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Old 01-18-2010, 04:25 AM   #1
zorton
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Default Keezer project with a twist

I finally bit the bullet and ordered up two rebuilt cornie kegs and a tap setup for the 10 gallons i've got going. I then immediately began negotiations on the location for my new kegs. Naturally I thought a perfect spot would be in the kitchen, perhaps next to the table where I could pull a pint easily. The central planing council thought differently.

The council did agree to donate the only 2 year old freezer that we keep outside to the project though. The trouble with the outside freezer is two fold. One, it's a freezer which is most often used to freeze things. Not so good for beer I would suspect. Problem two is it's location; outside means the compressor to make the freezer a freezer doesn't run often in winter. Read, never. It's currently -10F as I type this in Fairbanks Alaska. We haven't had the freezer plugged in for about 2 months now and the population of butter, salmon and moose meat hasn't seen any ill effects.

I decided to put the freezer to use though with some "enhancements". I did do some digging around and saw a nice controller that would switch either a heat source or a chill source for me but it ran for about $150. I went to my local furnace control shop and bought a standard mechanical thermostat with an external capillary temp probe for about $50 instead. Heading over to NAPA I picked up a 900watt 120V heater designed for keeping car cabs warm for a princely sum of $100. I considered other heaters but the one I got from NAPA was small and had a built in blower.

I now have in my freezer a heater that when asked will happily blow warm air downwards on one side and a temp sensor sitting in old cilantro jar on the other. The cilantro jar is intended to hold some glycol to debounce the thermostat if needed. So far it doesn't look like I'll need to, the thermostat has a 3 degree differential built in and it didn't immediately turn on when I opened up the door.

I've got it set to 40 and it brought the internal temp up from -10F to 40 in the space of about 45 minutes or so. We'll see if the shed is there in the morning. Assuming my shed is still there come tomorrow what do most people set their keg storage at? I've read that 50 brings out the most flavors in beer so I ballparked to 40 figuring by the time I got a pint in a glass it would be up to 50.

One problem with this setup is the tap though. I don't see myself mounting a tower to the top of the freezer because the tap would likely freeze unless I drained it down each time after I pulled. For now i'm going to use a picnic tap stored inside the freezer. Anyone have another idea?

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:21 AM   #2
mordantly
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in the winter, i keep my kegs in the garage where it gets down to 30F, with cobra taps, no freezing problem yet. come summer outside is 110F so in the house they come (keep the house 70F 24/7/365). the best i can come up with some sort of expanding foam arround the faucet.

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:28 AM   #3
slakwhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorton View Post
One problem with this setup is the tap though. I don't see myself mounting a tower to the top of the freezer because the tap would likely freeze unless I drained it down each time after I pulled. For now i'm going to use a picnic tap stored inside the freezer. Anyone have another idea?
you need something like a door or box around the tap to keep it warm. cut some more holes around the shank and install small 12v fans to keep the air circulating around the tap in it's little enclosure as well as the fridge. that way everything is at the same temp (above freezing). i'd probably cut a nice big hole in the door, add a shelf for the drip tray, install the tap, then cover with a slide up door.

the other option is just to mount the taps inside the freezer and open the door to pour a draft...
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