HOW TO BUILD A KEEZER by Northern Brewer

HOW TO BUILD A KEEZER by Northern Brewer


Hi.
My name is Cody I am with Northern Brewer homebrew supply
and today Northern brewer’s going to show you how to build a keezer.
So, what is a keezer? It’s basically a repurposed chest freezer
for serving keg beer. Building a keezer is a fairly easy process
as long as you have a little bit of know-how and the right tools and accessories
before we get started I do want to say that like most things in the home brewing there’s
more than one way to do this project and there is no cookie-cutter answer we’re just going
to show you one way to get it done. The whole thing begins with a chest freezer
These you can find that most home appliance stores or on ebay and craigslist and they
come in all sorts of sizes. There are three things to consider when choosing
a chest freezer First: how much space are you willing to dedicate
to the keezer inside your house basement or living room?
Second: How much beer do you plan on serving? 2 kegs or 12 kegs?
and third do you want to fit your co2 container on the inside or will it be sitting outside
of the freezer? Purchase a chest freezer accordingly.
Here’s a quick look at what we’re about to do:
Disconnect the freezer door hinges. Remove the lid of the freezer.
Build a collar to house are tapped faucets. Assemble and connect a gas side and liquid
side tubing. Reattach the hinges and lid.
Attach our faucet shanks and faucets. Set a temperature control for our beer serving
temperature and finallyhave a beer. Ready? Let’s do this!
Once you have the chest freezer in your work area we want to remove the hinges
this is where first bit of advice comes in handy have a partner
There are several parts of the keys are building process that our best handled
with four hands if possible This first part could be dangerous if you
don’t have some help as you remove the top and bottom screws of
the hinge the spring inside will react swinging out and possibly injuring you.
Use caution. Have your building buddy hold the hinge in
place as you remove the screw then slowly ease the spring out.
Repeat this process on the other hinge. Set the screws aside as will be using them
later. Take a look at your hinges before purchasing
the materials for your collar. Depending on the hinge size, shape, and placement
you may need to adjust the size of the lumber you purchase.
Next we are going to build the collar. Think of the collar as a spacer into which
we are going to drill holes for the beer lines and tap faucets.
We do this so we don’t have to drill directly into the freezer, it’s cooling line and electrical
components which could ruin your freezer and potentially be dangerous.
First, measure the dimensions of the top lip of your chest freezer from edge
to edge. The freezer in our video measures 48 inches
long by 27 inches deep.
we suggest using two-by-fours for the collar. Measure the boards and cut them for the lengths
of your freezer. Remeber to take into consideration the build
of your coller when blue printing your design.
The width of your lumber will affect the boards required length.
You could also have these boards cut for you at a hardware or lumber store based
on your freezer’s measurements. Before actually constructing the collar, set
the pieces on top of the freezer and make sure they fit up against one another
with no large gaps are excess wood hanging over the side of the freezer.
You want the boards to be flush with the outside perimeter of the cooler.
Before we can construct the collar, we want to draw the holes for the faucet
taps. This is easier to do while the boards are
still separated. Figure out which board will be your front
facing tap handle board. Next, decide where exactly you’d like your
tap handles to be placed, front-and-center, off to the side, your choice.
You’ll also want to decide how high up you want them.
We chose to place ours slightly lower to avoid a lip at our freezer lid.
With a spade bit, drill your holes leaving at least three inches between each hole
for proper spacing. After the first hole is drilled, check to
make sure your shanks fit through the opening.
Then, proceed with drilling the rest of the tap faucet holes. Our keezer will not only
house five co2 tap faucets on the front, but one one stout faucet on the side.
With your holes drilled, it’s time to construct the collar.
For this step you’ll need at least eight wood screws. In our case, one and three quarter
inches long and inappropriate drill bit for priming
the hole. Have your building buddy hold the first two
boards flush together. Prime the screw holes with a drill bit, then
insert the screws to fasten the two boards together.
In a perfect world you’ll be able to do this without the boards splitting.
But, if it does form a small split relax, don’t worry we can fix that later.
Repeat this process for all corners of the collar into you have a sturdy rectangular
frame that rests perfectly on top of the cooler. Once you have the frame fit for the freezer,
it’s time to apply sealant and let’s set for a few days.
Make sure to choose a sealant that will properly adhere wood to plastic and functions that
whichever temperature will be resting at over the next few
