Author Topic: Freezer connundrum  (Read 1053 times)

Offline euge

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Freezer connundrum
« on: April 08, 2011, 11:39:23 AM »
I have a 5cf freezer that held ice-packs, hops and food. The original intent was to make ice for wort chilling and to keep my fermentations cool. The fermentation aspect has worked quite well with a little trial and error, but involves a twice daily ice-pack swap.

Therefore, I can't brew and then go out of town. Have to monitor the temps. :( Thus, I tried the TEC approach, but also involves ice-packs at least once a day as the weather has warmed up. This is OK in a pinch, but still relates to the original problem.

So I emptied and cleaned out my little freezer with the intent of fermenting in it. The hops and food went into my fridge's freezer. Jammed full, I almost can't open he door without sh!t falling out and it's difficult to access my food.

I WANT MY FREEZER BACK!

So, I've tentatively decided to buy another freezer. The goal is to fit two 7.9 gallon buckets in there side by side. They measure 14" across and 16" tall. So the space needs to be at least 29" wide. Can't fit 2 in the 5cf freezer without modifying with a collar, and I'm not so keen about stacking my fermenters on top of each other.

Do ya'll think a 7cf fridge will do the trick? Experiences with this? Advice?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline EHall

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 11:49:38 AM »
You need at least a 15cf chest freezer if you go that route. For an upright, I think you would be pushing it with anything below an 11cf.
Phoenix, AZ

Offline hokerer

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 01:01:48 PM »
An option I'm considering is building a fermentation chamber next to the freezer with a pair of openings through the collar to connect the freezer and the chamber.  A thermostat/controller controlling a fan on the "cold air in" opening would pull cold air from the freezer into the chamber.  The other opening would be the air return to the freezer.  That way I'd have a fermentation chamber that doesn't need babysitting (changing ice bottles, etc.) AND I can still keep hops and such in the freezer.

Sort of an "Automated Son-of-Fermentation-Chiller on steroids"
Joe

Offline Pinski

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 01:45:36 PM »
I have a 5cf freezer that held ice-packs, hops and food. The original intent was to make ice for wort chilling and to keep my fermentations cool. The fermentation aspect has worked quite well with a little trial and error, but involves a twice daily ice-pack swap.

Therefore, I can't brew and then go out of town. Have to monitor the temps. :( Thus, I tried the TEC approach, but also involves ice-packs at least once a day as the weather has warmed up. This is OK in a pinch, but still relates to the original problem.

So I emptied and cleaned out my little freezer with the intent of fermenting in it. The hops and food went into my fridge's freezer. Jammed full, I almost can't open he door without sh!t falling out and it's difficult to access my food.

I WANT MY FREEZER BACK!

So, I've tentatively decided to buy another freezer. The goal is to fit two 7.9 gallon buckets in there side by side. They measure 14" across and 16" tall. So the space needs to be at least 29" wide. Can't fit 2 in the 5cf freezer without modifying with a collar, and I'm not so keen about stacking my fermenters on top of each other.

Do ya'll think a 7cf fridge will do the trick? Experiences with this? Advice?

Hey Euge,
Check out the Holiday 7 cf model available at Lowes. It runs about $170. The specs are on line. I think it will be a close fit if it works due to the "step" on the bottom that houses the compressor. This is the model I used for my kegerator project.
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline euge

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Got my freezer back!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 04:31:14 PM »
Thanks Pinski. Went to Lowes and in my area the Holiday 7cf is $199. The dude offered me $10 off so I walked out with it.

Set it up and this is perfect!


Built a little platform for the buckets to rest upon. Have a case fan in there gently stirring the air around. Monitoring the temps I'm getting so chuffed. My brewing horizon just expanded. Just think... Lagering. Cold crashing a fermenter before racking. Brewing before a trip. Most importantly, the beer ferments at the temp I choose. :)

So I got my freezer back! ;D Hops, BBQ and corn. What could be better.


This is virgin territory for me. Got a few questions that might get asked. Over the years my attention to the "freezer" threads has been subpar. Time to brush up.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tubercle

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 04:51:44 PM »
You have climbed another round up the ladder of beer perfection ;D

 Looks good....
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline Pinski

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2011, 05:00:15 PM »
Nice!
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline tygo

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2011, 05:28:19 PM »
Very nice.  You're going to be very happy with that purchase.  Having that level of control over your fermenting temps just makes things so much easier.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline punatic

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2011, 05:46:59 PM »
Try your local Sears warehouse.  They have scratch & dent items that are new and carry OEM warranties.  I bought a 22cf chest freezer for $200 off original price.  It had one small, but deep, but harmless, butt ugly dent on its front panel. I called it my $200 dent.  I had it for ten years, but gave it to my sister when I moved to Hawaii.  She still has it.  It still works great as a deep freezer.

I used a Johnson Controls 4E047 external thermostat to control the temperature.  I used that freezer for lager fermentations, C-keg beer service, and the compressor shelf for storing some of my valuable purchased beer stash.  

<edit>  In June of 2009 I bought three of these controllers on eBay for $50 plus $15 shipping. ($65 total for all three delivered).  All three are working great (so are the two that came with me to Hawaii).  It looks as if the price has gone up a bit, but this controller works really well.  Every one I've ever owned is still working fine.

I know - I know... they are analog contollers.   ::)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 07:07:44 PM by punatic »
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Offline euge

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011, 06:25:26 PM »
I'm using an analog Johnson A19AAT-2. Any advice with this controller? I set the freezer to max. It kicks on about every 30 minutes or so.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline punatic

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Re: Freezer connundrum
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 07:04:27 PM »
Good choice.  It looks like the same controller only with a tighter control range (20 - 80F as compared to -30 - 100F) than the 4E047.  Both control in the desired range.

Advice?  Don't kink the sensor tube.  The sensor tube should be fine laying between the top of the freezer wall and the seal strip on the lid of the freezer (Don't cut any holes!) Place the sensor away from the interior walls of the freezer.   Other than that you're good to go.  That controller should be around for a long time.

If you have high humidity you might want to put some DampRid containers in there to catch the condensate.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 07:15:18 PM by punatic »
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