Author Topic: Extending the life of chest freezers question  (Read 4565 times)

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2013, 09:37:36 PM »
$35 will buy you a brand new 12.5-13 cu ft freezer at Sears or Lowes.
$350. ;)
I just saw that too.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline jjdura

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 04:11:00 AM »
Getting back to the original question - I bought a cheap frigidaire chest freezer from Lowes in 2001.  It's been in continous use (with a Johnson analog contoller set at 40*) since then and it's still going strong.  I bought a really cheap refurbished one before that and it only lasted 3 mos.  Buy cheap buy twice ;)

Offline dean_palmer

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 10:22:26 AM »
I have had good luck buying used on Craigslist over the past decade, and $100 is about the max I've paid for some very nice units. Hard to say how someone has treated the units, but I have bought them looking almost new every time. They are recent units so the power usage is mostly irrelevant. Never had one fail.

I use the Ranco ETC111000 and have it set at a few degrees variance, and always attach the probe to the fermenter as that is what you want to control. The fact that you have the probe attached to the large volume of liquid removes the danger of short cycles as it takes a while for the temp to vary even for 5 gallon batches.

If you are using it for a kegerator keep the probe attached to a keg so your opening of the door doesn't instantly cause a cycle.

I'm guessing if more folks took some basic steps these fridges and freezers would last a lot longer for them. My current one was bought about 4 years ago and still going strong.



Offline joe_feist

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2013, 09:50:26 AM »
Timely thread. I need to replace a freezer that worked for 3 yrs or so. Considering buying new simply because the used one didn't last as long as I thought it should have. I never considered the short cycling - thanks for all the info on that. Checked out the ETC111000 on Amazon and has great reviews.

Question - has anyone ever sanitized the probe and dropped that in the fermentor versus attaching to the side of said carboy? I've read other threads out there about attaching to the carboy; putting the probe in a container next to the carboy, etc. But if it's sanitized would that not work just as well (better?)?

Thanks,
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2013, 10:48:04 AM »
DO NOT GET THE RANCO PROBE WET! Ask me how I know.  I use a ranco dual stage with a thermowell that goes inside the fermenter.  That also handles the short cycling problem.  In my keezer, the probe is in a thermowell - in a 20oz plastic bottle filled with water.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 10:50:41 AM by dak0415 »
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2013, 02:40:24 PM »
I stuck my probe in a block of solid foam insulation. The effect is the same as sticking it in liquid - the controller is slow to react to temperature changes - but without the mess of liquid.  This is in a keezer, not a fermentation chamber.
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Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2013, 03:33:14 PM »
DO NOT GET THE RANCO PROBE WET! Ask me how I know.  I use a ranco dual stage with a thermowell that goes inside the fermenter.  That also handles the short cycling problem.  In my keezer, the probe is in a thermowell - in a 20oz plastic bottle filled with water.

Yes DO NOT SUBMERGE THE PROBE IN ANY LIQUID.  I did a study with tapping my Johnson A-419 to the side of a 6.5 gallon glass carboy and in a thermowell on the same carboy with the same yeast at the same temp. There is a 1 degree difference between the 2.  Tapped version is 1 degree cooler than thermowell. So i offset my Johnson ;D to compensate. A Pic for ya
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:36:35 PM by quattlebaum »

Offline joe_feist

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2013, 03:39:03 PM »
Great. I was looking at the thermowell solution. It seemed so elegant and straightforward. But a 1* difference doesn't seem like a big deal either. Thanks for all the feedback. Now, just to figure on how to adjust the Johnson... :o
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2013, 05:34:54 PM »
My chest freezer is now 9 years old, it runs in my garage which routinely hit 110F in the summer and low 20's in the winter.  I didn't insulate the collar, and I even sheathed it in oak plywood, something I since learned is very bad.  I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2013, 06:37:58 PM »
My chest freezer is now 9 years old, it runs in my garage which routinely hit 110F in the summer and low 20's in the winter.  I didn't insulate the collar, and I even sheathed it in oak plywood, something I since learned is very bad.  I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.
Why is that bad?
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2013, 04:52:50 PM »
My chest freezer is now 9 years old, it runs in my garage which routinely hit 110F in the summer and low 20's in the winter.  I didn't insulate the collar, and I even sheathed it in oak plywood, something I since learned is very bad.  I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.
Why is that bad?
Freezers apparently dissipate heat through the outside walls. The plywood holds heat in.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2013, 05:52:21 AM »
My chest freezer is now 9 years old, it runs in my garage which routinely hit 110F in the summer and low 20's in the winter.  I didn't insulate the collar, and I even sheathed it in oak plywood, something I since learned is very bad.  I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.
Why is that bad?
Freezers apparently dissipate heat through the outside walls. The plywood holds heat in.
Oh, gotcha. I thought you just sheathed the collar in plywood.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline dean_palmer

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2013, 05:50:42 AM »
I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.

You can really improve your temp control by directly measuring what you are trying to control. Attach the probe to the side of the fermenter itself and cover it, or use a thermowell. Measuring the air in a bottle is inherently inaccurate as it doesn't properly represent the time it takes to change the temp of the mass of liquid that is your wort. It is only measuring the reaction of the air and that container. When this is important is where the fermentation is generating a lot of heat. By measuring the air in a bottle you are just creating a certain temperature in the fridge that is simply an ambient, but cannot react to the conditions in the wort.