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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through July 12, 2004 * Chest Freezer for Ales in FL < Previous Next >

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Mike McNeil
Junior Member
Username: Macster

Post Number: 91
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 03:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looking to purchase a chest freezer to ferment primarily ales (60 - 70 degree range). Would have the freezer in a garage here in NE FL, so you can imagine it gets pretty hot during the long summers. I'm currently fermenting in an old fridge which is on its last legs, so I already have the external temp controller.

Is there anything I need to do special to ensure proper function and prevent any problems with this set-up? I recall reading a post awhile back that recommended caulking all the seams with silicon to prevent condensation leaks perhaps? Is this necessary and would there be anything else I would need to do?

Thanks all for your input!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 116
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 10:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You might want to place a pan of commercial desiccant in the bottom of the freezer. Once a week or so you can dry it out in the oven. This does a fair job of removing the excess condensation you are sure to have in Florida.
 

Mike McNeil
Junior Member
Username: Macster

Post Number: 93
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - where would one find "commercial dessicant"? I've seen stuff that you would use in closets, etc. to keep them dry. Would this be what you're referring to?
 

Mike McNeil
Junior Member
Username: Macster

Post Number: 95
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - where would one find "commercial dessicant"? I've seen stuff that you would use in closets, etc. to keep them dry. Would this be what you're referring to?
 

Bill Freeman/ER
Junior Member
Username: Elderrat

Post Number: 43
Registered: 10-2001
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try a local Home Despot or Blowes.
Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat
KP Brewery - home of "the perfesser"
Birmingham, AL
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 792
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 08:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HD or Blowes would only have the non-rechargable desicants. Damp rid requires the liquid condensate be dumped and the chemical replaced every week or so. A better option would be silica gel used to dry flowers. Try a Michael's or Hobby Lobby type store. Last time I got some it came in a can about a foot tall. Also the little packets that come in electronic equipment are a simular material.
 

ScottDeW
Member
Username: Scott

Post Number: 130
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 03:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hunting supply stores have it in canisters that can be "recharged" with a short visit to an oven.

Check out the accessories for gun safes. I've a large canister in mine to protect my, uh, protection.

Remember, a sportsman, when he goes to the happy hunting grounds, hopes his wife does not sell his guns for what he told her he paid for them.
---
Scott
http://texanbrew.com
 

David Beckerdite
Member
Username: Darkislandfan

Post Number: 200
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 04:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey ScottD is that a Browning Trojan you're protecting?
Nothing better to do....I think I'll go brew!
David B
 

ScottDeW
Member
Username: Scott

Post Number: 131
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gotta' protect the "Member" status.
---
Scott
http://texanbrew.com
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 381
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike,

Damp Rid works fine for me in Tampa. Pick up a refill box or two so you will have it when you need it.

Don
 

Mike McNeil
Junior Member
Username: Macster

Post Number: 97
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don:

How often do you have to change the Damp-Rid out? Also, do you need it only during the hot weather or all year 'round?

Thanks!
 

Pacman
Member
Username: Pacman

Post Number: 210
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It get's hot and humid enough here in Indiana in the summer and Damp Rid has worked great at keeping the moisture out of both my fermentation freezer and my kegerator... I keep several tubs of it in each freezer, like maybe 3-4 in each... I've had 4 carboys in primary at one time in my fermentation freezer and the DampRid handled the moisture beautifully.... I dump out the water and replace the Damp Rid when I notice it's getting low which probably occurs once every couple of months... I keep them in year round although it's not needed in my kegerator in the winter months... I do what Don does and just keep an extra refill box around so i have it when needed...
Damn Brewing's Fun!!!!
 

Joseph Listan
Junior Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 83
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try disposable diapers. They will hold a half gallon each. Tear them open to get the gel crap out, put it in a bowl and leave enought room for it to expand, then put the bowl in the ferment chamber.

I don't have to tell you where you can get them, do I?
 

David S.
Junior Member
Username: Dsundberg

Post Number: 68
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

New diapers or used diapers?
 

Hophead
Advanced Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 892
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

New...

I use the dessicant packets that come in powdered/tablet chlorine, but I generally keep the freezer below 40, or in the low 50s for lagering.

Quite frankly, if the main purpose is to ferment ales, and not to cold condition, lager, and/or serve, you'd be much better off with a refridgerator...
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 382
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike,

I just keep dumping out the (salt) water and adding more Damp Rid. One of the 1-2 gallon size refills lasts 3-4 months. I use it year-round since I never know which 3 weeks will be cool and dry.

Don
 

Matt Peterson
Junior Member
Username: Fstbttms

Post Number: 71
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hophead wrote:
Quite frankly, if the main purpose is to ferment ales, and not to cold condition, lager, and/or serve, you'd be much better off with a refridgerator...

I disagree. The chest freezer type configuration is much more useful than an upright design, such as you would find in a refrigerator. My 17 cubic foot chest freezer will hold 10 cornies or 5 cornies and 2 6.5 gallon carboys plus a case of bottled commercial beers and assorted glassware regardless of keg/carboy configuration. Show me a refrigerator that will do that. I use my freezer for both fermenting and dispensing simultaneously. I keep the freezer at about 48 degrees with an analog controller for dispensing and for fermenting my carboys wear neoprene parkas each with a 40 watt thin-film heater between the glass and neoprene. These heaters are run by separate digital temp. controllers. I find this setup works great.
 

Brew Lab
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewlabs

Post Number: 496
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i live in virginia and will keep the freezer (when i get one) in my basement which keeps a constant 70-72 degrees in the summer. Will i need to worry about condensation?
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 383
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brew Lab,

My theory is moisture = mold and other small critters. And rust.

Don
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 135
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 02:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Brew Lab, condensation can be a problem in freezers used for fermentation and lagering. A humid climate only aggravates the situation. Moisture collects in the bottom and eventually can cause rust, shortening the life of the freezer. It's best to use some kind of desiccant to reduce the problem.
 

Mike McNeil
Junior Member
Username: Macster

Post Number: 98
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The main reason for considering a chest freezer is simply more room and flexibility. I can just fit 2 6 gal. carboys in my current fridge, whereas in a large chest freezer it appears you could probably get at least 4 in. Also, my fridge is old and tired and I think one gets more value from a freezer as compared to what a fridge costs.

Finally, not that I won't ever brew lagers in the future, I just prefer ales and frankly haven't posessed the patience to lager a beer for 3+ months.

If I do go the chest freezer route I hope using the dessicant will prevent a condensation problem. I've recently read postings on various brew sites of chest freezers used in this manner meeting an early demise.