Keezer Lesson Learned...

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slurms

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When planning out your keezer, don't just make sure all the kegs you want to fit in there will fit based on the 'floor plan' of the freezer. Also make sure you'll be able to get them out when the shanks are installed too!

I'm able to fit 5 kegs into my 7cf keezer. They're snug, but happy. I currently have 5 in there. But, I loaded them one at a time when the beer was ready, so I was able to maneuver them to where I need to be and whatnot. Buuuut, just kicked a keg, was about to pull it out and then the shank, with the tubing sticking out of it was blocking my way... Ended up having to pull out a mostly empty keg to move the full ones around to get everything situated. So now I have a bunch of shaken up kegs which I'll have to wait to pour from.

I guess the one PITA keg location will be dedicated to seltzer water or something, which can I can just fill in place without having to remove. Point of the story, don't just think in the now, think ahead.
 

Golddiggie

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If you have it so that you leave one 'spot' open in the keezer you can simply shift kegs around as needed to pull the one(s) closest to the shanks.

I'm currently using 3 gallon kegs, but will be filling both of my 2.5 gallon kegs soon (plus plan to get some more so I have more beer in cans to give away). I also have a decent height collar on the keezer (to allow me to use 6 gallon kegs). Even when the keezer has been full, or close to it, I've not had any issue pulling empty kegs. Of course, I can fit eight on the floor plus two more on the hump (it was the only freezer I could get when I was getting one). That's without stacking for another layer (zero plans to do that). I'm also storing cans of beer in the keezer, in milk crates. Those are easy to remove and give me more than enough room to move kegs around.
 

ITV

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If you want to think further ahead, think about when your keezer dies. It is highly unlikly that you will be able to buy a new keezer the exact same size. If you made an elaborate build that included a tap tower/coffin, tiled lid, etc., it may not be a one for one swap.
 

Golddiggie

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@ITV I made a 'basic' collar, skinned with nice hardwood. I have zero issues with chucking it if it won't fit on the next freezer. I might see if I can get someone with good wood working tools/experience to make me a nicer collar at some point. But I have no need for that now. Mine's not fugly, so that's all I really care about.

I did make sure to get the shanks that has the 'working' length a hair longer than the collar is thick. Might be part of why I have no trouble, but the OP does. ;)

Longer isn't always better.
 

PersonalBrewer

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I feel left out I just have 3 each 5 gallon kegs.

Works for me.

My problem is not taking kegs in/out but using a 10 lb CO2 cylinder. Some of them are too tall to fit where you can see the dials. (CO2 sits on a smaller section where the compressor is on the keezer) A tall cylinder can fit in the keezer but you have to turn the dials upside down to get the regulator and gauges to fit and the lid closed. That means using a mirror to see the dials.

Using an Igloo freezer that the Local shop modified.

Thankfully, the solution is as simple as measuring the attachment point height on the cylinder to make sure everything will go in.

My point is that you want to be sure not only kegs will fit in but CO2 cylinder also. If I could readily get a 20 lb cylinder that fit I would do that. Going to 10 LBs really was a major improvement for me.
 
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slurms

slurms

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Well, you see, I bought 3" shanks. But the collar is made of 2-by with an 1/8" maple ply on the front. So I would have had to bore a hole in the back so the nut and tail piece could sit correctly. But I didn't wanna do that so I got 4" and that made life better.

Until this happened... Could have finegaled the keg out I'm sure, but I had a few beers in me and thought this was definitely the route to go today. Good news is the other kegs are pouring fine right now at least.
 

Golddiggie

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I got the shanks that were made to go through up to 2.5" of material. IIRC, they were about 4" long overall. With the plastic parts on the outside, there's a little thread still showing even with the beer lines connected. I've also been changing over to more flexible beer lines (about to order some more) to make things easier. I've already changed over the gas lines from the red (double wall) to the Ultra Barrier (very flexible) lines. Not that it's a factor for pulling kegs.

