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?