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Author Topic: Refrigerator vs. Freezer  (Read 1603 times)

Offline Mojopin71

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Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« on: December 22, 2020, 05:01:26 pm »
Hey all!  I'm the new guy to the forum and am just getting back into brewing.  My experience is limited and am sure my questions will seem trivial to most.   I just recently purchased the Anvil Foundry system and I'm really into Belgian tripels and lagers.   That being said,  I'm looking to pick up a cheap used fridge or freezer and am looking for opinions on either.   I see some recipes that say to cold condition at 33 degrees.   I live in middle TN and it gets quite hot here in the summer and unit would be kept in the garage.   Would a fridge stay cold enough?    Seems like used fridges are more readily avail and cheaper.   All suggestions are greatly appreciated.   Thanks all.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 05:13:58 pm »
Since you live in Tennessee, I would suggest that you get a chest freezer and a temperature controller. This will allow you to ferment in the middle of the summer where temperatures are high and allow you to cold crash beers. Keeping fermentation temperatures in the correct range is crucial in making good beer. Sometimes you can find used chest freezers for a good deal.


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Offline Mojopin71

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 08:21:08 pm »
Thanks a bunch.   That's what I was thinking.

Offline Mojopin71

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 08:22:14 pm »
Thanks a bunch.   That's what I was thinking.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2020, 05:42:43 am »
I will give you a word of advice.  A cheap used freezer will cost you more than a new freezer in the long run due to higher energy use.  As far as to currently available new garage-ready freezers,  GE "garage ready" chest freezers are the best bang for the buck.  The 7.0 cu. ft and 5.0 cu. ft GE chest freezers are both under $300.00.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2020, 06:21:37 am »
Agree the power savings of a new freezer will save you money compared to a cheap used one. That said, an upright freezer will save you a lot of lifting. Chest freezers are great but pulling 5 gallons in and out can be a challenge on the back. And it may not even fit some options like conicals.

Offline Mojopin71

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2020, 08:42:17 am »
That's my dilemma.  I want to eventually get a conical and measurements look a little tall for a chest freezer, so I'll probably go with upright.   After researching, people are asking stupid prices for old used ones so yes,  I'd be better off buying cheap new one.  Thanks for all of the input.

Offline chinaski

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2020, 09:13:29 am »
I have an upright freezer for food and it has cooling coils built into the shelves making them non-movable.  Not sure this is a typical design, but it wouldn't work for beer at all.

Offline denny

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2020, 10:14:05 am »
Agree the power savings of a new freezer will save you money compared to a cheap used one. That said, an upright freezer will save you a lot of lifting. Chest freezers are great but pulling 5 gallons in and out can be a challenge on the back. And it may not even fit some options like conicals.

Unfortunately a lot of upright freezers have the cooling built into the shelves which limits capacity
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Offline denny

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2020, 10:14:27 am »
I have an upright freezer for food and it has cooling coils built into the shelves making them non-movable.  Not sure this is a typical design, but it wouldn't work for beer at all.

Yep, pretty typical
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2020, 01:43:14 pm »
I bought 4 about 10 years ago that held 4 - 42 gallon conical fermenters. Maybe there are still some options out there?

Offline jjflash

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2020, 07:12:11 pm »
I have several of both refrigerators and freezers in use.
Most purchased on Craigslist through the years.
The most important point in purchase is cubic feet and inside height / width.
For refrigerators look for single door, not french doors and freezer on the top.
Is it tall enough or deep enough for what I am going to use it for?
I look for 18+ cubic feet models.
Many new refrigerators are not tall / deep enough to hold a 14 gallon conical fermentor.
Many new freezers are not deep enough to hold barrels.
Take a tape measure.
Refrigerators or freezers both work well for fermentation chambers.
P.S.  Be prepared to become your own refrigerator repair man.

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Offline RC

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2020, 07:46:47 pm »
I live in middle TN and it gets quite hot here in the summer and unit would be kept in the garage. Would a fridge stay cold enough?

How hot does it get in your garage? Where I live, it sizzles May thru Sept. If it's 105 outside, then it's 105 in my garage by 5pm.

Fridges aren't really designed to maintain a ~60-70o differential, and so a fridge might be running all the time in your garage. This will shorten its life. A chest freezer with a controller would be better but will still be running more often in a hot garage that it's designed for. And do you park your car in your garage? If yes, add ~10o to the differential.

Energy efficiency and power savings are great but putting a fridge or chest freezer in a hot-summer garage for any meaningful length of time negates both.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2020, 07:49:53 pm by RC »

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2020, 06:25:51 am »
At that size, it is not just easier to use a glycol chiller?

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Refrigerator vs. Freezer
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2020, 06:28:21 am »
How hot does it get in your garage? Where I live, it sizzles May thru Sept. If it's 105 outside, then it's 105 in my garage by 5pm.

GE manufactures a collection of "garage ready" refrigerators and freezers that can operate from 38 to 110F.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 06:35:35 pm by Saccharomyces »