You have probably seen my post on Paul’s keezer build and what an inspiring piece of equipment it is (if you haven’t read that yet, you should check it out). I was so inspired that I decided to try my hand at keezer building. For those of you not familiar, a keezer is simply a kegorator made from a chest freezer: keg + freezer = keezer.
It is not all that difficult to build a great looking keezer. Below is the step-by-step that I took, as well as the planned upgrades that I have not yet gotten around to.
1) Acquire a chest freezer (I suggest Craigslist) and a basic corny keg setup. You will also need some shanks (4″ or so in length) and faucets. I recommend the Perlick forward-sealing pearl faucets because they keep from sticking, even when only used for a pint every day or two.
2) Hit up the hardware store for some wood. I used whitewood, but any nice hard boards will work. Make sure it is at least a 2-by-something, because you’ll need the thickness to help with insulation. I used a 2×10″ board because I wanted to get as much height as possible.
3) You’ll also need some L-brackets, cabinet hinges, screws, weather stripping, sealant, duct tape and foam board insulation. Make sure you have a drill with either a 7/8″ or 1-inch hole bit.
4) Measure the keezer and cut the wood at a 45-degree angle. This will allow you to fit the wood together without any ugly seams. You can go ahead and cut your foam board as well. Remember that the insulation lengths will be shorter and don’t have to be at 45-degree angles.
5) Sand the boards and then stain the wood. Let it dry over-night, and then sand again add on a second coat of stain. Let it dry for 24-hours.
6) Using a framing square and/or some 90-degree clamps, line up the boards and glue them together and attach the brackets to the inside.
7) Once the collar is square, glue on the insulation to the inside and cover all of the seams with sealant and duct tape. This may sound a bit excessive, but I don’t want to loose any cold air, and want to avoid condensation caused by air-flow.
8) Unscrew the hinges from the freezer lid and remove the lid. Clean the top surface of the base and stick on the weather stripping.
9) Place the collar on top and line it up where you want it. Then use the hinges that are attached to the base of the freezer and screw it to the back of the collar.
10) Place the lid on top of the collar and using offset cabinet hinges, attach the lid to the collar. Hinging the collar to the base and the lid to the collar allows you the option of opening just the lid, or the lid and collar, which will lift your shanks and lines up out of the way for whenever you need to replace a keg.
11) Drill your holes for the shanks and attach your lines and faucets, and you’re in business!
The next things that I plan to add are a drip tray (using L-brackets attached with liquid nails), tap handles (check out this awesome BYO article about casting your own tap handles), and a base to mount wheels and lift the keezer up a bit (as Paul did in his build). But for now, I have a fully-functioning keezer. As you may notice from the photos, I also added a collar to my fermentation freezer so that I can fit in another carboy or bucket on the compressor hump.
If anyone else in the area has a keezer or kegorator build they would like to share, let me know, as I would love to feature you on the blog! It is great to see all of the awesome DIY projects that brewers across the state are doing!