Author Topic: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers  (Read 5222 times)

Offline davidgzach

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Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« on: March 29, 2012, 02:09:10 PM »
I've been searching Craig's List for a chest freezer to use for making lagers.  I want to make more than one lager every 3 weeks as I currently use our wine fridge.  I'm sure I can use a fridge as well though.  Which is better?  Chest Freezer vs Fridge.....

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 02:24:14 PM »
I think the biggest advantage a chest freezer has over a fridge is shelf strength.  The bottom of a chest freezer isn't going anywhere.  Depending on the shelving in a fridge you might need to do some serious remodeling inside to support more than a couple fermenters at a time.

I don't normally have more than one beer lagering at a time in my 16CF fridge.  More so because my wife and kids think they need to keep stuff in it too.  I wouldn't trust the glass shelves in it to hold too many batches at a time though.

IMHO - YMMV

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Offline tom

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 03:02:04 PM »
The more affordable one.
It is usually hard to find chest freezers on CL.  People usually keep them until they die.  Fridges though go in and out of style. It should be easy to get an avocado or harvest gold.  Sometimes just for taking it away.
Fridges and chest freezers have different shapes, so sometimes one will be a better fit than the other.  You need to lift the fermenter up and over the chest freezer side to get it in.  With a fridge, no sides.  6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 03:08:54 PM »
I think a fourteen cf chest freezer gives you lots of options to ferment, lager, store or dispense.
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Offline WDE97

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 04:53:05 PM »
Well, since I have both, I figure I'll chime in.  I use a 12cf chest freezer as a kegerator and my old 19cf refrigerator (w/bottom freezer) as a fermenter.  For me, the chest freezer works better as a kegerator since I can put more kegs in it, while using the fridge as a fermenter since I won't be lagering/cold crashing more than 1-2 carboys/kegs at a time. 

IMO the pros of a chest freezer are:  cheaper to purchase new, use less electricity, more sturdy floor/shelf space, better use of space (i.e. holds a lot more carboys, kegs, bottles, etc).

Pros of an upright fridge/freezer: cheaper to purchase used, much easier to get carboy's kegs in and out of, takes up less floor space. 

Only you can decide what will work best for your setup. Take into account things you might want to do in the long-term as well, such as expanding your production, moving to kegging, etc. The best solution right now might not be the best solution for you next year.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 05:54:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies!  WDE, good points.  I do keg and typically have 3-5 in my garage fridge at all times.  I have a dual tap on my bar in the basement so probably no expansion in the near future.  Taking everything in to consideration, I found an upright freezer on Craigs List for $49.  I think I'm going to buy it, transfer everything from my chest freezer in to it and use my chest freezer as my fermenter.  Thanks again to all!

Dave
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Offline oceanselv

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 05:22:57 PM »
I also have a chest freezer and a fridge.  My preferred method of lagering is in the fridge.   This is simply because I don't have to lift a full carboy in and out of the chest freezer.  To allow for using the fridge as a fermentor, I removed all the shelving in the fridge and built a 2 tier wooden shelf for the fridge.

That being said both the chest freezer and fridge will work equally as well to lager your beer.
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Offline bbkf

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 09:13:06 AM »
it may not seem like a good idea at first but I like to buy NEW.  They deliver it.  It may cost more up front but you get a warranty and most importantly, the energy savings will eventually give you your money back.

Offline oceanselv

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 10:55:46 AM »
it may not seem like a good idea at first but I like to buy NEW.  They deliver it.  It may cost more up front but you get a warranty and most importantly, the energy savings will eventually give you your money back.

Well said.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer...Abraham Lincoln

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy...... Ben Franklin

Offline bo

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 10:59:20 AM »
I've been using a Craigslist chest freezer for going on 3 years now. Saved a ton of money on it too. Just be careful and don't buy junk or something that's older than yourself.

Offline tom

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 11:03:46 AM »
I found an upright freezer on Craigs List for $49. Dave
!!!! Make sure that the shelves are removeable.  Some upright freezers have the cooling tubes in the shelves.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: Chest Freezer vs Fridge for Making Lagers
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 06:13:38 PM »
it may not seem like a good idea at first but I like to buy NEW.  They deliver it.  It may cost more up front but you get a warranty and most importantly, the energy savings will eventually give you your money back.

I bought my last two chest freezers new as well, but I have no disillusions of a warranty.  12" collars tend to void such things.  :)
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