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Chest freezer/ kegerator building questions

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mdf191

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Ok, So I have read a good bit of the posts on building kegerators, and I think I have decided to go for the Chest Freezer. I have several questions some technical and some opinion.

1) it seems to me the Collar will be breaking insulation if it sits between the lid and the bottom . Am I missing a detail in which extra seal needs to lip the wood? Or will it be ok?

2) I don’t have much experience with chest freezers….but since they are freezers aren’t they COLD? Will the temp adjust that is built into a chest freezer bring me to the correct temp, or will a temp controller modification need to be made. And if so what is the average cost?

3) Any last opinions on if I am making the wrong decision and should be going compact fridge instead?

4) are there good posts with info on how to convert a chest freezer on this site or others that I am missing?

5) any other advice you feel like giving the rookie blindly embarking….
 

Drunkensatyr

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I use draft towers, so can not help ya on the collar, but yes you WILL need a temp controller. I use a Johnson's and they run between 30-40 dollars. As far as the correct decision, as long as you have space for it, I think you will be happier with the chest freezer than a compact fridge.
 
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BierMuncher

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1) it seems to me the Collar will be breaking insulation if it sits between the lid and the bottom . Am I missing a detail in which extra seal needs to lip the wood? Or will it be ok?
You’ll want to use some silicone sealant on the bottom of the collar to adhere and seal the wood box to the freezer. The current seal you have will stay with the lid and rest on the wood collar when you close it. Wood makes a good insulator.

2) I don’t have much experience with chest freezers….but since they are freezers aren’t they COLD? Will the temp adjust that is built into a chest freezer bring me to the correct temp, or will a temp controller modification need to be made. And if so what is the average cost?
You need to buy a thermostat controller that the freezer will plug into. Very easy to do and they cost around $50.00

3) Any last opinions on if I am making the wrong decision and should be going compact fridge instead?
I think you’ll be glad you went with something that has more capacity. I have both and if someone was going to steal one…I’d tell them to take the fridge.

4) are there good posts with info on how to convert a chest freezer on this site or others that I am missing?
Look for posts from Bobby_M and in his sig he has links to videos he’s made, including converting a chest freezer.
 

wsoxfan24

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I just purchased a 15 cu ft freezer for $50 on Craigslist. I was planning on building a collar for it, but after looking at the hinges on the back. It seems much easier to use a tower as the corny kegs will easily fit without a collar.

Personally, I like the tower look more than the collar look. If you do go for the tower, you may want to put wheels on the freezer so you can slide it forward when opening.
 

BierMuncher

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wsoxfan24 said:
I just purchased a 15 cu ft freezer for $50 on Craigslist. I was planning on building a collar for it, but after looking at the hinges on the back. It seems much easier to use a tower as the corny kegs will easily fit without a collar.

Personally, I like the tower look more than the collar look. If you do go for the tower, you may want to put wheels on the freezer so you can slide it forward when opening.
I though about a tower, but didn't like the idea of not being able to draw a sample from the tap with the lid open. Plus, mine holds five cornies and that's a lot of beer line and elbow joints and tight spaces etc.

Make sure to bolt that tower down good. It'll be pretty top heavy.
 

Matt Foley

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I just recently built a collar for my chest freezer and I flunked high school shop. Learn from my design and measuring mistakes. A 2x4 is not 2 inches wide and a 1x8 is not 1 inch wide. Yes, I am an idiot. I just put a thick strip of foam weatherstrip on the bottom of the collar and it is sealing up just fine. The lid shuts tightly and seals the top of the collar no problem. I purchased the analog temp control from morebeer at about $50 and even an idiot can use it effectively.
 

Brew-boy

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I built mine and it was so easy. I got the basic idea from the net on Mike's freezer idea. Just some 2x6 of pine wood and some cherry stain it was real easy so go fot it.

 

woosterhoot

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Go with the chest freezer unless you live in a dorm and eat 3 squares of Ramen a day.;) I built one this weekend by loosely following Bobby M's vid. I choose to attach the collar to the freezer instead of the lid, but other than that I did it very similar. The thing that swayed me was a four keg set up versus two. Also I was able to purchase higher quality faucets in liu of a very expensive tower with so so faucets. Either way is better than bottling but for me I've been brewing 3 gallon batches every weekend and wanted the ability to have more variety on tap. And buy more tools.
 

Bobby_M

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Another nice thing about a collar is you can start with a couple really good faucets and then add to it when your budget allows. I'd rather have two Perlicks than two chrome over brass rear sealers in a tower.

Having the faucets rise up with the lid has proven to be a real nice feature for me. Many of the hoses move up out my way so I can change out the kegs.
 
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