IIRC, the freezer I bought is in the 10 cubic foot range. Six taps means I have spare slots if needed. But, since I'm filling cans from fermenter now (carbonate in fermenter FTW) I only need to put the keg that will be on tap into the keezer. Makes for an easier overall process. Plus I can drink the beer within minutes of the keg going into the keezer (already carbonated and chilled) and can give cans away at the same time.
 

Golddiggie

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I feel left out I just have 3 each 5 gallon kegs.

Works for me.

My problem is not taking kegs in/out but using a 10 lb CO2 cylinder. Some of them are too tall to fit where you can see the dials. (CO2 sits on a smaller section where the compressor is on the keezer) A tall cylinder can fit in the keezer but you have to turn the dials upside down to get the regulator and gauges to fit and the lid closed. That means using a mirror to see the dials.

Using an Igloo freezer that the Local shop modified.

Thankfully, the solution is as simple as measuring the attachment point height on the cylinder to make sure everything will go in.

My point is that you want to be sure not only kegs will fit in but CO2 cylinder also. If I could readily get a 20 lb cylinder that fit I would do that. Going to 10 LBs really was a major improvement for me.
I have a 20# CO2 tank I bought back in 2011. Still on the original fill. I have a dual body Taprite regulator on it, that go to a pair of gas bulkheads that are sent though the collar (left side at the back). With the CO2 tank outside the keezer, I have more room for beer kegs. I also have a nitro/co2 mix cylinder in the same area. That also utilizes a gas bulkhead to pass through the collar. I like the bulkheads since it means I can easily take the lines off both the regulator AND disconnect from the keezer as needed. Such as when moving or if I change over to different line.

I've been running with the gas tanks/cylinders outside of what keeps the kegs cool from the start. It was critical with the small fridge I used first (freezer top, 10 cubic foot unit).

Next place I move to, I'll look at hiding the gas cylinders so that you can't see them without hunting.

I'm also using a few gas manifolds to split the gas feeds inside the keezer. Just makes things easier when you could have up to 10 kegs inside the keezer and might want to run at a couple of different pressure levels. The ability to have up to five kegs on nitro mix is also nice. Sadly, I only have three stout faucets. Currently. ;)
 

spittiz

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I'm actually doing a keezer build probably next week if I get all the parts, and I'm going to add the freezers original hinges to the collar and another pair of hinges to the lid so I can open the collar too when swapping kegs etc, should make it much easier height wise and no problems with shanks in the way.
 

micraftbeer

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Also make sure you'll be able to get them out when the shanks are installed too!
I had this exact same experience with my Version 1.0 of my keezer collar. Between the shanks up front, and the multi-pressure regulator adjuster valve manifold in the back, it was a major pain. So on Version 2.0 (yes, I even changed the collar before my freezer died), I did two things: 1) Moved all the taps down to the end of the collar so the shanks overhang the hump, rather than precious interior space, and 2) Moved my CO2 tank outside and replaced the multi-pressure regulator valves inside (that were always set at the same pressure anyway) with a 6-way manifold regulated by an ITW Gov Reg. So glad I did that.

Goal is to keep the shank as short as possible, so as NOT to interfere, while still being accessible.
At Portland Homebrew Con a few years ago, I listed to a talk from a guy that sets up beer lines for a living. His rule of thumb was to have 2/3 of the shank length sticking through inside the keezer to act as a heat sink (cold sink technically) and use the cold air inside the keezer to make the shank/faucets cool as they pass through your collar. So I use 6" shanks. I never did an A-B comparison by just switching the shanks out, I just have always used 6" shanks for that reason. When I did Version 2.0 of my collar, when I clustered all my taps down to the end overhanging the hump, I also placed my PC cooling fan on a a little homemade plywood box so I could direct cold keezer air from the bottom and blow directly up to the shanks. I used an Inkbird wireless temperature sensor inside the keg after I did this layout to measure the temperature of the shanks, and it showed a big improvement. Since I had planned this while I still had Collar 1.0, I measured the shank temperature on it, and then measured on Collar 2.0 to compare. Shank temperature was within 1-2 degrees of temperature toward bottom of the keezer, so I consider that a huge success.

