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.)

<p>I think the collar looks great, matches the floors perfectly too! I notice you don't have a drip pan, do you just give the floor a wipe occasionally or is it not really an issue? I'm working on a jockey box and I'm trying to decide between just throwing down a bar spill mat or getting the bulkier stainless drip tray but I have no experience with beer taps (only picnic taps) so I don't know how much dripping actually happens.</p>
<p>That is a GREAT observation! A small amount of drip does occur and while having a drip pan would be ideal, a nice one can get a little expensive - http://goo.gl/sT1HbU I found that the occasional wipe wasn't a huge deal as long as I remembered to hold my glass under the closed valved for a few seconds. I was also worried about compromising the external walls of the freezer by screwing mounting brackets into it. (I will admit that I do not know much about that aspect of this build.) </p>
Rather than add the collar why not put the whole freezer on a platform?
<p>Actually, I did think about that before I started to build. I originally wanted to build a platform with castors so it could be moved a bit more easily. The initial 'big-picture-plan' was that for a big party or BBQ, the whole thing could be rolled onto the back of a truck and taken wherever. I ended up wanting to keep the idea for myself. </p><p>In the end, I came to the conclusion that I did not want to drill through the insulated walls or lid to install the tap. It seemed easier to work with any maintenance issues if my freezer was in tact and separate from the dispense mechanisms. </p>
I added a new pic of the inside with the kegerator in action. <br> <br>While the collar is not necessary, it did solve a few smaller issues. First, if I would have drilled through the side of the walls, the taps would be low enough where I would have to bend over to pour a pint. At the current height, I can hold a pint glass under the tap and pour without bending over. I had originally planned to put a tower on the lid but being the keezer sits against the wall, it would not have opened all of the way without the taps hitting the wall. The collar simply solved a few little nuances.
did you really need to build in the wood collar? how about some pics of the kegs inside.

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Bio: I work in mobile, edit video & host a beer show. I wrote a song for you and when I finished, I set the notes on ... More »
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