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Old 03-18-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Increasing Freezer Space

I have a chest freezer that is almost not tall enough to hold a carboy. I recently got a conical fermenter and want to fit it into the freezer so I can do lagers in it.

To do this I would need to raise the height of the inside of the freezer by at least 6". Taller yet would be better.

Has anyone done anything like this?

I figure if I were to take the top off (easy - 4 screws on back) and build a 2x4 (or 2x2 perhaps) rim around the top and build it up around 6-12", insulate the inside with styrofome, screw the top back into the 2x4 on the back and re-close the lid.

I'm not running it as a freezer, so I would think it could handle the increased volume. I only run it around 45-55 inside. The way it is now it goes on maybe once every few hours for a brief period of time.

It would not be pretty, but would be much more functional. I could fit 3 conicals in there with room to drain etc.

Thoughts?

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Old 03-18-2006, 02:37 PM   #2
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I commend you on your innovation, but I would be more concerned about the extra load on the motor and how often it would run (as it runs up your electric bill) to "fill in" the extra space with coldness.

Just a thought. How about a stand up freezer? Would that work?

Or you could always just rack to a carboy (smaller container).

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Old 03-18-2006, 02:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I commend you on your innovation, but I would be more concerned about the extra load on the motor and how often it would run (as it runs up your electric bill) to "fill in" the extra space with coldness.

Just a thought. How about a stand up freezer? Would that work?

Or you could always just rack to a carboy (smaller container).
Yea, I considered a stand-up freezer. I may look around, but for around $300 it looks like I can get one that might fit 2 conicals. We already have a fridge and a chest freezer in our basement so I'm concerned about adding more (or concerned about what my wife would say hehe). If I wanted to use both it would be another $70 for another temp regulator as well.

The load on the motor would also be my biggest concern. Since it only runs once every 2-3 hours now to maintain a 50 temp (and only for a few minutes) I would think the load woudln't be too bad. I think it was built to maintain much lower temps, so perhaps a higher temp with 1/3 more volume isn't a stretch? No doubt it would run more often than it does now, but I'd get more done in it as well.

The reason I got the conical was so I could avoid racking to a secondary, thats what I am currently doing. Not a huge deal to do it, I just figured it would be more convenient to be able to use the conical for lagers as well as ales.

I also don't know that I would have 3 brews that would fit the exact same temp. I haven't done lagers enough to know how varied they are but it seems a 5-10 temp range is normal on the kits I've done so far. Perhaps the Kolsch I did was on the slightly warmer side than where I keep it now for a Bock I have going.

I'll do some more thinking on this. I think mostly I am trying to dream up projects to do
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:38 PM   #4
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I'd search the forum (maybe for kegerator) cuz I have seen people here who have done exactly what you are thinking of doing. Had a bunch of pics too. I think he used 2x6 boards and added another 6" and screwed the top to that.

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Old 03-19-2006, 12:01 AM   #5
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The extra load shouldn't be a problem. I'd be much more concerned about making a good clean fit, so the top will seal properly. Air and moisture getting in will be a much bigger problem than heat. I can't find it, but as mrsalty mentioned, someone did a buildup on a chest freezer and posted pictures. I think he ended up with a 14 tap system.

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Old 03-20-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
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Here are some links to kegerators with collars:
http://relaxhaveahomebrew.com/kegerator.html
http://www.boomspeed.com/danno/collar.jpg
http://www.west-point.org/users/usma1986/42894/kegerator.htm

Good luck,
Wild

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Old 03-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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Besided the concerns that the others have, I'd also be concerned that the cold air will just stay at the bottom, where the cooling coils are.

I saw a design, where someone built insulated cabinets and circulated air from the freezer through them (thermostat controlled fan) to keep them at the set temp.

Kai

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