A keezer is a custom build, you can keep it simple or you can get very creative with the design.
No matter which chest freezer you use and how the keezer design turns out, you are going to need the right pieces of equipment in order for it to function like a kegerator.
Let’s assume you have kegged your homebrew or you plan on buying kegs of beer, so we won’t need to include the keg in this list.
What do you need to make a Keezer:
- Chest Freezer
- Wood for Collar
- Glue, Screws, and paint
- Gas (CO2 Tank, Regulator, Distribution)
- Hoses (Gas, Beverage line)
- Temperature Controller
- Drip Tray
- Miscellaneous (screws, wood putty, hose clamps, etc.)
That may seem like a lot but it really isn’t. If you compare what a kegerator would come with, you would still need to purchase the CO2 gas, regulators, splitter, gas lines, couplers, and likely better faucets.
How does a kegerator/Keezer work?
A kegerator is a refrigeration system that controls the temperature and it controls your beer flow using gas and faucets to pour it.
A keezer operates on the same system but uses a regulated chest freezer as the refrigeration.
The basics are you need a temperature-regulated area to keep the beer cold and you need gas and faucets to pour.
It’s a pretty simple setup that is just as easy to learn and put together.
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Do they make a kegerator conversion kit?
Yes, they make conversion kits for chest freezers and refrigeration units that can be converted into keezers.
This is by far the easiest way to get that gas and beer system up and running rather than buying them piece by piece.
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What is needed for a Keezer/Kegerator?
It’s almost the exact setup with keezers and kegerators. One difference will be the temperature controller.
Here is what you will need:
- Chest Freezer – You can use any size chest freezer. The size will depend on how many kegs you want to put in them.
- Wood for Collar – Why do you need a wood collar? You need the extra space between the body and the lid for the kegs and hoses, another use is that is where most faucets are drilled into. You can use 2×4’s for the collar. The lid drills right into the collar as well.
- Glue, Screws, and paint – The glue is really important, you need the glue for the collar since we won’t be drilling screws into the chest freezer. So you want to use a construction caulk for the collar.
Screws, you will want 4-inch wood screws to build the collar.
The paint color is up to you!
- Gas (CO2 Tank, Regulator, Distribution) – The gas is a system all of its own. You need a CO2 tank with gas in it. You will need a CO2 regulator and either a CO2 distributor/manifold and gas line (hose for gas) that connects to the keg via the coupler or gas post on corny keg.
- Coupler – If you are a homebrewer and are using corny kegs, you probably already have the post adaptors. But if you want to buy kegs, you are going to need a coupler to connect the lines to the keg.
- Hoses (Gas, Beverage line) – You will need two kinds of hoses, one for gas and one that is a food-grade beverage hose.
- Faucet – The faucet is where you will be pouring the beer from. They make low-end ones and high-end faucets. I recommend overtime you eventually get the high-end faucets but in the beginning it’s ok to start small with the affordable ones.
- Temperature Controller – The temperature controller is very important for making a chest freezer into a refrigerator.
- Drip Tray – Optional pieces to add to the keezer. But it does help collect the drips and over-pours.
- Miscellaneous (screws, wood putty, hose clamps, etc.)
Extra’s for the keezer
The initial keezer build and keg setup is an investment and there are some things that can wait to be added eventually if you like.
- Fan – A small fan to circulate the air around the keg. Basically, the keezer cools from the bottom up but never really gets to the top because it’s not getting that cold. The more kegs the cooler and less energy it’s going to use. A small CPU fan will help but not necessarily immediately.
- Lights – Who doesn’t love some great lighting inside and outside. LED lights are very affordable and could really make it look great.
- Tower – You have already thought about this by now, but adding a tower to a keezer can be done. You can purchase the chrome tower or get some industrial pipe, but that may require some serious drilling.
- Faucets – Upgrade to better faucets that can help control your beer pour and overall flow of the beer.
Keezers are custom builds, so you can really do whatever you like and add what you like. It’s endless of possibilities and fun!
Tools you will need for keezers and kegerators
Building a keezer is really simple but you will need a few tools to get the job done.
Here are the tools you will need to build the keezer:
- Tape Measure
- Saw’s – you can use a hand saw or powered.
- Drill – Secure the collar, drill holes for the faucet shank, drill screws for the lid.
- Caulk gun – for caulking glue collar to chest freezer body.
- Wrench – for CO2 and regulator, it’s good two have two of them on hand.
- Beer faucet tools
- Paint Brush
I built my first keezer out of my third-floor apartment using mostly hand tools. The one thing I did have done at my father-in-law’s house was the drilling of the shank holes. That’s because I really wasn’t sure what I needed, but otherwise, I would’ve been ok doing it all in the apartment.
I have to admit that back then there wasn’t that much information online about how to do this. So I hope this article helps get you started building your first keezer.
The list is pretty accurate but there may end up being a hardware store run for if you find something you might have missed. Good luck!