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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through July 09, 2009 * Refridgerator as fermentation chamber < Previous Next >

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Steve Anderson
Intermediate Member
Username: Steveinmemphis

Post Number: 299
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 216.37.68.121
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I see a lot of posts here about converting freezers to temperature controlled fermentation chambers by hooking up Johnson or Ranco controller to it. I have a couple of spare Refrigerator/Freezers in my garage that I keep beer and other stuff in. They both have the freezer on top and fridge on the bottom.

Is there any reason I could not put a temp controller on one of them and use it for a fermentation chamber?
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2614
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.248.74.254
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

nope.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2615
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.248.74.254
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will post pictures of my old fridge when I get home from work. It will show you how I made a bottom that will support carboys and fermenting buckets.
 

Patrick C.
Advanced Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 888
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 70.43.202.222
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 05:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It will work fine, but remember to take everything out of the freezer. I left a popsicle (or something like that) in my fermentation fridge after using it as a lifeboat when I had to fix the defrost timer on the main fridge. The sticky syrup ran out and made a mess, but I guess it could have been worse.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10365
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, what you propose is exactly what I'm doing with two old spare frdiges in my garage, sometimes using either or both for fermentation and/or lagering, and sometimes for serving. Of course they are well insulated and can be used for either heating (I use a reptile bulb) or cooling with the proper controller.

(Message edited by BillPierce on May 20, 2009)
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2204
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 98.239.20.117
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yep, that's what I do, too.
 

ChriSto
Advanced Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 557
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 07:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I actually still utilize my side-by-side unit as fridge and freezer (a compromise with the wife). I set the fridge side at the highest temp setting and shut off the freezer recirc at the bottom where the crisper units were, and can keep the fridge at 46-47F on the top rack - just enough to ferment my lagers, and 45-46F on the bottom rack where I can keep up to 3 kegs.

The freezer maintains about 5-10F temp, so ice cream is not rock hard but it works fine for our needs (pizzas, bread, hops, occassional turkey).
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3679
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.199.10.66
Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When you take out the plastic crisper and meat drawers you'll see that there is a sloped part in the back of the fridge where the compressor is. Bob's refering to having to make a new flat surface to sit carboys and keg on. I just used some plywood that sits on the top of the slope in the back and made some 2x4 legs to support it in the front. Even though I made it as low as possible I can barely fit a 5 gal keg in. It's got a lip at the top in the front that I could probably cut out but haven't been bothered enough by it yet to do so.
 

Chris Storey
Junior Member
Username: Stuts

Post Number: 75
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 76.75.114.70
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am in the process of doing that right now. I heard I need to drill a hole in the side for a blow-off hose. Is this necessary?


Chris
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2617
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 98.192.7.62
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here are photos of mine:





The base is made of 1/2" plywood and six short lengths of 2x4's. The 2x4's were ripped to shorten their height to make the floor panel level. They are screwed and glued from the top. I covered the top with white formica so carboys and buckets slide easy, and painted the base & legs white. I have one hole in the side for the temperature probe, and have it sealed with insulation spray foam.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10369
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob, that looks a lot like one of my old fridges, right down to the avocado paint job. Is yours an Amana 20 cu. ft. model? Mine will hold up to six corny kegs.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 902
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 173.9.91.69
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 04:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have that same fridge but mine is White Whirlpool
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2618
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 98.192.7.62
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 06:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is a Sears Kenmore Coldspot. From the serial tag code I think it is a 1982 model.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3681
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.199.10.66
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pretty sure Kenmore is made by Whirlpool.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2621
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 98.192.7.62
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 07:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

yes, kind of like a Pontiac Grand-AM and a Chevy Malibu. Same assembly line for the body and engine, different line for the interior, seats, and paint.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1312
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.57.245.38
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 01:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As it is another type of corny keg fridge shelf I thought I would add my set up to this thread.

fridge shelf

This is a late '80s GE model. The shelf has a lower front level. There is a compressor "hump" in the back that I had to accomodate, hence the two levels. The front is sitting on two molded-in bumps that the veggie and meat drawers originally sat on. There is a center support for the front shelf and one for the rear shelf. The back of the rear shelf sitts right on the hump, all the way across. Made of painted 1/2" plywood and 1x2's. I'd say it must be about 7-8 yrs old so its due for a coat of paint.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2624
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 98.192.7.62
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 01:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Old Style! Good on ya!
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 605
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 67.167.4.225
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 03:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You know, the CAP I made recently tastes like a really good Old Style.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1313
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 12.2.161.11
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 02:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That Old Style 4-pack is probably 4 yrs old. I only use beer like that for covering yeast cakes, when necessary. No guests or anybody ever asks for it.

BTW, the two levels make it harder to put a carboy in there. I had one in there a month or so ago. The keg on the left/rear was out and a 2x4 on the front shelf leveled it enough to put a carboy in.
 

Will Hearne
New Member
Username: Will

Post Number: 22
Registered: 01-2009
Posted From: 4.255.49.118
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 05:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have an old refrigerator I use to ferment in. Temperature is controlled by a double action thermostat I purchased from The Granger catalog. It is wired to two AC outlets and will energize only one at a time. The refrigerator is on one outlet, the second goes to two heat pads stuck on the inside side walls. The cord to the heat pads is ran through the wall along with some thermocouple leads.

With this arrangement as soon as the box has warmed enough to turn off the heat pads it turns on the refrigerator and starts cooling down and the instant it turns off the refrigerator the heat is back on. The dead band on the thermostat is 4 degrees F. and with some over shoot ambient in the box varies 6 degrees.

I can control ambient temperature from 35 to 75 degrees F with a 6 degree band width. I set it to the high temperature I want, say 45 and it will stay at 39 to 45. A carboy of fermenting wort at this setting will be stay 46 and though it does drop a bit below that it is so little I can,t measure it.
Will
 

Jeff Preston
Intermediate Member
Username: Jeffpreston

Post Number: 390
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 142.161.167.92
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 - 01:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Serving FridgeI just rested plywood on the shelf guides. It will support 4 cornies no problem.
 

Bob Boufford
Intermediate Member
Username: Bobb

Post Number: 431
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 96.52.216.245
Posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 - 12:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff, Without even looking at your profile, I can tell you are Canadian by the Mott's Clamato bottle for making Ceasars.
 

Jeff Preston
Intermediate Member
Username: Jeffpreston

Post Number: 391
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 142.161.161.12
Posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ahh,Good eye.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10377
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caesar...a bloody mary with a Canadian accent, eh?!
 

Brewzz
Advanced Member
Username: Brewzz

Post Number: 655
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.112.116.217
Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have that same color Sears coldspot for my fermenter too...identical.
Cheers,Brewzz