The "Greatest Hits" Keezer Build

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Here's my version of a Keezer. Before starting the build I spent several weeks sifting through all the various keezer build write-ups here and elsewhere on the the web and selected the features that made the most sense to me. A couple of things I've put my own spin on but you won't see anything radically different than other designs, I like to think this is a sort of "greatest hits" version.
After much soul searching I decided 3 kegs would be plenty for me and that a 7 cubic foot freezer was the way to go. This prompted me to purchase a GE FCM7SUWW chest freezer, this particular model has gotten several good reviews and has been used in a lot of other Keezer builds. I bought mine online from Wally World using their free "ship to store" option, of course it had dents in it when it arrived, but none bad enough to send it back.
First thing I made was a roll around base, it's just a basic 2X4 base with some cheap Harbor Freight wheels. I put a 1x6 pine board skirt around the base to keep the Keezer from potentially sliding off, it overlaps the bottom of the Keezer 1 inch to allow access to the drain plug.

Next I put together the Keezer collar out of the same 1x6 pine I made the skirt out of. I drilled 3 holes for the taps; they are 6 inches apart and centered on the collar; no reason particularly, just an artistic choice. Some folks make their collars out of pretty oak or maple, I'm just not a good enough carpenter to risk ruining $50 worth of wood, that and I knew I'd probably be painting the collar so no need for added expense.
I used my Kreg jig for a simple butt joint construction using Gorilla wood glue and 3 screws per corner. I don't think it's coming apart any time soon. Using the Kreg jig I had it together in like 5 minutes.

I decided that I needed to attach the collar to the freezer with more than just "liquid nail". So I modified some Stanley 4 hole brackets with my angle grinder and flush mounted them on the bottom corners which lets me put a screw in each corner to connect the wood collar to the plastic frame on the freezer.

Here's the Keezer switch box I put together. Went with the usual STC-1000 two stage controller ( one that controls both cooling and heat ). The controller was $18 shipped from China, the various connectors were about $10 at Lowes and the case came from my junk box. I used 12 gauge solid wire to handle the freezer's start up current/amperage.
I had to get creative with a drill and some hand files to make a hole to fit the controller into the case.

The switch box mounts on the back of the Keezer using the original hinge screw holes, that way I don't have to put any additional holes in the side which might puncture a coolant line.

The blue foam insulation is attached to the collar using Gorilla wood glue and then a bead of silicone caulk around all edges to seal any air leaks. This foam is rated R3 for a single thickness, added to whatever the R value of the wood is a single thickness seems to be plenty of insulation. The only part of the keezer losing cold is the the taps/shanks, I'm getting a bit of condensation on the taps on humid days, if I were to do it again I probably would go with shorter shanks.
Here's a couple of tips for working with this insulation: it comes with a clear plastic coating on one side, remove that plastic before trying to cut it. It's nearly impossible to get a clean cut otherwise. Once you have it cut to approximate size you can use sandpaper to smooth the cut ends, doesn't improve the function any but looks a lot nicer.
This is a clever idea someone came up with to keep the CO2 tank from falling over inside the Keezer. The CO2 tank is kind of top heavy ( especially with a dual regulator setup ) and can tip over quite easily, potentially damaging the regulators and whatever else it falls over onto.
Typically the CO2 tank sits on the freezer "hump" because it is shorter than the kegs, so someone thought to attach an empty paint can to a board that fits on the hump. The tank fits nicely in the paint can and doesn't fall over. This setup is like $5 for an empty paint can, a scrap piece of wood,3 or 4 screws and some paint. I glued the board down to the hump for added safety.
I also attached an air circulation fan to the hump board. This is a simple PC fan running off a 12V power lump. The idea being that by moving the cold air inside the Keezer the beer temperature is more consistent by not letting the colder air settle to the bottom of the case.
I've also mounted a small heating unit on the board as well ( not shown ), as the keezer will live in a unheated workshop it might be necessary to apply a little heat in winter to keep the beer from freezing.

Here's the hardware I bought for the Keezer, all top shelf stainless steel gear. I went with a dual regulator set-up; one regulator will feed serving pressure to a 2 port CO2 manifold to feed 2 beer kegs, the other regulator can be used with a soda/root beer keg ( which takes higher pressure I'm told ) or can be used to force carbonate a 3rd beer keg or just to feed serving pressure to a 3rd beer keg.

Photo courtesy of KegConnection.com
Here's everything installed with the exception of the beer lines.

The last thing I did was install a drip tray on the keezer. I decided to build a shelf for it to attach to, the shelf will provide better support and extend the tray out further under the taps. I determined that the best way to attach the shelf was with some industrial strength double sided tape. I've used this stuff at work and it flat don't come off whatever you stick it to. I used a liberal amount of tape, about $7 worth.

