Most home brewers that are serious about the hobby eventually turn to kegging their beer instead of bottling. Its easier, cheaper and beer on draft always tastes better.
When I decided to start kegging my own beer, I was very close to beginning to build my own DIY keezer or DIY kegerator. However, I was able to find a Kegerator on Craigslist for super cheap, so I never ended up doing the build… yet. Too bad, because these things look like a lot of fun to put together.
For the uninitiated, a keezer is a chest freezer that is modified to turn into a kegerator.
When I was planning to turn a chest freezer into a kegerator, I saved a lot of different designs I found across the web for inspiration later. These saved articles and galleries are what I decided to use for the foundation of this roundup. The possibilities seem to be endless when deciding what your homebuilt keezer is going to look like. Hopefully this list gives you a good bit of inspiration for your next project.
How to Build a Keezer
While every keezer is built different, most follow a similar pattern. First you find a chest freezer. Next you hook up a temperature controller (we highly suggest an Inkbird), add a wooden collar between the freezer’s lid and base, then attach the tap system. We overly simplified the process here, but luckily for you there are a lot of other home brewers that have taken the time to document their keezer builds for all of us to follow.
Keezer Parts List
The most basic materials you’ll need to build your own keezer is:
- Chest freezer, minimum of 7.0 cu. ft.
- Temperature controller such as an Inkbird
- Enough 2×6 (or 2×8 or 2×10) non-treated wood to go around the freezer’s top, called a “collar”
- Enough taps, CO2 regulators, CO2 manifolds and lots of vinyl or silicone tubing.
- A couple soda kegs. I prefer to use the ball lock kind.
Typical Keezer Cost
A run-of-the-mill keezer will cost you anywhere from $200-$1,000 depending on how crazy you get with the external shell. If you encase the full freezer with wood or some other material, it will increase your budget around $150, if you buy the lumber new.
If you want to keep your keezer’s cost down, look for materials and the freezer on second-hand stores such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can usually find a decent chest freezer for around $100 on there, whereas a brand new one can cost upwards of $250-$350.
Keezer Temperature Control
The optimal temperature for a keezer is 36-38°F (2-3°C). The best way to keep your keezer at this steady temperature range is by utilizing a controller such as an Inkbird. The Inkbird controller will act as a power strip that will turn on/off your keezer’s cooling system to regulate the internal temperature, which is measured with a sensor that is placed inside the freezer.
While many home brewers regularly set their keezer temperature between 38-40°F, it is actually not recommended for homebrewed beer. The temperature of non-pasteurized ale & lager beers should be maintained between 36-38°F (2-3 °C) all the way to the tap. As temperatures creep above 38°F and beyond, CO2 will begin to break out of the beer and result in foam and promote sour and/or cloudy beer.
25 Awesome DIY Keezer Designs
These are some of our favorite designs of DIY keezer builds. All have a certain uniqueness to them, and hopefully you can find some inspiration from their tutorials. We’ve also only chosen keezer builds that have multiple photos of the build process and at least some discussion of the materials and design ideas. Enjoy!
1. Triple Tap Wrapped
This awesome triple-tapped keezer was built with LED lights to add extra ambiance and wrapped in wood that looks antiqued. The taps are located on top, which add an extra level of uniqueness.
2. Outdoor Special
This keezer comes with 4 taps, and is completely wrapped in poplar wood. This wouldn’t withstand my outside PA weather, but it sure would look nice sitting in my basement.
3. Dark Beauty
This keezer features 4 taps and an ultra dark finish to give it a luxurious feel. The dark stained wood and painted black freezer really mesh well together.
4. Industrial Rustic
The exposed metal pipes and the reclaimed wood make this keezer something special and 100% unique. The steel pipes and taps come from the top of the lid as opposed to the side for an added look of professionalism.
5. The Classic
This classic keezer features an unaltered freezer and a beautifully stained wood collar that holds two taps. The wood-lined drip tray add an extra element of classiness.
