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Old 09-13-2008, 02:19 AM   #1
MadDwarf
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Default Found the 'Magic' in 'Magic Chef' - keezer progress, questions

The magic is clearly in the insane space efficiency of the 7.2cf Home Depot chest freezer. Footprint is less than 3' wide by 2' deep, but with collar can hold 6 cornys AND a 5lb CO2 tank. My old beater of a Kelvinator (may she rest in peace) was easily twice the width, and only held 2 more kegs.

First some pics of progress so far, then a couple questions...

Attached the collar to the lid for easier access. Collar is 1x8 oak, high enough to allow kegs on the compressor hump. I routed the groove in the bottom edge with a keyhole bit, so the rubber seal from the lid can be pressed into place and will stay put without gluing or caulking.





Basically together. Freezer was a Craigslist find for $100, showing up after days of searching just I was about to break down and buy one new. Faucets are Perlicks from Superprod. The white magnets on top are supposed to have cards attached with the beer names so I can remove the lovely masking tape, but haven't gotten around to it yet.





Crammed full. There isn't an inch to spare, but 6 happy cornys snuggling together, with just enough of a gap to slide my CO2 tank into the center. That part came as a surprise - I'd already resigned myself to moving the tank outside the freezer.





The inner fiddly bits. Each keg has its own regulator for discreet pressures, which gives me more things to tinker with. Which is, of course, the whole point.

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Old 09-13-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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The little darlin’ doing what she does best.


Remaining work:
  • Build a dolly with good coasters so I can move the keezer around more easily. I’d like to trim that out in matching oak as I’ve seen on a few other projects here.
  • Swap out my Ranco temp controller for one of the dead sexah Love controllers so I can build it into the collar. Love the look of the digital readout on those. The Ranco will no doubt find itself pressed into service for fermentation temp control once it starts cooling off.
  • Buy or make some better tap handles. I’d like to have handles that I can put beer labels on, but most of those are pretty tall. I like the low-profile of the generic black handles, so will want to find something around that size.
Questions for the DIY crew:
First, I was originally planning on insulating the inside of the collar with the standard pink sheets. But it doesn’t seem to lose much heat now that the seams are caulked, and it’s… well… kinda pretty. Ok, quit looking at me like that – I just find myself loathe to turn the inside all pink and boring. I know the wood doesn’t have anywhere near the insulating value, but has anyone used a Kill-O-Watt or something similar to find out exactly how much more the freezer has to run to maintain temp? It doesn’t appear to come on very often now, but real data is better than inconsistent observation.
Second, I’d like to be able to easily swap out the beer lines between the keg and the elbow connection so I can play with balancing the system without constantly cutting tubing off barbs. Trying to decide between in-line poly disconnects, and swapping out the barbed tailpieces for MFL tailpieces. Anyone had trouble with either method, or have a strong recommendation?
Many, many thanks to all the folk on this forum that have posted pics of their keezer builds. Collectively you saved me from a dozen bad decisions and mistakes before I even got started.
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Edwort's Apfelwein
American Pale

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Honey Dunkelweizen
Wee Heavy Scotch
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:34 AM   #3
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That is incredible that 6 cornies fit in there like that. I think I now know exactly what freezer model to by when if when I build a keezer.

Nice build!

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Old 09-13-2008, 03:27 AM   #4
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Really nice job! I hope mine comes out that nice. My freezer is supposed to be delivered at the end of this month.

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Old 09-13-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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nice work! IMO the wood looks great on the outside, despite the insulation issue. i'm sure you could line the inside with reflectix or something simple like that just to help a little

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Old 09-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
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Very nicely done. I'll be coming to Buckley this weekend to get my new kegerator. Let's make it easy. You go out for the night and leave the door unlocked.

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Old 09-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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How are the board attached to each other, are there some really small nails that i just can't see? Is it sturdy?

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:09 AM   #8
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Looks Great! much nicer than the one I just (about) completed!!

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #9
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That is the perfect size for the closet in my office. Will four kegs, a carboy and a couple of six pack containers fit, if the CO2 bottle was outside the keezer?

Could you post more pics? That is very slick looking!

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:43 PM   #10
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Very nice. Talk about maximizing your footprint. I've been eying a freezer that's twice the size for the same number of kegs/faucets.

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