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Old 08-13-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
AlexK81
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Default Want feedback on my Over-The-Top Keezer 2.0 Design...

Well, I've had Jester's keezer design floating around in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. Before too long I believe I'll be able to get started on actually building myself a keezer!

Before I get there, though - being the anal retentive perfectionist I tend to be - I want to try to make sure that I have all of my ducks in a row. Since this site is what gave me the inspiration I figured this would be the best place to go for advice and such.

The first time I saw a keezer I loved it and hated it at the same time. It was a crappy old chest freezer that a buddy had made a collar for, stuck a couple of taps out the front, and tried (emphasis on tried) to paint the ugly green chest freezer black. It somehow made it uglier. Then, pretty much right after that, a google search led me to this site and Jester's rendition of the keezer. That thing was a beaut' and I loved it. My design started, quite obviously, with Jester's design. However, there were a couple things I didn't particular care for in the design that I believe I've improved upon. Now, Jester, I don't want you to feel that I'm putting you down in any way as I make comparisons to your design. Your keezer is the keezer by which all other keezers are measured! "Improvement" is very much a subjective term.

1) I don't particularly like the idea of fastening the top of the unit, especially the coffin, directly to the freezer lid. Not only does this void the warranty (on a new freezer) it puts a lot of strain on the hinges as well as tilting up the top every time you open the freezer. I know, I know - you shouldn't be opening it that often. You will open it, though, from time to time for maintenance, checking levels, bragging, etc.
2) I don't particularly care for having the air tank inside the freezer. Depending upon the size of the tank you have, you may either be losing space for a keg or having to open the freezer to check/replace an air tank fairly often.


So, without further ado, here is my design:








It's a little bit taller, a bit deeper, and significantly wider than Jester's version. Part of the reason for that is the added storage space on the ends. You can see the shelves at the front on each side for glasses and such. The hidden cabinet at the rear on both sides is for air tank(s) and other supplies you'd rather keep out of sight. You'll see the rest of the reason for the extra size in the following two pictures:






My keezer design actually consists of two separate pieces, both on casters. You have the "freezer" section and the "bar" section. Even though they look like one piece from the front, the only thing actually connecting the two pieces are the insulated hoses you see in the back as well as any air lines connected from the tank(s) in the cabinets. The insulated hose on the left (viewing from the rear) pulls air from the freezer and pushes it through the coffin. The insulated hose on the right contains the beer lines and space for the circulating air to return to the freezer. The two hoses go into detachable "boxes" on the back of the new freezer top. The air hose "box" just opens up and lets the air hose go. The beer line hose "box" swings out, exposing quick disconnects in the beer lines that can be quickly removed when freezer access is needed. The new freezer collar-top (a combination of a collar and a top) was added, replacing the old freezer top, so that no damage needs to be done to the actual freezer itself.

Which brings me to accessing the freezer. The front piece of trim that runs all the way across the top is actually on hinges, and will flip up like this:





This allows you, after disconnecting the beer lines, to simply pull out the freezer section to access the freezer:








I chose to handle the air line a bit differently than the beer lines. Rather than trying to use disconnects, I will simply have the air line(s) come out near the rear hose(s) and connect to the tank(s) in the cabinets. The hole in the cabinets where the air line(s) are to run through is near the middle of the unit. With 3-4 feet of line from the tank to where the air line connects through the back of the freezer collar-top there is more than enough line to pull the freezer section all the way out without disconnecting the air line(s).

The rest of the design pretty much follows Jester's. There are air channels along the sides and front of the freezer:





However, instead of one large fan, I have the surface area split up into separate channels and will use 80mm fans to pull the air through each channel. Much cheaper that one large fan, even having to replace several a year:





The coffin box will be insulated all the way around on the inside, with room for the cold, circulating air to make its way through:





And, finally, here is a dimensioned view of the whole thing:




[NOTE: Those dimensions are hard to read. It's 89 7/8" across at the back, 62 9/32" from the floor to the top of the coffin, 47 1/8" from the floor to the trimmed edge of the bar top, and 37 3/4" from the front to the back at the bar top level. The taps, however, are only about 20" - 22" from the front trim, so still easy to access even with the extra overall depth.]




I know it's over the top and perhaps even waaay over the top. Of course, we're talking about a keezer, so is there really any such thing as too over the top?


So, what do you guys think? Questions? Suggestions? Something I've missed?

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
onthekeg
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How do you pull out the freezer and keep the lines connected to the coffin?

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:34 PM   #3
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That looks BEAUTIFUL!!!
The only issue I would have with that particular design is in this pic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK81 View Post
You'll have 7 beer lines running from the taps in your cabinet to the collar in your keezer. Pulling it out the ~3.5 ft to open the lid will pull a lot of hose out of the unit that I don't see how you're going to get back IN once the lid is closed and the keezer pushed back into the cabinet. But maybe you're thinking of something I'm not
But I will be following this thread to see how things go for you.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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^Agreed.

