO in home approval (I think that is code for wives, but in this thread it will be my mom because SHE MUST BE OBEYED!)
Sorry for the long post, but I look forward to your opinions and advice!
All of the hardware, taps (perlick), splitter and freezer will get you pretty close to your $1000 If you need kegs, regulators and CO2 that will obviously be more. Then you have the cost of making the freezer/keezer look pretty.
Ok so this past weekend I went out and purchased a Frigidaire 8.8 Cu. Ft. chest freezer from Lowes. The price was $279 + tax and no shipping b/c i was picking it up, but I have a lowes business credit card so we received 5% off. Randomly after all was said and done, the price including tax came to $242 (which is more than a 5% discount, but i wasnt going to complain).
41"W x 23-1/4"D x 34-1/4" H
Interior Dimensions are:
Hump: 11"W x 16-1/2"D x 18"H (hump to lowest part of lid)
Floor: 25"W x 16-1/2"D x 28"H (floor to lowest part of lid)
I dont have 4 corney kegs to try and fit in here yet, but I did cut 9" circles (which will allow me plenty of room for either ball or pin lock kegs when i finally decide which ones to get.... ANY SUGGESTIONS?) and can fit 4 with some extra room on the floor, and both a 5# co2 tank (roughly 17-3/4"H) and 2.5G corney on the hump.
To start we will probably only have 1/6and 1/4 barrel kegs on tap until we start homebrewing, so i can fit (2) 1/6 barrels and (1) 1/4 barrel on the floor.
Here are a few pics of the freezer before we started construction on the frame:
Sorry, the $1000 budget is for just to get the keezer operational, with 5 taps and hardware, w/o kegs and QD's. At first i will only be renting kegs from bevmo, so i didnt include deposits into the cost...
im putting a spreadsheet together of the costs and will post it soon.
Went to homedepot and purchased supplies for the frame and base. Here is what i got:
Base: (2) 2x4's for the depth (on bottom) and 2x6's for the width (on top). 2" casters looked like they would be good enough, but i have read wayyyy to many threads saying they wished that they went bigger from the start, so thats what we did. All four casters are swivel and the back two are swivel locking that way we can put it outside and it wont go anywhere.
A note about the height:
We will be attaching the casters to the 2x6's. The reason to attach them to the 2x6 instead of 2x4s is threefold:
1. the footprint of the bracket that attaches the caster to the wood is over 3" wide, and it we tried to attach them to a 2x4 (really only 3-1/2" wide), they had a chance to split the wood and/or not fit at all.
2. it allows the 2x4s on the base to already start hiding the casters below (the goal is to not see them at all).
3. we wanted to save an extra 1.5" on the height
Our keezer is already roughly 34" tall + when you factor in a 2x6 (1-1/2" tall) + 2x4 (1-1/2" tall) + 3" casters (4" tall with bracket), the top of lid is now at 41" high just with the base attached. KEEPING THAT NUMBER BELOW 40" for me WAS A MUST!
Then when we add 3/4" wood on top + 3/4" tile + 13" clearance from tile to center of shank... We are at roughly 55" from the ground to center of shank...
I know that I want roughly a 3" clearance from the freezer to the outside of the frame on front and two sides, with the back completely open. (that should give it plenty of room to breathe, if it still gets hot i will install fans and/or vents.)
P.S. I know that most of you already know things like how a 2x4 is actually only 1.5" x 3.5", but im trying to be as helpful as I can for the people (like me) who havent ever had to actually build something before. I want to help connect the dots and help people looking to build keezers plan out there build beforehand.
Here are a few pics of the Rolling base before we started to build up the frame:
Time for the frame!
Ok, so my last post kinda started to talk about what we are gonna do, but i'll go into more detail here.
The Base is 1-1/2" bigger than the freezer on both sides and the front & is 2" deeper in the back than the freezer so when we push it up against a wall, the base will hit about 1/2" before the hinges do!
The frame is going to be made up of 2x4s both vertically and horizontally. There is one vertical 2x4 on each side along the back, two vertical 2x4s on each front corner and one vertical 2x4 front center.
