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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: fyouberg on January 14, 2014, 03:29:27 PM

Title: Chest freezer concern
Post by: fyouberg on January 14, 2014, 03:29:27 PM
I am ready to take control of my fermentation temps. I am leaning toward a 5 or 7 cf chest freezer, but am concerned about lifting 40+ pounds of wort in and out over the top edge. How have others rigged it up so as to save their lower back?
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 14, 2014, 04:08:00 PM
I have seen some people rig up a pulley system. One even used a ratcheting hand crank from a boat trailer. Can be done cheap at Harbor Freight.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: james on January 14, 2014, 04:14:50 PM
When I used carboys I would keep them in plastic milk crates and that helped put them in.  At some point I switched to fermenting in stainless half bbl keg, after cleaning and sanitizing, I'd set it in chest freezer, pump wort in, and use co2 to push the beer out.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: theDarkSide on January 14, 2014, 04:52:46 PM
Go with Better Bottles to lighten the load a bit too.  I'd go with the bigger chest freezer as well.  One better bottle in a milk crate fits in a 5 cu ft freezer but barely (scrapes knuckles lowering his in).  The 7.2 cu ft would give you more space, and possibly allow you to put 2 carboys in there.

You could also go with an upright freezer if you're concerned about lifting and lowering.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: euge on January 14, 2014, 05:03:01 PM
You'd need some sort of hoist. I just bite the bullet and try to minimize any lifting. Usually all I need to do is lift once per fermenter.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: dkfick on January 14, 2014, 05:04:25 PM
Oftentimes what I'll do is just put the empty fermenter in there... and pump the beer in from a bucket/buckets using a self priming pump.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: euge on January 14, 2014, 05:07:04 PM
Like to add that I built a shelf in each of my 7cu freezers so that the buckets are off the bottom and I don't have to bend over very far.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: bluesman on January 14, 2014, 05:36:11 PM
I pulled a tricep muscle a couple of years ago by pulling a fermenter out of a chest freezer. It took quite a while to heal, so I can relate to this concern. If you're going to go the chest freezer route, then practice proper lifting and pulling techniques to avoid potential injury. A hoist or pulley system is a great idea and a back saver for sure.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: yso191 on January 14, 2014, 05:41:52 PM
Or buy an upright.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: jeffy on January 14, 2014, 06:07:57 PM
Or get more exercise.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Pinski on January 14, 2014, 06:15:07 PM
The handles on a BruHauler help keep "better" lifting form.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Jimmy K on January 14, 2014, 06:21:59 PM
The handles on a BruHauler help keep "better" lifting form.
They are great, although getting a full carboy out of a freezer will always be awkward.

You could also use CO2 to push beer out of the carboy and into a keg or bottling bucket.

- Sent by my R2 unit
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Upstate Dan on January 14, 2014, 06:39:48 PM
I have no issues with just a Brew Hauler. Although I'm so paranoid it will unclip I quadruple-check the fasteners before lifing.

I'm way too much of a nervous Nelly to use a pulley system.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: thatgeekguy on January 14, 2014, 06:43:44 PM
I've used buckets, but the single handle is literally a pain with a full bucket in a chest freezer. If Better Bottles, i use a milk carton. Just recently purchased a Speidel, I think I'm really going to like it.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: AmandaK on January 14, 2014, 06:50:49 PM
My fiance works well for this. But if he's not in the house, I lift them in two stages.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: morticaixavier on January 14, 2014, 07:00:02 PM
I pulled a tricep muscle a couple of years ago by pulling a fermenter out of a chest freezer. It took quite a while to heal, so I can relate to this concern. If you're going to go the chest freezer route, then practice proper lifting and pulling techniques to avoid potential injury. A hoist or pulley system is a great idea and a back saver for sure.

If the concern is hurting yourself (as opposed to avoiding aggravating an existing injury) just doin git correctly is the best bet. If the desire is for an easier way I like the big fermenter that you fill in place and use pressure to empty. I have an old fridge so it's not an issue for me but if I get a big speidel I'll likely have to figure something out. I'm a strong guy and can probably 'easily' handle 80-100 lbs of wort but getting it out and up onto a counter to fill kegs with a siphon would still be a challenge.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 14, 2014, 07:54:58 PM
I grab better bottles by their necks and lift. Strong grip, but it can't be good for my shoulder.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Slowbrew on January 14, 2014, 08:57:11 PM
Go big or go home.   8)

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_120327_120327

The lazy way out.  I would probably do something like this in a few years as the beer gets heavier.   ;D

Paul
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Pinski on January 14, 2014, 09:31:22 PM
I have no issues with just a Brew Hauler. Although I'm so paranoid it will unclip I quadruple-check the fasteners before lifing.

