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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last summer, my son approached me with a project idea. He is into home brewing his own beer with his best friend, but he needed a better delivery system for the end product. He had a small dorm sized refrigerator that was big enough for one small keg, commonly called a kegerator. My son wanted to build a system that would handle 4 kegs and housed in a chest freezer, I was told the name for such a contraption was a Keezer. (Google it, you will see hundreds of examples i.e keg-freezer). The kegs he uses are not the full size kegs you have in bar, but the size of a fountain drink canister you see everywhere, about 6"x36".

My son had done his homework and had a design which called for making a cabinet and a top to surround a chest type freezer to hold the kegs. The freezer would be modified with a new thermostat to keep the beer above freezing temps. I agreed to build it for him, but with the caveat that he had to help me... every day, till the project was done. I wanted to try to pass on to him some of my knowledge and love for woodworking that I have and to have someone else do the sanding. He agreed, even though the project was going to be built in the summer heat of Houston, Texas.

The project was made out of maple veneer plywood and solid maple trim. The top was attached to the lid of the freezer and utilized the freezer hinges to allow for access to the interior of the freezer. The top was finished with granite tile and maple trim. It's a simple design and not a work of art by any stretch, but my son and I had fun making it. I thought some of you might get a kick out of it.

Here are some photos of the process and the finished piece.

This shot shows the carcass and trim. The back of the cabinet was left open to allow the freezer to be installed or removed easily. All the panels were set into dado's, glued and screwed from underneath.



The top was made with two pieces of 3/4" plywood glued and screwed together. Since we had decided to use granite tile for the top, I was worried about flexing of the top under the weight of the tile, hence the double plywood and glue. The lateral trim of the top was made from 1 1/2" maple, glued and screwed to the plywood to provide even more lateral stability.




The top of the freezer was attached with 6 bolts, countersunk into the top and attached with nuts on the inside of the freezer top.



Here is the final product. The tap housing was made from maple, insulated to keep the beer lines cold but designed with a large opening to allow the cold air from the freezer to penetrate the tap housing. The finish was a sprayed Mohawk stain with a lacquer topcoat. We installed large 4" casters so the entire cabinet can be rolled easily out away from the wall when the top needs to be opened for freezer access.







 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to mention two details, we installed some braces on the floor of the cabinet against the sides and bottom of the freezer to keep it from moving side to side, or front to back. This assured that the top would remain true to the sides of the cabinet when opening and closing. We also made a couple of simple braces that would hold the top up while open and accessing the freezer compartment, just a couple of 3/4" x 2" strips of maple with a notch to accept a dowel rod inset into the sides of the cabinet supporting the weight of the top when open. This makes it simple to open the top, brace it and remove the kegs.
 

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I wood if I could.
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It looks great! I was into home brewing for about 6 years (it's been longer than that since I've stopped though). I/we had all the gear: keg-erator and all. But I never had a dispensary anywhere near that nice. :thumbsup:

I like the picture of you and your son too. He looks quite pleased with the results.
 

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The Old Fisherman
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Really nice looking build. I have a brother-in-law and his son-in-law that would love to have that thing. Nicely done Eds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is very nice, do you have pictures of the hole for the hoses?
Sorry, I dont have any pictures of that part of the build, but it was pretty simple. The hoses were all 1/2" diameter, bundled together with plastic straps. We had to allow for 4 of them. We cut the opening in the top of the cabinet and the top of the freezer about 1" larger than the hoses with a hole saw. We used 1.5" foam insulation lightly glued to the inside of all sides of the tap housing so that the beer lines remained cold. Even with this, the first 1/4 cup of beer taken from the tap that has been sitting for a while is too warm and we usually discard it.

A couple of things I learned from my son in this build may help others who want to build something similar. We actually didn't replace the thermostat in the freezer, we just hooked it up to a rheostat, or a dimmer switch if you prefer. It allows you to dial in the amount of electric power to the cooling unit of the freezer. The kit we bought from our local home brewing store also supplied a thermometer which is placed on the bottom of the keezer in a small tub of water. The reason for the water is that it provides a more accurate measurement of the average temp than if the thermometer were left exposed to the moving air. Just a small tip.
 

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What a fantastic build, some of my best memories are from building stuff with my father. :)
I remember reading about a keezer build a while back, and they hooked up a computer fan to circulate the cold air up into the tap tower, and it apparently worked very well.

Acer
 

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I wood if I could.
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... The kit we bought from our local home brewing store also supplied a thermometer which is placed on the bottom of the keezer in a small tub of water. The reason for the water is that it provides a more accurate measurement of the average temp than if the thermometer were left exposed to the moving air. Just a small tip.
Interesting. I'd never heard that but it makes total sense.

Fantastic-looking build.

And those kegs are called "Corny Kegs" (the company that makes them is named "Cornelius")
We always called them "Corneluis tanks" and "soda kegs". And you have your ball lock or pin lock connector types. Ah, the times we had gathered around the tanks and kegs (soda and full sized beer kegs)! :thumbsup: Even though I haven't been into brewing for years now, I am very happy that the equipment is all being used by a friend who's been making some damn fine batches of - mostly - IPAs. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
 

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Wonderful!

I too am a homebrewer (homebrewertv on iTunes) and would love to have such a nice beer tap setup! I just may have to steal some of your ideas...

Gary
 

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WOW just WOW
Father-son bounding over woodworking is always great, no matter how the piece comes out. In this case I can see that the result was amazing too

I hope he has luck with his beer project
 

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That's a great looking build. Great design, the maple goes very well with the top. Glad to see father and son spending quality time woodworking. Congrats and great job to both of you doing an awesome project that you can use and enjoy.
 
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