Building a coffin, and trying not to lose my cool...

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ubermick

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So Five Taps of Glory is almost done. The woodworking's been a nightmare but the freezer has been "cabinetized", and now all that's left is to attach the coffin, run the lines, and wire the Love.

The question I have though, is keeping the coffin cool. The initial plan was insulating the bejaysus out of it with R-Max thermasheath, ala Jester, but then I made the mistake of coming on here and checking out the few coffin builds I could find (surprisingly, not that many?).

Some folks claim that the insulation is more than enough. Others claim that you need a fan blowing cold air into the coffin. I've seen one or two making a PVC pass through tower with the shanks running into that (not an option for me, my shanks are too short), and others using lengths of copper jutting into the freezer cabinet.

Anyone got some reports on their coffin cooling capabilities, to help me get this @#[email protected]# thing finished?!?
 

Saerf

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I'm at the same point in my keezer build. I just need to build the coffin box.

Sorry I'm no help but very interested in seeing the responses to your question.
 

Sol

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Can you show us some pics of what you're working with? I built the PVC tower and insulated the hell out of it with insulation tape (3 layers over most of it) and the beer is always cold and the freezer only cycles a few times a day from what I can tell.
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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I'll try and get down and snap some pics after work. Basically it's just a countertop with the wooden box ala Jester's at the moment. There's no insulation in the box yet, although I do have it cut to size and set aside. Main concern I have with the U-shaped PVC tower is the shanks I got are only 4", and wouldn't getting into the PVC to change lines/mess with the tailpiece nuts?*

EDIT: Ahh, I see what you did. The PVC "guts" boxes that I've seen have the shanks running directly into the pipe, like this one:



https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hb...keezer-project-150256/index7.html#post1734199

*Not that I'm the sort of guy who likes messing with nuts, you understand**




**Not that there's anything wrong with that.
 

centralpabrewer

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I built my keezer last year modeled after Jesters, coffin and all. I also had added a wooden collar. I drilled two 3 inch holes down through the top for air cirulation and tap lines. It seemed to me that the compressor ran an awful lot and I always had a lot of condensation on the inside of the freezer. Normally, after a few days of not drawing a beer, the first one would be a little on the warmer side, but not bad enough to not drink it.

This year I modified the design. I removed the collar completely. I still insulate my coffin with 2 inch blue styrofoam board. I also put a fan in the freezer attached to my controller so it only kicks on when the compressor runs. I also put the temp probe in a quart of water rather than having it just dangle in the air. And last but not least, I got one of those small dehumifiers from amazon.com and put that in the freezer too.

The first beer drawn after a few days is still a little on the warmer side, but not bad. I have also noticed that there is no condensation on the inside, i think this is due not only to the dehumidifier, but also removing the collar. My freezer is high enough for the kegs. And the compressor only kicks on once or twice per day.
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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t seemed to me that the compressor ran an awful lot and I always had a lot of condensation on the inside of the freezer. Normally, after a few days of not drawing a beer, the first one would be a little on the warmer side, but not bad enough to not drink it.
That's a bit worrying to me. I'm kinda stuck with having a collar - I'd only be able to get three kegs in there otherwise, four with some serious squeezing. (Plus I built a full cabinet surround.)

It's running at the moment - Love controller went in yesterday - and set to 38. My kegs are currently at my buddy's house conditioning in his keezer until I get this finished (at least they BETTER be conditioning, as opposed to tapped!) so the only thing in there right now is one keg of apfelwein. Right now, seems like the compressor is coming on about 2-3 times an hour, for about five minutes. I would assume with more mass in there, it'd be running less, more like once an hour - still nowhere near as efficient as yours. I'll keep the dehumidifier in mind if condensation becomes an issue... hopefully not, since it's in the basement where temps rarely get above 65.

Anyways - I ended up using Sol's method, only with a PVC loop instead of a tee. Lines are coming in one side, and if need be I'll add a fan that circulates air in through the other side.
 

