Author Topic: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber  (Read 16972 times)

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2012, 07:13:18 AM »
kgs -- what did you ultimately do?

The problem with most small fridges is that the compressor is inside the box, so it destroys the footprint.  Freezers are better in that regard, but you need a temperature controller. 

You might go through restaurant and retail surplus lists and see if you can get an upright fridge with sliding or swinging glass doors, like how you buy cans of soda and the like.  True is one brand name I see often.  Probably called coolers.  New will be spendy, but who knows what you can get from an auction or liquidation.

When I was in Argentina, I saw people use those all the time.  Fermentation temperature control is a big issue in South America.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline kgs

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2012, 12:22:54 PM »
What I did was decide to mull things over a while and work on other brewing-related projects.  ;) (Put a ball valve in my kettle, got a March pump and used it for the first time -- awesome! -- and built and tested a hop spider.)

I'm mulling over small chest freezers--either new or what comes up on Craigslist. On the one hand, they would require lifting carboys in and out. On the other hand, it would put fermentation on this floor, so I would no longer have to lug full carboys to and from a garage. I'd still have to stick with small batches, but I'm ok with that.

A used upright fridge or wine cooler would be a good find. I've noticed Sears sells freezerless fridges. I will set up a couple of searches to ping me when things pop up. I assume when I get this I'll buy a dual-temp controller.

Meanwhile, I'm brewing recipes I know will come out well in the 62-64 degree temps in the garage, and considering a brew belt to get my Belgians tasting like Belgians.
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Offline euge

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2012, 12:27:45 PM »
What capacity are you looking for? You could get a 4cu fridge for a couple hundred and a single carboy (or bucket) will fit in nicely. You might not even need a controller if you play with the thermostat a bit. Remember it will try to stay at that temp set-point on it's own. You could also put the fridge on a timer so it will cycle on periodically and stay in the low 60's.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2012, 01:09:33 PM »
So far the 4cu fridges I've seen all have that problem Gordon notes -- the compressor hump. Is there a brand that doesn't?
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Offline euge

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2012, 01:31:54 PM »
Looking at mine... I don't see a problem except maybe with a fermentation lock. The hump is minimal but if it won't fit...

Total interior height is 29.5". Interior width is 19" and I have 22" from the hump to the top and the depth is over 16".

Can't remember off hand the dimensions of a carboy but it will take my 8 gallon buckets just fine.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2012, 02:41:17 PM »
What brand is it?
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Offline euge

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Re: Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2012, 03:07:12 PM »
What brand is it?

Sanyo 4912

You can get identical under other brand names. I think Haier makes them now.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Converting fridge or freezer to fermentation chamber
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2012, 08:10:47 PM »
I'll keep my eyes peeled for the 4+ fridges. Thanks!
K.G. Schneider
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