I'm way too much of a nervous Nelly to use a pulley system.

Yeah, so do I. Then I put the buckle towards my in case it accidentally pops.  Really, if you balance out the straps evenly it should not end catastrophically if the buckle did come undone. Not that I plan on testing that theory.  ::)
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: jeffy on January 14, 2014, 09:47:25 PM
Or get more exercise.

I'm sorry, this post was a bit snarky.  I'm a big guy and have no trouble lifting kegs in and out of my chest freezer, but it would be more difficult with carboys or buckets.  If it came down to it I'd most likely use siphons or pumps as most people have already posted.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Jeff M on January 15, 2014, 12:37:09 AM
Or get more exercise.

I'm sorry, this post was a bit snarky.  I'm a big guy and have no trouble lifting kegs in and out of my chest freezer, but it would be more difficult with carboys or buckets.  If it came down to it I'd most likely use siphons or pumps as most people have already posted.

+1.  We are Homebrewers. We are have ingenuity bred into us by necessity;)
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Jimmy K on January 15, 2014, 01:05:33 AM
If the concern is hurting yourself (as opposed to avoiding aggravating an existing injury) just doin git correctly is the best bet.
I would argue that it's impossible to lift a carboy in and out of a chest freezer correctly. The wall prevents you from getting it close to your body or using your legs.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: fyouberg on January 15, 2014, 02:04:11 AM
Like to add that I built a shelf in each of my 7cu freezers so that the buckets are off the bottom and I don't have to bend over very far.
This is a good common sense suggestion. Thanks. I don't get the suggestions for an upright freezer. All the ones I've seen have the coils as integral parts of the shelves. No room to accommodate a 5 g carboy.  Upright refrigerators yes. Is there any reason to consider a freezer superior to a refrigerator? We don't actually ever take fermentation down to 0 degrees do we?
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 15, 2014, 02:19:04 AM

Is there any reason to consider a freezer superior to a refrigerator? We don't actually ever take fermentation down to 0 degrees do we?

I crash at 32° often. Some argue that freezers are more efficient due to thicker insulation. Compared to chest freezers, upright freezers are expensive new. That said, my next ferm fridge will be an upright.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: euge on January 15, 2014, 03:34:55 AM
Also, with an upright fridge/freezer every one opens the door the cold air flows out. So it'll cost a bit more in kW. I can see placing a carboy or bucket into an upright just as or more awkward to handle and dangerous to the back as a chest freezer.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: troybinso on January 15, 2014, 03:56:07 AM
If you are putting carboys into the chest freezer then get an orange carboy cap which has two holes. You can put a racking cane in the big hole and add co2 through the little hole and the beer will flow out through the racking can into a keg, secondary or bottle. This way you don't have to lift the full carboy out of the freezer which can be pretty tough.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: yso191 on January 15, 2014, 04:10:59 AM
Also, with an upright fridge/freezer every one opens the door the cold air flows out. So it'll cost a bit more in kW. I can see placing a carboy or bucket into an upright just as or more awkward to handle and dangerous to the back as a chest freezer.

I have no desire to argue, but I think it would be much easier to get a carboy or conical in and out of an upright than a chest freezer.  There is no wall to lift it over, and you can snuggle right up against whatever you are lifting.  Additionally the bottom of an upright is a foot-plus off the floor height already, so one would just have to grab, slide it out and set it down.

I intend to pump into the conical in my upright, then gravity drain it into a keg.  No heavy lifting needed.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: euge on January 15, 2014, 04:55:10 AM
I think a conical indeed would be easier. A heavy glass carboy no- unless it was in a crate. I just think picking up something heavy then extending the weight forwards seems hazardous to the back. Especially while crouching. Anyway, pushing something instead of heaving forwards would be better.

I had considered putting wheels on my freezers and rolling them around. Can a conical of decent size even fit inside a chest freezer?
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: klickitat jim on January 15, 2014, 10:58:51 AM
Other than the obvious difference, there's an invisible difference. Uprights spill all the cold air when you open. Chests not so much
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: AmandaK on January 15, 2014, 12:43:05 PM
If everyone is so concerned with the chest freezer vs back thing, why not use wine coolers for each fermenter?