Each 2x4 in the front is only 3/4" off the ground and sits lower than the rolling base, so when we put it on in its final resting place, the 2x4 vertical pieces of the frame + the finshed nice wood will be almost flush with the carpet.(therefore completely covering the casters.) Also, it still allows us to reach underneath the finished wood and grab the frame to lift if we need to go up a stair or something (w/o having to grab the nice wood.)
Also, the horizontal 2x4's that make up the top will actually act are 1/4" lower than the top of the lid. That way, once the weight of the wood/coffin/shanks/taps/tile is on the lid, the seal will still hold the cold air in, but it wont have upwards of 100 pounds resting on it. Instead the plywood attached to the top will support most of the load (hopefully allowing the weather seal to last longer!)
Here are a few pics of the frame:
Good progress so far!
I've never built a keezer, but aren't you supposed to build a 2x6 collar so the cornies fit? Other than that the build looks great.
So on to the Coffin...
Heres the plan: Since im doing a 5 tap keezer from the get-go with realistically no room/need to expand from that, i am building a 32" W x 9-3/4"D x 15-3/4"H coffin. How did I come up with these numbers you ask.... a somewhat planned out guess. Heres my logic:
I will need room for 5 shanks/faucets which will be 4-1/2" apart on center. After researching drip trays, I found that although the most economical would be a 19" or 24" wide drip tray, i really want the drip tray to cover the whole width of the coffin. I like the coffins that have about 7" of gap on each side of the last shank before you get to the end of each side of the coffin.
I didnt want my coffin to look "wimpy" and really like the look of it taking up lots of room on the lid. So a 30" wide stainless steel flush mount drip tray is perfect w/ threaded drain that will go to a 2Liter bottle to catch overflow. But I also wanted to be able to have a 1" gap for the tile to completely surround the drip tray. So:
1"+1"+30" = 32" Wide
Since I hadn't ordered the shanks I figured that I would just take an educated guess on this one. I figured I will want to use 5-1/8" shanks so here is my reasoning from front to back... The shank will mount to a 3/4" piece of nice wood. Behind that will be a 2x4 so that i can have 1-1/2" of recessed depth to add a light. Behind that will be the coffin 3/4" coffin plywood. And behind that will be the other side of the shank. Then I want at least 2" of insulation, a 2" gap for the cool air and lines to run through. Then another 2" piece of insulation. Then 3/4" plywood for the rear of the coffin. So:
3/4" + 1-1/2" + 3/4" = 3" (the useful part of my shank needs to be at least this big)
3" + 2" + 2" + 2" + 3/4" = 9-3/4" Total Depth
I figured I would want the bottom of my Perlick 525ss's to be roughly 11" to the flush mount drip tray. Since i dont have the faucets or shanks yet, I went with a guess that it will be about 1" up to the center of the shank. I know that I will be cutting a nice 2"x6" piece of wood for mounting the shank to, so i wanted the center of that piece of wood to be 12" above the drip tray. Also the drip tray is going to be 3/4" taller than the plywood attached to the lid which is what my coffin will be sitting on as well). The 2x6" piece of wood will have 3 inches up from center of the shank. So:
3/4" + 12" + 3" = 15-3/4" Height
Although i just posted like 3 posts in a row, we got supplies from home depot, built base, built frame, and built coffin all in one 10 hour day (could have been done sooner but started drinking at noon, so our measurements took longer in the afternoon haha).
The only tools we used were:
2 drills (one for pilot holes + one for screws)
a 90 degree angle thingy (to make sure our frame would be straight)
a chop saw
a tape measure
My dad works in the construction industry and is a pretty handy guy, but not a woodworker by any means.
Here are some pics of the coffin (sorry for the blurry cell phone pics): Whatcha think so far... any suggestions/comments? we could use all the help we can get!
@ cruckin78: Thanks! all in a days work... lol
@ wegz15: Actually one doesnt actually NEED to build a collar unless the height of their freezer wont allow for corneys to fit. I purchased a freezer that had an inside dimension from the floor to the inside of the lid that is 28" tall. Since Corney and Sanke Kegs are not any higher than 24" and around 26" with couplers, there is still 2" of room without a collar. Also, I feel that I will preserve the efficiency of the freezer by not adding a collar. Thanks tho!
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