Keezer Collar the Coastarine Way

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Coastarine

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I know there are very good keezer collar instructions out there, but I wanted to make my own and post it. Everyone has a different set of tools available to them, etc, and this was what I decided would work best for me. Maybe the way I did something will give you a new idea.

For wood, I chose 1x4 doug fir. I looked at cheap 2x4's but I realized that the really nice stuff was only like 8$ for an 8' length, and I only needed two. It would suck to build a collar out of wood that wasn't straight.

To cut it I needed a mitre box and I didn't want to spend much. This mitre box has cam-style pegs to lock the piece in place, it came with the saw, and I think it was about 16$ at lowes. Some sandpaper will also come in handy to clean up those cuts. Remember to measure twice and cut once!



Once you cut your pieces it will be time to drill the holes for the shanks. My shanks called for a 1" hole and I believe that is standard. I used a spade bit for this. Remember to drill a 1/8" pilot hole and make sure to start the hole on the face that will be the outside. There are different techniques for using a spade bit, but if you just drill straight through there will likely be some damage to the bottom face when the bit breaks through. In this case I really don't care.



To bond the wood together and to hold the collar to the lid I used liquid nails heavy duty. This stuff is seriously strong after 48 hours. The wood will break before the bond does. I think they also sell liquid nails in smaller tubes that don't require a caulking gun.



To hold the corner in place while the liquid nails set, I used this 90 degree clamp. Also from lowes for 20$. This thing is really handy. Also, you'll want a really nice flat plane to set the wood against. I took a risk and used my kitchen table with a sheet of paper to keep the liquid nails off of it. It worked out well.

 
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Coastarine

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I made two "L"s and then joined them by using the 90 clamp at one corner and packing tape to hold the other corner together.



Next came time to paint. I used this stuff. You could also stain the wood. Personally I like the convenience of the rattle can and my fridge isn't in brand new condition anyway.



At this point it was time to attach the collar to the lid, and so I pulled the sealing strip off the lid, and found that the plastic liner was kinda keeping the wood from sitting flush. I ripped out the plasic liner, and as a result I no longer have a light in the keezer. I really don't care. Also it doesn't look as nice under the lid. Just styrofoam. Liquid nails did the trick after that.

To make a seal under the collar I used this stuff from home depot.



I don't know if you can tell from this picture but it is made in a double row and meant to be pulled apart. I chose to leave it in the double row which made it 3/4" wide (perfect). It has self adhesive which seemed pretty strong, but not wanting to risk it falling off, I used a staple gun in between the raised portions to hold it in place. I cut it at a 45 so it made the corner the same way the wood does.

 
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Coastarine

Coastarine

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I measured and drilled for the hinge holes and used 5mm hex head bolts. I was having trouble in that I could see light under the seal when I closed it, but do not fear until you install the faucets. 6 faucets and shanks was plenty of weight to make a good seal.

 

JesseRC

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really nice job. So you attached the collar to the lid? Very nice, and you got them all tapped , huh?
 

swatchie

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Very nice write up. Really liked how you used all manual tools. What alot of people have in their kitchen. If I ever make a Keezer, will be following the same steps :D
 

BierMuncher

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Very nice looking rig Jon.

I was going to suggest moving the taps off to the right side to keep them out of the way when you're schlepping kegs in and out...and then I realized the collar was part of the lid...

Nicely done. :rockin:
 
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Coastarine

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Yep, I made this DIY because I did it using very little special/power tools for other people like me.

I'll get a picture of the hinges later. Right now I'm enjoying a glass of Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine style ale from 2007.
 
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Coastarine

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As you can tell, plenty of room for all 6 kegs, both cylinders on the compressor hump, and two cold crash carboys. Maytag for 100$ on craigslist.

Another point about the lid light is that I would have had to figure out a way to get the little switch that tells the light to come on (lid open/shut) to work again.

Also, most shanks I've seen are the kind like from NB where you need a nut and washer and hose barb fitting. My shanks are from the beverage factory and have the barb already on them. All one piece, no fooling around with potential leaks. http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/faucets/shanks/SHANK3.shtml
 

Austin_

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Thanks for the write-up. I'm limited on tools and space in my tiny apartment. That miter box and clamp should work.
 

davebl

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To get the light to work again, look for a tilt switch and just over ride the existing switch.

I see them on McMaster Carr's or you could get crafty.
 

tedski

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Once you cut your pieces it will be time to drill the holes for the shanks. My shanks called for a 1" hole and I believe that is standard. I used a spade bit for this. Remember to drill a 1/8" pilot hole and make sure to start the hole on the face that will be the outside. There are different techniques for using a spade bit, but if you just drill straight through there will likely be some damage to the bottom face when the bit breaks through. In this case I really don't care.
For the sake of information for others viewing this thread, I will mention another technique of using a spade bit. Instead of drilling a pilot hole, you can use the point of the spade bit to pierce your mark on the wood. This will be plenty to hold it while the drill starts. Drill just until the point pierces through the other side of the material. Then turn the material over, and use the small hole as your pilot. This technique prevents any splintering on either side of your hole.

