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Better for DIY Kegerator: Chest Freezer or Upright Freezer?

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BrianDorry55

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Hey guys, so I'm looking into building my first kegerator here in the next week or two and I'm trying to decide whether to use a chest freezer or an upright freezer. I'm finding affordable options on craigslist in both styles...I'm looking for something that will fit 5 corny kegs. I've seen that for chest freezers you need about 10 cubic feet or more and I'm seeing upright freezers in the 55-56 inches tall range which should work fine. Does anyone have any opinions on the benefit of going with either style? I want my taps on the side of the freezer not the top by the way.

Thanks for any help!
 

D_Brew

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I prefer chest freezers, not a fan of a bulky upright. You lose less cold air when you open them and the top makes a nice storage area for your pint glasses, liquor, etc. There are lots of plans floating around online to convert it to a "keezer" with taps up front. Then if you ever want to upgrade to something else, it can go back to being a normal freezer again.
 

twalte

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I ended up going with a chest freezer. I was having difficulty with getting very clear beer, so I wanted to have the ability to put two carboys into the keezer to cold crash them. I went with a 14.8 cubic foot unit to provide room for kegs and carboys.

It really comes down to how you intend to use the unit.

My build was simple...nothing fancy.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/one-more-keezer-world-384032/
 

rdann87

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Since this thread is current... Just wondering if it has had a significant impact on your electricity bill?

Just wondering as I am planning a ferm chamber soon and have been debating a freezer for a while
 

twalte

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Since this thread is current... Just wondering if it has had a significant impact on your electricity bill?

Just wondering as I am planning a ferm chamber soon and have been debating a freezer for a while
My freezer had an estimated annual usage cost on it at $38 per year. Old units could be considerably more.
 
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BrianDorry55

BrianDorry55

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Thanks man that's a great write-up. How many kegs/carboys can you fit in your freezer with the co2 tank? I was going to buy a separate/smaller chest freezer solely for cold crashing so I can adjust my temps without effecting my kegs...and so I can also use it to ferment beers that need to be a little colder (who can afford to cool their house below 73 degrees in Florida?). Is the collar absolutely necessary?
 
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BrianDorry55

BrianDorry55

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I ended up going with a chest freezer. I was having difficulty with getting very clear beer, so I wanted to have the ability to put two carboys into the keezer to cold crash them. I went with a 14.8 cubic foot unit to provide room for kegs and carboys.

It really comes down to how you intend to use the unit.

My build was simple...nothing fancy.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/one-more-keezer-world-384032/
^ That was to you.
 

twalte

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bknifefight

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Also, dont buy a used fridge or freezer from craig's list. If you're going to put the money into a nice keezer, you dont want the freezer dying after 6 months. Spend a little more and buy a brand new one.
 

twalte

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Also, dont buy a used fridge or freezer from craig's list. If you're going to put the money into a nice keezer, you dont want the freezer dying after 6 months. Spend a little more and buy a brand new one.
Agree. Also the same reason that I used the BillyBrew approach in case I needed to have warranty work done. Saw another post of someone who put a ton of work into a used model that ultimately did not work.
 

danbass

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I got a nice kenmore upright frostless freezer on craigslist 4 years ago thats still going strong. It's just wide enough that I'm able to fit three cornies side by side in the back, and a fourth and my nitrogen tank in front of those (large co2 tank is outside). On the top shelf, which I've got reenforced, I can hold a carboy for lagering and a case or so of beer. Wouldn't have done it any differently.
 

paperairplane

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Chest for keezer, upright for ferm chamber.

When taking kegs out of a keezer, they're empty. Ferm chamber, they're full both ways.
 

max384

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If I had unlimited space, I would have rather had a keezer. However, the space at my house (at least the space that is available for my boozery) is limited. So, I chose the upright refrigerator. This took up less horizontal space, and I could fit a wire shelving unit on top of my kegerator for additional space. If I had a keezer, it would take up more room, and I couldn't stack stuff on top unless I was willing to move it all if I needed to open the keezer lid. One additional advantage of the fridge is that I have the freezer available for frosted mugs for my blonde ales and pilsners, storage for my hops, and ice for mixed drinks.

Also, dont buy a used fridge or freezer from craig's list. If you're going to put the money into a nice keezer, you dont want the freezer dying after 6 months. Spend a little more and buy a brand new one.
I strongly disagree with this, unless money isn't an issue. If you have money to get whatever you want, absolutely go new.

However, if need to save money, but still want a kegerator/keezer setupd, CL is the way to go. I'm a poor medical student, with two kids, too much student loan debt, and too many hobbies. Used was the way to go. I got my fridge on CL for free. I then sunk precisely $0 into drilling the holes for my taps. If it dies tomorrow I have the option to buy new or peruse CL for another good deal. I can then drill a few more holes and transfer over everything except my stickers and the only cost I have is disposal of the broken fridge... And this is assuming I can't fix it, and I'm pretty good with fixing mechanical stuff.

Same goes for a keezer build. Building a collar isn't exactly rocket science, and doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
 

jbraaten

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Just from a tool standpoint I went with a chest freezer. I didn't want to have to drill four holes through the door of an upright and buy all the tools required for that.

That being said, I have had to become quite the handyman in the last year .
 

DurtyChemist

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17 cubic foot upright can hold 8 or 10 kegs. You won’t have to open the door very often. It’s also easier to load/unload kegs out of an upright. Add to it the entire door can be used for storing bottles or glassware you have my preferrred choice. I have a dedicated kegerator from Costco but if I ever need to make a bigger one I’m going with an upright. I got mine off craigslist for $50 and it’s never given me a problem. It has to be a frost free unit though as the kind with the metal shelves have the coolant going through them. No need to make a collar and you could build a two tier shelf from some PVC and a piece of plywood.

Buying a hole saw is pretty cheap. About as cheap as buying some lumber, gasket material, and a hole saw. I don’t see how it needs many tools other than a drill.
 
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