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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > best refrigerator
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:17 PM   #1
Beerdoc
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Default best refrigerator

What is the best arrangement for a refrigerator if you want to use it as a fermentation cooler...side by side or freezer on top or freezer on bottom? The one I'm looking at is freezer on top, but I don't know if my wife could use the freezer part (may be the only way I can talk her into the additional expense) while I use the fridge part for temps controllable from 35F to 70F for lagers or cold fermenting ales. I'm worried that if the freezer is going to stay cold enough to keep things frozen, the fridge part would get too cold.

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Old 03-21-2006, 08:31 PM   #2
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side by side is best for fermentation. I have modified such a fridge and I'm able to lager two cornies in the freezer (measure first) and can store up to 3 carboys in the fridge part.

I have pics here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...0&postcount=14

Kai

edit:
looks like the image links are broken. TxBrew??

here is a picture of my fermentation/lagering fridge


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Old 03-22-2006, 06:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser
side by side is best for fermentation. I have modified such a fridge and I'm able to lager two cornies in the freezer (measure first) and can store up to 3 carboys in the fridge part.

I have pics here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...0&postcount=14

Kai

edit:
looks like the image links are broken. TxBrew??

here is a picture of my fermentation/lagering fridge


That looks nice! I'm jealous... ... but where is Beerdoc's wife going to put her T-bones!?


Beerdoc:

Maybe with whatever fridge you get, you could block off some of the cold air from getting into the fridge. That way your beer wouldn't get too cold and the T-bones wouldn't thaw out? After a little experimenting, it might work.

Anyone else have any ideas?
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:43 PM   #4
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That looks nice! I'm jealous... ... but where is Beerdoc's wife going to put her T-bones!?
Thanks,

Yeah I forgot about the constraint with the use of the freezer section. But I'd still say that a side-by side might be better (maybe some day you will have a separate freezer) and second you on the fact that some additional modification might be necessary to maintain a very large temp difference between the freezer and the fridge part. This might even be difficult if there is no air moving between fridge and freezer, simply the heat exchange through the wall separating both might be enough.

Kai
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Kaiser]side by side is best for fermentation. I have modified such a fridge and I'm able to lager two cornies in the freezer (measure first) and can store up to 3 carboys in the fridge part.

I have pics here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...0&postcount=14

Kai

Very nice. Well done.

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for the cool pics and ideas. What is the usual temp for the refrigerator? My thought would be that it usually runs at around 40F or less?

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Old 03-22-2006, 06:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the cool pics and ideas. What is the usual temp for the refrigerator? My thought would be that it usually runs at around 40F or less?
that is true. If you want to get it higher, you need to mess with the temp control or override it externally. When you override it externally (plugging the fridge into a thermostat) you will loose the ability to control the freezer and fridge temp separately.

Kai
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:31 AM   #8
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So how do you get separate control of both the fridge and freezer side of your side by side?

PS, I just racked my experiment of simultaneous ale and lager versions of the same recipe brewed. Tasted both and the lager is winning in taste so far, both are at 1.012 from 1.060 OG

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:46 AM   #9
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PS, I just racked my experiment of simultaneous ale and lager versions of the same recipe brewed. Tasted both and the lager is winning in taste so far, both are at 1.012 from 1.060 OG
excellent experiment, Doc!
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:41 PM   #10
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So how do you get separate control of both the fridge and freezer side of your side by side?
Cheaper models, like that one I used, have the thermostat for the freezer in the fridge compartment and regulate the freezer temp by restricting the flow of air between the freezer and the fridge. Many upscape commercial fridges, however, have a fan that blows cold air from the freezer to the fridge part. That's also what I have done. I added a few fans, which are controlled by a room AC thermostat:



There is also a larger fan on the other side.

Kai
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