You'd have to build in a dead space behind the actual freezer for the gas lines to coil up into so they lay behind the freezer when it's rolled back in. Not hard to do, but I don't know if you already considered that in the depth of the freezer vs. the depth of the rest of the unit.

One thought: Make the main unit deeper and use the space in front of the taps as a writing desk. Who wouldn't want 7 taps right in front of their face while they're corresponding or drawing maps or whatever?

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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Ok, removed my special helmet and re-read ur build and saw this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK81 View Post
This allows you, after disconnecting the beer lines, to simply pull out the freezer section to access the freezer:
So that answers my original question
But disconnecting 7 lines from the taps just to replace 1 keg sounds like a PITA to me...
And you'd have to have a shut off valve on the tap side of the beer line to disconnect it from the faucet.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeg View Post
How do you pull out the freezer and keep the lines connected to the coffin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distroid View Post
That looks BEAUTIFUL!!!
The only issue I would have with that particular design is in this pic:

You'll have 7 beer lines running from the taps in your cabinet to the collar in your keezer. Pulling it out the ~3.5 ft to open the lid will pull a lot of hose out of the unit that I don't see how you're going to get back IN once the lid is closed and the keezer pushed back into the cabinet. But maybe you're thinking of something I'm not
But I will be following this thread to see how things go for you.

It was in there, just mixed in amongst the pictures:

"...The insulated hose on the right contains the beer lines and space for the circulating air to return to the freezer. The two hoses go into detachable "boxes" on the back of the new freezer top. The air hose "box" just opens up and lets the air hose go. The beer line hose "box" swings out, exposing quick disconnects in the beer lines that can be quickly removed when freezer access is needed..."

"...I chose to handle the air line a bit differently than the beer lines. Rather than trying to use disconnects, I will simply have the air line(s) come out near the rear hose(s) and connect to the tank(s) in the cabinets. The hole in the cabinets where the air line(s) are to run through is near the middle of the unit. With 3-4 feet of line from the tank to where the air line connects through the back of the freezer collar-top there is more than enough line to pull the freezer section all the way out without disconnecting the air line(s)..."


So, the short answer is that I use quick-disconnects on the seven beer lines and there's enough slack on the air line to pull it out that far.

When the freezer needs to come out I'll just reach behind the unit and unlatch the air "box" and the beer line "box". i should be able to disconnect the beer line disconnects with one hand, so I shouldn't have to move the whole thing away from the wall to do it. Then, just slide the freezer out and do what i need to do. After that I just slide it back in, reconnect the beer lines, and latch the "boxes".
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distroid View Post
Ok, removed my special helmet and re-read ur build and saw this:
LOL


Quote:
Originally Posted by Distroid View Post
So that answers my original question
But disconnecting 7 lines from the taps just to replace 1 keg sounds like a PITA to me...
It very well may be. I've thought about using a significantly longer run for the beer lines inside the insulated hose so they don't have to be disconnected to pull out the freezer. However, the additional cost and the higher likelihood of the hose(s) might prove to be more of a headache than 30 seconds of disconnecting and reconnect the beer lines.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #8
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Very nicely documented, fwiw. I really like pretty much everything I see, except for the "slide out the keezer" part.

Having lived with a 6 faucet keezer for awhile now, I would consider the sliding thing a pita and would strive to avoid the need for that function: make the entire top swing up, with gas struts if necessary...

Cheers!

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Old 08-14-2012, 04:16 AM   #9
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I'll take 3 of them, as soon as you can figure out the sliding out issue everyone is pointing out. Out of curiosity, what is your budget?

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir View Post
I'll take 3 of them, as soon as you can figure out the sliding out issue everyone is pointing out. Out of curiosity, what is your budget?
For me, I believe I have figured out the sliding out thing. There are multiple reasons why I don't want the top to be tilting besides weight issue. One of the taps will be for soda water, of which we use a lot. My wife and I have a lot of mixers that she and I will use to make our own drinks - alternatives to soda. It would be nice - and it's more or less a mandate - for those to be easily accessible at the unit.

Since I would be able to reach behind the unit and disconnect/reconnect the beer lines with one hand when needing to access the freezer that seems like less of a pain than having to move anything and everything off of the top of the unit, slide the whole unit out a foot or two, and tilt the whole top up every time I need to access the freezer.



As for the budget, I don't have one. That doesn't mean that I can simply spend whatever I want, mind you, but for the most part it will cost what it costs. Of course, the bulk of the expense will be for the beer related hardware. I won't want to cut many corners there but I don't necessarily need everything to be top-of-the-line, either.


For the beverage choices for the taps, I'm currently planning on having 3 taps for ales/lagers, 1 tap for Guinness (or other Stout), 2 taps for sodas, and 1 tap for soda water. The way we go through soda water (and using a SodaStreamer at that) I'm thinking that last tap will pay for itself and a bit more pretty quickly. The two soda taps will help me as, at the moment, I'm having to make small batches of soda and put it into 1 to 3 liter bottles quite often. It would be very nice to be able to make 5-gallon batches every once in a while instead of 1-3 liter batches every week.
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