days. This can be found at any major hardware store.
Apply it generously to the top lip of the open freezer.
With your partner, carefully set the collar on the sealant.
Make sure it lines up perfectly with the outside edges of the freezer.
wipe away any excess sealant with a paper towel.
The sealant needs to set now for a few days. Follow the directions on the packaging and
resist the urge to go any faster. We suggest weighing it down to help set.
For this we set the lid back on top and put a few kegs on top of that you can also use
free weights bricks on top of a blanket or any other heavy item
you’ve got laying around. We’re gonna leave the freezer like this for
two to three days to ensure proper seal. While waiting for the collar to adhere properly,
you can use this down time to assemble your gas and liquid side tubing to
ensure the ready to install the moment your collar is ready.
Let’s begin with the gas side. Here’s a look at the tools and parts you will
need a co2 canister
a dual gauge co2 regulator 1.4″ barbed barb swivel nuts
roughly four feet of 1/4″ ID beverage tubing oetiker clamps
co2 distributor 6-way with 1/4″ MFL shutoffs Ball lock disconnects 1/4″ MFL gas
For those of you already kegging, these parts should be fairly familiar.
The only new tool we’ll be adding is a gas distributor for getting co2 from one canister
to a multitude of kegs. The first step is to connect your regulator
to distributor. Measure out how far away your CO2 canister
will be from the distributor and cut that length a 1/4″ ID gas tubing.
YOu’ll want to first place an oetiker clamp over the tubing, followed by your 1/4″ swivel
nut, then simply fasten the oetiker clamp in
the place. Once this gas line is complete, you can screw
one end into your regulator and the other end into the gas side of your distributor.
In order to properly use the oetiker clamps, you’ll need the otiker Clamper to tightly
squeeze the clamp shut. The good and bad thing about Oetiker Clamps
is that once they’re in place they don’t come off easily so be sure you’re getting it right
the first time. Something you’ll find when working with tubing
is that it can be difficult to get the smaller pieces inserted into the open end.
Brute force can work but a much easier solution is heating some water and
soaking the ends of your tubing for a minute or so.
This will soften the tubing and allow greater ease connecting the accessories.
Next we’ll want to prepare the gas lines going from the distributor to your case.
Measure out how far away from the distributor your kegs will be.
3 to 4 feet is usually plenty and cut your tubing accordingly
Now we’re going to attach the exact same pieces as before either end
Oetiker Clamp followed by a swivel nut. Once this is complete, simply screw your gas
side ball lock disconnect on one end and attach the other end to distributor.
Repeat this process for each keg and you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Now we’ve got our gas side ready, let’s look at the liquid side.
Here are the tools and parts we’re dealing with here:
A ball lock disconnect 5 feet of 3/16″ ID beverage line tubing
connected with Oetiker 145 Clamps. You’ll also need the following:
Tail Piece 1/4″ stainless (SKU K214) Beer Shank Wing Nut (SKU K087)
Oetiker 145 Clamps (SKU K126) Black Neoprene Beer Shank Washers (SKU K030)
Beer Shank Stainless 4″ (SKU K166) Now let’s put it all together.
You’ll want to make sure to use 3/16″ inch tubing for your liquid side.
At five feet in length, this provides the proper amount of resistance to serve foam
free beer. were you do use 1/4″ tubing for example, that
beer flows so rapidly that excessive foaming becomes an issue.
we’re going to start by putting the Oetiker Clamp over the tubing, followed by the liquid
side ball lock and then using our Oetiker Clamper to get a
tight connection. On the other hand a liquid side tubing, you’ll
first put the Oetiker clamp over the tubing, followed by the wing nuts and finally the
tail piece. Again, tightly squeezing the clamp into place.
You do not need to force the entire length of the tail piece inside of the tubing.
It’s better to leave some room for the wing nut unscrew properly.
You’ll need to repeat this procedure for each liquid line you plan on creating, in our case
six times. At this point we have everything we need to
finish our keezer. Once the collar is sealed, we’re ready to
install all of our hardware. First, let’s carefully remove the weight from
the lid. You can use any wood putty or patch to fix
gaps that formed while constructing the collar. No harm. No foul.
Installing the shank is as simple as unscrewing the outside washer – placing the shake through
the hole you drilled on day one and hand tightening it in the place making
sure that the faucet connector is on the outside. Repeat for each shank.
Installing the liquid tubing is just as easy. Grab your neoprene beer shank washer and place
it on the tail piece inside of the wing nut.
Then, simply screw the wing nut into place on the and of your shank again repeating for
each shank. Voila! Your liquid lines are ready.
There are two things to consider while attaching your Co2 distributor.
