I decided it was time to stop pouring my draft beer out of picnic taps in my chest freezer, and to finally build a keezer. The picnic taps leaked into the freezer and when I put several kegs in at once, it was hard to tell which line went to which beer. I timed the build (quite conveniently) when my dad came to visit me for the week. It was a good decision, because he had great ideas from building the collar, to putting it on wheels.
We started with a plain white Frigidair freezer, and started by removing the top and measuring for the collar. I know some make temporary builds in case they want to revert back to a freezer, but I opted to secure the collar to the freezer using liquid nails. We used 2x4s cut to length, and screwed the 2×4’s together to make a rectangle.
We used Red Oak for the face of the collar, and stained the oak a little darker because I wanted to paint the freezer black, and thought a darker colored oak would look nice against the black. We clamped the oak to the 2x4s and used liquid nails to secure them together, but also used small finishing nails to help pull it tight. It’s hard to see in the picture to the left, but the oak is raised a bit above the 2x4s for aesthetic reasons (the seal of the lid sits below the oak trim).
We painted the top of the freezer first since it was already detached. We (and by we I mean my wife, Beth, who agreed to help with the project) removed the insulation and seal, and used Rustoleum appliance spray paint. She then taped off the rest of the freezer and spray painted that. The paint went on evenly, and within half an hour we were able to do a second coat.
Next was a base, also built out of 2x4s, which we put on casters to make it easy to roll the freezer around the house and onto the deck as well as raising the freezer up – which makes pouring home-brew much easier. Just like the collar, we added the red oak trim to the outside of the 2x4s, and secured the base to the freezer with liquid nails.
From there, we stained the oak on both the collar and the base, and polyurethaned it (three times) to protect the wood. I made sure to caulk the inside and outside of the collar seams to help with insulation, and drilled a small hole in the back of the collar so that I could run the temperature probe from the temperature regulator through it.
I used Perlick 525 forward seal faucets from Keg Connection (where I buy all my keg supplies) and 4 1/8 inch stainless steel shanks to go through both the 2x4s and oak. Keg Connection also sells a Shank Beer Line Connection kit, with small items needed to connect your beer line to the shank. I bought a 19 inch countertop drip tray on Amazon at a reasonable price – a necessity to install under the faucets. I didn’t want to drill into the freezer walls to install the drip tray, so I used two-four inch L-brackets (painted black) to hold a piece of red oak (stained the same color as the collar/base), which I set the drip tray on.
I secured the L brackets to the keezer using epoxy, and attached the oak to the brackets using small screws. I used velcro to attach the drip tray to the small shelf and to easily remove to clean. I bought a four way air distributor, which I mounted to the collar in the back of the keezer, to distribute CO2 to each of the kegs (pictures to come). I bought 10 foot beer hoses for each keg, which I installed to the shanks/faucets, since I had 5 foot picnic tap hoses and hear there are foaming issues with shorter lines (and the 10 foot lines work out great). The 10 foot lines could quickly get out of control, so I organized them in the keezer using zip ties.
I’ve used a temperature regulator for years to ferment my beer, and started using it in the freezer to keep the temperature warm enough to not freeze the beer and serve it at the right temperature. I mounted that to the back of the keezer using velcro so it’s hidden, but I can easily roll the keezer away from the wall to change temps if needed. To help regulate temperature in the freezer (to avoid the bottom being cold and the top being warm), I bought a cheap USB fan, which I installed inside to circulate the air. I also added both an Eva-Dry E-333 Wireless Dehumidifier (which you can ‘recharge’ by plugging in) and Damp Rid (from Home Depot) to help with condensation inside the freezer.
The build went well, and much quicker than I expected (because of my dad’s help – and my wife’s painting). It is so much easier to have cold draft home-brew, and to keep things clean and sorted with the keezer. If you keg I would highly recommend the investment, and doing it right the first time. If you have any questions feel free to post below and if I can’t answer it, I’ll ask my dad!