Author Topic: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440  (Read 2142 times)

Offline kgs

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Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« on: January 13, 2013, 06:46:11 PM »
I'm considering using this fridge for a fermentation chamber (managed with a Johnson controller):

http://www.amazon.com/Danby-DAR440BL-4-4-Cubic-Designer-Refrigerator/dp/B002TKJTNI/

I ferment small (3-gallon-ish) batches primarily in 5-gallon food-safe buckets like these: http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_MS%20C101_A_name_E_5-Gallon+Bucket+with+Lid which I have drilled for airlocks. The buckets are approximately 12" in diameter and 15" high.

My question is the height from the compressor to the interior ceiling of the fridge. I haven't found one of these fridges in a store in the area to try out, and I'd prefer not to hassle with returns if I order it online. I wrote the manufacturer and they sent me a spec sheet, which was nice of them but it didn't precisely answer that question. (It did tell me that the exterior width/height/depth is approx 20"/32"/21", which suggests that it might work... and I saw a YouTube video where I thought, "that's this fridge!" and it was holding a fermenter.)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline lornemagill

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 09:09:53 PM »
the amazon danby link is contradicting.  it show a kegerator and a dorm fridge.  the kegerator would probably work but the dorm fridge may not due to the shelving in the door.  my kegerator is 24x24x36 and i have had to use it as a ferm chamber in a pinch.  my buckets came from sf brewcraft.  i think my 13 gallon brew cube even fits.  i dont remember the name of my kegerator

Offline Delo

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 08:57:59 AM »
I think I have the same model but the one with the "stainless" door in my garage. I originally bought it from Craiglist to convert into a kegerator, but the interior space was a little too limited for me. I threw in my bottling bucket and took a photo and some quick measurements.



The height from the compressor shelf to the controls in the center is about 18.5 inches and from the chill plate to the front with the door open is about 15 inches.  I'm not sure how far the shelving areas on the door come into the frig but my bucket will fit on the shelf heightwise but the door will not close with my bucket inside unless I cut the door shelves or like the amazon poster did for their kegerator conversion, replace the door interior with dry erase board.  I could double check my model and other dimensions if you want.... or I would suggest looking for one on Craigslist and checking it out. Around me that model comes up for sale a lot. Even if you dont buy it, you can get the measurements.  For what its worth, I have fermented in a corney keg in this unit with no problem.

Offline kgs

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 08:42:00 PM »
Wow, Delo, thank you! That was very kind! And I'll put an alert to track Craigslist.
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Offline euge

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 10:21:22 PM »
Dude Delo don't be so ghetto- find a piece of wood to slide in there. LOL I did the same bucket-stand thing in my kegerator with my first lager! A 8 gallon fermenter with no airlock just fit... Wish I had utilized it sooner.

kgs I used to believe in SF you wouldn't need ferm control since it has a mild climate but I'm seeing that reducing temp variations to a minimum is more important than previously thought. Hope one pops up soon.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 10:31:18 PM by euge »
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Delo

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 07:31:50 AM »
KGS
I'm glad it helped.
When searching Craigslist, use every possible way to spell refrigerator whether it is right or wrong.
Refrigerator, refridgerator, fridge, frig, etc.

Euge
Ghetto? You must not have read the first line where I said the “stainless” door.  Stainless appliances = fancy.   The toilet paper roll looking thing is actually a commercial paper towel roll I used to prop the bucket up so I could take that awesome blurry picture so that’s not as gross either. The dirt on the floor of the fridge… that’s a different story.
The wood I had on the floor of the Danby is being used in the Sanyo apartment refrigerator that was/is to be converted into a kegerator that is now in our living room with corney kegs and picnic taps inside.  My wife isn’t too happy about that. She doesn’t believe the stainless = fancy thing….or that it will ever be converted into a kegerator. 
I do like the idea of using a stand and the compressor shelf of the Danby to use it as a fermentation chamber.  This fridge worked well with a Johnson controller.  I’ll have to look into that. Thanks

Offline euge

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 08:18:49 PM »
Lol I have the "fancy" Sanyo 4912!
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: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 08:37:35 AM »
I can make good-enough ales in our garage year-round, but a) it still requires I lug beer down to the garage and back up again, and b) as Euge notes, it's impossible to dial in a specific temp. I'm fine with my ales changing a little with the season (so does my hair color) but the first point is the real driver. Keeping all of the activity on the same floor will take out one of the major hassles I have with brewing. Plus it makes some styles possible that weren't before.

Thanks for the search tips. I will do some keyword and Boolean magic with my search terms (I think I can safely leave off "icebox").
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Offline Delo

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 09:17:22 AM »
Ha! icebox....You never know!  If you are more set on the refrigerator instead of a freezer, I would recommend looking for the Sanyo 4912 too. This is what I have too, also the "fancy" version.  It may be harder to find, but it is bigger.  It fits my carboy on the frig floor and can close it without modifying the door.

Offline kgs

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 11:15:40 AM »
Chest freezers require lifting items in and out... I'm trying to avoid that. I've seen people talk about using slings and stuff but I feel that gets silly and requires a lot more equipment. Upright freezers, I'd need to get a big model to get the kind with movable shelves--money, space are issues there.  Thanks for the tip on the Sanyo 4912!
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Offline kgs

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 04:30:44 AM »
This fridge turns out to be $149 "cash and carry" at our local Costco. I didn't have a fermentation bucket with me, but I did study it a bit. If I could remove and replace the door panel, it wold work. Hmmm.
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Offline euge

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 08:13:03 PM »
Buuuy it!
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: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 08:53:05 AM »
Buuuy it!

It's tomorrow's task! I found a thread on HBT that had very clear photos of the conversion. It looks like the interior door panel needs to be cut away, not unscrewed, so I have to figure out if I need the tool described in the thread or can get away with something else for a one-shot job.
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Offline kgs

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Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 01:32:05 PM »
Update 1: Purchase done! Had a rebate check from CostCo so the fridge cost me about $100. Big thanks to the stranger who volunteered to muscle the fridge into my car.

Update 2: no mods needed for my purposes! Without removing anything other than the main shelves:

* A 5-gallon food-grade bucket with a standard airlock fits with plenty of clearance all around.
* A 5-gallon Better Bottle would fit if it had a silicon airlock.
* Two 3-gallon Better Bottle fermenters with silicon airlocks would work side-by-side, though with limited clearance between them.

Modding the door would allow more stuff to fit... can always do that someday. Met my primary goal, however.

I even put back most of the door shelves, since I will probably use the fridge to chill other things (Fermcap, etc.). I'm letting the fridge settle for a day before I turn it on (getting it home and into the apartment was its own interesting project). Next stop: temp controller!

No more dragging buckets up and down the stairs! Hello locked-in-temps! Guten tag, lagers!
K.G. Schneider
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