|Project by Holzarbeiterin||posted 09-30-2015 03:06 PM||1498 views||3 times favorited||14 comments|
My hobbies are woodworking, brewing beer and hiking. While I have yet to score a trifecta and bring all three hobbies into one project, I was able to include my hobby of brewing beer into my woodworking. My partner and I brew beer in 5-10 gallon batches. I also like to have a non-alcoholic option and try to keep a nice homemade root beer around as well. I’m a strong believer that alcohol (except when used as a solvent) has no place in my shop!
At first we bottled every drop. It was a great way the share our creations with friends and family but bottling beer is a hassle. What we really wanted to do was put our beers on tap at the house. It’s common to build a “Kegerator” out of a refrigerator but we wanted the option to keep more brews on hand and a standard refrigerator is just too small. Our other priority was that it needed to be mobile. I read a few articles on various brewing websites and designed our 5 tap Kegerator on wheels. I think it’s a pretty sweet system. It’s also quite a hit with the neighbors (as you can imagine). Our house sits on about 10.5 acres of forested land in VT. Our goal is to build a little cottage in the woods with a bar, a cozy room with a wood stove, a covered porch and a few chairs for friends to wander by and visit. At that point the kegerator will reach its final home.
For the build I started out with a new 19 cubic foot freezer. I made a cart using large heavy duty casters and ¾” plywood. The wheels needed to be big since it needed to be able to go “off-roading” on my gravel driveway. Nothing fancy but sturdy enough to hold the freezer and about 30 gallons of beer. I wanted the ability roll it out for a party and for easily cleaning afterward. After removing the lid from the freezer l built a wood sleeve to slip over the top and sit on the top edge of the freezer. I used an adhesive backed foam gasket material to keep the cool air in the freezer and protect the top edge in the very unlikely event that I want to disassemble it and use it as a freezer. The outside of the sleeve is red oak with the rest of the sleeve is constructed from standard dimensional lumber from the local lumber yard. The height of the sleeve was calculated to allow the lid hinge to be screwed on to it. I also needed to be sure there was adequate width for the holes needed for the beer tap shanks. Everything was screwed or bolted with using stainless steel parts to prevent rust. All the parts were attached after the stain and spar varnish were applied. If you look closely in some of the photos you will see I also made a couple of shelves to hold some of my beer tap handles. The shelves are made from leftover lumber from the kegerator project. Most of the taps are from Vermont breweries we know and love. At some point I may design my own tap handles but for now it several projects down on my list of things to do… The shelves are not worthy of a separate posting but just thought I’d mention them since they did make it into the photos.
If anyone is interested in the beer side of this project I’ll be posting a blog about it right after this is posted.
-- Linda - It's only a mistake if you do it twice!