Below are some pictures of the keezer layout. If you go to the link on the temperature sensor, you can see the graphs of shank temperature between Collar 1.0 and 2.0. And my review of the Gov Reg has more pictures of before & after keezer clutter.



New Keezer- Taps Set up with Remote Probe to Monitor.jpg


6-Way Manifold Plus ITW Gov Reg Very Space Efficient.jpg
 

franknbeans

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Those ITW Gov regs are a neat idea. I think I'd like to have control over each line with secondary regs with gauges though.. if only they were a little more reasonable priced.
 

Beermeister32

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I'm planning on installing a hoist to lift the full corny kegs and position them into place within the keezer.
That’s a great idea, maybe a big shackle attached to a ceiling joist would help.

I think hoisting kegs in an out over the top manually could throw out a few backs. Quite a price to quench your thirst!
 

Golddiggie

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Looks like the three newer shanks I bought are longer than the ones I originally bought. Still, no issues due to collar construction.
PXL_20210725_154110572.jpg
PXL_20210725_154127813.jpg


I have enough clearance to get kegs in/out even with those shanks. Probably because I made the collar so that it's on the outside edge of the freezer body with the 'skin' (3/4" thick oak and maple) going to the outside/body of the freezer to lock it into position.
 

Golddiggie

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I have three stout faucets on the right (longer shanks) with ale faucets on the left. Right now I have my bitter and English IPA on ale faucets (one faucet empty right now) with the chocolate and breakfast stouts and mocha porter on the three stout (nitro mix) faucets. Just waiting for the porter keg to kick. I'll probably extend the length of one, or two, of the nitro mix lines so that I can place them further to the left side in the keezer. Although once the current chocolate stout keg kicks (almost empty) the one that went in last night can move to that gas line.
 

Gozie Boy

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At least I put my Secondary Regs and gas distributors in the hump area, otherwise I'd been really snookered trying to get kegs in and out. And yes, +1 on CO2 and Beer Gas cylinders outside the keezer.
 

odie

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I have a 7cf that hold 4 kegs. I put the hinge on the collar so that all the shanks flip up out of the way. The lid just rests on the collar. I can just remove the lid if I need to get inside or flip the collar to pull kegs.
 
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slurms

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I originally contemplated putting both the collar and the lid on hinges, but I couldn't find any that would fit the original screw holes in either the freezer or lid so I held off. Why I didn't just think to leave the lid loose or seal it down with silicone is beyond me...

In regards to having the collar on the original hinges, do the springs in the hinges hold the collar up and in place when opened like it does with the lid? That was also a concern of mine given the collar is pretty heavy and didn't feel like having the lid slam on my head.
 

odie

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I have original hinges on the collar. No issues holding it open. But I do lift off the lid and set it aside first since it is not attached and would just slide off. I found no need to seal the lid to the collar.
 
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I was lucky enough to have my kitchen set up in a way that allowed me to actually put my faucets on the short end where the hump is so I have zero interference with the kegs and shanks. I am planning to build a second one that I dont think will work out this way but now I have some ideas on how to get around it.
20210720_171923.jpg
 

bkboiler

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I just finished my keezer build and did the shanks over the hump for this reason...
I have fairly short shanks...in fact they're so short I just threaded the shank into the wood and left the shank nut out (partly because I couldn't reach in the insulation to secure the shank nut and partly because it wasn't necessary since the wood had threads, so I just torqued the shank against the wood).
It certainly saves space, but was kinda painful to install...
 

Toxxyc

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I installed my shanks right in the middle, but they were so short I had to countersink the holes to fit the nuts. So they're not really in the way, it's pretty easy to just disconnect the coupler or disconnects if I have to move the lines.

