After years of making my own wine, I decided to up my game and jump into the world of homebrewing beer. While I enjoy most of the process, I did not enjoy sterilizing, filling, capping, labeling, and storing dozens of bottles of beer. It was the bane of my homebrewing experience. After 3 or 4 batches of successfully bottled beer, I decided to build my own kegerator. This eliminated the need for such bottling detail and also allowed me the opportunity to expand my beer collection to local breweries that would fill a corny keg.
I started by doing research on different styles of DIY kegerators and after weighing all of the different options, I landed on a cost-effective model that could store 4 individual corny kegs; the keezer. A keezer is basically a chest freezer, converted into a beer dispensing machine. This meant I could keep 2 homebrew batches going at all times and also rotate through some of my favorite local breweries.
Step 1: Supplies
I started by creating a list of necessary materials:
Chest Freezer – I shopped around and was able to find a good deal on a 7 cu. ft. chest freezer from Sam’s Club.
Wood – I needed several feet of 2”x6” pine to create a collar for the taps. This ended up being 2 – 96” boards. I definitely purchased more than I needed for this project.
Chrome Beer Faucets – At the suggestion of a homebrewing friend, I went with stainless steel. While this keezer can technically hold 4 corny kegs, I decided to start with 2 faucets in the beginning.
3” Shanks with Nipple Assemblies - These shanks would pass through the wooden collar, allowing me to connect the faucets on one end and the beverage hoses to the other.
Beverage Tubing – I went ahead and purchased enough tubing to create 4 individual lines. 20 feet of 3/16” tubing.
Gas Tubing – Again, I purchased enough to create 4 individual lines. 20 feet of 5/16” tubing.
Liquid Quick Disconnects – I purchased 4 disconnects which allowed me to connect all 4 lines to the top of my corny kegs. (Note: there are different styles and sizes of disconnects depending on line size and keg type. Purchase accordingly.)
Gas Quick Disconnects – I purchased 4 disconnects which allowed me to connect all 4 lines to the gas manifold.
4-Way Gas Manifold – Allows me to split my CO2 tank between 4 individual kegs.
10lb CO2 Tank – This included a double gauge regulator to monitor pressure to the lines and amount of CO2 left in my tank.
Corny Kegs - Corny kegs (Cornelius Kegs) are a homebrewers best friend, allowing me to fill and pressurize my kegs as needed. They were originally used by the soft drink industry.
Temperature Controller – Since we originally started with a chest freezer, we need the ability to control the temperature inside the keezer so the beer will not freeze.
Random Accessories – Door gasket tape, screws, clamps, stain, polyurethane, silicone, etc. (Details in build plans.)