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Old 08-08-2007, 11:40 AM   #1
ohad
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Default How can I use my old fridge for fermentation?

I have my old fridge in the corner of the garage.
I thought I might be able to use it to cool my fermenter, because its big enough for my 6 gallon one.


normally its about 6C (42.8F).
the problem is - how do I get it to the right temp?
I have a timer I can use on it's power line. I think maybe 15 minutes of work out of each 3 hours would do it.
I've asked an electrician and he said it won't damage the fridge

second problem - how stable do I need to keep this temp?
In this way I have ups and lows in the temp.
If my maximal and minimal temp (immediately after cooling session, and right before it) are in the acceptable range for ale fermentation, am I OK ? or would this constant change of temp do bad stuff to the yeast?

I'll be glad for any tip, although I don't think I'm up to modifying my fridge just yet.

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Old 08-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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You need one of these
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:34 PM   #3
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Yeah those controllers work well. I just drilled a small hole in through the back for the bulb and then when I positioned it where I wanted it, caulked the hole.

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Old 08-08-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohad

second problem - how stable do I need to keep this temp?
In this way I have ups and lows in the temp.
If my maximal and minimal temp (immediately after cooling session, and right before it) are in the acceptable range for ale fermentation, am I OK ? or would this constant change of temp do bad stuff to the yeast?
Your idea will work. Because of the mass, 5-6 gallons of wort will change temperature slowly. Experiment with a water jug until you get temperatures in the right range.

That being said, a temperature controller is the easiest way to control the temps in a refrigerator.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
I just drilled a small hole in through the back for the bulb and then when I positioned it where I wanted it, caulked the hole.
what bulb are you talking about? I don't understand...
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertbronze
a temperature controller is the easiest way to control the temps in a refrigerator.
how does this kind of controller work? do I plug the fridge to it, and a thermometer inside the fridge controls the power?

where do I buy this kind of thing, and how much does it cost ?

thanks
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #7
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You plug the fridge into the controller and put the temperature probe in the fridge. The controller cycles the power to the fridge as needed. Since the fridge 'wants' to be colder, it always runs when the controller gives it power.

Cost/availability depends on your location.

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Old 08-08-2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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The bulb is the temp. probe.

Cost $55-$100

here's 1 source :

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdBySubCat.aspx?SubCat=620

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:32 PM   #9
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Also keep an eye on ebay sometimes you can find them cheaper

http://cgi.ebay.com/Homebrew-Draft-Beer-Johnson-Temperature-Controller_W0QQitemZ290145979460QQihZ019QQcategory Z38172QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:14 PM   #10
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I think I got to a stable temp between 19C and 21C.
2 hours and 45 minutes off, for every 15 minutes of work with my fridge.

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