I have three of those for fermenting and can control each fermenter individually.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: tommymorris on January 15, 2014, 01:16:01 PM
There is a guy in this thread from another forum demoing racking from a Speidel from inside a chest freezer using CO2.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=5824124
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: cornershot on January 15, 2014, 01:19:10 PM
I use uprights for fermentation and serving. They are easy to get heavy things in and out of. Uprights are the best. But I guess if I used chest freezers, then they would be the best. There are pros and cons to both and care must always be used when lifting. I like the wine cooler suggestion but I'm a poor boy and those are difficult to find used.

Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Hokerer on January 15, 2014, 02:05:27 PM
If everyone is so concerned with the chest freezer vs back thing, why not use wine coolers for each fermenter?

Because they're wine coolers, silly.  They won't cool beer. :)
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: euge on January 15, 2014, 02:22:04 PM
There is a guy in this thread from another forum demoing racking from a Speidel from inside a chest freezer using CO2.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=5824124

I like that. That must be the 60L but according to the spec it shouldn't fit in the freezer. Mine is only 15" wide and the speidel is 15.75". Perhaps all freezers are not exactly the same but that looks like a 7cu- same as mine. It does look like the sides are touching the walls.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: HydraulicSammich on January 15, 2014, 08:01:29 PM
This works for me!(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/16/qy2epera.jpg)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 15, 2014, 08:37:30 PM
This works for me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was wondering when somebody would pop in with an engine hoist.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: AmandaK on January 15, 2014, 09:03:14 PM
This works for me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was wondering when somebody would pop in with an engine hoist.

That is the cleanest engine hoist I've ever seen, especially in a kitchen. I'm not even mad, I'm impressed.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: beersk on January 15, 2014, 09:52:07 PM
That's crazy! Just when you thought you've seen it all...
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Slowbrew on January 15, 2014, 10:11:38 PM
It must be a big block carboy.  Probably has a 4 barrel carburetor.   ;D

Paul
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: HydraulicSammich on January 15, 2014, 10:42:27 PM
Well, sorry everyone!  I must admit, I did Photoshop Miley out of there.  But, I am still calling it Wreckin' Ball IPA!
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 15, 2014, 10:54:47 PM
Well, sorry everyone!  I must admit, I did Photoshop Miley out of there.  But, I am still calling it Wreckin' Ball IPA!

 ;D
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: klickitat jim on January 16, 2014, 12:09:09 PM
Miley? Must be a lambic
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: ibru on January 16, 2014, 03:53:50 PM
I got one of those hoists last year. I use it to lift the mash tun when it's got hot, wet grain in it. Many other uses around the shop where I can't get the tractor loader.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: AmandaK on January 16, 2014, 04:15:26 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/qenepyda.jpg)

Here's my solution to the "I can't lift heavy things" problem. Individual control, don't need to lift over a freezer wall, can easily get down to 35-40 for crashing and they all have pretty tinted glass so I can look at the beers but not a lot of light gets in. :)
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 16, 2014, 04:26:00 PM
Here's my solution to the "I can't lift heavy things" problem. Individual control, don't need to lift over a freezer wall, can easily get down to 35-40 for crashing and they all have pretty tinted glass so I can look at the beers but not a lot of light gets in. :)

That's nice Amanda. Did you score them used?
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: AmandaK on January 16, 2014, 04:47:01 PM
Here's my solution to the "I can't lift heavy things" problem. Individual control, don't need to lift over a freezer wall, can easily get down to 35-40 for crashing and they all have pretty tinted glass so I can look at the beers but not a lot of light gets in. :)

That's nice Amanda. Did you score them used?

I bought two of them new and another off Craigslist. Not bad when they were new though, on sale for $120 two or so years ago.
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Stevie on January 16, 2014, 04:56:33 PM

I bought two of them new and another off Craigslist. Not bad when they were new though, on sale for $120 two or so years ago.

That's a steal!
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: bluesman on January 16, 2014, 05:43:47 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/qenepyda.jpg)

Here's my solution to the "I can't lift heavy things" problem. Individual control, don't need to lift over a freezer wall, can easily get down to 35-40 for crashing and they all have pretty tinted glass so I can look at the beers but not a lot of light gets in. :)

Very nice setup!
Title: Re: Chest freezer concern
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 16, 2014, 09:43:09 PM
It must be a big block carboy.  Probably has a 4 barrel carburetor.   ;D

Paul

That's a four barrel carbonator, pal.