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Old 11-14-2010, 03:10 AM   #1
WolfieBrew
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Default Chest Freezer Kegerator Project for Home Bar

After spending hours trying to locate the condenser coils in my upright freezer, I realized that it had completely stopped functioning. The compressor is pumping air into the freezer chamber but if just isn't cold. Anyway, I hunted around for a chest freezer this weekend and got a steal on a 23 Cubic FT for $50. It's an older model Kenmore but it is really clean and seems to reach a freezing temperature very quickly. I just need to order a new thermostat conversion kit. If anyone can recommend a good one that they have had success with an older freezer, I would appreciate it... It would definitely save me the hassle of trial and error. So here is what I have so far:









I have an 8' x 10' finished room tat I use as the bar in my basement and next to the bar room is an unfinished closet. I designed the wooden band on the chest freezer to overhang by 4" with a notch for the stud in the wall separating the bar and closet. With this design, the 2x will be touching the back of the drywall behind the wall in the bar and I will be able to run the faucet shanks straight through the wall. Then I can flush mount a drip pan on the wall below the faucets. I am more excited about this design because it is less work than my previous plan and I can handle way more kegs than an upright. If it looks like I am forgetting anything or doing something wrong, please let me know. I prefer constructive criticism.

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Old 11-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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I have it all together and I used 2x10's for the wooden collar because i needed the extra space. I used rubber weather stripping from Home Depot on the rim of the freezer to help keep the collar air tight. I figured that the weight of the wooden collar would be enough to create a tight seal. Do I need to clamp it down and screw it to the freezer? Or can I stick with my initial plan? I am nervous to put screws into the freezer. I also used Aluminum HVAC tape on the top and bottom of the wooden collar to create a smooth surface for the freezer and the lid to seal to the wooden collar. Has anyone used Aluminum tape and is it working well?

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Old 11-14-2010, 10:36 PM   #3
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PICTURES:


collar with aluminum tape


keg fridge in closet behind bar


faucet with simple tap handle which will need an upgrade

ignore the Coors sign... it was free from a friend!

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Old 11-14-2010, 11:59 PM   #4
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mighty big freezer for one tap! Plans to add more?

I use the johnson controller, easy to set up and has been working well for me.

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Old 11-15-2010, 12:18 AM   #5
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very nice, looks like you have room for about six more taps.

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Old 11-15-2010, 01:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalobrewer View Post
mighty big freezer for one tap! Plans to add more?

I use the johnson controller, easy to set up and has been working well for me.
Yeah, there's about 10 inches on each side of the stud and I laid it out for six taps (3 on each side). It could probably handle 8 taps but 6 should be more than enough for me. I wasn't planning on using such a large freezer but I came upon the deal and had to act. It will handle all my home brew and prob even a 15 gallon sankey for parties. I will have to look into the Johnson Controller. What I really need to know at the moment is the best freezer to fridge conversion thermostat. Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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I use the johnson controller as well, never had an issue, very accurate.

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Old 11-15-2010, 02:37 PM   #8
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first, thats an awesome idea. i've never seen one hidden in another room. very cool. as far as the weight of the wood being enough to hold a seal, you could also caulk around the edges. many people do that.
and as far as a temp controller, i use the johnson one as well. its easy to use.

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Old 11-15-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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I use the johnson analog on my freezer but I'd buy a Ranco digital if I was going to do it again. It requires a small bit of wiring but it is easy to dial in a specific temp and a swing, which I find important on my fermentation fridge. Great idea there with the freezer against the wall and the collar. Aluminum tape has held up for me in my freezer. The collar should be heavy enough to seal itself, I'm sure it weighs more than the lid. I would avoid screws at all costs. The coils on freezers are typically in the walls on the inside and outside just below the surface. I've ruined a perfectly good one before.
The only problem with 15g sankes is lifting them into the freezer. If you're having a party, though, I'm sure thirsty friends will help.

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Old 11-15-2010, 03:50 PM   #10
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I'm always confused why people build their collars as if they're going to put a kiddie pool and patio furniture on it. Despite that, nice job.

Oh, "but 6 should be more than enough for me" are famous last words. How many kegs can fit in there? That's how many taps you actually want.

Glue down your collar with a bead of 100% silicone caulk.

You'll want to keep your eye out for a nice piece of stainless sheet to put on the wall and attach a drip tray at the bottom if you don't want to keep a towel on the floor.

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