Also, remember that spade bits work best with only gentle pressure. They are pretty easy to burn up. Remember to back off often to remove material.
 

homebrewer_99

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For the sake of information for others viewing this thread, I will mention another technique of using a spade bit. Instead of drilling a pilot hole, you can use the point of the spade bit to pierce your mark on the wood. This will be plenty to hold it while the drill starts. Drill just until the point pierces through the other side of the material. Then turn the material over, and use the small hole as your pilot. This technique prevents any splintering on either side of your hole.

Also, remember that spade bits work best with only gentle pressure. They are pretty easy to burn up. Remember to back off often to remove material.
If you place a piece of scrap wood under your drill exit hole area and clamp them together. You can drill into the second board and your cut in the first board will come out clean...;)

Oh, nice article...
 
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Coastarine

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I finally consider my home brewpub complete. This...is...awesome.

The 3/16 tubing I used from NB (perlick brand) at 6' has allowed me to finally turn the temperature up to 40 and the pressure up. My lighter beers are finally carb'd up to my preference (I like 'em on the fizzy side) and the pour is completely idiot proof. Let the beer fall into the center of the glass for a nice full head, or down the side for minimal head. The tubing is so much more flexible and easy to work with. This is so much better than cobra taps.
 

Skrimpy

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Nicely done Coastarine. I like that you can go through that much beer that you need that many faucets! I plan on three on a tower. Hopefully in my bar. One ale, one stout, and one for everything else...most likely seasonal. Summer Wheat/Lager.

One question, and more for everyone else rather than just you. I saw one keezer on here somewhere that the designer had put insulation on the inside of the collar so he didn't lose heat as much through the wood. Any reason not to?
 
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Coastarine

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I actually find myself wishing that my keg turnover was faster. I just can't bring myself to do batches less than 5 gallons. I love having variety! It's not like the beer goes bad...quite the contrary! My pipeline is full, and I'm always itching to taste the next beer in line.
 

InfernoBrews

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I am in the Process of Building One my self Right now. Basically the Same Set up! Only I havent been anble to make up my mind if i should put a Stout in or not...??????? Either way Like Coastarine said,The Bigger the Buffet of Frothiness The better!!!

What slowed my Process up is i Have a Metal Lid with not much to secure my collar to so had to build a little reinforcement!Plus this freezer is not as deep as newer ones (It was a Freebie) so i have to put a 8" Collar on it so my Kegs fit. But no biggie when my Family owns a custom cabinet shop! :D.. I Will have to post Pics when i get her done!
 

tomwirsing

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The collar for keezers is something I've been wondering about, but haven't pinned down a good reason for. Are they to provide more headroom in the keezer? Allow taps to be mounted without drilling through freezer walls? Raise the height of the taps? All of these reasons?e
 
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Coastarine

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Chest freezers have the coils in the wall, so drilling through the wall is a no-no. For me the collar is just to give a good place to drill a hole. As mentioned, some people need it for the extra vertical space.
 

Jewrican

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all of the above:

raise tap height
allow for more room for additional / any cornies
cant drill through freeezer walls becuase of coils
freezer remains stock and not permanantly modified - great for warrany work too
 
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Coastarine

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One question, and more for everyone else rather than just you. I saw one keezer on here somewhere that the designer had put insulation on the inside of the collar so he didn't lose heat as much through the wood. Any reason not to?
I've thought about this, and really wood isn't that great of a thermal conductor. Still, I'm going to be making a fermentation chamber out of rigid foam insulation and I'll probably use the scraps to insulate the collar.
 

InfernoBrews

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Thats what i did i Used the Blue Insulation Foam you can get a home deot or Lowes and i used a couple dabs of Liquid nail and secured it to the inside of the collar.
 

jsparks

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Great Write-up! I too am in a tiny apartment with minimal space for tools and such...this is exactly what I've been looking for! Thanks!
 

PhlyanPan

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I've thought about this, and really wood isn't that great of a thermal conductor.
That's not entirely true. Wood has an approximate R-value of 1 per inch. Since most wood you would be using is of the 2 X variety (which is actually only 1.5 inches thick) Your collar portion will have an R-value of 1.5. As opposed to rigid foam insulation which is actually a full 2 inches thick and has an R-value of 10.

Edit: Sorry, I'm an energy engineer. I can't help it.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Nice Coastarine. I'm about to build a collar for my keezer so this thread will be helpful.

