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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Keezer build Q&A
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
BrewLou
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Default Keezer build Q&A

Ok, so after reading some posts on here I took the plunge and bought a chest freezer off craigslist for 30 bucks. I have build my wood collar, weather sealed it, stained it, poly'd it, ect... I am in the final steps of wrapping this up and getting beer into the kegs. I do have a few questions along the way...

Quick info on my setup...

2 Coke Pin Lock cornies
Dual regulator
5lb CO2 tank filled (keeping at RT not in Keezer)
Splitter for main CO2 line to go to each corny
Gas in/Beer out Post Lock connectors


1. My keg kit came with O-Rings, keg lube, all that good stuff. I can easily see where 2 of the 3 different sized O-rings go, but am having trouble telling where the 3rd goes. There is a large o-ring for the actual main opening = check. There are the actual pin lock o-ring fittings = check. I am left with 2 rather small o-rings remaining. They are to small to go over the threads on the pin lock connectors, so I am at a loss where these go.

2. Actually running the lines... My kit instructions are laughable and next to nothing. They say hook gas in connector to gas in, and gas out to gas out. If I want to pressurize 2 kegs at once, can I simply go from my splitter to the gas in post connectors? Do I need the gas out post connectors attached? I would think so, or if I try to attach these once the kegs are pressurized I am going to be shooting beer all over the place = not a happy wife and alcohol abuse on top of it. On the flip side, if I hook up both posts prior to attaching all lines to the actual shanks, wont beer shoot out of those open "out" post connectors?

3. This is more of a does it sound ok comoment. My pressurizing plans are to seal keg, purge O2, top off CO2 to dial it in initially at 30psi. Disconnect and shake. Leave RT or chilled for 24 hrs (Ive read both) Releave pressure and dial it in ~13psi according to my carbonization sheet. Leave it hooked up at chilled temp for about a week, or leave hooked up at room temp? Adjust pressure after testing initial pour.

4. If I want to keg less than the full 5 gallons is this ok? I would like to have at least 12-18 bottles of my batches that are still hanging out in their carboys. Is there anything I need to account for with this differing volume, or will I be good to go since there will be a constant CO2 feed?

5. Finally has anyone had any "headspace" cooling issues after adding a decent size (~8inch) wood collar. I read one build in which the builder added an electric fan to circulate air since he was getting 8+degree differences in the top/bottom of his Keezer. Has anyone else encountered this?

I am working on getting some pictures lined up to show my setup once it is all dialed in.

I know I am probably over thinking this process a ton, but it is my 1st time kegging, and I really do not want to mess up the process and waste any of these beers I have waiting to keg. Thanks for your help in advance!

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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1. My keg kit came with O-Rings, keg lube, all that good stuff. I can easily see where 2 of the 3 different sized O-rings go, but am having trouble telling where the 3rd goes. There is a large o-ring for the actual main opening = check. There are the actual pin lock o-ring fittings = check. I am left with 2 rather small o-rings remaining. They are to small to go over the threads on the pin lock connectors, so I am at a loss where these go.


The 2 small ones are for UNDER the IN and OUT connections. Get a keg wrench (or whatever a pin lock uses) and take those posts off. Under them, you'll see the dip tube (on the OUT) and a much shorter tube on the other (the IN). There are o-rings on each of these pieces.

2. Actually running the lines... My kit instructions are laughable and next to nothing. They say hook gas in connector to gas in, and gas out to gas out. If I want to pressurize 2 kegs at once, can I simply go from my splitter to the gas in post connectors? Do I need the gas out post connectors attached? I would think so, or if I try to attach these once the kegs are pressurized I am going to be shooting beer all over the place = not a happy wife and alcohol abuse on top of it. On the flip side, if I hook up both posts prior to attaching all lines to the actual shanks, wont beer shoot out of those open "out" post connectors?

Gas out post connectors? Gas only goes in (the gray connections). Remember, BLACK is for BEER, GRAY is for GAS. They mean BEER OUT connectors, I think. I always hook my gas up first, then connect my beer out connector. Whether this makes a difference, I don't know, and I doubt it.

And remember, these are valves that only open when a gas or beer connector is attached. Your pressure relieve valve should open before your beer out post will open (if everything is attached properly). Sounds like you're worried that simply connecting gas will start dispensing beer. This is not the case.


3. This is more of a does it sound ok comoment. My pressurizing plans are to seal keg, purge O2, top off CO2 to dial it in initially at 30psi. Disconnect and shake. Leave RT or chilled for 24 hrs (Ive read both) Releave pressure and dial it in ~13psi according to my carbonization sheet. Leave it hooked up at chilled temp for about a week, or leave hooked up at room temp? Adjust pressure after testing initial pour.

I force carb mine using 25-30, using the roll method for 10-15 mins. I then disconnect, vent off excess pressure. I let it sit in the keezer for a couple days, venting pressure off every 8 hrs or so. I do this for a day, then vent one last time, hook it up to 10-12 psi, let it sit, then test for over/under carbonation.

There's so many different ways to force carb, so it's hard to recommend a single solution. Also, tip: to ensure a good seal every time, try the following:
1. Take the keg cap, and affix it in place (like you're ready to clamp it down).
2. Keeping the handle vertical (NOT latched down), pull up and pick up the entire keg.
3. While holding the keg by the cap handle, turn the gas on.
4. While gas is on, engage the pressure relief valve if needed to help get the right seal.

The method above usually ensures that you get a great seal every time (the added weight of 5 gals of beer pulling down on the seal really helps), and minimizes frustrations caused by easily solvable seal problems.


