Collar or Tap Tower?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

jpinachio

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
League Cty, Tx
Hey guys what's up. I have a 7.2 cf chest freezer that I want to build a keezer with. I can't decide if I want a collar or tap tower. I was leaning totoward the tower untill I read that the towers pour warm. I guess I don't understand why when you drill a hole in the lid seems like the cool air would keep the lines cool in the tower. My question is do the towers really pour that much warmer?
 

JRL

Active Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
Location
South Jordan
I also want to do towers when I build my keezer. I would think that it would be cold enough and some cold air would get into the tower also.

Will be interesting to hear what people say.
 

autoferret

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
430
Reaction score
6
Location
Snellville, Ga
I dont have a problem with my tower. Or alteast i dont know how much colder my beer could be by not going into a tower. My faucets do get nice a cold when ever i pour one.
 

doctorRobert

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
1,003
Reaction score
40
Location
Sharon, MA
One thing to also consider is how you plan to open the lid. I chose the collar method so that I dont have to move my keezer, the lid can still open without a big tower hitting the wall.
 

skibumdc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
216
Reaction score
6
Location
NoVa
A tower can be just as cold as you want it to be.
Just look up tower blower on e-bay and you'll find pre-made products that will blow cold air into the tower to keep the beer line nice and cold and no foamy pours.
You can DIY cheaper, or buy pre-built

I made that mod of my pre-built Sanyo kegerator. Works like a charm.
 

fretsforlife

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
299
Reaction score
3
Location
Floyd
I use a tower on my keggerator and installed a fan that blows cold air from the bottom up into the tower through a tube. Even still, that first pint of the session foams a bit more than the rest, but it is by no means a show stopper. As far as the overall temperature of that first pint, you can't really tell. The length of tubing in the tower isn't holding that much beer (few ounces maybe), so figure 2-3oz of not so cold beer mixing with 12-13 oz of cold beer to make up your pint, well, I certainly never noticed a considerable difference from the next pint. If you do decide to go the collar route, there's a pretty decent write-up in this month's BYO magazine on how to do it with a 7.2 ft³ chest freezer (or you could just check the DIY section here since that's where the author learned to do it himself :p) either way, good luck with it.
 

integrator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
146
Reaction score
4
Location
Indy
I have a tower (coffin box) and I get a little bit more foam but nothing major. I could install a computer fan near the hole but it's not worth the trouble.

If you mount the tower towards the front of the keezer, you can open it and not hit the wall.
 

cfbugsbunny

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
3
Location
Cedar Rapids
Even with a collar the beer will pour warm if you don't use a computer fan to circulate the air. The cooling coils by themselves do not provide cooling to the upper part of the keezer. I mounted a fan in lid of the keezer and it runs continuously. This does cause the freezer to cycle on a little more often but I'm ok with that to have cold beer out of the taps.
 

integrator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
146
Reaction score
4
Location
Indy
it may depend on the size of hole you cut out, the size of the freezer, etc.

The hole in mine is probably 8"x4". The freezer is 4'x3'x'3. My beer pours cold.
 

erikpete18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
822
Reaction score
34
Location
Seattle
Yeah a fan is going to be pretty important either way you go. One reason some people do collars is that because if done properly, you can retrofit it back to a freezer without much hassle. If you make a tower you've got to fix that hole in the lid if you want to go back. Of course, towers also look a lot cooler, so it really depends on what you prefer.
 

metaltim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
442
Reaction score
30
Location
Parker, CO
let's do a side by side:

doesn't permanently modify freezer - collar wins
doesn't need extra space in back when opened - collar wins
amount of work/craftsmanship/tools required - tower wins
cooling - collar barely wins. collar w/o fan pretty much works with little foam. tower with no fan can be problematic
aesthetics - tie, i think faucets on a nice stained collar looks cooler than a tower.. but that's all opinion.
# of taps - collar wins, you're only limited by size of freezer really. for 4+ taps, you'd need two towers, or one big and very pricey one.
price - collar wins. faucets/shanks are much cheaper than tower w/ same # of faucets
CO2 tank inside or out? I wanted mine outside, so collar wins on that one too, if yours is inside (taking up precious keg space), it's a tie.

looks like collar wins to me.
that's what I did. double hinge design, 4 tap collar.
 

bowiefan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
203
Reaction score
1
Location
Bowie Maryland
I did a coffin with 5 taps, fan circulating inside the freezer and another fan pushing air into the insulated coffin. My taps are COLD. Also solved the hitting the wall thing by mounting the coffin towards the back of the lid and cutting the lid side to side and installing a full width piano hinge. There are several photos in the "show us tour keggerator" thread. A coffin is nice because it gives more of a "bar" feel and keeps your taps and fancy handles away from kids dogs and accidental bumps from party guests as they walk by. Just my .02. Oh, and a coffin does not have to be expensive or difficult. If you can build a wood collar, you can build a coffin. And the materials and material quantities are basically the same for wood coffin/collar. Also, if you install a lock on the coffin, you can put shutoff valves inside to discourage teen drinking when you are not at home.

All that said, I am clearly not a collar guy.

Ben
 
Top