I have started a keezer project after reviewing dozens of them on HBT. I initially got the better half's approval to do a coffin top but quickly decided my woodworking skills and equipment were insufficient. I then reset my goal to build a collared keezer and came up with some specs.
Black Kenmore 8.8 cf chest freezer purchased new and picked up a few days ago - check
If you squint you can see I've added wheels to the bottom of the keezer already. I bought some $6 ones at Lowes all of which swivel and lock. The bottom of the freezer is too flimsey to attach them directly but I found some rounded square pieces of metal in the electrical section and cut holes in them (time suck right there) and then cut three matching holes in the base part of the freezer. I used SS bolts, screws, and lock washers to attach the freezer base to the metal plates and to the wheels. The wheels seem pretty solid so far and are very handy to have when you need to move the keezer.
Dual hinged collar - I bought an extra set of OEM hinges for the freezer from searspartsdirect and will make the collar dual hinged. I'm going to match the collar color to the paint on a kitchen island (see below) which my wife recently redid. The keezer will be in the next room and I think it will provide some nice color continuity plus the island looks great on its own.
Four Perlick Perl 575SS creamer faucets - check. These got such good reviews I decided to fork over the extra bucks to get them instead of the 525SS ones I'd planned on. The 575's are gorgeous I have to say. I also bought some chrome tap handles as they looked cool in the ad I saw on amazon and I couldn't remember seeing anyone else using them. They are also awesome and quite heavy so I think they'll look great and stand out well against the dark keezer collar background.
Johnson controls analog temperature controller - check. I've purchased a new digital A19 model but since it hasn't arrived yet I'm starting off old school with what I already owned.
I bunch of other stuff I didn't have already (e.g., 4 valve CO2 manifold, tubing, connectors, shanks, etc.) I bought from Northern Brewer as they sagely put together a keezer build video
which shows exactly which of their part numbers are required. It may not have been the cheapest route but it was hella easy to complete the order and it got here in only 3 days.
I already had a 5 lb CO2 tank and regulator and six pin lock kegs. Other stuff I've bought but haven't received include a 120 MM green LED computer fan to recirculate air in the keezer and provide a bit of light inside. Today I bought the collar wood. I'm using 1 x 8 nice quality pine from HD and adding two layers of 3/4" R-4 Dow insulation sheeting then covering that with aluminum flashing and aluminum tape to make it look nice. I also bought some weather stripping to attach to the bottom of the collar where it rests on the keezer. There may be a few odds and ends left to buy but that's the vast majority of what I need. Now I just need to get it all put together.
Except for actually serving beer from it anyway, I'm done. Since pictures are worth lots of words...
The collar after painting but before the poly finish had been applied
The rolled aluminum flashing I cut and bent to cover the insulation and give the interior a more finished look.
The Dow sheet insulation (R-4) which I double layered inside the wood collar.
The collar after the poly finish coats had been applied with the insulation loosely installed.
The collar after flashing had been screwed into the wood and insulation and covered with aluminum tape. The shanks and gas manifold are installed as well and though it is hard to see I've added weather stripping around the bottom edge.
I bought OEM hinges from Sears which were easy peasy to install. I really like the dual hinged design, especially when you drop something into the keezer so that opening both tops makes retrieving it much easier.
With the top open. I managed to do a bit of rewiring so that the light still works, at least when the temp controller is set to ON.
With the top and collar open.
With faucets and chrome tap handles installed. Painting is clearly not my thing as the collar didn't come out looking nearly as nice as the kitchen island on whose color and finish it was based. It looks presentable to me but if Ms. Beernutz doesn't like it she can be in charge of the do-over. The new Johnson Controls A419 temp controller is on top of the box to the right as I haven't mounted it to the collar yet.
With the very nice magnetic beer labels that Shawn Mason made for me (www.masondesigns.net/taps). There are a 15 various labels in his starter set plus I special ordered the Spice one for my wife's Christmas beer. Shawn contacted me right after my order in order to provide custom service and per my request he made all 16 labels with a white background plus he kept me updated at every step on the way. I think they look great.
With both gas and liquid lines connected. I'll be adding a 120mm CPU fan for recirculation as soon as it gets here.
Same view from other side. I'm going to leave the CO2 in the keezer for now.
Last edited by beernutz; 07-07-2013 at 09:56 PM.
Reason: added link to Mason Designs
I wasn't getting a great seal between the bottom of the collar and the freezer body based on visual inspection and checking the outside of the keezer with my infrared thermometer so after some deliberation I added window sash clasps on each side. They greatly improved the barrier as before that part of the collar was several degrees below the collar itself and now its temperature is above that of the collar:
I also added a 120 mm computer fan with green LEDs which are cool looking however when I checked the fan body with my infrared thermometer it was well above the inside temperature I had set for the keezer. With the keezer set to 38 the middle of the running fan was measuring at 60. I didn't like that differential so I decided not to run the fan all the time but instead run it when the Johnson A419 temperature controller cycles on the keezer power. I have both fan and keezer plugged into a surge protector and the surgre protector is connected to the A419 so the fan and keezer are cycled synchronously.
I was curious how much power the whole shebang (keezer, fan, and A419) was using so I hooked everything up through my Kill-A-Watt EZ power meter. The Energy Star tag on the Kenmore 8.8 cf chest freezer said to expect the unit to use about $31 worth of electricity per year. After running the Kill-A-Watt for over 24 hours and checking you can see below that my estimated annual energy expenditure is expected to be just over $15. Pretty cool.
Finally, this isn't really keezer related but since it will be located directly above it I thought I'd post a picture. Ordered through Amazon, it came directly from Hong Kong in just over a week.
That keezer looks great. I just got the same freezer and am going to start my build soon. Is it easy to move the keezer on the casters when its full of kegs?
Well I can't say since so far the most I have had it in are two fermentation buckets with about 6 gallons in each. It was pretty easy to move with them in it, fwiw, so I suspect it will move easily when it is more full which hopefully won't be too far into the future.
I did some running around yesterday to get stuff for my build. How did you rewire the lid light? I'm going to rewire from the connector at the base to the lid...unless you had a better way.
The electrical cord powering the lid light wouldn't reach after I added the 8" collar so I had to unscrew two ground wire connections and extend them with some electrical cord I had and then I reattached them. What I didn't figure out until later is that the lid light only works as long as the freezer was "on", that is getting power from the temp controller. If I want it on I can just grab the temperature probe for a second and the freezer will cycle on. I am not sure it was worth the effort frankly.
If you can see the two gray wires attached to the green ground wires and in turn attached to the frame of the freezer, those are my additions to allow the cord to reach far enough to allow the lid to sit on top of the collar.