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Old 04-16-2011, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Jeebas's Keezer

EDIT: I started planning out this build back in the beginning of April and really only started the woodwork back in mid October. I just finished early in the day on this past New Year's Eve. Here is the most recent picture of the keezer -



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So I figured I would start my own Kegerator / Keezer Build thread. I remember grumbling after bottling my first few batches but always thinking "It's never gonna be worth the money to get all of the kegging equipment and another fridge to store them". I have been homebrewing since March 2010, so a little over a year and have bottled 12 batches and now my opinion has changed completely - I won't mind bottling the occasional batch, but kegging seems to be much less work.

As it stands I don't have the $1000 - from my estimations what it costs to build a nice keezer with a new chest freezer, nice taps, good workworking and nice finishing (tiles on the top and backsplash and the like) - just sitting around. I also don't have the patience to wait until I save up the $1000 to buy the materials and build the thing to start kegging. I do however have an extra fridge - two months after we bought our house, we bought a brand new fridge and kept the old one as a beverage fridge - which is more or less what it is now, though we do store some food in it. So I decided to split this into three phases.

Phase 1 - 2 kegs and a CO2 tank with picnic taps in the beverage fridge. Nothing too fancy, just enough to have two batches on tap. gonna get the dual body regulator so that I can have one conditioning and one tapped at the same time.
Phase 2 - 4 Kegs (2 for conditioning, 2 with picnic taps) in the temp-controller modified chest freezer with wooden frame / lid Complete (not yet trimmed / stained), no holes for taps in freezer or lid, and obviously no real taps yet.
Phase 3 - See Phase 2 but add the coffin and three taps (perlick 575s), whatever fan setup i need for the coffin, lights, finishing for the lid / bar area. Ideally there would be 3 kegs tapped and one conditioning

I am able to save a little bit of money because my father-in-law gave me two old corny kegs. Other than that I need to buy everything on the list below, broken up by phases.

Phase 1 (~ $300)
Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System (no CO2 Tank) - $159.95 - Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System
^ This would take care of the two extra kegs that I need, the dual body regulator, the picnic taps for serving at Phases 1 and 2, gas hookups for the first two kegs. I can't find a cheaper alternative to this with the individual pieces broken out or any better bundle deals, and have heard good things from people about these. I opted to exclude the CO2 Tank from this because I wanted to go with a 20 lb tank, which leads me to.
Reconditioned 20 lb. CO2 tank - $84.95 - Reconditioned 20 lb. CO2 tank- Empty
Again the best price that I could find right now. In fact I can get both of the above for $245 and around $294 shipped

Phase 2 (~ $475 plus whatever shipping, also dependant on chest freezer cost)
3 Way CO2 Distributor $30 - 40 (I have seen prices in this range on a few different sites)
Chest Freezer - I am willing to spend up to $250, but preferably as low as I get one, at least 8.8 cu feet - 4 kegs and a 20 lb tank without modifications are the minimum - I don't want to bother with putting a collar on this.
2 Kegs - already have them, but for other's purposes, you can get them for around $40 a pop
wood and Hardware for Frame and Lid - Again nothing fancy yet, just probably pine 2x4s and maybe plywood for the frame and lid; this is before any of the trim on the lid or corners and any staining, any suggestions on types of wood or is using pine / softwood for the base is ok are welcome - $50 estimated
Casters - Still need to do pricing research on these, any suggestions are welcome. - $10 each estimated
Temperature Controller - I need to do a bit more comparative research into this - I have read almost every Keezer build thread that I could find over the last two months so everything kind of mixes together. But I *think* I am gonna go with a Love Controller that then powers the freezer. Or maybe I'll go with something like this - ETC Supply since I don't know a whole lot about wiring myself. Again suggestions welcome. - $80 estimated
Gas Hookups for 2 Kegs - $8 each

Phase 3 ($250 for faucets + stain / trim / finishing stuff)
Shanks, Faucets and all beer line for 3 taps - My best guesstimate for now is faucet-shank-tailpiece-beerline-liquid QD for each would be $80
Fan solution - TBD
Wood for Coffin - TBD
Insulation Solution for Coffin - TBD
"Cool Looking Lights" Solution - TBD
Stain for Frame / Trim / Lid - TBD
Tile / Mosaic / other type of Finishing for Lid and Backsplash - TBD
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:42 AM   #2
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Now for some newbie kegging questions -

1) How much clearance can I expect from the top of the gauges on a dual body regulator on top of a 20 lb tank? I read somewhere that tanks of that size are 27.5" - I have about 29" and some change to work with from the top of my crisper drawers to the top of the fridge compartment.

2) What would be the best way to reinforce the shelf on top of the crisper drawers to sustain weight? I have put one full carboy on top of the drawers before but I was a bit wary of putting two full 5 gallon kegs on this and it holding up.

