Author Topic: Chest Freezer for Fermentation  (Read 1087 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« on: December 13, 2014, 07:33:38 PM »
Close to purchasing a chest freezer and had some questions...

-Can I just buy a single stage temp. controller? Why would I need a dual stage?

-In Florida, for 9/12 months I'll need to cool down the beer.

-Someone posted earlier about a temp. controller in a chest freezer dropping too low so they had to counteract this with another heating device. Is this common?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 12:52:01 AM by flbrewer »

Offline etbrew

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Re: Chest Freezer
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 08:00:31 PM »
If the location of your freezer drops below the temperature you want to hold the temperature of the freezer then you should consider a heat source.  If it will always be warmer I would not worry about it.   

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Re: Chest Freezer
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 08:31:20 PM »
Even if the ambient temperature is a little lower than you want, just having active fermentation in an insulated chamber will keep it warm.
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Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Chest Freezer
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 12:35:54 AM »
I never had a prob with it dropping to low. It's the only way to go in my mind. 1 degree diff from placing prob/covered on side and thermowell inside.



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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2014, 12:54:22 AM »
Could you have ran that sensor without drilling a hole? I want to be able to just shut the lid w. out mods.

Offline JT

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 01:03:27 AM »
Yeah, you can easily just close the lid on those wires.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 01:46:22 AM by JT »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 01:07:50 AM »
Get dual control and a long living moderate heat source and be done with it. Yes you can drape cords across the lip and just close the lid.

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 02:29:50 AM »
That hole was through the plastic only. I did that only because I am type A:)


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Offline jeffy

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 02:42:53 AM »
In Florida you will not need a heater.  Single stage is fine.  I close the lid on my thermostat probe.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 03:11:27 AM »
The heater side works in harmony with the freezer to prevent going too low. With single stage it's possible that the freezer will run until the beer reaches the trip point then it shuts off. At that moment the beer is the right temp but the freezer is way lower. So your beer will continue to chill until everything equalizes and the thing starts warming up on its own. When the beer reaches the kick on temp again you start all over again. Dual stage eliminates that. My setup is a new Maytag 14cf with a morebeer dual stage ranco and a sunbeam 730-500 heat pad. The probe (beer temp) always reads within one degree of my set temp. It cycles very infrequently by the way. Its in my brewery shop so I'm there 6-8 hrs on brew day. During that time it might cycle 3 times. Its been on and running non stop since I bought it over a year ago.


Edit to add disclaimer... you dont NEED it. True. But you're looking at a difference of an extra $50 on a $500 purchase. Kind of like ordering a new car but getting one without hands free to save $50. You dont need hands free unless you have it and see how convenient it is.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 05:05:10 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline jmitchell3

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 03:37:18 PM »
In Florida you will not need a heater.  Single stage is fine.  I close the lid on my thermostat probe.
I second this. I'm in AZ, no need for a heater here, even when OAT is <60F day-round.

Offline duboman

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2014, 11:52:08 PM »
If you're handy Google stc-1000, I just built one for $31 compete, its dual stage which you don't need but its reliable, easy to build and cheap!
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Offline Stevie

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Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 12:01:50 AM »
If you're handy Google stc-1000, I just built one for $31 compete, its dual stage which you don't need but its reliable, easy to build and cheap!

+1. They can also be purchased pre-wired and re-flashed to read in Fahrenheit.

Found the link - http://www.blackboxbrew.com
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 01:43:58 AM by Steve in TX »

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 01:51:01 AM »
Bear in mind that the STC-1000 relays are rated for 10 A, and a decent-sized chest freezer will pull more than that on compressor startup. My first one went all melty on me.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Chest Freezer for Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 02:14:30 AM »
Odd. Mine has been going 3 or so years now without issue. I always meant to add a fuse for safety, but never got around to it. In line fuse holders for car stereo systems are simple to wire up.