Author Topic: Refrigerator or chest freezer?  (Read 4350 times)

Offline denny

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Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« on: August 16, 2013, 01:41:07 PM »
Which is better for fermentation?  Will running a chest freezer at fermentation temps shorten its life?
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Offline beersk

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 01:45:35 PM »
If you're asking this, then I have no authority to answer...

I recently switched the roles of my chest freezer and kegerator (2 tap tower fridge). Built a collar for my chest freezer and use the fridge, with tower removed and holed plugged, for fermentation. I like it better. I would imagine that it's harder on the freezer's compressor to run it so warm, versus a fridge, which is usually set at a much warmer temp in general than a chest freezer.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 01:46:43 PM »
wow Denny. moving up in the world huh?
I have heard that it will shorten the life of a freezer to run at higher than normal temps but I think that if you can avoid too many short cycles it will be fine. The fridge is a problem because every time you open it all the cold falls out. course you don't have to lift buckets into the fridge.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 01:47:44 PM »
I can't answer with any authority, as I don't know, but I can't imagine it would.  You shouldn't be short cycling the motor which is where the wear and tear would come from.

My plan is to get an upright fridge because I don't look forward to lifting fermenters in and out of a chest freezer.  I see back pain when I think of that.  And I don't want to spend months rigging some sort of block and tackle in my basement to eliminate the lifting.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 01:51:48 PM »
I can't answer with any authority, as I don't know, but I can't imagine it would.  You shouldn't be short cycling the motor which is where the wear and tear would come from.

My plan is to get an upright fridge because I don't look forward to lifting fermenters in and out of a chest freezer.  I see back pain when I think of that.  And I don't want to spend months rigging some sort of block and tackle in my basement to eliminate the lifting.
This is why I switched and went the fridge route for fermenting and freezer for kegerator. Got tired of lifting carboys in and out of the freezer.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 01:53:08 PM »
One thing I have heard regarding chest freezers is moisture problem can develop because they do not manage moisture the same way refrigerators do, especially when maintaining temperatures higher than they are meant to be run. Whether this shortens the life or not I have no experience but the moisture issue is one I have seen addressed many times. It's my understanding the mold can develop on the inside and drainage of moisture can create issues externally depending upon its location.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 01:59:55 PM »
Damprid helps with the moisture and using thermowells helps with short cycles. I also keep the freezer as full as possible using 5 gallon buckets filled with water.

Offline denny

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 02:16:47 PM »
wow Denny. moving up in the world huh?
I have heard that it will shorten the life of a freezer to run at higher than normal temps but I think that if you can avoid too many short cycles it will be fine. The fridge is a problem because every time you open it all the cold falls out. course you don't have to lift buckets into the fridge.

Yeah, getting tired of carrying buckets up to the house to out them in a tub of water.  Yesterday the water overflowed onto new carpet and it was kinda the last straw.

Whichever I use for fermentation, I don't imagine it being opened too frequently.  If I go for the freezer, I'll put empty buckets in it and pump the wort in.
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Offline denny

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 02:27:05 PM »
How about preferences for a temp controller?  Johnson A419 or Ranco ETC-111000?
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Offline michaeltrego

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 02:31:12 PM »
I went with a used upright freezer for fermentation.  It helps to avoid lifting, and with a dual stage controller (Ranco ETC-211000) you can ale and lager to your heart's content.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 02:32:46 PM »
How about preferences for a temp controller?  Johnson A419 or Ranco ETC-111000?


STC-1000 but I want a BrewPi

Offline denny

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 02:36:53 PM »
How about preferences for a temp controller?  Johnson A419 or Ranco ETC-111000?


STC-1000

Is that Ranco?
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 02:47:57 PM »
I've got a Johnson A149 and it's been great and very simple to use.  I've only had it about two months though.  I picked up a chest freezer in June and have been happy using it as a fermentation chamber.  A little condensation does collect in there, but I just wipe it down when ever I open it up. 

I've been happy with the set up and since I did well before w/ controlling temps w/ wet t-shirts and fans, no real difference in the final product.  However, it's definitely a lot less work and less of a mess! 
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 02:50:27 PM »
How about preferences for a temp controller?  Johnson A419 or Ranco ETC-111000?


STC-1000

Is that Ranco?

Sorry, it's one of these from China. Pricing varies from $16-22 shipped. Only bad thing is it only reads in Celsius.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-All-Purpose-PID-Temperature-Control-Controller-STC-1000-W-Sensor-110V-/370773791107?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5653d71183

Wiring took all of 30 minutes. Pretty sure I followed this guys instructions, but there are loads more out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I-iwFLykxs

$50 worth of parts + 30 minutes = dual stage controller.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 02:55:52 PM »
Converting chest freezers to refrigerators is popular in the energy conservation crowd. Cold air stays in chest when opened. I guess they are far more efficient too. Read up on energy costs and conservation in Canada.