3) Really noob question - once I carb a keg, its OK to disconnect the gas line from the keg if I needed to, right? It will still hold the pressure in it as long as the keg is in good condition, correct?

I'm sure I'll have more interesting questions as time goes on. Thanks for the time

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeebas View Post
Now for some newbie kegging questions -

1) How much clearance can I expect from the top of the gauges on a dual body regulator on top of a 20 lb tank? I read somewhere that tanks of that size are 27.5" - I have about 29" and some change to work with from the top of my crisper drawers to the top of the fridge compartment.

2) What would be the best way to reinforce the shelf on top of the crisper drawers to sustain weight? I have put one full carboy on top of the drawers before but I was a bit wary of putting two full 5 gallon kegs on this and it holding up.

3) Really noob question - once I carb a keg, its OK to disconnect the gas line from the keg if I needed to, right? It will still hold the pressure in it as long as the keg is in good condition, correct?

I'm sure I'll have more interesting questions as time goes on. Thanks for the time
1. You can install the regulator at an angle to get clearance. It makes it hard to read, but will fit.

2. A precisely cut 4x4 works (i.e. scrap wood)

3. Yes, once carbed, it will stay carbed.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:08 AM   #4
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3) Really noob question - once I carb a keg, its OK to disconnect the gas line from the keg if I needed to, right? It will still hold the pressure in it as long as the keg is in good condition, correct?
You will have to reattach the gas from time to time in order to maintain serving pressure.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Now for an electrical question - I have noticed a lot of builds where people wire a box with one outlet powering the temp controller and another outlet that is powering fan/lights. Has anyone used a heavy duty surge protector / power strip instead?

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Old 04-29-2011, 04:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Now for an electrical question - I have noticed a lot of builds where people wire a box with one outlet powering the temp controller and another outlet that is powering fan/lights. Has anyone used a heavy duty surge protector / power strip instead?
I built a temp controller from this thread. I had thought about using a power strip directly wired to it and couldn't find one at a decent price that fit my dimensional requirements.

For a keezer build though, I'm not sure why you would need more than 1 or 2 outlets (1 for the fan, 1 for the condenser). If you want to get fancy with lights and blender outlets and such, I'd probably wire up 2 project boxes. 1 box would have all the outlets I want to run with an always hot lead, ground lead and common lead going to the second box. I'd then run these into a dedicated project box for the temp control stuff. Good luck in either case.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:07 PM   #7
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I built a temp controller from this thread. I had thought about using a power strip directly wired to it and couldn't find one at a decent price that fit my dimensional requirements.

For a keezer build though, I'm not sure why you would need more than 1 or 2 outlets (1 for the fan, 1 for the condenser). If you want to get fancy with lights and blender outlets and such, I'd probably wire up 2 project boxes. 1 box would have all the outlets I want to run with an always hot lead, ground lead and common lead going to the second box. I'd then run these into a dedicated project box for the temp control stuff. Good luck in either case.
Thanks. That aquarium temp controller thread is interesting.

I have no electrical experience whatsoever, but have friends that do that could check my "work" before I shock myself, burn the house down - or as we would say in Pittsburgh - burn the haaas dahn. Is there a beginner's guide out there for wiring a project box that anyone could point me to?
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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I just picked up http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=324 with a 10lb tank upgrade - $280. The MidWest Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System was out of stock, and the KC one ended up being cheaper with shipping by $20 I also decided to go with the 10lb tank rather than the 20lb due to height restrictions in my fridge and a little bit more flexibility with the chest freezer that I end up buying.

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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I just picked up http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=324 with a 10lb tank upgrade - $280. The MidWest Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System was out of stock, and the KC one ended up being cheaper with shipping by $20 I also decided to go with the 10lb tank rather than the 20lb due to height restrictions in my fridge and a little bit more flexibility with the chest freezer that I end up buying.
While I wouldn't call that a great price, it's not bad. At Beverage Factory, it looks to be around the same price but with chrome faucets. I called them when I ordered mine with Perlicks and 2 draft towers (with a 5# tank) and got it for $370 shipped. The nice thing with yours is that the kegs come reconditioned with new seals.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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While I wouldn't call that a great price, it's not bad. At Beverage Factory, it looks to be around the same price but with chrome faucets. I called them when I ordered mine with Perlicks and 2 draft towers (with a 5# tank) and got it for $370 shipped. The nice thing with yours is that the kegs come reconditioned with new seals.
I probably would have done something closer to what you did, but I just found out about some home repairs that need taken care of, so the 2 kegs with picnic taps is gonna have to be good enough for me for the next 6 months or so. Looking forward to kegging all the same!
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