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Old 05-20-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
msa8967
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I would like to try kegging beer and my plan is to have two 5 gallon corneys to be tapped. I have 2 ball lock kegs and most of the equipment (15 lbs CO2 tank, lines and faucets) to start except for the refrigerator or freezer. I would like to know if anyone has opinions on which type of cold storage device is best to start with, a keezer or a fridge made into a kegorator? Which ever unit I choose will most likely be in the garage. Since there are only two of us in the house I cannot see needing more than 2 kegs cold at one time so a smaller size will be OK.

Anyone have an opinion on these and could possibly recommend a good link as to how to modify the unit to this purpose? I tried reading the this versus that thread but could not find anything comparing these devices. I plan to continue to do some bottling but would like to give kegging a try,

Thanks,

Mick
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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I have read thru alot of the posts over in the DIY section on this. I think this brand has the easiest modification. It is in stock at Lowes.

This thread shows how easy it is to take out the insides of it -

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/frig...3/index29.html

This thread shows turning it into a kegorator -

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-k...-build-176401/

If you go to lowes.com/moving you can sign up for a coupon for 10% off. The frig itself is 179.00 here. Its the one i am going with YMMV.

 
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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I went with the GE 7.0 freezer and with using 5# CO2 tanks I didn't need to make any modifications. To keep the CO2 on the "hump" I had to turn my gauges on a 45 degree angle and then the chest would close fine.

I've managed to fit a keg and a carboy (cold crash now/ lager soon!!) in there with room to spare. I am slowly planning on making a collar so I can pull the CO2 tanks out of there, it seems the cold messes with my gauges some and I would like to have the taps outside, but I'm in no hurry as its mostly me drinking from it.

For the price, the chest freezer is bigger and cheaper and all the modifications can be done with a collar. Only downside is its hard to get the carboys in and out ( milk crates help) and you are lifting the kegs up and over to get them in. The 5 gal cornies are not that heavy at all, and I'm pushing 40.

Here is a decent thread on keezers: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/sizi...ny-kegs-75449/

 
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:16 PM   #4
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One nice thing about a keezer is that they are not very expensive and hold the cold a bit better than a fridge, which drops the cold air as soon as you open the door.

If you don't mind the taps being on the lid, you can simply mount then on the lid. But remember that when you open the lid, you might bump the taps on the wall behind the freezer. So lots of people build a wooden collar to go between the freezer and the lid, and mount the taps through the collar.

I would consider getting something that will hold one or two more kegs than you think you need. You may want to add another beer later, or just have room for a lager, or just some other beer to condition in a keg.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:37 PM   #5
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How difficult is it to modify the freezer so that the beer does not get too cold and freeze?
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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With a Keezer you need to purchase a temperature controller to keep your temps more like a refrigerator, so you've got more cost there. However if you want to store a large amount of kegs or make it look really fancy that's the way to go!

If you're looking for cheap and only need to store 2 kegs then I'd go with a Fridge. It's just easier and cheaper, especially if it'll be in the garage.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msa8967 View Post
How difficult is it to modify the freezer so that the beer does not get too cold and freeze?
You'll need a Johnson or Ranco (or other) Temp controller. You essentially plug the freezer into the controller, and the controller into the wall. The controller will have a temp probe, and you set the temp to say, 40F or whatever temps you like your beer. The controller will allow the freezer to cycle but only down to 40F.

Expect between $40 and $80, depending on your comfort level with wiring. Plug n play is more, of course.

 
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulgs3 View Post


Only downside is its hard to get the carboys in and out ( milk crates help) and you are lifting the kegs up and over to get them in. The 5 gal cornies are not that heavy at all, and I'm pushing 40.

Here is a decent thread on keezers: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/sizi...ny-kegs-75449/
That's why I have an upright fridge as a kegerator, and not a freezer. I'm a weakling, and I'm short besides and lifting carboys and kegs out of a chest freezer just isn't doable for me. I'm really too short to reach down inside without standing on a stepstool or somehing. I'd kill myself trying to get carboys and kegs in and out!

The upright fridge has a couple of advantages- I don't need a temperature controller for one, and I don't have to work as hard to put stuff in/out. But the keezer is nicer looking, more compact, and holds more.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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YB has a couple good points, none of which apply to me at 5'10". Also, I don't use the kegger for fermentation or conditioning. I had a fridge-based kegger and went to a freezer for the new one. Since it will be in your garage, the extra insulation of a freezer would be a plus.

The old fridge is now the fermentation chamber.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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I'm going with a fridge for a kegerator. First, it was free to me, so that just makes sense. Second, I can put 3 corny kegs in it, and put a shelf in where I can use it for cold crashing. I just love that fact.

 
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