Intro: How to Build a Keezer With a 3 Tap Tower (chilled Tower)
First things first,
This is my first instructable and have been very excited to publish this project. I love this site as I am a do-it-yourselfer to the max (drives my wife crazy....lol) Please be kind on your comments and I will try to keep this short and sweet with plenty of pics along the way.
I built this type of Keezer because I couldn't find one online that I like so I decided to build it myself. I enjoy brewing my own beer and having a Keezer to dispense my creations adds to the awesomeness!
Keggerator vs. Keezer
What's the difference between a Keggerator and a Keezer. Well simply put a Keggerator is built from a fridge and a Keezer is built from you guessed it.....a freezer.
I chose to build a Keezer simply because it would allow me to store more kegs in less space and do it with style.
Step 1: Finding a Freezer
You can find a freezer anywhere, Lowes, Home Depot or you can do what I did and searched the online classifieds for a cheap freezer.
Most classifieds have chest freezers in the range of $50-$200. I was lucky and scored this one for $35.00 ( Thanks to my wife the bargain hunter). It's only a 7 Cubic Ft freezer but comfortably holds 3 -5 gallon pin lock kegs. If I had ball lock kegs I'm sure I could have fit 4 kegs. That's a lot of BEERS!!! A 5 gallon keg holds about 52-12oz beers. So do the math that's enough beers to get all your friends drunk and still have some left over for the next weekend. Don't worry about the color of the freezer or if its a little dinged up cause I will show you how to clean it up nicely.
Here is a parts list:
1- Chest type Freezer
1-4'x8' sheet 1/2" MDF
1-Digital Temp Controller (eBay)
3- Standard Beer taps with 4" Shanks
1-Can of black appliance spray paint (Lowes)
1- 8' stick of 1/2"x 1/2" aluminum angle iron
1-120v small fan
1-can expanding foam insulation
1-4'x8' sheet of 20 gauge steel
1-8'x1.5"x1/2'" Furring strip
1-tube of liquid nails
1-Old extenstion cord
1-outlet box and cover
Step 2: Cleaning and Painting
When you get your freezer clean it as best you can (if you purchased a new one and want to keep the same color skip this step)
and prep it for paint. As listed in the parts list the paint I chose was made by Rustoluem (black) and work amazingly. Its an epoxy paint
and adheres quite nicely. I put about 2 solid coats on the freezer allowing about 10 min between coats. I taped off the seal because I wanted to keep it white. I didn't paint the lid knowing that I would put the tower on top.
Step 3: Building the Base for the Tower
I cut a piece of MDF to have about a 4" overhang. I glued and screwed a trim around the underside of the MDF. I used 1.5" x 1/2" Furring strip. After securing the MDF to the top of the lid with screws I began laying out the tower with a chalk line to give me and idea of the size I wanted to go with.
Step 4: Building the Tower
Using the furring strip and lines marked out on the top of the lid I constructed a small box and cut out 3/4" holes space spaced evenly apart to allow for the taps to be taken on and off easily. Mark and cut a rectangle for the digital temp controller. I chose to build this type of Keezer to display that temp controller on the tower. As I like to know what temp my beer is at all times. The lid of the tower was constructed to have a similar small overhang to add to the theme.
Step 5: Adding the Metal Finish
Using electric shears cut your sheet metal to fit all parts currently in wood. Base top, sides, tower, tower top. I used a metal brake to put the bends in the tower metal to wrap around it. Using liquid nails I glue the metal to the wood. Take an angle grinder to scuff up the metal so it will stick better to the wood.
After the sheet metal is glued to the base, take an angle grinder and put decorative swirls or a pattern in the metal.
Step 6: Form a Drain Pan (Optional)
Mark out a small rectangle and cut the metal and wood all the way down to the lid and weld the same size pan.
Step 7: Wire the Controller
The awesome part about this build is that it can remain a Freezer if you want to. The controller is wired to an outlet that plugs directly into the freezer. The pic below may seem complicated to wire but I assure you it is very simple. In the pic there are 4 sets of contacts that are located on the controller with 2 terminals per set:
black/white set: 120v in ( to power the controller) Black +, White -
black/black set: Temp sensor wire ( sits in the Keezer to monitor temp)
red(blue tape)/brown set: power out ( to outlet for heating)
dark red/light red set: power out (to outlet for cooling)
Also have a wire diagram to show you how to wire the controller.
You may ask yourself why have 2 separate outlets. The awesome part about having a Keezer is that you can use it also as a fermentation chamber. Fermenting lagers is easily done when your digital control allows you to precisely control the fermenting temp.
Once you finish wiring the controller you simply have to set the temp and plug the freezer into the newly wired outlet and you have the ability to control the temp without freezing. I'm actually impressed how little this unit effects my power bill. if your confused on how to wire the controller still there is a really good video on youtube just type in STC-1000 Controller how to.
Step 8: Add Fan, Trim, Clearcoat and Drink Your First Homebrew!!
Inside the tower I drilled a 4" diameter hole to suck cold air from the Keezer into the tower. I wired it by connecting directly into the main power supply so it stays on all the time. It's important to keep your beer line cold. I learned this lesson the hard way. If you have warm beer lines then your cold beer will produce large amounts of foam. When I first built this I was pouring half glasses of foam.
In the pic I used some spray foam insulation but I don't recommend this method (way to messy). I should have bought some foam insulation and glued it in the tower.
I cut to fit the trim pieces and spray painted them to match the color of the Keezer. I used liquid nails to secure the trim pieces.
Finally I sprayed a large amount of clear coat spray paint on the unit so that it wouldn't rust.
And there you have it My Very First Instructable!!!