4. If I want to keg less than the full 5 gallons is this ok? I would like to have at least 12-18 bottles of my batches that are still hanging out in their carboys. Is there anything I need to account for with this differing volume, or will I be good to go since there will be a constant CO2 feed?

Kegging less is not a problem. Obviously you're working with less beer, so you dont want to hit, say 1 gal, with 30psi for the same time that you'd hit 5 gals.

One of the advantages of kegging is not worrying about messing up carbonation with priming sugar. If you overcarb w/kegging, it's as simple as venting CO2 til it's at the right carbonation.


5. Finally has anyone had any "headspace" cooling issues after adding a decent size (~8inch) wood collar. I read one build in which the builder added an electric fan to circulate air since he was getting 8+degree differences in the top/bottom of his Keezer. Has anyone else encountered this?

Yes, this is very common. I've got a PVC circulation system (see here), and I only have mine running alongside the compressor (fan + freezer hooked into a splitter off the temp controller). As such, I get a somewhat noticeable difference in temp.

That being said, it's not that bad, and I only suffer mild foam issues on my first pour, but not enough to make a big deal out of. I could solve this by running my bilge fan constantly, but it draws over 2 amps, so it's hard to find a sub-6volt 2+amp DC power supply.

You should get a bilge or computer fan setup. It's highyl recommended, ESPECIALLY if you build a coffin keezer.

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:00 PM   #3
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You should run a fan - constant if possible. A high speed, low noise computer fan draws little power and will do several things for you as it evens out the temp in your keezer. 1. It will help to reduce foaming from the temp increase from the bottom of the keezer to the tap, especially when using a collar. That collar adds no cooling and isn't as good of an insulator. 2. It will help reduce condensation build up in the bottom of the keezer. This is caused in part by lack of insulation in the collar. (be sure to seal and use foam insulation on your collar to help with this). 3. The first pour will be just as cold as the second.

Check out Newegg for a selection of useable cpu fans. You could pick up the power supply there as well or use an old cell phone charger.

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for such quick and pointed replys! Ill add a couple things in...

For point #1. My setup did come with a odd wrentch. The guy tested the kegs before selling them to me used it to purge some CO2 to show me it was pressurized and sealed. I attempted to use said wrentch this am to remove the gas in beer out pin locks to no avail. I must not be properly utilizing the wrentch...

#2. Gas out is actually what my instructions say... I told you they were laughable . Also due to me being new to the kegging lingo it might take me a bit to get used to saying beer out post. The "pressure relief" valve on these pin lock kegs is actually the gas in post. I press the post in with that little wrench tool and vent it that way. Hence my worry with having both the gas in and beer out connectors attached to the keg w/o the lines being fully ran yet. As soon as I connect the beer out connector, the beer will flow unless it is attached to the shank with the tap off to stop it correct? It may be easier to explain my question with pictures... Ill work on that tonight.

3. Thanks for outlining that sealing process. That is yet another way to go about it, which I like!

4. I didnt think there would be any real issue with this, but wanted to ask before proceeding. I am thinking I will have at least 3.5-4 gallons in each keg. I plan on hitting it at 30 for 24 hrs then dialing it back to 12-13psi and letting it sit that way. If it ends up being a bit to carbonated, I can take off the gas in port and vent a bit off.

5. I will probably end up installing a small fan (cpu more than likely) to aid in air flow then after reading up a bit more on this.

Thanks all for the info!

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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Here is the fan I have to try and wire up. I bought just a simple 12ft grounded drop cord and a GFCI protector as well for it. I know diddly squat on electrical so if anyone has any thoughts on the 4 wires merging into 2 to the drop cord I am all ears!

2012-09-05_09-24-06_652.jpg  
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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I can't tell from the picture, but if that's a 12V DC fan (most PC fans are) you'll be using an ungrounded DC power supply (old cell phone charger or whatever you have) so a GFCI won't add any protection. 12V DC isn't a danger though, so I wouldn't worry. I'd cut off that harness and strip all 4 wires, do the same to a 5-12V DC power supply and just touch them together in different combinations until it spins. Then go with that.

Where'd the fan come from? Does it have any electrical specs on it?

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
I can't tell from the picture, but if that's a 12V DC fan (most PC fans are) you'll be using an ungrounded DC power supply (old cell phone charger or whatever you have) so a GFCI won't add any protection. 12V DC isn't a danger though, so I wouldn't worry. I'd cut off that harness and strip all 4 wires, do the same to a 5-12V DC power supply and just touch them together in different combinations until it spins. Then go with that.

Where'd the fan come from? Does it have any electrical specs on it?
That's a CPU heatsink/fan combo from an Intel processor, the OEM one that sucks.

Def not gonna be specs on the fan other than what's on the fan stickers itself.
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Primary #2 (SS 7G Chronical):
Primary #3 (Better Bottle): Rye Saison
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Secondary #2: Pinot Grigio Kit
Secondary #3: Gewurztraminer Kit
On-Deck:
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmv View Post
That's a CPU heatsink/fan combo from an Intel processor, the OEM one that sucks.

Def not gonna be specs on the fan other than what's on the fan stickers itself.
Correct, came in just a plain see through plastic case and that is it. From the DIY forums (those guys know their electrical!) I basically found out it is easier and about the same price to just order one online that is an AC fan w/power cord attached. I got one from Amazon for 22 bucks shipped and just that fan itself was 11. Id then have to buy and phone charger and splice into that.

At least this way I can finish installing my shanks/taps, run my beer lines, and get a harness made up to fit this fan so when it gets here I am good to go.

Woot it is almost done! Ill be posting pics of it all soon enough!
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