6. The Massive Classic
This enormous keezer features six taps and a large clear stained wood collar. Being able to brew enough to need six taps is my dream.
7. The Country Club
This four tap keezer is completely wrapped in dark stained wood and looks professional enough to be used in a country club. Fitting four kegs into a freezer of this size was quite the feat.
8. Unique Spin on the Classic
The oversized wooden collar that was built in order to hold the drip tray is an ingenious design idea. The rest of the freezer is left as-is for the classic look, but the clear stained wood gives it an awesome feel.
9. Reverse Classic
Many DIY keezer builds feature a white freezer and stained wood color. This design reverses that with a painted black freezer and unstained wood. This keezer build features 6 taps and color coded lines inside.
10. Anything But Ordinary
This 4 tap keezer build features tile inlays, an LED lighting system and steel accents. No one would ever believe this was a DIY project.
11. Rags to Riches
You’d never believe that under this beautiful oak exterior was a beat-up, rusted out freezer. This 5 tap system features LED lighting and a top-mounted drip tray.
12. Detail, Detail, Detail
This four tap keezer design has the most detail I’ve ever seen in a design tutorial. Combine that with the trim on the outside, you can tell this guy pays attention to his…um… details.
13. Reclaimed Dual Tap
This dual tapped keezer/kegerator design was built for his wedding, which I’m sure everyone enjoyed. The reclaimed materials on the exterior ensures a timeless look that proves to also be inexpensive.
14. Keezer Cabinet
You’d be mistaken if you thought this was just another cabinet sitting in the corner of the kitchen. This dual-tap keezer features a fully wrapped exterior that looks more like a kitchen island than a beer dispenser.
15. Iron Towers
This four tap system design comes with one of the most detailed instructions I’ve seen so far. Over 50 images help you build this iron pipe (dream) keezer for yourself.
16. First Time, Smirsht Time
This guy built this two-tap beauty as his first big DIY project. Well, you can’t tell from the pictures… this thing looks great! The tiled top around the drip tray keeps the top nice and water proof too.
17. The Modern Keezer
The black freezer with the cedar-stained wood creates a very modern look and feel. This keezer build features four taps and a drip tray that is fastened to the front.
18. Keezer Paradise
The glassy bar top and thick black iron (steel?) pipes make this four tap keezer build that probably makes the whole neighborhood envyious. The reclaimed wood on the side give it more of a bar feeling, and the fact that it is on wheels makes this keezer go where ever the party is.
19. The Keezer Bar
This four tap keezer build features an oversized top that doubles as a bar. Add a couple chairs and this thing is the real deal.
20. Hidden Gem
I’m not sure that at first glance you’d know this is a keezer (the taps may give it away). This unique design features five taps and a bit more wood trim than usual.
21. Wait… That’s a Keezer?
This is probably best the one on the list at blending into its surroundings. The stainless steel double tap tower looks like another lamp and I guarantee that someone standing beside it wouldn’t even know what it was until they saw the beer being poured.
22. The Big Boy
This massive keezer holds 10 kegs and is sized more for a brewery than a basement. Besides the logistics of getting 10 kegs and their lines organized inside, this keezer build will make sure you never run out of beer.
22. Pallet Keezer
Most of the time, pallet wood can be had for free. Following this tutorial will keep your costs at a minimum, but still result in a beautiful keezer. This double tap freezer conversion may be exactly what your wallet wants.
23. Red Lid
The red stain stands out on this dual tap system and combines the wood collar and lid in a unique way.
24. Long Keezer
This long keezer design features four taps, all uniquely clustered to one side of the freezer. This uncomplicated build shows you the steps and the exact products they used to build it.
25. Mountain Bar
The five taps are top mounted on a custom wood stand that features wood inlays resembling mountains. This keezer’s size is extended out to help complete the transformation into a bar top as well.
26. The Keezer Bar
If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to build your own keezer bar, look no further than Hazy and Hoppy’s post. Four taps are beautifully fit into this 7 cubic ft chest freezer.