Here's the finished keezer with drip tray, tap plugs and a magnetic curtain rod to hold beer towels.

Cheers!
 
Do you think you could get 5 kegs in the 7.0 CU FT with the CO2 inside? I'm looking at charts that indicate this is possible, but wanted your opinion based on this build. I like the smaller setup for indoor use, but would like to get as many faucets as possible.
 
@Jmm_4
The freezer was $169 at Wallyworld, the keg hardware from Kegconnection was about $650, the controller came from China by slow boat and was less than $20, the wood, foam, screws, wire, connectors, etc. came from Lowes and was probably around $120ish?
I probably could have saved a few bucks going with chrome plated hardware instead of stainless and a single regulator instead of a dual but I would probably have regretted it down the road.
butch1979
You might get 4 kegs in it but I don't think it would hold 5, I remember a lot of discussion about this but don't remember what the consensus was.
Gibberoni
I'm not sure which relays you're referring to, the controller box has some "European" style wire connectors that look sort of like relays but the only relays I'm aware of are the ones internal to the STC-1000.
Thanks to all for the kind words!
 
I have a 6.8 Magic Chef and made my collar from 2*8 - so it's tall. I can get 4 kegs with CO2 outside, 3 on floor and 1 on hump.
Magnetic towel bar is clever, I attached a normal one to the collar.
Nice build and write up.
 
Very nice looking and intelligently designed. Its funny that I actually scrolled down to see pics first and saw the paint can not knowing that it was a paint can but realizing what it was going to be used for. After reading the article I was like wow how simple, cheap and effective..my favorite combo.
 
Very nice. I have the Idyliss version of this. Have not done the collar yet, just using party taps inside but this has inspired me to move forward. many thanks and I may be picking your brain!
 
Very nice build. I bought a Magic Chef 7.0 for $159 at Home Depot over the weekend. I ordered a dual Pin lock system from Adventures in Homebrewing. I believe that I'm going to use the majority of this design. Although I may install the CO2 tank on the outside. I could squeeze 5 kegs in there I believe with the collar. Thanks for the tips!
 
You said you would have gone with shorter shanks; what length did you use on your build? Thanks, and very beautiful build. Doing mine soon!!!
 
@tedclev
Those are 4 1/8", I probably could have gone as short as 2 1/8" if I had known that I only needed one thickness of the insulation and I think 3 1/8" would work fine with double insulation. One of my photos shows just how far past the insulation those shank extend.
 
Very nice. I was planning on installing a tower system through the lid of my Keezer, but after seeing this, will definitely take your approach. Thx!
 
Excellent build. I'm actually working on something very similar right now using a MagicChef (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Magic-Chef-6-9-cu-ft-Chest-Freezer-in-White-HMCF7W2/203445397). Two questions:
(1) What size wheels/casters did you use? Did you have to put more 2x4s under what we see in the picture in order to allow the wheels to reach the floor?
(2) How did you determine the height of the 2x4 tray you put into the skirt in relation to the 1x6's? I have measured the height of from the existing feet of the freezer to the floor and was going install the tray a bit shorter than that to allow it to sit correctly.
Cheers!
 
@Tremonkey
I'm thinking the wheels were 3", the 2X4 frame was the same dimensions as the freezer, i.e. flush to the edge. the 1X6s are about 1" above the floor and overlap the freezer by about an inch, any higher and it would have covered the drain plug on the freezer I used.
So call it 1 3/4" ( width of 2x4 ) plus 1" overlap, subtracted from 5 1/2"( the 1x6 ) equals 2 3/4" left to cover the wheels which are about 3 3/4" high.
I'm going from memory here so I might be off a 1/4" or so but I believe this is right.
 
@butch1979
I have a similar setup with interior dimensions 36"x16". My CO2 is outside the box, so this MAY not apply, but I have 4 standard (?) cornys in the deep portion and I can put 2 slightly smaller ones on the shelf if I just raise my collar an inch. They actually fit as is, but the connectors add a bit to the overall height. I'm not sure what we call the smaller kegs but they are slightly bigger in diameter to make up for the smaller height. As soon as I get around to raising the collar I'll have 6 cornys inside. I don't move it around so I don't mind the CO2 setup outside the box. But I DO like the bottom collar here... I need to make one and that way keep it off the concrete and prevent some rusting when washing down.
 
Very nice. I just made one and I have a question for you.
How did you mount the dip tray ? Can we drill in the front? Is there any tubing?
Thank you.
 
I purchased a 11.0 CU FT freezer and I can only put in 4 kegs if the CO2 tank is inside. If I take the tank out, I may be able to fit 1-2 more.
 
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