Author Topic: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?  (Read 1414 times)

Offline erockrph

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I'm finally getting fed up enough with bottling that I'm planning on biting the bullet and getting started with kegging. My issue is that there is no way I'm going to convince the wife to let me get another chest freezer. Right now I have a small (5 cu ft) chest freezer that I'm using as a fermentation chamber (mainly for lagers).

I know it's not ideal, but is it even feasible to be using one chest freezer for both a fermentation chamber and for kegs? It only fits 2 fermenters, and I'm thinking I might be able to fit three 2.5-gallon kegs on there. So when I have lagers in primary I generally won't have any room for kegs in the cooler. I'm thinking that when I'm planning on pulling the kegs out of the fridge I can just bottle a few beers off the kegs first, and otherwise start drinking down my commercial stockpile during that time.

One other question I had - is it possible to force-carbonate at room temp? Is there some sort of PSI/temperature/volumes of CO2 chart? This way I can free up fridge space for brews I'm actually drinking, or use it as a ferm chamber while a brew is carbing up.
Eric B.

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Offline restlesnativ

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 05:30:50 AM »
I can't offer any information on the chest freezer question. But I have found this carbonation chart to be very useful.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 06:17:25 AM »
Worst case, you can put the keg in a plastic tub with with ice water to cool it while you carb ,or obviously serve it that way in a pinch. The beer will dissolve CO2 into it a lot more readily when it's colder.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 06:33:50 AM »
I can't offer any information on the chest freezer question. But I have found this carbonation chart to be very useful.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

That's sure to come in handy. Thanks!
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline gmac

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 07:12:01 AM »
I've done that.  Left the kegs in the freezer but adjusted the temp up to 48 or so to ferment lagers.  No issues. I put some beer in a growler and into the fridge if I wanted it colder but I didn't have a problem with my beers at 48F to drink either. 

Then you can cool them all back down when you cold crash the yeast.
Biggest thing I found was my freezer would fill with CO2 because it was heavier than the air but a few flaps of the lid would clear it out.
Not sure how good it is for the freezer to run that warm, condensation is going to be a big problem for you because of the moisture from the fermenter.

I have carbed at room temp.  Takes longer and I would say it wasn't perfect but that's how cask conditioning works. 

Offline Jeff M

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 07:40:47 AM »
I think as long as you learn to schedule your brews and carbing correctly you could do this quite well.

Also, 2.5G kegs tend to be more expensive the used 5g kegs.  I know AiH had 3g pinlocks recently, might be worth checking in to. 
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Offline dkfick

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 07:43:10 AM »
Those 3 gallon pin lock kegs at Adventures are great.  Same thick high quality stainless as the other kegs you used to.  They obviously need to be cleaned etc...  I have 2 of them (won one in a competition and liked it so much I bought another)
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 07:57:29 AM »
Yup. i bought 4 on someones recommendation. I think it was yours:P
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 08:09:31 AM »
I like those prices.  But I don't "need" more kegs...
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Offline chezteth

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 09:36:43 AM »
I've done that.  Left the kegs in the freezer but adjusted the temp up to 48 or so to ferment lagers.  No issues. I put some beer in a growler and into the fridge if I wanted it colder but I didn't have a problem with my beers at 48F to drink either. 

Then you can cool them all back down when you cold crash the yeast.

+1  I've done this a few times and it seems to work well

Offline Pinski

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Re: One freezer - double duty as kegerator and fermentation chamber?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 10:29:29 AM »
Sometimes it's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

Get another freezer.  ;)
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