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Old 12-29-2008, 12:15 AM   #1
adrock78
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Default Question about using the Holiday 5.3cu as a keezer

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and looking to build a keezer to take my home brewing to the next level. After reading a bunch of posts here, the leading candidate for me so far is the Holiday 5.3 cu ft chest freezer, and I am planning on running a 3-faucet tower out of the lid. I just have a few questions that I would like to get some clarity on before I take the plunge.

1) Any issues drilling through the lid on this model freezer for the tower (aside from not being able to go back to just a freezer again once the deed is done)? Assume all the coils are in the sides since looks like the hinges are the only connection to the body of the freezer, but wanted to double check that there is nothing in particular I would need to watch out for when drilling?

2) Is there enough clearance under the lid to avoid getting a kink in the lines on the way up to the tower or would I really need to fabricate a collar to make it work right?

3) I'm interested in someday down the road adding a stout faucet and a nitrogen setup in addition to the straight CO2. From some of the pics I've seen on here, it looks like there might be room in the center of the freezer between the 3 kegs with the CO2 bottle on the hump. Is there enough room in the center there to squeeze in a 5lb nitrogen tank as well? Or would that be pushing my luck?

I am also considering the next size up (believe it was 6.5 cu ft) for only about $20 more because then I know I'd have room for a possible nitrogen system later on, but I like the smaller one for the portability in case I want to roll it out on to my deck during some of those hot summer days here in Texas....

Thanks in advance for any insight!


Adam

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Old 12-29-2008, 05:13 AM   #2
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The extra room for $20 isn't a bad deal- Once you have your first draft you will kick yourself if you don't go for it! There's never enough cold beer on tap...

I'm hoping someone who has converted this will chime in, but most I've seen have all been converted with collar, and shanks/taps in the collar. The main reasoning (and one I must point out), is if you put on a tower, you'll have to make sure it's on there securely and that you have clearance for opening the freezer with the tower on the lid.

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Old 12-29-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Default Here's how I did it...

Here's a look at the kegerator I made some time ago. I chose a chest freezer as the foundation for the kegerator to keep things simple and compact. I learned that chest freezers maintain a more consistent temperature with the door open for any period of time, such as when I'm using my BeerGun to bottle from a keg. I chose the collar approach rather than a tower to keep things a little more simple. The tower can pose challenges in maintaining a consistent temperature to the faucet and affects ease of opening the lid and keeping it open. I'm opening the thing more than you might think... sometimes just to admire it!

I started with the Holiday 5.3 cu ft chest freezer from Lowes. I made the collar and rolling bottom tray from hardwood and painted them to compliment the freezer finish. No one can believe they are made from wood, they look like painted metal. The collar is mounted with a proprietary system I designed to make it easy to install and completely removable without any damage to the freezer. The freezer simply sits on the caster mounted bottom tray and lifts off if necessary.

I used pretty high quality components, including Vent-Matic faucets and stainless shanks with removable ends attached with wing nuts for easy removal for a thorough cleaning.

The CO2 distributor has an additional 4th port for other temporary uses even while there are three kegs attached. I also have a dual regulator setup, which allows me to push wine at a lower pressure through one of the faucets. It's all perfectly balanced with tubing lengths calculated to produce the perfect pour without an any excessive foaming.

A digital temp controller on the back and a nice big stainless drip tray on the front makes it all functional.





I'm curious if anyone thinks there a market for selling a collar and tray conversion kit comprised of what you see here without the freezer, CO2 bottle/regulator, kegs and drip tray? It would sure make putting a quality kegerator together a lot easier. Could make them to suit larger freezer models with more faucets as well. What do you all think?

Thanks.

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Old 12-29-2008, 07:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeggieMaker View Post

I'm curious if anyone thinks there a market for selling a collar and tray conversion kit comprised of what you see here without the freezer, CO2 bottle/regulator, kegs and drip tray? It would sure make putting a quality kegerator together a lot easier. Could make them to suit larger freezer models with more faucets as well. What do you all think?

Thanks.
How much shipped to 80304? Seriously...along with a list of parts for the drip tray and faucets... I'll take mine in Black.

My building skills suck...well, I can tile, frame and drywall well enough, but I am lazy too...

Is the only attachment between the collar and freezer through the hinges?
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by adrock78 View Post

1) Any issues drilling through the lid on this model freezer for the tower (aside from not being able to go back to just a freezer again once the deed is done)? Assume all the coils are in the sides since looks like the hinges are the only connection to the body of the freezer, but wanted to double check that there is nothing in particular I would need to watch out for when drilling?
Nothing in the lid other than insulation. The major problem, is that the lid is not super sturdy, so you are going to need to reinforce the inside somehow to give the tower some strength up there. Also, if the freezer is against a wall, the tower will hit the wall when you open the freezer to adjust stuff or swap in a new keg, so you will have to pull it away from the wall. I just use picnic taps right now.

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2) Is there enough clearance under the lid to avoid getting a kink in the lines on the way up to the tower or would I really need to fabricate a collar to make it work right?
It will be tight, but will work. I have a few inches between the kegs and the lid, creative routing of lines would be fine.

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Originally Posted by adrock78 View Post
3) I'm interested in someday down the road adding a stout faucet and a nitrogen setup in addition to the straight CO2. From some of the pics I've seen on here, it looks like there might be room in the center of the freezer between the 3 kegs with the CO2 bottle on the hump. Is there enough room in the center there to squeeze in a 5lb nitrogen tank as well? Or would that be pushing my luck?
No, I don't think you will be able to fit a second tank, I have room for a damp-rid container on the floor between the kegs, and it is very tight.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:58 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate your insight!!!

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