Now that I’m brewing beer again and kegging it (1 · 2 · 3 · 4), the approach of warm weather means that I have to find a way to keep the kegs cool so that I may serve them. To do this I purchased a chest freezer and am in the process of adapting it to use a more precise temperature control system so that I may try and keep the kegs at a consistant 40°F.
After receiving a Johnson Controls A419ABC-1C temperature control I opened up the 7.0 ft3 Holiday-brand chest freezer acquired from Lowes (item number 0073849) and set to understanding it’s temperature control system. It turns out that this chest freezer just has a basic on/off control that switches mains on and off for the compressor based on a temperature probe fed into the wall of the freezer. This should make it very easy to replace the controller with the A419.
Part of converting a chest freezer to beer keg holding requires one to drill holes for both CO2 and the temperature control, which is a very risky task because hitting the refrigerant lines will vent the freezer’s cooling system rendering it useless. To try and understand where the coils are I started the freezer, let it run for a bit, then placed 1L of boiling water in it with the lid closed. The result was this, a nicely frosted freezer showing that almost all of the bottom part contains coils. Knowing this I’m going to attempt to drill the gas/probe holes by first carefully removing some of the lining metal then picking away at the foam to be sure that I’m not going to hit a line when widening the hole. I will start in the corner in the upper right of this picture, as this will allow for both easy gas and temperature probe access once everything is assembled. Hopefully that’ll go well.
If you’re interested, my first photos from this project can be found here.