Keezer Updates and How to Add a Fan

by Billy Broas

Perlick faucets on keezer
Update: There is now a homepage for the keezer build. There you will find pictures, parts lists, and links to the blog posts I’ve written. Start there if you want to build you own.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my keezer build, so I thought I’d give everyone an update.

I had a feeling that the video would help people out, but I didn’t expect it to get over 11k views and inspire so many people to do similar builds. Cool!

Where I last left off, I made the collar and had two out of the four taps hooked up, with caps in the other two holes.

Since the last post, I’ve:

  • Switched from using a “tee” on the CO2 to having four gas lines running through the manifold
  • Added the final two Perlick faucets
  • Added a new 3 gallon and 5 gallon corny
  • Added a mini-dehumidifier
  • Added a fan

The fan is what I mainly want to talk about.

The problem was that the top of the keezer was much warmer than the bottom because of the collar. The collar doesn’t have any cooling coils running through it, and we know cold air sinks, so that area stayed a good 14°F warmer than the bottom.

That meant the lines were warm and that first pour was always a warm and foamy one. No good.

The fan is used to circulate the air. It doesn’t have to be very strong, it just needs to get things moving.

After installing the fan, the temperature different between the top and the bottom went from 14°F to 3°F. Not bad.

Here’s how I built it.

Adding a fan to a keezer

The goal was to attach the fan to the collar and have it pointing down instead of sideways so it would push the warm air down and the cold air up.

At first I was stumped. I looked all over at other setups but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. A lot of people attached the fan to the inside lid of of the freezer, but I haven’t damaged the freezer one bit yet and don’t plan to. That’s the whole reason I built the collar. It’s a tool belt.

Finally I decided on what you see below.

A fan added to a keezer collar for homebrewing

The fan is attached to hinges via machine screws. The hinges rest on a small wooden shelf.


It’s a combination of hinges and a shelf. The hinges are great because they stick the fan far out past the lip of the freezer. The problem was that they wouldn’t stop at 90°, which is why I built the little shelf.

The shelf is just a scrap piece of plywood attached to the collar with a corner brace.

These are the parts I used:

Building it is pretty simple and you can probably figure it out from the picture, but a few notes:

  • The wood screws went all the way through the plywood so I cut the tips off with a Dremel.
  • I cut the female end off the extension cord and attached it to the wire leads from the fan using wire connectors.
  • To be safe, I plugged the fan into a GFCI adapter.
  • I spray painted the hinges and brace the same color and stained the plywood with the leftover stain from the collar so they match. It’s a big improvement as you can see from the pictures on facebook.

Like I said, it works great and although I’ll continue to tinker, I’m happy to call my keezer complete.

If you’re wondering about the drip tray, I decided not to add one. I have an old one I keep on the floor below the taps, but honestly the Perlicks drip so little that I don’t even need it.

Another useful addition was the dehumidifier. I tried Damp-Rid first and this works much better.

If there are any significant changes in the future then I’ll do another post, but otherwise, let me know if you have any questions. If you’re ever in Denver, swing by and grab a pint!

billybrew-hba-banner

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Hoptomology February 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

Great job Billy!

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Billy Broas February 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

Thank ya!

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tehsnarf February 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

For the drip tray, my plan is to use some heavy-duty magnets to stick it to the keezer. One thing I’ve read that because the drip tray may be too heavy, you can use tape where you’re going to place it, then place the magnets over the tape to prevent it from sliding down.

Just a thought. I’m sure having it on the floor works great too! Great job! I plan on making something similar to this, because of the previous post.

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Billy Broas February 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

That plan sounds like it would work. I’ve seen a few builds with the drip tray attached to the freezer and I think they were using magnets. I may add one eventually, but honestly it just hasn’t gotten to the points where I’ve thought “Man, I need to do something about this.” Maybe after I finish my Brutus 10 ; )

Keep me posted on your build. I love seeing them.

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PA_Jeff February 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

Very nice. Why did you need the shelf? Why not just put the hinges lower so that they rested on the freezer lip?

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Billy Broas February 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

The shelf just gives it a better 90 degree angle and also more support. You can’t tell from the picture, but the fan casing is metal and actually pretty darn heavy. Having the shelf support almost the full length of the hinges reduces the tension on them.

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Uncle Steve February 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Outstanding Billy. I believe your Dad had some hand in making some of this on his trip out there? I am sorry I missed it. I’ll get out there to share a pint or 5 with you one of these days. Do you have 4 different beers in there?

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Dr. Bill Broas February 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Uncle Steve you wussed out on the last trip! You should see what Billy is building now!…. The Brutus 10 clone! Control panel is ready to go and the welding is going to start soon for the framework and burners, gas valves etc. If you play your cards right you and I can be out there when he fires it up and try those 5 pints or so with Billy and his Denver Buds!

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Billy Broas February 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I think you Virginia guys need to make this trip happen. Grab Ted while you’re at it.

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Dr. Bill Broas February 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Will do and Uncle Ted would love it!

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Ben February 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Excellent, well done! I still can’t thank you enough for the most perfect “how to build an awesome kegerator” instructions/video out there on the web…mine is awesome thanks to you! My next goal is to run 2 lines out the kegerator and through my garage wall which has a kitchenette on the other side. I would really only need 2-3 feet of line outside the fridge. I would of course insulate it, but I wanted to ask – do you think this fan would be strong enough if I set it up to blow through the unrefrigerated lines? In other words…how powerful is this fan would you say? Thanks!

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Billy Broas February 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

Sorry for the delay Ben, this one slipped through. For the size the fan is pretty powerful. It has no problem moving air throughout my ~ 9 cu. ft. chest freezer. Radio Shack had larger versions available as well. You could always return it and buy a larger one if it’s not strong enough. Glad the posts have helped you get your keezer rocking!

