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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: my99thtry on February 25, 2011, 08:29:24 PM

Title: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: my99thtry on February 25, 2011, 08:29:24 PM
I was wondering if anyone here uses a kegerator for temperature controlled fermentation.  I have had issues finding a compact refrigerator that would work.  [I live in an apartment so things like chest freezers or full size refrigerators are out].

Obviously the dual fermentation/beer serving functionality also makes it appealing, even if I can't always do those at the same time.

If you do use a kegerator:
- Do you have a brand/model suggestion?
- Were there any problems with hooking up a secondary temperature controller?

Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: bluesman on February 25, 2011, 08:45:56 PM
I have two chest freezers. One is a 7.5cf Kenmore that I converted into a kegerator and the other is a 7.2cf Magic Chef equipped with a collar that I use for a fermentation chamber.

They both serve me well and I haven't had any issues with either of them. They are easy to use with a temperature controller like a Johnson Digital Controller A419 or a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller - Wired FE610. I have two Johnson DC A419's Just plug the freezer into the controller and then plug the controller into an outlet and away you go.

Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: tumarkin on February 25, 2011, 08:49:07 PM
your only concern will be whether you can fit the carboy/s into the kegerator. I'd imagine you can fit at least one. then as long as you're using a temp controller, you can easily keep it at your chosen fermentation temp.
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: dano14041 on February 26, 2011, 04:11:10 AM
I have a Haier mini-fridge I use. It is just big enough to accommodate a 6 gal Better Bottle. A 6.5 gal bucket fits with plenty of room.
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5300/5478166992_c250d6c36b.jpg)

I don't think a corny keg will fit between the compressor hump and door tho. Works great as a fermentation chamber, but won't do the double duty as a kegerator.

The towel covers the glass door to keep the light out, until I get around to painting it.
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: my99thtry on February 27, 2011, 03:41:41 PM
@dano14041, I like that mini-fridge setup. Can you pass along the model number of that fridge?  And if you have an estimate on the internal dimensions then that could also be helpful. 

Thanks
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: dano14041 on February 27, 2011, 05:54:17 PM
Sorry took so long.
The Fridge is 4.0 CF Model HC125FVS
The outside dimensions are 33 1/3" X 19 3/4" X 19 3/4."
Inside dimensions are 29 1/4" X 17"X 14 1/4" (H x W x D)
The compressor hump takes up 5" of depth and 8 1/2" of height from the back and the actual usable width is about 16 1/2"
I don't know the price for the fridge new or used. I took this one out of my sisters storage shed and she hasn't missed it yet.  ;)

On a whim I tried to put a keg in the fridge......
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5482763880_9f963d7643.jpg)
It Fit! for some reason I had it in my head that it wouldn't so I had never tried to put one in it.  ::)

Unfortunately, with the flanges for the shelves, a second keg will not fit. (Well ball lock kegs, I don't have or remember the dimensions of a pin lock keg.)

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: my99thtry on February 27, 2011, 11:39:45 PM
Great information.  That really helps.

Anyone else out there use a similar setup?
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: Pi on February 28, 2011, 05:21:54 PM
Ditto on the Johnson controller. I took the shelf panel out of the door on one of my "college style" refridgerators and a carboy just fits. when lagering 2 carboys or a larger batch i switch to the chest freezer. I rigged a block & tackle harnessed to a Beer Hauler for lifting. Works pretty sweet.
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: triturtle on March 07, 2011, 07:54:14 PM
I want to do the same thing, but only have one of the really small min-fridges. Has anybody had any luck in "blowing this out" to make a large enough box to put a carboy into?
I was thinking of just making an insulated wooden box using the cooling system from the mini-fridge and a digital controller to keep the temp at 68ish.
Title: Re: Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
Post by: a10t2 on March 08, 2011, 12:35:27 AM
I want to do the same thing, but only have one of the really small min-fridges. Has anybody had any luck in "blowing this out" to make a large enough box to put a carboy into?

Yup, there are quite a few discussions out there, and I'm pretty sure I've even seen some parts lists/plans.

http://www.google.com/search?q=mini+fridge+fermentation+chamber