Sol

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Uber, I think it's all tit for tat. I'll be picking up some more insulation tape to do cover the lines on mine up to the shanks, but I'm not convinced it's necessary. I just finished force-carbing an apfelwein that had a less-than-perfect seal while priming so I hadn't pulled any pints for a few days. Hooked everything back up last night and the first pull of both of the other beers I had on tap were just fine. I've also got my temperature probe in a drilled stainless steel water bottle in water which keeps the freezer from cycling too much. I'd gone back and forth over doing a full loop or just a T and decided to give the path of least resistance a shot first and it's working just fine for me so far...

Good luck with the rest of the build. Can't wait to see pics when its done!
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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Uber, I think it's all tit for tat. I'll be picking up some more insulation tape to do cover the lines on mine up to the shanks, but I'm not convinced it's necessary. I just finished force-carbing an apfelwein that had a less-than-perfect seal while priming so I hadn't pulled any pints for a few days. Hooked everything back up last night and the first pull of both of the other beers I had on tap were just fine. I've also got my temperature probe in a drilled stainless steel water bottle in water which keeps the freezer from cycling too much. I'd gone back and forth over doing a full loop or just a T and decided to give the path of least resistance a shot first and it's working just fine for me so far...

Good luck with the rest of the build. Can't wait to see pics when its done!
Cheers for that, Sol - it should (furiously tapping wood) be done tomorrow. It would have been done this evening, if the Oetiker clamps I have weren't too big for the Tygon hoses I got, so I either need to order up from McMaster again, or just get screw clamps.

Frankly the whole build has been a complete pain in the backside, given that my woodworking skills are non existent. I should have taken photos along the way, and started an anti-build thread, documenting what NOT to do when building a keezer. The culmination was Monday - I finally finished the counter, and put the coffin on the top the day before, to see how it looked. Monday after work, I was gonna head to Home Depot to snag some gas fittings, but wanted to check the size of the manifold I had first. Lifted the lid, and just when I had it opened fully, I remembered the coffin wasn't screwed down, and in a slow motion "nooooooooo" moment, heard it sliding off and hitting the ground with an ugly crack.

So instead of running the gas on Monday, I spent it remaking the @#[email protected]# coffin! :eek:
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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Good luck with the rest of the build. Can't wait to see pics when its done!
Well, here 'tis!



Just need some tap handles now, since my cheap black plastic ones died when the coffin fell...
 

Sol

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Looks great, man! How in the heck were you able to fit 6 kegs in there? That doesn't look much bigger than mine and I've dented the hell out of my compressor hump and one of my kegs jamming them in there! Is there a hidden collar under there?
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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Yep, there's a 7" collar on there, letting me fit 2 on the hump. If the freezer were about an inch and a half longer, I could get an extra one in:

 

JakeTheHopDog

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Totally missed this thread, Ubermick. Looks great! :mug: For someone who claims to lack woodworking skills, you did a very fine job. :rockin: What did you use for the top surface? I like the color contrast with the dark wood. I did the same thing one day with my coffin. Fortunately, I was able to put the lid back down real quick and grab it before it just before it went off the back. Heartbeat went through the roof, so I can only imagine how pi$$ed you were.

In retrospect, I now with I’d put a collar on mine and two more taps, as there are so many beers I want to brew, but just don’t have room. :mad:
 
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ubermick

ubermick

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Totally missed this thread, Ubermick. Looks great! :mug: For someone who claims to lack woodworking skills, you did a very fine job. :rockin: What did you use for the top surface? I like the color contrast with the dark wood. I did the same thing one day with my coffin. Fortunately, I was able to put the lid back down real quick and grab it before it just before it went off the back. Heartbeat went through the roof, so I can only imagine how pi$$ed you were.

In retrospect, I now with I’d put a collar on mine and two more taps, as there are so many beers I want to brew, but just don’t have room. :mad:
Cheers Keith. And for what it's worth, the woodworking was a nightmare. The lid took two tries - the other one is currently in the garage awaiting a dump run. Getting everything lined up was next to impossible, and my mitered corners look good from far, but they're far from good.

The collar was definitely a good move. I'm already at capacity, and could use another tap or two.
 
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