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Do I actually have to "build" anything to have a working keezer?

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josephort

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After 6 years of brewing, I'm finally going to start kegging. (I know, I know.)

Pretty much everyone who posts about kegging on the internet seems to have a slick kegerator or keezer setup that they invested a ton of time and/or money into. I have a different plan: I want to buy a 7cf chest freezer from menards for $160, plug it into a temp controller with the probe hanging through the lid, and stick all my kegs & a co2 bottle inside with picnic taps. Cheap, easy, and seems like it should work fine.

But, am I missing something? Surely if this basic option just worked more people would talk about it? Or is it just that people like me who go with the cheap and ugly version are too ashamed to post about it online?
 

ba-brewer

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I started that way and added a simple collar later to get the CO2 on the outside and fit another keg.
Wish I would of added the collar first as I was already hooked on keg beer and it was harder to add a collar with kegs inside.

This is an easy collar, you can make it simpler if you want.
Easy-Peasy (no glue) Keezer Build with lots of pics

edit: My collar is quite crude, would not post a pic on purpose. :)
 

Vale71

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The only thing that will likely give you issues in the setup you described is the picnic tap. They are basically worthless pieces of crap. There's usually excessive foaming and then you have the long beer line that's a pain to keep clean and sanitary. Many people, including myself, get an actual faucet (flow control faucets are highly recommended) and attach then directly to the keg using a QD. If you don't overcarb and use a flow control faucet you'll get perfect pours and cleaning is also super easy. Just detach the faucet and quickly clean it by running tap water through it. A more thorough cleaning at intermittent intervals is still recommended to maintain adequate hygienic conditions.
 

Redpappy

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My keg setup for 2 years now. I have a 5QFT freezer that I added a 8” color on ( wood that I had laying around) I bought me a inkbird 308 tem controller. Drilled a hole in the cooler for the probe, and a hole for my co2. I also fave a cpu fan running in pvc pipe to circulate the air. For my taps, I use 6 foot picnic taps. After each keg, I pull my tap out, tear it down run water through, and the hang it to dry, keeping the line open on both sides. I use the cm Becker QDs on the beer so I can take connecter off, and with the picnic tap, I unscrew the top of the handle to wash out the tap.
It takes me longer to wash out the keg then it does to clean out my line. Keezer hold 3 kegs. I have 4 taps built(picnic tap, line, and barb And nut for QD), so that I can swap them out if I need to. I also have 2 picnic taps that are unused, just in case.

old picture before I moved my co2 tank to the outside. Just so that I can have 3 kegs in my keezer.55FA5DFC-AAA2-483E-96DE-379D71FC9676.jpeg
 

NewJersey

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There was another thread on here where the OP wanted high quality SS picnic taps and apparently a lot of guys use picnic taps.
The "why" sort of evades me.
A collar is just wood and doesn't have to cost a ton. With picnic taps you already have beer line and a "faucet".
Going to an actual faucet requires a shank and the faucet.
 

bracconiere

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But, am I missing something? Surely if this basic option just worked more people would talk about it? Or is it just that people like me who go with the cheap and ugly version are too ashamed to post about it online?
stickers.jpg

i feel no shame! lol, used fridge for $150, drilled some holes for picnic taps, fits 6 kegs. extra freezer space for whatever...

it's served me well for 16 years!
 

bracconiere

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if you're building it in a chest freezer, i'd say drill some holes in the lid just big enough for your lines and just pull them up shove em back down or something so you don't have to keep opening the lid?
 

Sammy86

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After 6 years of brewing, I'm finally going to start kegging. (I know, I know.)

Pretty much everyone who posts about kegging on the internet seems to have a slick kegerator or keezer setup that they invested a ton of time and/or money into. I have a different plan: I want to buy a 7cf chest freezer from menards for $160, plug it into a temp controller with the probe hanging through the lid, and stick all my kegs & a co2 bottle inside with picnic taps. Cheap, easy, and seems like it should work fine.

But, am I missing something? Surely if this basic option just worked more people would talk about it? Or is it just that people like me who go with the cheap and ugly version are too ashamed to post about it online?
This is exactly what I do...i've had my keezer now for 7 years and no issues...change lines and picnic taps every 2-3 years if I remember or one breaks.