Even though my Magic Chef chest freezer is NOT supposed to be in the garage that's where I keep it. In Florida we have very high humidity as well as high heat and I'm concerned the collar will sweat so I think I'll have to insulate it.
 

WorryWort

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Am I correct that all you used to connect the collar to the lid was 'liquid nails'?

PS - Thanking you for figuring out what I will be doing over the coming weekends.

Cheers!
 

onelin

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Great thread! I just picked up a cheap chest freezer and this will help greatly when I get around to making the collar.
 

MadisonBrewer

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I really really wish I would have read this before drilling a hole through my chest freezer wall... haha, I guess this was something I just had to learn the hard way. :eek:
 

SpanishCastleAle

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FWIW, now that it's the dog days of summer I'm glad I insulated my collar. The Perlicks sweat as it is and I'm pretty sure the collar would be sweating had I not insulated it. In the morning the Perlicks are covered with beads of water.

I'm actually thinking of insulating the Perlicks on the outside of the collar...so they both stay colder and sweat less.
 

jhonda00

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Hey Coastarine, I've got a question for you. What type of temperature control are you using?
 
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Coastarine

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I'm using a johnson analog temperature controller like this one: http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/product/0101527/refrigerator-thermostat

It is analog and the temp on the dial isn't always the temp in the fridge, but it does a good job of holding it constant so I just had to measure the temp and adjust until I got it right. The upside to these is a) it is inexpensive and b) you just plug the fridge into it and plug it into the wall. Super easy, no wiring to do.
 

jhonda00

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I'm using a johnson analog temperature controller like this one: http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/product/0101527/refrigerator-thermostat

It is analog and the temp on the dial isn't always the temp in the fridge, but it does a good job of holding it constant so I just had to measure the temp and adjust until I got it right. The upside to these is a) it is inexpensive and b) you just plug the fridge into it and plug it into the wall. Super easy, no wiring to do.
Awesome, I've been looking at that one, but it almost looks too easy to be true. So it works good? Also, have you noticed any change to your energy bill due to your keezer? I know that we have an old upright freezer (not frost free,) but we stopped running it and our energy bill literally went down $40. But that temp controller works good eh?
 

Scut_Monkey

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Awesome, I've been looking at that one, but it almost looks too easy to be true. So it works good? Also, have you noticed any change to your energy bill due to your keezer? I know that we have an old upright freezer (not frost free,) but we stopped running it and our energy bill literally went down $40. But that temp controller works good eh?
Many people choose to get digital temp controller because they tend to be more accurate and easier to use. I don't have any experience with the analog versions but I was able to get digital controller for $50 from http://www.climatedoctors.com/items/item.aspx?itemid=429705. It works awesome. You do have to wire it with a regular 3 prong extension cord which really is not difficult at all. You can easily do it by following the last picture on this link http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=40898.

Regardless of which you get both are very well known around here and you will have success with either. Just thought I would give you a choice.
 

jhonda00

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Many people choose to get digital temp controller because they tend to be more accurate and easier to use. I don't have any experience with the analog versions but I was able to get digital controller for $50 from http://www.climatedoctors.com/items/item.aspx?itemid=429705. It works awesome. You do have to wire it with a regular 3 prong extension cord which really is not difficult at all. You can easily do it by following the last picture on this link http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=40898.

Regardless of which you get both are very well known around here and you will have success with either. Just thought I would give you a choice.

Awesome man. Yeah, I've been debating on making a keezer or kegerator, but I'm torn between the two b/c I want something that's energy efficient and affordable. I'm thinking I'm going to go with a mini fridge just because I think they will use less energy, but I really don't know which one to buy. I think it would initially be cheaper to buy an old freezer off of CL and make a keezer, but in the long run it would be harder on the wallet due to energy consumption. What do you think? Also, if I made a keezer I think three taps would be all I'd want. So a huge space consuming freezer would be a nuissance when I could get a mini fridge that could have two taps and take up minimal space.
 

Bobby_M

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I don't think a mini fridge would be more energy efficient. I'd bet a chest freezer has better insulation and the cold air doesn't pour out onto the floor when the door is opened.
 

spotter

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+1 on a freezer probably being more efficient than a minifridge.

Also a collar on a freezer is probably easier than adding a tower on a minifridge, maybe cheaper in parts too.

I'd look for a newish freezer on CL or consider buying new, maybe a scratch and dent. Personally I got a 4yo upright fridge from a relative for almost nothing, so good efficiency, cheap, and has an icemaker as a bonus.
 

Scut_Monkey

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I also agree that a chest freezer is probably more efficient than a mini fridge. They do make smaller chest freezers that would be appropriate for your needs of 3 kegs.
 
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