It's time for me to go from Lurking & Learning to Building & Sharing. What follows is Who, What, Why, and How of my Keezer Build. I'm very excited about this project for many reasons, and hopefully you will follow and guide me along the way. I've not given a proper introduction, so I'll do that now.
Once upon a time, I like many received a home brewing kit as a gift. It was actually regifted to me, unused but no longer in it's orgional packaging. At the time, I wasn't very excited by the kit. I'm sure that it was because I ignoantly figured that no good beer worth making/tasting could not come from a pile of plastic containers. I don't even remember if it had a booklet of instructions. So onto the garage shelf it went, soon to be followed by a trip to Goodwill. In hindsight, an opportunity missed. I'm sure that I had received the kit because it was a well know fact that I enjoyed beer. At the time, I had a converted refrigerator in the garage that always had two of the local microbrew kegs on tap. As I like to say, "It didn't suck."
Fast forward 8 or 9 years; in that time I moved from California to Georgia, married, and started a family. Driven by our growing family, my SWMBO and I moved into a new home last year. The moment I toured the house, I knew that there was plenty of space for future projects and lots of them. The house also has a full basement, including a workshop and a separate dedicated store room (brewery). Like many I also immediately envisioned my own home bar in the basement, but we'll save that build for another day.
I play adult ice hockey once a week here in Atlanta (no Thrashers jokes, I'm a diehard Sharks fan). It was after one of my games that I learned a couple of the guys in the league were home brewers. One of the guys was sharing a few bottles of his home brew, which naturally led to questions from me and discussions about the beer making process. This is when the seed was planted. My wife and I were in the planning stages of our housewarming party. I pitched the idea of having my buddy brew some beer as entertainment for the guests, and a How To for me.
The night of the party, he came over with a Milk Stout BIAB kit under his arm, and a bunch of plastic containers. For the rest of the night, we drank beer, and made beer. It was 3am before we finally transfered our wort to the fermenting bucket.
The seed had been planted, I can now say that I've been enjoying the craft of home brewed beer for a little over 9 months now. Every drop of it crafted from a pile of plastic (glass, and aluminum) containers. My first lesson learned, what can be achived using a much of plastic.
I'm guiltly of reading hundreds if not thousands of post here on HBT. I've learned techniques and lessons. graduated from the BIAB to All Grain. built the 10 gallon HD Mash Tun Cooler, a copper immerssion chiller, and my own variant of the Mother of a Fermentation Chiller. Now I'm starting a Keezer build. I would say, at this point, I've jumped in with both feet.
In an effort to reduce the required reading, here are the rest of the details in list form.
Mission / Goals
- More space. I've outgrown our extra side by side basement fridge (limited to 2 corneys)
- A perfect tap pour (NO FOAM)
- Appealing / good looking (fine woodworking)
- Balanced system
How will the Keezer / Basement be used?
- SWMBO and I like to entertain
- Home Brew served at Home
- Our new bigger basement is my main TV area, as well as in kid mode so the real bar is a ways off
- Low energy usage / High efficency / Dependable Freezer
- 4+ Corney Kegs (Immediate demand for 3)
- Room for a regular Half Keg for parties
- Multiple presures (two or three)
- Drip tray
- Reuse existing equipment
- Quality build
- Appropreate bar height. I'm 6'3", so 42"+ a little is ok.
- Moveable, but doesn't have to be portable
Nice to Have
- Room for growth (possible addition of Nitrogen draft / Cask)
- Build to eliminate need for external cooling fan
- Drink trough like a bar for making mixed drinks
- Glass Storage **
- Retain access to drain port
- On demand, shared cooling with Fermenter (have existing Coolerguys thermostat
- Reasonable Costs
- LED Lighting optional, but would be fun
- Integrate into future bar
Rediculous over the top ideas
- Cold Glass storage **
- Beer bottle access
- Built in glass Washer ($$$'s). Haven't seen one in a Keezer yet, but I need to build and name it to get onto the Wall of Fame here at HBT. Would that be a Weezer? or a Keezer with a Blast?
- Learn from those who've gone before me (Jester, tip of the hat to you)
- Best coffin cooling method. Good cool air ducting. NO FOAM!
- Limited drilling/mounting into the freezer itself
- No collar
- Sturdy base
- Don't overbuild
I think that about covers it.
If you've hung in there this far, it's a good chance you can handle the rest.