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How to Build Your Ideal Keezer

by Matt Giovanisci | Last Updated: March 30, 2018

You’ve worked hard to craft a variety of delicious beers. You’ve mastered kegging your homebrew. After all your blood, sweat, and tears, why would you stick your exceptional brews into a battered, old mini fridge covered in bumper stickers? You’re better than that. Your beer is better than that.

Build yourself a keezer—a chest freezer turned kegerator. You’ll be able to keep several kegs cold and on tap at once. Plus, you’ll be able to fully customize your keezer so it looks much classier than that dorm room castoff. If you keg your own homebrew, why not serve it in style with a custom keezer?

How to Build Your Ideal Keezer

How to Build a Keezer

You’ll find a lot of instructional articles and videos online telling you how to build a certain style or size of keezer. Some steps will be individualized depending on your setup.

For example, you may decide to place all your taps on the front, or put some on the sides. If you place them on the sides, you’ll need to drill holes in the appropriate spots and possibly need a bit extra beer line length.

But the basic construction of a keezer is similar whether you’re starting with a 5-cubic-foot or 8.8-cubic-foot chest freezer. The parts and tools you’ll need are also pretty universal, so if you’ve already built some homebrewing equipment yourself, the list of components will look familiar.

What You’ll Need:

Build Your Collar

Using your lumber, you’ll build a rectangular frame, then install it on top of your deep freezer using waterproof silicone sealant.

  1. Measure the perimeter of your deep freezer from edge to edge.
  2. Cut the boards to meet the freezer edges. Set them in place to ensure they line up correctly.
  3. Choose which piece will have the taps installed on it, then measure and mark where you want the tap holes. Leave a few inches between to keep the handles from hitting each other.
  4. Drill the tap holes using the spade bit.
  5. Assemble the collar using at least two wood screws per joint. Drill lead holes to help prevent splitting.
  6. Use wood putty to fill any cracks or gaps. When dry, sand it smooth.
  7. Paint, stain, or varnish the collar, and allow it to dry thoroughly.
  8. Apply sealant around the top of the freezer, then carefully press the collar into place. Immediately wipe away any excess sealant.
  9. Allow the sealant to dry per product instructions. This may be two or three days. be patient!

Assemble Gas and Liquid Lines

While waiting for the sealant to fully set, you can get the lines ready to go. First, work on the gas lines, then the beer lines.

  1. Choose where you’ll install the CO2 distributor, then measure from there to where the CO2 canister will be (inside or outside your keezer).
  2. Cut a length of gas tubing to reach between the CO2 distributor and the canister. Include a little extra so the line has some give and won’t be pulled taut.
  3. Slip a clamp over each end of the tubing.
  4. Insert a swivel nut, then tighten the clamp to secure it in place. Do this on both ends of the line.
  5. Attach one end to the gas side of the distributor. Attach the other end to the CO2 regulator, which will eventually be connected to the CO2 canister.
  6. Measure and cut lengths of tubing to reach from the distributor to each keg. You’ll want a little extra so you can maneuver the lines around when changing kegs.
  7. Slip clamps on both ends, then install swivel nuts.
  8. Put a ball lock disconnect on one side, then tighten the clamps to secure them.
  9. Attach the other end of each line to the distributor to complete your gas line assembly.
  10. Start the liquid side by measuring and cutting lengths of beverage tubing to reach from each keg to each tap. Again, allow them a little give.
  11. Slip a clamp over the end of the line, then a ball lock. Tighten the clamp to secure. Repeat on one end of all the beverage lines.
  12. On the open end of each line, place a clamp, then the wing nut and tail piece from the beer shank assembly. Tighten the clamp, and the liquid lines are ready for installation.
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Finish Your Keezer

Let’s get this thing ready for a few kegs. If possible, complete your keezer build in or near the spot where it’s going to live so you won’t have to move it when it’s full of kegs. That’s just a backache waiting to happen.

  1. Install the beer shanks through the holes in your keezer collar, with the faucet connectors facing outward.
  2. Insert a washer into the beer shank wing nut on one of the liquid lines, then screw the nut onto the back end of the beer shank. Repeat for all the liquid lines.
  3. Close the CO2 distributor valves.
  4. Attach the distributor inside the back of your keezer collar using wood screws.
  5. If your CO2 will be stored outside the keezer, drill a hole in the collar, and run the CO2 line from the distributor, through the hole. You’ll need to temporarily remove the CO2 pressure regulator from the line before passing it through your keezer collar. You may choose to keep your CO2 inside the keezer with no problems.
  6. Put the deep freezer lid on top of the keezer collar.
  7. Attach the freezer hinges to the lid using the original holes and hardware.
  8. Mark and drill holes into the collar where the hinge must now be attached.
  9. Insert screws to secure the hinges into your keezer collar. Check to make sure the lid functions properly.
  10. Screw the faucets into the beer shanks. Install the tap handles.
  11. Tighten all the hose connections to prevent leaks.
  12. Place your keezer where you want it, then set the temperature.
  13. Flush some cleaner through the beer lines before you hook up your kegs.
  14. Put your kegs in your brand new keezer. Hook up the gas and liquid lines. Turn on the gas distributor valves and CO2 tank.
  15. Rejoice! You’re done.

Upgrade Your Keezer

Or maybe you’re not quite done. Sure, you’ve got an insulated box with a few kegs inside and a few taps sticking out the front. Now it’s time to make it awesome.

Your ideal keezer might be a minimalist, stainless box with sleek black tap handles or a massive chalkboard covered in custom art with LED tap handles. However you personalize the outside of your keezer, be sure to build it using quality components for function and longevity.

Remember to check all the connections after you build it to prevent leaks, and inspect them on a regular basis as well. Of course, keep the lines clean to get the best possible tasting beer for all those people you’re going to have over to check out the awesome keezer you built.

Happy Brewing!

Matt Giovanisci, the founder of Brew Cabin, started homebrewing in 2005. He has continued to level-up his brewing skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other homebrewers. He launched Brew Cabin in 2017 to make homebrewing more approachable and scalable for everyone looking to craft the perfect pint.
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