First: make sure it’s in a place that can easily reach all of your kegs.
And, second: make sure it’s out of the way if you lid hinges
Attaching the distributor is as simple as gently securing it hand tight into the collar.
There’s no need for this to be completely tight or flush, do what works for you.
In our design, we chose to leave the Co2 canister inside of our freezer.
Note that if you go this route, the pressure gauge on your canister will read closer to
650 or 700 psi due to the drop in temperature in your freezer. This is completely
normal and causes no problems for your design. Another option if you have a smaller freezer
and want to use that space for another keg is to leave your Co2 canister on the outside
of the freezer. In this case you simply want to draw another
hole through your collar and thread the tubing from your canister through it to the distributor.
Either way, make sure that your distributor valves are set to the off position for now.
Now it’s time to reattach the hinges. Place the lid on the collar and make sure
that hinges lineup flush with where you plan to attach them.
This will vary from freezer to freezer and our case were putting screws into both
the collar and back into the freezer. This is another time when it can be helpful to
have a buddy. Remember these springs can be strong, having
a friend to help hold them in place can make retention hinges much simpler and safer.
Start by reinserting the screws you removed from the body of the cooler on day one.
If the hinges are properly aligned they should be easy to do by hand.
Next, using the appropriate drill bit, prime the hole for the part of the hinges that will
be connected to the collar.
Now, insert the wood screws to attach the hinge to the collar.
Open the lid and make sure everything lines up perfectly before continuing.
Once your hinges are connected and your lid is secure, it’s a good time to move your freezer
into position before has the additional weight of full kegs inside.
Now is also a good time to attach an adjuster temperature control unit.
Plug your control unit into a nearby outlet and plug your freezer into the control
unit. Then, place the probe inside of your freezer
and set the temperature to your desired serving temp, roughly 40º to 45º fahrenheit
Attaching your faucets is as easy as can be. Just bring the faucet to the shank and screw
it into place, keeping the faucet vertically aligned.
One tool we recommend is the Faucet Wrench (SKU K080).
Specifically built for this process, it allows you to get a tighter seal than just hand tightening
would. Repeat this step for each faucet.
We finish our keezer with a fancy stout faucet on the side.
Again, the faucet wrench insures a tight seal. The final touch is a nice tap handle for each
faucet. Hand tighten each handle using the spacer
on the faucet to adjust the height as needed. Here at Northern Brewer we offer a wide variety
of handles from economy and stout handles to chalk board and dry erase.
Before putting your kegs inside the keezer, make sure all connections along the collar
are tight inside and out. Now comes the hard part: choosing which beer
you want on tap. Place your kegs inside of your keezer and
attach the gas and liquid ball locks. Set your Co2 canister to serving pressure
(from 6 to 12 psi) Then open the gas valve on the distributor
for that keg. Do this for all the kegs you plan to serve.
Before you put your beer on tap, it’s a good idea to run some cleaner through the lines.
One good method is to fill a keg with beer line cleaner or even just some PBW.
Pressurize it. And pour through each line. It’s a good idea to clean your lines regularly.
Good beer poured through moldy lines quickly turns into a bad beer.
After running clear through your lines it’s a good idea to rinse them with water.
We suggest also from a pressurize keg before you attach a keg of beer.
One final option for your keezer is a drip tray.
This easy to install item comes in many sizes, so choose the one that best suits your design.
And, that’s it. With the keezer properly built and all the
lines in place, it’s time to enjoy a homebrew.
You deserve it! Building a keezer at home is a great project
I know I enjoy doing it myself. You get cold beer on tap.
It looks wonderful and you avoid the tangled mess of lines in your freezer.
Again, this is just one way to do it, not the way to do it.
For more information on parts and accessories you can visit us at NorthernBrewer.com.
You can also get in touch with other home brewers and Keezer builders on our forum.
A hand built keezer is just another way to brew share and enjoy!

8 thoughts on “HOW TO BUILD A KEEZER by Northern Brewer”

  1. If you cut the two side pieces with a taper from front to back you do not have to remove the top or change the hinges. If you want to return it to use as a freezer just remove the wedge with the taps in it.

  2. Any chance you can get the website to not automatically direct to northernbrewer.ca.…or add the same page there so I can read the instructions?

  3. Another thing I would add for aesthetics is get a nicer quality 2×4 for the collar and stain it. With a black freezer it would look really good

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