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Beer on Tap: Keezer

Want to dispense fresh beer kombucha or nitro-coffee on tap at home. Here is a step by step construction guide for Keezer from the refrigerator

Beer on Tap: Keezer Construction Guide

Step by step guide to convert your old refrigrator to beer on tap dispensing unit. You can use this for kombucha, nitro-coffee or any carbonated beverage that is served chilled.
Prep Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Keyword: beer on tap, keezer, microbrewery

Equipment

  • wood working tools
  • drilling machine

Materials

  • 1 unit refrigrator
  • 4 pcs beer taps
  • 1 board plywood
  • 1 sheet foam and insulation
  • 20 pcs nuts and bolts
  • 12 m beer line
  • 4 pcs ball lock corny kegs
  • 1 piece liquid chalk pen

Instructions

Keezer Collar to increase the space

  • Refrigerators are designed to store food with easy access rather than kegs. As a result, most units struggle to stock even 2 home brew corny kegs. We are going to provide a wooden collar (frame) to extend the capacity. For this we unscrew the door of the refrigerator before converting it to a keezer.
  • Plywood is a great insulator. Also keezer don't get opened as often as a domestic refrierator does. So don't worry it will not put any additional stress on your keezer's compressor. Just make sure that:
    a. The flooring is level. Otherwise the kegs will not be stay upright.
    b. Wood can rot if the beer spills stay on the floor. Make a hole in the floor to drain out any liquid from condensation or accidental spillage.
  • Now we reattach the door and turn on the power to test if the unit is functioning.
  • After an hour touch the various surfaces to check for temperature/chill. If you feel a draft of cold air or the surfaces feel too cold, then the cold air is leaking and the hole has to be plugged.
    Apply PU Varnish on the wood surfaces. This will prevent the wood from absorbing water condensation. Also will enhance the wood finish.

Gas Side Connections

  • Now it is the time to load the and kegs and make the connection. Remember to keep a rubber mat on the base and put from hard foam on the sides. Rubber mat will prevent the wood from absorbing water from condensation/spills. Foam will improve the insulation and reduce the empty space (this area gets filled with room temperature air everytime you open the door.
  • Attach the gas in, beer out and beer lines to make the connection.
  • Use a gas manifold to split one CO2 cylinder into 4 outlets.
    gas manifold mounting screws
  • If you are intending to dispense different beers at different degree of carbonation, then use a blowtie. By adjusting the pressue for different kegs.
    For example. my wheat/oat beer often produce too much foam. So I attachtthe blowtie to those kegs to reduce the serving pressure. This way I am able to use a single CO2 tank to serve both lagers (higher pressure) and wheat (lower pressure)
    blowtie spunding valve adjustable pressure relief valve

Beer Dispensing Connections

  • The pressure from the CO2 gas cylinder tank will automatically push the beverage out. Use the Beer line. The same gas tube can be used for liquid as well. One trick I find useful is to use different color tapes at both end of the liquid line. This makes it easy to identify which end of the pipe is for which corny keg.
  • Use the long shank to drill the hole on the side. One side we will fit the beverage line and the tap on the other end. 100mm length is sufficient to go through multiple layers of plywood and insulation.
    shank for microbrewery keg line side
  • Don't forget to fill the kegs with water and test out the whole contraption. Check out for leakages of gas and beer. Make sure that the piping and tubing are easy to access. One keg stores only 19 liters, so it has to be emptied and refileed often. So ensure that there is enough space to maneouvr.

Finishing Touches

  • Now comes the most important part. You need to have 4 beverages or styles of beer, kombucha, or nitro coffee to serve.
  • Use some liquid chalk pens to decorate the side. Chalk is easy to wipe and clean. So it makes easy to update the keezer with this week's special beer.
  • Now is the time to invite your friends over and collect the bragging rights.

Notes

For this post, we used a 165-liter refrigerator that has a radiator (from which the heat comes out) in the back. If you are using a modern one that has heat venting on the sides then you will have to make the following two changes:
  1. Don’t drill on the side. The refrigerant piping is on the side and will leak because of the holes for the tap. Instead, try to place the taps on the front door.
  2. The collar (wooden frame extension) had an overlap with the sidewall of the unit. this has to be changed as the overlap will interfere with venting out of the heat and functioning of the keezer.

Video

Beer on Tap: Simple step by Step Guide
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