Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Freezer or mini fridge?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-29-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
kenpotf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: mckinney, tx
Posts: 488
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Freezer or mini fridge?

All,

This is my first time posting. I've searched the forums, but this is all new to me, so I'm not really sure what to search for. I'm going to start my first batch in the middle of June. I've read many articles that states you need to keep your fermentation bucket/carboy in the range of 65 - 75 deg (or thereabouts). I live in Texas and summer is about to hit, so I need to be able to keep this stuff cool.

I went to Lowe's and Home Depot today to look at their mini-fridges and freezers. They have the PERFECT freezer at both places that's 5.0 cubic ft. and would fit my primary great and I'm pretty sure a carboy. (Currently I'm only going to be doing a primary bucket fermenter, and not carboy, until I get some experience.) The only problem that I see is that I can't find temperature ranges for these freezers, and I'm not sure if I can get 70 degree temparatures out of a freezer. The only other thing that I'm seeing is that I might have to got with a small full-size refrigerator, but I really wasn't wanting to do that if I could avoid it. I won't be doing lagers because I'm more of an ale guy.

Can anyone help me with what to decide on? If you're using a freezer, what temperature ranges can I expect to get within range? Many of these have adjustable settings, but the only tell you "colder-warmer."

Thanks for your help!

__________________
kenpotf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 07:01 PM   #2
Wakadaka
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 514
Liked 8 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

You need to buy an external temperature controller. search that and it will come up

__________________
Wakadaka is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
Whut
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Whut's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northwest Valley of the Sun
Posts: 8,072
Liked 1626 Times on 1527 Posts
Likes Given: 8554

Default

Wakadaka is right, you're gonna need a temp controller as you'll never be able to keep it at the right temp. Here's one on eBay but shop around.

I personally went with the freezer but that's just my preference. I have the Kenmore 8.9cf and can fit two fermentings buckets in at the same time. Or, I can fit 4 corney kegs on the floor.

If you're interested here's the sticky on sizing a chest freezer for corney kegs.

img_0342.jpg  
__________________
IT Guys Vacuum 2013: Never Forget - WildGingerBrewing
I only like three kinds of beer: lkgged, bottled, or canned - bad coffee
I have some pent-up banning I need to administer - Reelale
Whut is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
kenpotf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: mckinney, tx
Posts: 488
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

It seems like what you guys are saying is that I can get any freezer as long as the temperature controller is hooked up to it? Can I get 65-75 degree temps with the freezer and a temp controller? I've been looking at them and it looks promising. How hard are these controllers to install?

__________________
kenpotf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
HItransplant
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 1,030
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

freezer fo sho

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLars View Post
It's comfort foam. :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post
It's a gentle recipe, so your first time will be enjoyable and memorable. :D
HItransplant is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 07:38 PM   #6
Wakadaka
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 514
Liked 8 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
It seems like what you guys are saying is that I can get any freezer as long as the temperature controller is hooked up to it? Can I get 65-75 degree temps with the freezer and a temp controller? I've been looking at them and it looks promising. How hard are these controllers to install?
I don't have one, but my understanding is that you plug it into the wall and then the freezer into it. The temperature controller has a thermometer probe thing that you put inside the freezer. You set the temperature at your desired temperature, lets say 65. Then when the thermometer reads above 65 it turns the freezer on temporarily. Once its back down to 65 degrees it turns off again. freezers are very well insulated, so apparently they don't even turn on that frequently.

There are also temperature controllers that can heat and cool. You would have to mount a heat bulb or something inside of the freezer, but if your temperature drops below 65 (or whatever you have it set at) it will start heating it back up to the appropriate temperature.

And yes any freezer will work fine with a temperature controller, assuming its not broken. And even though you don't want to lager, I would make sure that it can get down in the low 30s. Thats really only a concern if you are buying a used one.

I think there are some temperature controllers that come wired and some that don't. I don't really know the difference except I think wired ones are cheaper. And you would need a way to get the thermometer inside of the freezer, but I think thats about it. I have never used a temperature controller, so this is all based on information I have read second hand on here.

But I don't think it should be too hard to set up. Probably easier than making beer.
__________________
Wakadaka is offline
kenpotf Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
Whut
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Whut's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northwest Valley of the Sun
Posts: 8,072
Liked 1626 Times on 1527 Posts
Likes Given: 8554

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
Can I get 65-75 degree temps with the freezer and a temp controller? I've been looking at them and it looks promising. How hard are these controllers to install?
Yes you can and I also only do Ales. I set them to 73/74 when I first put the fermenter in and then drop it to the low to mid 60's once fermentation starts. Temp just depends on what I'm brewing. And when fermentation is complete you can turn the controller down to cold crash as well.

And Wakadaka is correct. Freezer plugs in to the controller and the controller plugs in to the wall. Just turn the freezer down to it's lowest setting. I have the Johnson Controlls A419 and yes you can use it for heating as well. You just have to remove the cover and move a jumper. The two I purchased were pre-assembled so all I had to do was drill a hole through the side for the temp probe. Just be carefull if you do this 'cause if you hit a coolant line you'll just have a big box. Turn it on for a few minutes and then turn it off. You'll start to see condensation where the coolant lines are. You can then drill between them. See the below pic of mine.

The fan is used to circulate the air for an even distribution of cold air.

Here are some helpful links:

DIY heat source
DIY temp controller
Eva-dry (I use these to keep the humidity out)
Johnson Controls operating instructions for the A419
137.jpg  
__________________
IT Guys Vacuum 2013: Never Forget - WildGingerBrewing
I only like three kinds of beer: lkgged, bottled, or canned - bad coffee
I have some pent-up banning I need to administer - Reelale
Whut is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 09:15 PM   #8
kenpotf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: mckinney, tx
Posts: 488
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Y'all are awesome! Thanks for the information! I've read about drilling the hole into the freezer. How do you seal the hole? With silicone caulk or something?

__________________
kenpotf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-29-2011, 09:23 PM   #9
Whut
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Whut's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northwest Valley of the Sun
Posts: 8,072
Liked 1626 Times on 1527 Posts
Likes Given: 8554

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
Y'all are awesome! Thanks for the information! I've read about drilling the hole into the freezer. How do you seal the hole? With silicone caulk or something?
Yup, you got it! I used DAP Easy Caulk
__________________
IT Guys Vacuum 2013: Never Forget - WildGingerBrewing
I only like three kinds of beer: lkgged, bottled, or canned - bad coffee
I have some pent-up banning I need to administer - Reelale
Whut is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone convert a mini fridge to a mini freezer? brewmasterorr Equipment/Sanitation 1 02-11-2011 04:18 PM
Mini-fridge freezer question JBZSTL Equipment/Sanitation 4 05-25-2010 04:00 AM
MINI-Fridge Help!! Steel-Reserve Equipment/Sanitation 5 08-29-2008 03:46 PM
Relocating Freezer tray in mini fridge... billpa Equipment/Sanitation 4 06-27-2007 09:01 PM
How to get rid of a mini-fridge? Mishka Equipment/Sanitation 3 12-26-2006 05:56 PM