Anyway, another thing - I decided I want to have kegs on the hump as well. Because why not. So I built the collar pretty high. Like more than a foot high, actually.

New problem - now I can't lift up a full keg from that height, as the collar is too high. Luckily I don't really lift full kegs from the freezer and putting one in is a lot easier, but I worked around this by installing canopy clips (those hook and clip things used to tie stuff down) to keep the collar down, with a foam layer between the freezer and the collar. So the collar can be simply unclipped and removed, which makes things easier.

Still stuff to think about...
 

PINbeer

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New problem - now I can't lift up a full keg from that height, as the collar is too high.
I used 2x10 for a couple of reasons (e.g., aesthetics, room to screen in a drip tray, etc.), and I not only find lifting the kegs in / out difficult, but more importantly, it's impossible to reach into the floor of the keezer to pick up dropped parts and to clean out condensation, ice, and spilled beer. Redoing with 2x4 is definitely in my future - with taps over the compressor hump.
 

Dr_Jeff

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When I had a keezer, I made the collar tall enough to get a keg on the hump, had the smallest size freezer and could get three on the floor and one on the hump, with the co2 bottle outside, like @Toxxyc said, it was very hard to get kegs in and virtually impossible to cleanup anything inside. I'm almost 6' tall and would use a step stool to get kegs in.

I now have kegerators with doors and it is much easier.
 

Consigliere

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One thing I’ve done recently is convert to everything to Eva barrier lines (4mm for beer, 5mm for gas) and threaded duotight everywhere. This is common but what was helpful by using duotight is at nearly every spot I need to turn the line to get to a post or shank I used an elbow fitting so that everything is easy to run and not In the way. Very minimal space taken up by bends in the line etc and this allows you to run straight tubing and use clips to secure it to the collar to make sure everything is out of the way. Really helps keep the open areas that hold the kegs open for easy access to everything.
 

Deadalus

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If you want to think further ahead, think about when your keezer dies. It is highly unlikly that you will be able to buy a new keezer the exact same size. If you made an elaborate build that included a tap tower/coffin, tiled lid, etc., it may not be a one for one swap.
I'll add a little bit more to this train of thought. Make sure that if you build a frame around the keezer, you will be able to fit it out the door! Mine won't fit out the door but knowing that I built the frame and sides for relatively easy disassembly. (Accessible screw connections at the corners, facing materials nailed to only one side.) I think I may eventually just widen the door. I also built an extended bar top and the ceiling is low. I can get kegs in and out but I wasn't able to maximize the angle of the lifted top due to the ceiling height. As far as the width through the door, I added some dead space inside the frame for both heat dumping and in the event I needed to replace the freezer. I also made sure to tell my kids how to disassemble it properly so that they can get it out when I die.
 

micraftbeer

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I also made sure to tell my kids how to disassemble it properly so that they can get it out when I die.
Now that's a dedicated homebrewer. The reading of the will includes directions of who's supposed to get which piece of brewing gear...

Did you leave instructions for which recipe is to be brewed at your wake?
 

ITV

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Now that's a dedicated homebrewer. The reading of the will includes directions of who's supposed to get which piece of brewing gear...

Did you leave instructions for which recipe is to be brewed at your wake?
Maybe Deadalus should have made a full size coffin keezer, kill two birds with one stone.
 
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I should be able to fit 4 kegs in the bottom of my keezer, but then there's the extra hops (at 36F), yeast, a growler with the temp probe in it, etc. So it only fits 3. I did drill a hole in the back of the collar so that the CO2 is outside, and the hump is basically just a ton of stuff waiting to be used. I have not yet drilled holes for actual taps because the space doesn't allow for anything to stick out of the keezer. I am on picnic taps in the keezer until I get more room.
 

Deadalus

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Now that's a dedicated homebrewer. The reading of the will includes directions of who's supposed to get which piece of brewing gear...

Did you leave instructions for which recipe is to be brewed at your wake?
No decision on recipe yet but I know there will be drinking involved.
 
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