I have 10 ft. Lines and no excessive foam issues like stated above. However, now that I've upgraded my brew system (went with a Brewzilla 65L) I have admittedly started saving for a collar, taps and shanks upgrade just because I can increase my capacity. Going to go with 2x6 collar and four taps and move the CO2 outside.
 

bwible

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I don’t have a keezer because I have a real kegerator with 2 taps set up for homebrew kegs. Though I’m thinking of getting a small fridge or chest freezer to use as a fermentation chamber so I can make lager.

The wood collar idea is popular. Its a wood frame that sits on the freezer between the chest and the lid. It can be installed without damaging the freezer in any way and you would be able to take it off if you wanted and put the freezer back the way it was.

The 2 issues are:
- How are you going to dispense the beer and
- some don’t like the idea of having the co2
cylinder inside.

If you are using picnic faucets you have to open the keezer every time you want a beer. And personally, I wouldn’t trust a picnic faucet to leave it connected all the time. So then you’re putting that on and pulling it off all the time. Its much more convenient to have real faucets on the outside.

Far as the co2 cylinder being inside 1 - It takes up space that might stop you from fitting another keg, 2 - something to do with the operation or having cold compressed gas (I’m not the expert), and 3 - condensation that can prematurely damage your regulator. That said, my 5lb cylinder and regulator are inside my kegerator and I can still fit 3 cornies with taps for 2.

Here’s one decent article how to build the collar.

 
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Dland

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After 6 years of brewing, I'm finally going to start kegging. (I know, I know.)

Pretty much everyone who posts about kegging on the internet seems to have a slick kegerator or keezer setup that they invested a ton of time and/or money into. I have a different plan: I want to buy a 7cf chest freezer from menards for $160, plug it into a temp controller with the probe hanging through the lid, and stick all my kegs & a co2 bottle inside with picnic taps. Cheap, easy, and seems like it should work fine...........................people like me who go with the cheap and ugly version are too ashamed to post about it online?
IMG_1213-001.JPG


My kegorator consists of a large coffin freezer with an external Johnson Controls analog thermostat set to 30F. Period.

Now I'm using a Pluto gun instead of picknic tap in this picture. Used to have a CO2 manifold set up, now tank sits outside and I attach to keg before dispensing.
 

stosh

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I would start out with a picnic tap and see how it works for you.

Many people, including myself, get an actual faucet (flow control faucets are highly recommended) and attach then directly to the keg using a QD. If you don't overcarb and use a flow control faucet you'll get perfect pours and cleaning is also super easy. Just detach the faucet and quickly clean it by running tap water through it. A more thorough cleaning at intermittent intervals is still recommended to maintain adequate hygienic conditions.
Then there's this approach that has its merits. Brew up a bunch of beer and try it both ways.

I started off using picnic taps with the goal of adding a collar and faucets. Along the way I realized that I never had a problem with excessive foaming (my lines are only 5ft long) or keeping the lines clean/sanitary. I still use pic taps with no problems.
 

Dland

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Oh Yeah, forgot to mention, I do use an in line adjustable flow control device, pictured above, over the pink topped kegs. So no long lines needed.
 

IslandLizard

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plug it into a temp controller with the probe hanging through the lid
Don't let the probe dangle in air!
Your keezer would be best off by taping (or bungeeing) the probe to a keg, about halfway up in height, placed under a piece of 1/2" packing foam.

Set your compressor delay to the max. on your controller. 10 minutes is a good average most controllers offer, but ideally, 30-60 minutes would be better.
 

ba-brewer

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Another thing to consider is condensation if you open the lid all of the time. Even with only a couple peeks a week I need fans and two ever-dry units to keep it under control.

splashed beer in the bottom does not take long to get funky.
 

acrowe

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I don't know about others but when I tried to use a freezer with just a temp control and no fans I had trouble with way too much condensation - once I even had mold start :)
I was figuring out what to do for ventilation when the freezer died
I use a fridge now. I am guessing you will need ventilation in a keezer set up
 

stosh

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Another thing to consider is condensation if you open the lid all of the time. Even with only a couple peeks a week I need fans and two ever-dry units to keep it under control.

Condensation was a problem until I started using these moisture absorbers.

I've used these things since I started kegging and the internal moisture has never been a problem. I usually get about 16 months out of one.
1611027800408.png
 

day_trippr

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I use a pair of the EVA Dry 500s in my 14cf keezer and have been happy with their performance - once I added small (40mm) fans to them to drive air in. Much more effective than sitting there static.

Each one can hold a bit over 4 ounces of water, so between the pair they can suck up two cups of water that would otherwise make a nice swimming pool :)

Cheers!
 
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