I want to keg!

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lazarus0530

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I want to start kegging before the summer. Here's the thing. I want to know if it's easier to keg out of an old freezer chest. Or just go buy a kegarator? And how hard is it to transform a chest freezer in to a cool beer keeping machine? I have decent home improvement skills but sometimes get very impatient with lil stuff like this. Can I make a chest freezer look respectful enough to put it on my deck in the summer?
 

rycov

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you can definately make one look nice enough to put it anywhere. i'm not sure how high the temperature will go on the freezer, but if it gets up to your serving temperature it will be really easy, otherwise you'll need some sort of temperature control. for mine i just used a refridgerater, i have my co2 on the outside of the fridge, so i drilled a hole for the co2 in, hooked it up to the keg, then another hole for the beer out, and attached the tap kit from midwest supply's i think. it was really easy.
 
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Make one. I don't have much building/repairing skill and I made one from a mini-refrigerator. How respectable it looks is honestly up to you. I've seen some really nice chest style ones on here that look like actual bars.
 

rycov

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true, there are some really nice looking ones here. do a search for diy keggerater. you should find everything you need.
 

nebben

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Easier?

Buying a pre-made system is obviously easier since you will be drinking beer immediately, and cold beer after a few hours.

Building your own is much more satisfying, in my opinion, and much more flexible. You can build something that holds two kegs, or something that holds 10 kegs. It is up to you. A chest freezer lends itself nicely to being a kegerator because not only can they usually hold the kegs without much modification, if any, but they can also be easily modified with a collar and have faucets installed. Even without a collar or stainless steel faucets, you could still use plastic picnic taps inside for very little $$ , and you get the added bonus of being able to haul a keg out of the freezer and serve it elsewhere with ease.

You will need a temperature controller though, but they can be had for as little as $30'ish if you look around, and you don't need to cut any wires or do anything permanent to use them.
 

Chrisl77

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If you want to possible fit 4 in it you will need a 7cf model. I have the 7 cf holiday model and i can fit 3 on the floor and one on the hump with a 8 inch collar on it.
 

Hang Glider

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you can probably fit 2 in a smaller one - the size of a standard corny keg is 8.5 inches - so you can cut circles out of cardboard and go to Lowes/HomeDepot and drop the circles in -

a 7 ft will fit 4 but VERY tightly - making it difficult to insert/extract kegs. (been there, done that!)
the 8.8 cu ft model fits 4 on the floor loosely.

both will accomodate another keg on the compressor "hump" but you'll have to build a tall collar to account for the height of the kegs (about 25" plus connections)

I just finished my replacement (old one died) - shown below - so it can be done. Whether it's cheaper depends on your level of craftsmanship, your skills, and how cheaply you can find a commercial kegerator.



inside shot:



I have my CO2 inside the freezer, and the tank & lines along the back are for my glycol cooling for my fermentation tank. Now to build my pipeline back up - (yes, those are empty kegs)
 
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lazarus0530

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Hang Glider said:
you can probably fit 2 in a smaller one - the size of a standard corny keg is 8.5 inches - so you can cut circles out of cardboard and go to Lowes/HomeDepot and drop the circles in -

a 7 ft will fit 4 but VERY tightly - making it difficult to insert/extract kegs. (been there, done that!)
the 8.8 cu ft model fits 4 on the floor loosely.

both will accomodate another keg on the compressor "hump" but you'll have to build a tall collar to account for the height of the kegs (about 25" plus connections)

I just finished my replacement (old one died) - shown below - so it can be done. Whether it's cheaper depends on your level of craftsmanship, your skills, and how cheaply you can find a commercial kegerator.

inside shot:

I have my CO2 inside the freezer, and the tank & lines along the back are for my glycol cooling for my fermentation tank. Now to build my pipeline back up - (yes, those are empty kegs)
Man that what I'm talking about!!! That thing looks awesome. I think that's the size I want. The kegs look all cozy in there.
 

NWMOBrewer

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If you want to roll it outside, build into your plans a way to put a car under it. Many people have and they look stunning. I would show you mine, but its not built yet due to money and being home issues. I'm spending 2 of the next 3 months away from my apartment. Summer break for a college kid means mooching off parents!!!
 

DirtBagRob

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I just finished my kegerator a few months ago. I used a full sized refrigerator with the small freezer on top. I can fit 5 cornys in it but its a pain when you kick the keg in the back and have to pull all of the others out to get to it. If you want to put it on your back patio I would probably go with a chest freezer because the refrigerator just won't keep it cold enough. I have mine in my garage (uninsulated) and when it gets above 90 degrees here, it won't keep the beer below about 50, which is fine, but I'll be lucky if it will keep it below 60 when its 105 in my garage in August.
 
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lazarus0530

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NWMOBrewer said:
If you want to roll it outside, build into your plans a way to put a car under it. Many people have and they look stunning. I would show you mine, but its not built yet due to money and being home issues. I'm spending 2 of the next 3 months away from my apartment. Summer break for a college kid means mooching off parents!!!
Ahhhhh I miss those days good luck in school kid!
 

Scruffy1207

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Hang Glider said:
you can probably fit 2 in a smaller one - the size of a standard corny keg is 8.5 inches - so you can cut circles out of cardboard and go to Lowes/HomeDepot and drop the circles in -

a 7 ft will fit 4 but VERY tightly - making it difficult to insert/extract kegs. (been there, done that!)
the 8.8 cu ft model fits 4 on the floor loosely.

both will accomodate another keg on the compressor "hump" but you'll have to build a tall collar to account for the height of the kegs (about 25" plus connections)

I just finished my replacement (old one died) - shown below - so it can be done. Whether it's cheaper depends on your level of craftsmanship, your skills, and how cheaply you can find a commercial kegerator.

inside shot:

I have my CO2 inside the freezer, and the tank & lines along the back are for my glycol cooling for my fermentation tank. Now to build my pipeline back up - (yes, those are empty kegs)
I want your set up, two questions, what is that inside your freezer( not the kegs or the co2) and what is that hooked up to the right?
 

Hang Glider

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Hey, Scruffy

I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone - I've got a kegerator with space, and it cools, right? - well...

My choice of fermentation is a water bath. I built a plexiglass tank that holds up to three glass carboys. I fill it with water, and I have a small pond pump in it to circulate the water.

In the kegerator I have 5 gallons of glycol in a US Plastics carboy (left, on compressor shelf). Dropped into that plastic carboy is another pond pump.

Another Love controller on my fermenter tells that glycol pump to turn on, circulate glycol over to the fermenter, and return it. The actual thermal transfer inside the fermenter occurs in a small (new!) transmission oil cooler. The glycol circulates on demand thru the oil cooler, cooling off the water bath.

So, essentially, I'm just borrowing cooling power from the kegerator for my fermenter.
I found that 5 gallons of glycol works great! (2 does not, nor does 3, too much thermal loss on the return fluid to overcome.)
 
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