First Post/ Keezer Build

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TheSkaz

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I have been lurking on the forums for over a year. Some threads on here gave me a "need" to build me a keezer with an Irish coffin. Things left at this point is to epoxy the top, install electronics, and debug.

It is an insignia 10 cu.ft. that can fit 6 kegs with CO2 and Beer gas. Ill provide details in a bit.

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TheSkaz

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You must be on the other side of the world. Everything is upside down from my perspective. Still looks good
I rotated them, but when they uploaded, they went back the other way :(
 
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TheSkaz

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So everything is kind of standard except for the electronics. I will epoxy the top (which will color it the same as the coffin) and put insulation in the coffin with the 2 120mm 12v fans. there is a gap in the holes to run the beer lines through. now for the electronics

I have an ESP8266 that uses 2 temp sensors. one in the coffin, and the other in the freezer. There are 2 relays, one will control the freezer, and the other will control the fans. right now, the initial code has it to turn on the fans if there is a 5 degrees difference between the 2. and there is a uilt in 3min delay from turning on the keezer. and a range from 34 to 37 degrees
 
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TheSkaz

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as far as the actual woodwork, I didn't build it. I did a trade of sorts. My neighbor has a 66 El Camino and wanted to convert from powerglide to overdrive and convert from carb to fuel injection. I did that, he did this.
 
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TheSkaz

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Update:

jacked up the poly on the top. sanded it down to start over. got 2 coats on and now Ill prep for the Epoxy. Will be a little longer until i get my barrel aged speedway stout clone on beergas :(.
 
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TheSkaz

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Update:

Epoxied the top and it is currently curing.

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TheSkaz

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Update: got other taps in. the farthest one has a flow control on it. plan on using it for soda.


Issue:

coffin stays 10-13 degrees higher than the freezer. I'm rethinking my insulation. if i cover the foam with that aluminum tape, will that work? or should I do something else?

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TheSkaz

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why are they always upside down.... they arent that way on my computer.
 

day_trippr

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No idea, but it's giving me vertigo :drunk:

fwiw, I run my t-tower cooler 24/7 to keep it within 8-9°F of the keezer interior - that's about the best it does in the dead of summer.

That insulation looks low-grade. If you upgraded to the rigid pink stuff it'd likely do better...

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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No idea, but it's giving me vertigo :drunk:

fwiw, I run my t-tower cooler 24/7 to keep it within 8-9°F of the keezer interior - that's about the best it does in the dead of summer.

That insulation looks low-grade. If you upgraded to the rigid pink stuff it'd likely do better...

Cheers!
Not sure where I read it, but I thought the tower/coffin needed to be within 5 degrees to keep the foam low.
 

day_trippr

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There is idealism, and then there's stark reality.
Nine months of the year my tower tracks the keezer within 5°F.
Fortunately I've never actually had problems with pours any time of the year, but then again my system is "Balanced By Mike" ;)

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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Roger that!

what is a realistic goal for balance?

also on a side note, what is a realistic cycle time for the keezer? assuming 70-80F ambient temp?
 

day_trippr

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Don't how to answer "realistic goal for balance". Use Mike's calculator and you'll be doing what I'm doing.
Even with SwissFlow SF800 meters in line with all six faucets there's no issues with pours.

I like to keep the keezer at a 25% duty cycle or lower. Here's a plot from my system taken just now covering the last 24 hours, showing the compressor ticking along at 1 hour on/3 hour off while holding the beer temperature to +/- 1°F.

keezer_plot_24jul2017.jpg

25% is about the highest it ever gets; in the cooler seasons it'll be closer to 1 hour on/5 hours off.

fwiw, that plot also shows the tower air temperature tracking around 7-8°F above the keezer air...

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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Don't how to answer "realistic goal for balance". Use Mike's calculator and you'll be doing what I'm doing.
Even with SwissFlow SF800 meters in line with all six faucets there's no issues with pours.

I like to keep the keezer at a 25% duty cycle or lower. Here's a plot from my system taken just now covering the last 24 hours, showing the compressor ticking along at 1 hour on/3 hour off while holding the beer temperature to +/- 1°F.

View attachment 408529

25% is about the highest it ever gets; in the cooler seasons it'll be closer to 1 hour on/5 hours off.

fwiw, that plot also shows the tower air temperature tracking around 7-8°F above the keezer air...

Cheers!

