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Old 10-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #1
nerdling1
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Default Wife needs advice please!

Hello!
I decided that I would like to give my husband a kegerator/keezer for his birthday in November. After reading several bad reviews of the cheaper styles of single tap kegerators, and having little luck looking on Craigslist, I am about to pull the trigger on trying to make one myself.
I am hoping you fellas (or ladies) might have a little bit of advice.
First of all, has anyone actually had a great experience with one of the cheaper models (danby, nostalgia, etc) of kegerators? That might save me a little bit of trouble! I did see a frigidaire model for 450, I believe they retail for around a 1000. That was the only 'nicer' model.
If I convert a full size fridge with 2 or 3 taps, do they all have to be in use? I am not sure my husband can actually drink 2-3 small kegs worth before they go bad at a time, but I know he is a big fan of variety...and it would be nice to have more taps for when we need them (like when I am not pregnant and able to enjoy it as well).
Is a keezer that much better than a kegerator? From the research I have done, it seems that it might be a bit more difficult to make.
Does anyone have any very specific tutorials they can recommend? I have watched a few on youtube, but I have no technical know how when it comes to thermometers, gauges, or even setting up a keg, and the tutorials I have seen seem to gloss over those parts.

I am pretty handy, and the one who uses the power tools in our marriage. However, is this something that should really be left to a true beer enthusiast to customize?

Does anyone have any conversion kits they would highly recommend, or do yall mostly steer away from the kits?

Sorry for the deluge of questions. I am trying to hurry and decide if this is something I should/could do or if I should just take my chances on a used danby/nostalgia/vissani on c-list.....

THANKS!



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Old 10-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #2
mpjay2000
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First off, your husband is a very lucky man! Building a keezer is a pretty big project. Depending on how you build it, it can be very time consuming and very expensive. Ask a 100 homebrewers how to build one and you will get a 100 different answers. If you are sure your husband wants a keezer and not a commercial kegerator, you may consider just buying him the freezer and maybe some of the kegging equipment that he will need. That way he can customize it to his liking.

I'm sure a bunch of others will chime in shortly with their 2 cents. Good luck!

Jay



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Old 10-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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Indeed, lucky guy! Is it bad if I say I'm picturing a hottie in a tool belt?

I have had a lot of bad luck with prefab kegerators, specifically the fridges themselves. The Danby is god awful. I have had excellent results buying a used full sized fridge from a neighbor upgrading to stainless (I have two now) and putting 4 taps in them. No, you don't have to use them all at once, but I have found with tap handles, if you build it, they will come...and help you drink the beer! If you have the space, or it's a garage kegerator, I highly recommend the full sized fridges. You may have to reinforce the bottom shelf to hold the weight, but you sound pretty handy and I'm sure you'll be just fine doing that.

If you're forced to go with a smaller fridge, the Edgstar unit it pretty good, but it makes some seriously loud cracking and popping sounds from time to time...or the Sanyo minifridges are good candidates for drilling your own tower hole, just beware that many of them have one coolant line running across the top about 2/3 of the way from the front of the unit...be careful. BTW, I've knicked refrigerant lines too (I've probably built 10 kegerators by now) that's your biggest risk with a minifridge or when drilling sidewalls of any fridge.

Edit: Every kegerator owner that ever lived and started with a single tap has either upgraded to, or at least coveted a 2nd tap.

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Old 10-23-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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I don't have any experience with buying an actual kegerator. I built my own. Which, if you decide to go that route, there are many build threads and lots of helpful people here. If you include 2 or 3 taps they do not all have to be in use, I consider them optional. For the keezer vs kegerator, they both do the same thing, it just depends what your preference and visual appeal is.

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Old 10-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdling1 View Post
Hello!
I decided that I would like to give my husband a kegerator/keezer for his birthday in November.
You are Wife of the Year Material

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdling1 View Post
First of all, has anyone actually had a great experience with one of the cheaper models (danby, nostalgia, etc) of kegerators? That might save me a little bit of trouble! I did see a frigidaire model for 450, I believe they retail for around a 1000.
You are paying way to much for way too little quality with these. In my opinion. They are really easy to build. I went way over board and didn't know a thing about carpentry when I started mine. I will be selling mine soon to finance building a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdling1 View Post
If I convert a full size fridge with 2 or 3 taps, do they all have to be in use? I am not sure my husband can actually drink 2-3 small kegs worth before they go bad at a time, but I know he is a big fan of variety...and it would be nice to have more taps for when we need them (like when I am not pregnant and able to enjoy it as well).
No I have three taps and haven't been able to brew often enough to fill all of them. I just make sure to flush the lines with some cleaner if they sat a while. Also converting a full size fridge is one of the easiest ways to make a kegerator. Put a hole in the door, instert faucte and shank, tighten, attach beer hose, and you are pretty much done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdling1 View Post
Is a keezer that much better than a kegerator? From the research I have done, it seems that it might be a bit more difficult to make.
Depending on your level of skill yes they are more difficult to make, and they require a temp controler too. Skill level will also determine how effecient they are. Mine has a few badly sealed joints and leeks a bit of cold air and runs a bit more that I'd like. Version two will fix that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdling1 View Post
Does anyone have any conversion kits they would highly recommend, or do yall mostly steer away from the kits?
I would get the parts you need from the local brewing supply store, they will be able to make sure you get all the parts you need. Also they will often sell most of the compnets already assembled, like your lines and quick disconnects.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Keezer build you will need something like this:

http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2013/10/ends-tonight-great-deal-72-cu-ft.html

Good deal and they come up often.

You are a wonderful wife for doing this!

I think you should just go the route of buying all the necessary parts and let him put it all together. Maybe you could take the lid off and take that to cabinet shop and have them make a collar.
Good luck and keep us updated.

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Old 10-23-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Beer won't "go bad" in a keg that you're using CO2 with. You're thinking of the party-style pumps that introduce air into the keg. As long as you keep the beer away from oxygen it will stay fresh for a long time.

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:21 PM   #8
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I haven't used the commercially available models (Danby, etc.) but the ones I have seen were pretty cheesy. I built a keezer that can hold 4 corny kegs and I love the fact that I built it. Pride of doing the job myself thing, I guess. Everyone who sees it wants to know how I did it so they can build one too.

If you have basic handy skills and tools you can build it and customize it to your needs. The only thing I would say is don't expect it to happen quickly if you want to do it right. Take your time and do the research and ask questions (like you did) and you'll be able to build it. Don't get overwhelmed by buying all the parts at once. It's a lot of information to absorb if you've never done it before. Maybe start with the freezer unit and wood collar, then move onto the rest later when that part is done.

Photo of my baby here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/keezer-lid-question-230956/

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the advice. I think I am going to go with a full size fridge and go for 3 taps. Building the structure at the bottom of the fridge shouldn't be a problem, I am just worried about proper insulation where the hoses go in, making sure I connect everything properly so the co2 doesn't all leak out... And planning it
I want to have everything ready to go in secret and have the fridge delivered in the morning and everything ready for him when he gets home that night! I will keep y'all updated.
I will start wading through more tutorials, in the meantime I might try to figure out how to make some cool taps.
I can't stop laughing- when one of the posters suggested I get everything and then let him do it he called me when I was out of town recently and asked how to change a drill bit. He is an amazing guy- we each have our strong suits

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #10
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Depending on your location, I'm sure you can find someone from here that can help with planning/show you in person what they've done so you can get some ideas. perhaps even build it at their place for it to be delivered. Just a thought. Or someone that has a lathe to make some tap handles with.



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