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David Ivey March 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Hey Billy,

You have one of the best DIY’s for a keezer that I’ve seen yet! Yes, great explanations and easy to understand. You hit the “sweet spot” of providing information with understanding. Looks great too! I’m ready to get started on this. :)

David Ivey
Black Bucket Brew Inbox Magazine Editor

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Billy Broas March 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Thanks David. I work hard to make these things as helpful as possible so it’s good to hear they’re doing the job.

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Chris Shea March 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Billy,

This design is perfect. I plan to begin purchasing all of the elements, pretty much how you had it. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind. First, I was considering going with a 1×10 or 1×12 oak for the finish. The reason would be to allow ample room to install a dip tray right into the wood rather than into the freezer. Thoughts? is that too much of a difference between the inner pine collar and the outer collar? or, does that matter?

The second question I had was I plan to drill 3 holes for taps. Two for commercial kegs and one for a potential home brew, should I start that up. How did you plug the empty shank holes so that you didn’t lose any cool air?

Thanks again for your attention to detail, I can’t wait to begin my own.

Chris

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Billy Broas March 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Hey Chris, great to hear you’re tackling this project. It’ll be worth it.

For your first question, I don’t see any drawbacks to using the larger piece of oak. I think it’s a good idea actually. For #2, I only capped the holes, I didn’t fill them (though I probably should have). You can find the caps in the specialty drawers at Ace Hardware. They’re perfect for this. I don’t think you need to go too crazy insulating the holes. Even balled up newspaper would help.

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Agrado May 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

How does the fan perform? Have you noticed a difference? I have a similar keezer. I have been having troubles with balancing my lines/psi/temp. I didn’t have a fan though. I’m thinking I need to add the fan to provide a consistent temp.

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Billy Broas May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

It works great. From the post – “After installing the fan, the temperature different between the top and the bottom went from 14°F to 3°F”. I would give it a shot.

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Agrado May 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

Wow! That’s quite the difference in temp. I will try it out.

Thanks!

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Daniel C. July 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

A little late on the question here, but which way do you have the fan blowing, up or down?

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Billy Broas July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Hey Daniel, I have the fan blowing down. Cheers.

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Julian December 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Great build.

How exactly is the self attached to the corner brace? I see it’s screwed into the collar on one side but how about the other? Thanks, Julian.

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Billy Broas December 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Do you mean the shelf for the fan? It’s an “L”. It goes under the shelf and is screwed into it from the bottom.

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Julian December 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Ah yes ipad typo! Yes “shelf”. OK I figured it would be, but just checking. The screw from underneath must be very close to the edge of the shelf in that case and just one rather than 2 were used from underneath…

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Billy Broas December 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Yea I believe it’s just one screw. There is more clearance than it looks like in the picture.

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Albert January 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

I like what you did with the fan, i was wondering what type of temperature controller do you use? And where do you put the probe for the controller in te freezer?

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Billy Broas January 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Hey Albert, you can find links to the parts including the external thermostat on this page: http://billybrew.com/how-to-build-a-keezer. I let it hang in the air towards the bottom of the freezer.

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Justin February 15, 2013 at 1:55 am

How loud is this fan? Im thinking about picking one up tomorrow.

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Billy Broas February 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

If the room is quiet then you can hear it with the lid closed. It’s not too loud though, at least for me.

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Vinnie April 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Great build Billy! I’m curious do you have the fan constantly on, tied to your temperature controller, tied to a timer, or something else? If it is constantly on do you think it will burn up soon? If it is on a timer how often does it kick on the fan? Thanks!

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Billy Broas April 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm

It’s always running and so far so good. There are times, believe it or not, where I don’t have anything kegged for a few days. At these times I unplug the freezer to clean it and give the fan a break.

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Brad November 23, 2013 at 5:07 am

Great write-up, Billy. I’m planning on tackling a build soon and yours has been my biggest inspiration. A few quick questions, can you point me in the direction of the caps you used for the two unused faucet holes initially? Also, did I read correctly that your fan’s airflow pushes down, not pulls up?

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Billy Broas November 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Hey Brad, I got the caps at Ace Hardware and the pictures of the bin are on this page: http://billybrew.com/how-to-build-a-keezer. Yes, the air is pushed down. Cheers.

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Brad November 26, 2013 at 8:34 am

Thanks again, Billy! Just applied my first coat of paint to the freezer yesterday; I’m pretty excited. One last question, any experience with band clamps (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/s-s-worm-gear-clamp-1-1-8-1-2-od.html) in lieu of otiker clamps? I’d like to avoid having to buy the clamp tool if at all possible.

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Billy Broas November 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Those clamps will work just fine.

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Sam November 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Billy, I am not clear on to what power source you wired the fan. Did you splice it into the freezer power or does it run on its own power cord from an electrical outlet?

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Billy Broas November 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hey Sam, the fan is running on its own power cord into an outlet.

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Kevin January 21, 2014 at 11:43 am

Hey Billy, had a question about the noise the fan produces. can you here it when the lid is closed on your keezer?

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Kevin January 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

never mind the noise question, just read a reply to another post further up.

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Jason Weatherford February 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Hey Billy, where did you mount the mini dehumidifier?

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Billy Broas February 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I just have it sitting on the bottom of the keezer, or on the shelf if there isn’t room on the bottom.

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Jesse Madway October 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Billy,

Just installed my fan using your build as my model. Seems to be working well so far. One concern I have, though: do you have trouble getting kegs in and out? I’m thinking I will need to take the fan off when I swap out the keg that is beneath it. How do you deal with this?

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