Category Archives: Level 3

Level 3 difficulty

Mein Bierwagen Part 5 – Keezer Collar

Everybody and their brother has some sort of DIY or build pictures of their keezer collar, so I’m not going to focus on the standard part of the build.

Difficulty: level_3

This project just requires some basic building skills, but you might need some help getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen.

Time Required:

About an afternoon, more for painting and how you wish to finish it.

Posts for this Project:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Building of the frame
Part 3: Bicycle wheel attachment
Part 4: Getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen
Part 5: Keezer collar (this post)
Part 6: Storage of the Bierwagen

Overview:

Since my collar will only get used once a year, or at least not a permanent addition to my keezer, it just needed to be easily removed and disassembled.

Construction:

Going in, I knew that it would not be permanently assembled, so I did not use wood glue at the joints or caulk in the corners.  Yes, it is fairly inefficient to not seal it, but it stays cool just fine when it needs to.

I used 2×6 wood to create the border frame, but added some 2×4 posts that protrude down into the keezer interior to keep it from falling off.

015-4 - Collar upside down

015-4 - Collar installed 2

015-4 - Collar installed 1

I drilled the 3 holes with a wood boring bit.  I got one many years ago for finishing our basement and I’ve gotten lots of use out of it.  When using my corded hammer drill, it just rips right through wood.  In my opinion, they work much better than standard hole saws.  It may not leave as clean of a hole, but since the edges will be covered by the collar on the beer shank, I’m not to worried.

I used some large fender washers for the inside so that the nuts had a good solid surface to snug up against.  If you just snugged up to the wood, they most likely won’t tighten all the way and will pull into the wood.

Keg arrangement and interior:

Here is how I arrange the kegs in the keezer.  I’ll actually have 6 kegs at our party this year, so I’ll have to unceremoniously carry an extra keg from the garage fridge to the backyard.

I still need to desperately add a circulation fan to the interior.  I’ve got the fan, but have not yet mounted it.

Nothing novel here, I just used more deck screws to lightly hold the manifold to the back wall of the keezer.

015-4 - Collar with plumbing

Signage

Not only did I make tap handles for each beer, but I thought it would be nice to add some descriptions for each beer on tap and laminate them.  Most of our friends are now accustomed to “craft beer”, but I thought a little extra info couldn’t hurt.  You can see on this picture, the velcro strips I put on the collar to hold the signs up.  Yes, they are in different positions.  It is just my 2012 to 2013 changes in position for the signs.

015-4 - Keezer with collar

And the signs in action

015-1 Roll out the Bierwagen

Here are my signs by the way.

The Strausstoberfest is the house offering

015-4 Strausstoberfest label

The Dunkel Side was a favorite last year

015-4 The Dunkel Side label

Catcher in the Rye was my Rye PA, but will be replaced by a lower ABV Cream Ale at the party this year

015-4 Catcher in the Rye label

Temp Controller

I then mounted my Ranco controller on the back and remounted the hinges onto the collar.  I did not use the screws that were used on the freezer itself, but rather some longer sheet metal screws that held just fine in the wood.

015-1 Ranco mounted on back

Disassembly and storage:

Here is my method, which may serve as a guide for how you store yours (if you don’t make it permanent).  Disassemble the collar whichever way you need to.

I then actually just ended up using the exact same screws that held the collar together to attach them to the interior wall of my garage.  It’s actually behind where I store my keezer, so it’s not in the way and plus by attaching them to the wall, it keeps them up off the ground.

015-4 Collar stored on wall

Up next…

How to store the Bierwagen (if you don’t have tons of room)

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Mein Bierwagen Part 4 – Getting the Keezer onto the Bierwagen

As I mentioned in the previous post (Part 3: Bicycle wheel attachment), the other feature about Mein Bierwagen that I think is cool, is the loading of my Keezer Dolly directly onto the cart.  This post shows you how to do it.  Using the ramp method, I can do it myself, but you’ll need two people at least if you just build it as a platform for your own Keezer.

Difficulty: level_3

This project just requires some basic building skills, but you might need some help getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen.

Posts for this Project:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Building of the frame
Part 3: Bicycle wheel attachment
Part 4: Getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen (this post)
Part 5: Keezer collar
Part 6: Storage of the Bierwagen

Procedure:

First you need to remove the support legs at the front of the Bierwagen.

015-6 - Legs installed

Then with it right side up, you’ll brace it against a wall.

015-4 - Legs removed and ready for keezer

Next, you need to line up your keezer dolly at the tip of the cart.  Notice, I haven’t installed the keezer collar yet.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too tippy.

015-4 - Lining up for loading

015-4 - Lining up for loading 2

You can see that the keezer dolly just clears the leading edge of the cart.  If yours isn’t tall enough, you can either cut the bottom side of the handles (front of cart) or lift up a bit to get it up on the rails.

