Another Keezer Build
This past month my old kegerator has been going out on me. I had two, but one was a 15+ year old fridge, and the compressor just can't cool as quickly as it once did (or it gets to cold, and I end up with frozen beer).
Over this past holiday weekend I picked up a new deep freezer to convert into a keezer. With SWMBO's blessing I was allowed to get a 14.8 cu ft Kenmore rather than the 7 cu ft GE from Home Depot. Once I had it I had planned on simply putting a collar on the freezer like so many, and then pull taps out the front of it. After seeing kuips' build thread here however, my mind starting running a mile a minute. Lately I seem to always have quite a bit of lumber lying around, my brew cart was from scrap lumber as well. My wife and I picked up a new dining set a few months ago and therefore I've had the old table top sitting in my garage taking up space, waiting for a project, and with that an idea was born.
The before pictures:
PID control with a 25a SSR inside
Already put to use.
So again, with the wife's permission (and a fussy baby to distract her), I began with destruction of some other old furniture (a server that matched the table), and ripped everything with my table saw. I was originally going to just have this top sit on the top of the keezer like most, but after discussing it with my wife, we both decided we wanted the wood to over lap. This actually gives me the opportunity down the road to put a fascia on the lower portion down the road since the top has a 3/4" overlap. So here are the assembly pics, I didn't bother snapping photos of the junk furniture or the ripped boards laying against the wall.
Assembled the inside structure first, I put the scrap 1/2" wood on 3 sides of the inside, and 3/4" on the back that will connect to the freezer hinges.
I attached the 3/4" fascia pieces with liquid nail and some small drywall screws. The fascia pieces are only on 3 sides, and not on the back.
Took the table top and ran it on the table saw a number of times to get it down to the size I needed. Had I to do this again, I probably would have gotten a few extra hands, 1" pine (at least in this case) is pretty heavy for one to control on the table saw.
Some jig saw action on the front side, results in a nice hole for a PID controller.
I wanted to use 2" pink foam board for this project, but since I don't have the means to haul a 4'x8' sheet, and didn't really need that much anyway, I picked up 2 cuts of 2'x4' white 2" foam board. Using my table saw and a miter saw I quickly cut the pieces to fit nice and snug.
The electrics were simple to do since I had already done them, but the fun is in putting them into the box, and protecting them.
I used a trick I usually use with wood on the foam, and carved out the spots for the boxes. Its a quick, messy, method that is also somewhat risky. Hold the foam in one hand while your other holds the trigger and guard on the miter saw. Going from side to side, slowly cut away at the foam (about 1/8" at a time). I wish I had photos here, but wife doesn't like to watch. I don't have pictures of the cut foam either since I was on a roll and forgot.
Here is the end result. I went a step further and glued pieces together for what ultimately should be sealed off connections. I haven't glued anything else yet and won't until I determine where my taps will be.
Once the electrics were in, the foam was in (loose but snug), and the day coming to a close, I decided to put the top on. Here is the backside, I'm going to pick up some heavier duty screws, but for now they're just deck screws going thru the hinge. I'm using a 12 ga wire cable that I had from other projects for my wire to the wall.
The finished product for now. I still have to sand down the old finish, wood filler in a couple spots and then determine whether I'm going to be putting taps on the front or on top. I'm hoping for top, but am waiting to hear back on a possible glycol 6-tap tower from family, otherwise they'll be most likely front side.
Build update 3/8/11
So I have been working away on my keezer, filling with beer, drinking beer, emptying kegerator.
Meanwhile, I managed to acquire a tap tower for my kegerator. I was debating whether or not I would put the taps on the front or on the top. With a little work I managed to acquire a brass tower used. It looks a little bit used, could have something to do with the hundreds of pints poured in the brewery's tap room from the tap tower but as you can see, it has some good bones, just needs some love.
So I decided I wanted to clean this up, depending on the result I'll finish the rest of the kegerator to go along with it.
I'm using my drill and some polishing tools and polish to get the following results:
Meanwhile I'm soaking all the fittings, including the glycol blocks in PBW. The clean water changed colors pretty quick after I dropped the guts in the water.
Pictures from its glory days, wish it was still this pretty. Going to need some work, but I'll get there.
Had a productive day with my kegerator build.
Found out I was wasting my time with my drill and polishing kit. A friend recommended I try Bar Keepers Friend, and now I have a nice clean brass tower.
Took about 2 hours and the results are as you see. Left one is the best I got with the drill, the right is the finished product.
Since I have the tower clean, I decided to dry fit the new taps and everything to see how she looks.
I picked up the Perlick taps from Austin Homebrew while they still have them on special. I have 5 basic SS525 models, and a 6th SS575 creamer faucet. I plan on having stouts or porters on tap on the creamer since I don't have nor do I plan on having the money for a Nitro setup anytime soon.
I'm now waiting on my parts for the guts. I have parts in route from KegConnection, and I will be also making use of the Glycol setup within the tower by using a fountain pump and can of water. I also ordered, today, new chrome shank coupling nuts because the old brass ones looked awkward against all the shiny metal especially with white brass polish in the crevices.
Rock on, nice work!!
My KegConnection order came in this afternoon. Was all excited, and life made every effort to keep me away from it all. Once I made it home though, lots of fun to be had. (if you can call it fun)
My custom kit from KegConnection, including an upgraded dual body regulator, upgrade to 6 product gas manifold with 1/4" mfl connectors, and nothing assembled by KC. I also picked up 4 pin-lock kegs and the fittings as part of the kit.
Everything looks good, no complaints. The hardware is top stuff, and the gas and beverage line is BevFlexx very nice stuff.
This past weekend I cut my hole and attached the tap tower to the keezers top. Took a bit of effort, especially since the top is 1" thick solid wood, plus the 2" foam. I didn't bother snapping shots of the hole cutting but you can see the results. I did the cutting while cooking my grist, nothing like a quick cut, a quick check of the brew, and back. I also tapped all the foam board last week while I brewed. Here are the results:
SWMBO lent a hand assembling the tower and then I hooked up the 20 ft of beverage line I received with my KC order. Installed the manifold and the gas lines. Only 16' of Red gas line from KC, but I had lots of Blue from the same source as the tap tower, which I used on the regulator side.
Quick shot of the dual body regulator, I have quick connects on each gas line for easy pull and go. The regulators are set for Serve and Carbonate, so 30 psi and 15psi tonight, to be adjusted as needed. The 2 product manifold is set for carbonation.
Best perk about this tower, no need to hot wire some CPU fans. It has glycol built in already. I just had to find a pump to move my "glycol"; water in this case, maybe some alcohol later to keep it from freezing. I picked up a little pump from Amazon for $10 that should turn out to be pretty good, I just had too much line on it when I set it up tonight (testing). It flows great once its started. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up a paint can from Home Depot/Ace, the kind you mix in, and cut and sculpt a glycol reservoir. Meanwhile I need to find some line that has more flex to it than the cheap stuff from Home Depot. I may just see what I can find while I'm in Colorado this weekend. Here's the glycol setup in the meanwhile:
I haven't wired the pump into my kegerator hard yet, but that will come. At the moment my wife and I are in limbo as to whether we are staying here or not, so I don't want to hard wire something in right now and then have to move it in a few months.
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