I absolutely hate bottling. It is the sole part of the homebrewing hobby that always seems to suck all the fun right out of it. So what can one do? Either quit the hobby or build a keezer, a portmanteau of the words 'keg' and 'freezer', meaning a freezer to cool and store a keg or more specifically a keg based beer dispensing system.
First, I made a list of stuff that I needed to get hold of:
- a freezer
- a Cornelius keg (used, from vanderkooyjubbega.nl, quite an old beaten up one but clean and undamaged on the inside)
- A keg gasket renewal kit (from eBay)
- A keg post renewal kit (from eBay)
- a faucet & shank (from kegkingdom.co.uk)
- shank tail piece kit with 4mm barb (from eBay)
- a CO2 canister & regulator (from candirect.eu)
- tubing for beer and CO2 (also from candirect.eu)
- Ball lock quick disconnects (also from candirect.eu)
- wooden panels to construct a collar (from your local friendly woodworker)
- insulation for collar (from DIY store)
Because my space is limited I wanted a small freezer to hold two kegs at most. It took some time to find a usable freezer as most compact ones have a shelf on the inside behind which the compressor is located, leaving the deep end too narrow to fit a keg. In the end I found a used one in a fairly good state which would snugly fit a keg in the deep end.
I set about finding out how to construct a collar and spoke to @janwijbrand about this and lo and behold, in less than a day I had my collar made out of 20mm whitewood.
I decided to leave the wood as is and not do further cosmetic work and keep the practical, industrial look (a.k.a. the "can't be bothered" aesthetic).
Next came the collar insulation. I decided to go for cheap 20mm EPS panels from the DIY store.
On top of the EPS panels I put some radiator reflector foil to shield the brittle EPS. After that was done it was time to drill the hole for the shank and fit the faucet. My original plan was to go for a Perlick forward sealing faucet until someone showed me an Australian brand, Intertap, which offers a cheaper forward sealing alternative. I got a stainless one and a 4" shank from kegkingdom.co.uk.
On the back I put a plywood disk so the shank nut will not damage the insulation.
Last step was to attach the lid to the collar which was easily done. The keezer itself was now done. Next up: hooking up the CO2 and doing a pressure test!