Ok, I have some adjusting to do. The keezer is cycling every 5-7 minutes. it is humid outside but its about 80 degrees. There is a 3 degree window. The temp probes aren't in silicone, or water or anything. so I'm sure that has something to do with it, I don't have insulation around my collar, because I was told the 2" x 4.75" poplar was good enough. I think I'm going to add some anyway but getting the better stuff for the coffin and the keezer.
 

day_trippr

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Yeah, that's a compressor killer right there. Bad juju.
But an empty chest freezer with a controller probe simply dangling in the inside is going to do that exact thing.
There's zero thermal mass to stretch out the cycle time, and a dangling probe sees an almost immediate temperature drop once the compressor kicks in, so the on-time will be short as well.

The probe needs to be coupled to something substantial.
In my ferm fridge, I pin a probe to a fermentor with a slab of inch thick closed cell foam over it; in my carb fridge and keezer I do the same thing to a keg.
So the controller is tracking a large mass of wort/beer which takes a relatively long time to change temperature.

Also, fwiw, I don't think "excessive insulation" is an actual paradigm :)
More is always better...

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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Yeah, that's a compressor killer right there. Bad juju.
But an empty chest freezer with a controller probe simply dangling in the inside is going to do that exact thing.
There's zero thermal mass to stretch out the cycle time, and a dangling probe sees an almost immediate temperature drop once the compressor kicks in, so the on-time will be short as well.

The probe needs to be coupled to something substantial.
In my ferm fridge, I pin a probe to a fermentor with a slab of inch thick closed cell foam over it; in my carb fridge and keezer I do the same thing to a keg.
So the controller is tracking a large mass of wort/beer which takes a relatively long time to change temperature.

Also, fwiw, I don't think "excessive insulation" is an actual paradigm :)
More is always better...

Cheers!
So, I took your advice and mocked up something to pin the probe to a keg full of sanitized water that I used to leak test all of my lines. and with that My basic construction is done. Now here comes the tweaking.

1. Stout tap isnt "balanced"
2. Soda tap (flow control) is all foam
3. you can see the first 2 taps are condensating. This is where the fan is blowing from the keezer into the coffin.
4. temps are too far off from top and bottom
5. still need to check cycle time
6. need to apply tape to all edges of foam in collar.

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TheSkaz

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so now im having an issue. the keezer has been running a few days and its about 15-20 degrees off between coffin and keezer.

do other people have issues with the faucets condensating?
 

day_trippr

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Sure, when big time humidity rolls in here I'll get condensation on the faucets.
That's the price one pays for keeping them - and in my case the tower box and column - cool :)
It's pretty much that kind of trade-off.

Have you done anything to improve the coffin insulation?

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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I switched to a better insulation that is in a pic in my previous post. And all seams now have that insulation tape on them.i dont have insulation on the bottom where the fans are. Could that be an issue? I have 2 120mm fans at full speed in a push/pull config. It makes no sense to me why the diffeeence is so much. Also the 2 faucets that are condensating are right above the fan that pulls the cool air up.
 

thomash

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It sounds normal to me. Your intake fan is blowing directly on the first two taps, cooling them effectively enough to cause condensation. However, your coffin design does not guarantee equal flow across the other taps. Instead the air is turbulent in the coffin swirling around the first two taps.

I would add a block of insulation between your intake and exhaust that fills the dead space and reduces the volume of your coffin. That way you can ensure that the air is actually flowing across all taps equally.
 

thomash

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Check out the pictures on Jester's keezer to illustrate what I'm trying to say.

Another one here
 
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thomash

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Also, your shanks for your faucets 3 - 5 are much shorter, exposing less shank surface area to the internal coffin air.
 
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TheSkaz

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Thanks for the response. I took some better pics with everything running. I thought about putting foam where there is that dead space, but my flow meters are there. I might be able to push the meters out over the fans and still fill that void with foam. but that might take some engineering. what about foam on the bottom? I have epoxied the bar top, and felt that it did not need it, but I guess if i put a block of foam in the middle, that would address the bottom also.

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day_trippr

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Are you changing line diameters through the meters?
What ID tubing is that? I can't tell for sure but it looks like 1/4"?

Cheers!
 
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TheSkaz

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3/16 line. that is a 1/2 NPT to 1/4 barb. boiling water was used.

also, im using 10ft of line based on the link you shared with me to balance the lines. The stout line doesnt seem to follow that pattern. I am @ 42psi and still looks flat.
 

day_trippr

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The stout line should actually be as short as practical, the dispensing paradigm is not the same as your other brews...

Cheers!
 

thomash

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Just a though. Try unplugging the coffin exhaust fan and let it run on the intake fan only for a while and see if the temperature evens out across the coffin. However, like I mentioned before, the shorter shanks are going to be harder to get cold.
 
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