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Old 06-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
tyhawkins9
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Default Nashville Keezer Conversion

Hey guys, first post! Woo!!
Making a Keezer/fermentation chamber
(50-75° for fermenting then dropping it once beer is ready)

Already own:

- holiday 5.1 cu cheat freezer. (swiped at 129.99 brand new because of an OLD price tag posted on here)
- Johnson a419 controller
- 1 pin lock corny (found outside of my work)
- 1 ball lock corny
- handheld keg charger
- 6.5 better bottle primary
- ale pale bucket secondary (should I switch these 2 around)

Here is a break down of my "plan" so far.

1. Build a collar attached to the lid
- the small size somewhat demands this option to Be able to move things around inside one at a time.

2. Co2 tank
- inside or outside the Keezer?

3. Wrap the whole thing in wood
- If I leave the condenser housing and vents uncovered will that be enough? I want to put faux- cabinet doors on the front, and a butcher block top

4. Eventually somehow split it to do a fermentation chamber and a single keg chiller in unison.

Who's got some advice or comments??
Questions 3 and 4 are really what I need help on. The others are covered by a handful of forums.

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Old 06-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
brtisbuck
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I myself just started a keezer conversion out of the same freezer. I built a wood cabinet around it. 1" framing on the corners, 1/4" birch plywood over that, and trimmed in oak. I put it on casters and left the bottoms open for some air flow. I removed the vent from the side, painted it and reattached it to my surround. I also left the back uncovered.

With the way these chest freezers cool, it think you will have a tough time zoning it off to have a different keg temp than fermentation temp.

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In the botte: Wheat, American Pale Ale
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Primary #2: Light Hybrid #2
On Deck: IPA
In Design: California Common

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:19 PM   #3
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Hi

A refrigeration system works by pumping energy. Heat is pulled out of xxxx and moved to yyy. In the case of a normal freezer it goes from the inside walls to the outside walls. The compressor really does not get in the act as far as dumping energy. It's just the taxi driver.

Net result is that the outside of the freezer gets pretty hot in normal usage. It's a bit of a surprise, but easy to check out. Plug your freezer in when it's fully warm. Let it run for an hour or two. Come back and check out the walls. They are warm to hot.

You can block off the walls. Things will not catch fire and burn. The freezer will not collapse and toss parts into orbit. It *will* work a lot harder. The more you insulate the outside of the freezer the more years you are taking off it's life. You will know how many when it dies early ....

Scared yet? Hopefully you are.

If you block the walls, leave a couple inches of air space. Put in a fan or fans to pull air through the air space. Run the fans all the time. They cost a *lot* less than the years you would otherwise take off the life of your freezer.

Bob

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:38 AM   #4
brtisbuck
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Nope, not scared at all. I have air space on the three sides that are "covered" with openings to fresh air, plus 2 of those sides are vented. When I hook up my controller and plug it in for the first time I can determine if mods are needed. In our case, this freezer is relatively small and doesn't have much surface area.

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In Primary #1: Light Hybrid #1
Primary #2: Light Hybrid #2
On Deck: IPA
In Design: California Common

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Old 06-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Definitely going to give it some breathing room. Thanks for the advice!

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Old 06-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyhawkins9 View Post
Definitely going to give it some breathing room. Thanks for the advice!
Hi

Gets nice and warm doesn't it? Even though I knew this, it surprised me when I checked the wall of the one I just built. They do put out the heat ...

Bob
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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Johnson controls came in yesterday!

image-3199330151.jpg   image-3744425224.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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Hi

You need to head over to Lowes or Home Depot and get a cable clamp for the wires going into the bottom of the controller. If you bring it with you, I'm sure they can steer you to the right one. Should be a couple bucks max.

Bob

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Old 06-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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That's what I was thinking. It was a late night "Christmas morning" situation. I wanted to get the wiring in, settings punched in, and test it so I could drop my primary with an extract ipa in to it.

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Old 06-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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Settings for Johnson a419 as a fermentation chamber:

Sp - 70 - Meaning it cuts in at 70 degrees,
Dif - 3 - Turns off at 67 (probably drop to 66-65)
Asd - 5 - won't re-cycle for 5 min
Sf - 1 - if sensor fails it will leave it on (rather have to restart yeast than ruin a batch with off flavors)
Ofs - 0 offset turned off ( will add a switch later for fermentation vs keezer settings)

Did 70-65 because of the yeast I'm using. It's in a storage unit on my patio in TN. So I rather error on the cold side then hot.

Anyone know what kind of switch to use for the ofs? My plan, once I build the cabinet is to wire it permanently with 2 outlets (cooler and heater) and 2 switches (on/off and keezer/fermenter)

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