Building a Keezer
So what the hell is a “Keezer”? Logically, I assume that some home-brewing funny guy coined the term to refer to his freezer full of kegs. Obviously many styles of beer are better enjoyed cold. There are lots of ways to accomplish this, but unless you have a very understanding wife, I seriously doubt that she’ll turn a blind eye to a corny keg in your kitchen refrigerator. Depending on your needs, budget, and/or know-how there are many ways to cool your beer. Some are very elegant (and pricey), and some just get the job done.
You can find many posts online that detail the setting up of fridges and “keezers”, but below, I will document my own keezer build. The main elements are:
- Somewhere to house your beer – the freezer
- Somehow to regulate the temperature – the controller
- Somehow to carbonate your beer – CO2 setup
- Somehow to dispense your beer – Tap(s) setup
You can buy any size chest freezer that you like or that your budget allows. Alternatively, you can go to your local classifieds and likely find one that is easy on the wallet, and that you won’t mind doing some “customization” to. Plan ahead for h0w much beer you would like to store or have on tap and make your decision.
Unlike a fridge, a chest freezer has the word “freeze” in it for a reason – it will keep food/beverages very cold. We need some way to regulate and control the temperature so that it will never freeze our beer. Ideally, we want to be able to set it at the exact temperature that we want to serve beer from. You could replace the thermostat on your freezer with a custom or fridge thermostat, or you can very easily use a controller with a probe. There are a number of models available. I will show you how to put together the most cost-effective option that I could find.
Carbonation – CO2 Setup
You will need to carbonate the beer in your keezer, and you will not likely want to have multiple cylinders of CO2 inside. You can use one cylinder, and with the help of a CO2 manifold and some tubing, create a setup that will accommodate multiple kegs.
Dispensing – Tap(s) Setup
This can be as caveman-ish as a cheap picnic-style tap that you use by simply opening the lid of the keezer and dispensing, or as elegant as some great stainless steel Perlick taps with custom handles. There are lots of options. Read below to see mine.