015-4 - Lining up for loading 3

Keep pushing the cart up the “ramp”.

015-4 - Nice fit

015-4 - On the ramp

You’ll need to remove the lateral board to get the keezer all the way up.

015-4 - Remove front stop

015-4 - Up against wall

Then, once the keezer is all the way up, reinstall it.

015-4 - Front stop back in place

Now just wheel it over and prop the front up on something so that you can reinstall the legs.  I used some jack stands and they worked great.

015-4 - On stands for leg installation

There, look how happy it looks.  Feed me!

015-4 - Keezer ready for collar

Up next…

Keezer collar

Posts for this Project:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Building of the frame
Part 3: Bicycle wheel attachment
Part 4: Getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen (this post)
Part 5: Keezer collar
Part 6: Storage of the Bierwagen

Like this post?

Consider sharing on your favorite social hangout or making a small donation to help me purchase something to make another post.

 

Mein Bierwagen Part 3 – Bicycle Wheel Attachment

Besides being able to easily move my keezer to the backyard, the two coolest things about Mein Bierwagen are usage of bicycle wheels and the way I load the keezer on the dolly.  I had searched around trying to find the best wheels for the job, but when buying wheels separately from something, you can sometimes pay more than buying a complete thingamajig that has the wheels in the first place.  When working in the garage it hit me, literally in the head.  The tire of the bike hanging in the garage.  Voila!

Difficulty: level_3

This project just requires some basic building skills, but you might need some help getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen.

Posts for this Project:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Building of the frame
Part 3: Bicycle wheel attachment (this post)
Part 4: Getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen
Part 5: Keezer collar
Part 6: Storage of the Bierwagen

Overview:

This post will show how to create and attach the bicycle wheels to the Bierwagen.

Helpful tools:

Cut off saw

I do use the cut off saw more frequently than I had anticipated.  It’s pretty handy for cutting through metal bars and tubes.  I got an inexpensive model at Harbor Freight.

Step bit

or Step bit set

The step bits are really useful for other uses in brewing equipment.  I’ve used them to create airlock grommet holes in bucket lids before and spigot holes as well.  I think the most preferred method for putting holes in kettles is a hole saw or punch, but I think these would do a great job as well.

Fabrication:

You might recognize the L-channel (AKA angle iron or L bracket) from the Keezer Dolly project.  You’ll need 4 short sections to attach both wheels to the frame.  I cut approximately 6″ sections.

015-4 - Cutting Channel

You’ll then pick one of the already round holes and open it up using the step bit.  I measured the diameter of the opening on the forks of both of our bikes and matched the hole size on the bracket.  The wheel actually rides on a very narrow section of the axle that sticks out of the wheel hub on both sides, then a cam clamp snugs it up tight.

015-4 - Step bit to open up hole

After you have opened up the hole, you’ll need to make the hole a slot that the wheel can drop into.  You are basically going to mimic what is on the bicycle fork.

015-4 - Bracket Slot

You’ll also want some lag bolts to attach the new mounting brackets to the frame.  I used some 3/16″ lag bolts with a washer.  This is where you’ll need some careful measurement and alignment.

Since the L bracket is much thinner than the bike fork attachment point, you’ll need some washers to add thickness.  The only washers I could find that were thick enough were some lock washers or split washers.  They will stack up like shown in the pictures below.

015-4 - Stackup

015-4 - Axle with split washer

The important washer dimensions are shown below.  My axles required a 1/2″ ID (inner diameter) washer to fit around the bearing surface of the axle.

015-4 - Washer diameter measurements

The thickness of the lock washer (when compressed) was about 3/32″.

015-4 - Washer thickness measurements

Here is an alternate arrangement that also works if you don’t need a ton of thickness.

015-4 - Alternate Washers

I’m going to use some car talk here.  If you’ve opened up the holes properly on the brackets, you should still have a zero camber wheel angle.  The main challenge will be to ensure there is zero toe, or the amount the tires steer in toward each other or away from each other.  The best way to check this (making the assumption that your frame rails are straight) is to measure the distance from the bicycle rim at the front of the wheel to the frame rail and make sure that the distance from the rim at the back of the wheel to the frame rail is the same.  If there is any error, you are better off with very minor toe-in (wheels pointed at each other at the front side).  This may take some tweaking, so don’t secure the lag bolts all the way until you have your mounting plates in the right position.

Here are some different views to show how everything goes together.

015-4 - Stackup 2

015-4 - Inboard view as installed

015-4 - Installed completely

015-4 - Front view installed

015-4 - Top view installed

There you go, bicycle wheels delivering calories, rather than helping burn them!

Up next…

Getting the keezer onto the Bierwagen

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Consider sharing on your favorite social hangout or making a small donation to help me purchase something to make another post.