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Can I fit 4 sixtels in this freezer?

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Michele Craft

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Hi all, Hope everyone is doing well. A while back I had started thinking about my bar build and was reading a lot here and asking questions, then life happened, the pandemic happened, a move/house renovation was delayed and now things are settling down so I want to get back to the bar building. Chest freezers are hard to come by. My initial thought was I'd like to do a 4 tap, build it into the back bar and have it so I can roll it forward to tip the lid back for keg changes.

Going to build the bar ourselves and include a beverage cooler for cans and bottles as well as some cabinets I plan to make. I'd like to stay at about 48" wide for the keezer and given the need for 4 taps (more on that in a bit) it looks like I need about an 8.8 - 9.0 cu ft freezer depending on dimensions. Freezers are hard to come by ( damn pandemic!). I found one that we could get by mid October which is a Kenmore model 17992 8.8cu'. Looking at the dimensions excluding the hump, I have 30.43" x 15.5". When I put that in smart draw with 9.25" diameter circles, it's REALLY tight. Like I can move the circles so they JUST touch the sides and each other and it looks like I could pull it off but is there anyone that can draw the 30.43" x 15.5" and tell me if you'd do it? The co2 would be on the hump and I'd need a collar (and plan to just make a whole new lid and go up through with black iron pipe in an elongated "U" for the taps). I know there's a Midea 8.8 which will fit just fine but it's 25.5" x 17 3/4" in the well but I can't get it..... I looked at the thread that was started years ago for something close to see if it's realistic to think this Kenmore could do it but would like a gut check from someone more learned than I am. Like if things are super tight in there, is that just a PITA for changing etc? What about manifold space (figure I'd put that on the collar) etc?

Part 2 is, realistically, do I NEED 4 taps? I mean more is obviously better, right? But if I have to sacrifice space......... What are you guys using at home as far as # of taps? I don't brew but I have 2 friends that do but if they keg, it's to pin/ball locks so I pick up a bit of space.

Going to be doing a lot more reading and gathering parts and lumber (if I can get it!) but unfortunately, this back bar area and the keezer is kind of the lynch pin since it sets cabinet size on either side, as well as counter height (I'm bringing counter to it on either side and will wood top the freezer itself with a drip tray/glass rinser integrated.

thanks in advance!
 

IslandLizard

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Welcome back!
IIRC, we were talking about this project. Time flies!

I don't have any sixtels here right now, to measure the actual width, including any protrusions over the full height, not just the bottom.
Many sixtels have a welding seam halfway up, or depending on the manufacturer, may have other seams and bulges. Not sure what the specs are, and if the often referred diameter of 9" (or 9 1/4") includes those protrusions. Maybe check with a beverage distributor, brewery, taphouse, taproom, or craft beer bar?

If it's a very tight fit, all kegs touching, it's indeed a PITA to replace kegs in a freezer chest. But a mere 1/4 inch space between makes a big (or all the) difference.
 
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Michele Craft

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We were talking about this before and I'm back and reading up a storm! LOL! Closing on the old house is next week and then we'll hopefully be able to really start planning some things out. I've been using 9-1/4" as my circle in drawings on SmartDraw and actually have 4 cardboard circles we've kept in the car should we actually see any freezers on display so we can put the circles in and play around. Those are actually closer to 9-1/2".

Might start searching on the 9.0cu' size just to see what pops up unless we decide 3 really is enough. I mean I like beer and all, but only 2 of us live here and now with the state of things and people not coming in and out.... tho since I'm building cabinets and such right up to it, my gut tells me build for 4 even if only 3 are on or whatever vs building for 3 and then not being able to get a bigger freezer in the space in the future. Plus I like even numbers :)
 

IslandLizard

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It all depends on what kind of beers you'd like to have around on tap, at a time. If you do some more serious beer entertaining, 5 taps may not even be enough.

For example, a friend of mine has 12 taps in his basement bar, coming through the center wall, with top-freezer fridges (holding 6 ball lock kegs each) on the other side. He has awesome parties, and yes, beer is a big part of that. So is (often) live music, good food, and wonderful company. And everyone brings more beer, kegged, canned, bottled, growlers, homebrew, commercial micro and nano craft, vintage, sours, ...

I'm a prime guy, so 5 it is for me. Coincidentally, those are number of ball locks that fit in my upright keezer with taps coming through the door. ;)
 
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Michele Craft

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A bunch of our friends are miller/coors light drinkers so we tend to keep that kind of thing in cans/bottles as well as a pretty eclectic collection of other bottles we keep "cellared" and stuff out in the garage fridge so the bar taps are more for a seasonal, and then a good standard plus space for if a friend brings his home brew. Our liquor collection rivals a PA state store so we're pretty equal opportunity drinkers lol!
 
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Michele Craft

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Looks like on Friday we'll be the proud new owners of a Thompson 9cu' chest freezer from Sam's. Outside is 37.15" x 26.25" and I found one page that said inside was 34L x 22W front to back. That doesn't seem right to me but even if I take off 6" from outside which seems about right from others I've seen (3" on each edge), I'm at 31x20 and the fact that it's 20" front to back means kegs can line up and not be in a V so assuming the hump isn't super side (we're rolling the dice but it'd have to be over 10" which is unlikely) we should have no problems with 4 sixtels.

And now the acquiring of parts begins, along with line length calcs etc.
 

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Looks like on Friday we'll be the proud new owners of a Thompson 9cu' chest freezer from Sam's. Outside is 37.15" x 26.25" and I found one page that said inside was 34L x 22W front to back. That doesn't seem right to me but even if I take off 6" from outside which seems about right from others I've seen (3" on each edge), I'm at 31x20 and the fact that it's 20" front to back means kegs can line up and not be in a V so assuming the hump isn't super side (we're rolling the dice but it'd have to be over 10" which is unlikely) we should have no problems with 4 sixtels.

And now the acquiring of parts begins, along with line length calcs etc.
Yeah, if those are the inside dimensions, it's a great fit.
Parts wise, check out EVA Barrier tubing and the accompanying push-to-connect adapters. For both beer and gas lines. There are various (and recent) threads on that. It's fairly new to the market, quite cheap, and puts vinyl lines to shame.

I still use BevSeal Ultra 235 (PET lined) lines, but will go EVA soon. Much easier to work with too.
 
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Michele Craft

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Ah yes, I was reading some threads about the Eva lines today. Is 1/4" id the standard? I'll have to start making a parts list. Thought I had the taps figured out with perlicks but I've also been reading about the flow control ones. Lots to think about
 

IslandLizard

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Ah yes, I was reading some threads about the Eva lines today. Is 1/4" id the standard? I'll have to start making a parts list. Thought I had the taps figured out with perlicks but I've also been reading about the flow control ones. Lots to think about
4mm ID (8mm OD) is standard for EVA beer and gas lines. 5.5' of 4mm line gives enough restriction for dispensing beer at 10-12 psi at 38F.

For gas line some use 5mm ID EVA line, instead, as it's easier to stretch over 1/4" (6.25 mm) gas manifold barbs.
But since you're buying new, I recommend buying all your tap gear with 1/4" MFL connections where possible, such as your regulator outputs, manifold shutoffs.
Pay attention how to connect those EVA lines via PTC adapters to your Sanke couplers. AFAIK, they make PTC adapters for them too.

In your keezer build, allow ample space above the kegs for the Sanke couplers, with the lines attached. The assemblies add quite a few inches altogether, unless you go with low profile Sanke couplers.
 
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