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Old 03-09-2008, 01:14 PM   #1
Sherpa FE
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Default Should I get a Chest Freezer??

I see some advantages of getting a freezer tell me if I miss any.
1) Constant temp control (I live in FL, so this might be key)
2) Able to keep kegs in a cool place to condition and store
3) Storage room for grains and such.


So what am I missing? Am I over simplifiying the need for a constant temperature, right now my ferment temps fluctuate between 70 - 76 daily..

Thanks for the help again.
Josh

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Old 03-09-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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you need a freezer plus a temperature controller (Johnson Controls, Ranco, etc)

just make sure you get a freezer big enough to fit your needs. I assume you mean chest freezer...

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Old 03-09-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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I have a chest freezer with a Johnson analog control and it works great for both a fermentation or lagering chamber. Not living in Florida but visiting once I remember fairly high humidity which might not be conducive for storing grains in the chest freezer. Moisture will cause your grains to go bad sooner, if your rolling through the grain then it might not make a difference but I tend to store grains for several months and moisture would wreak havoc. Battling condensation inside a chest freezer is a constant battle as most people use a desicsant like Damp-Rid or equivalent. Others who live in Florida might know better but here in Central Texas my chest freezer builds up a pretty fair amount of moisture so I don't want to risk my grains if I fail to change the desiccant. As a result I store the grains in a spare bedroom in 70 gallon plastic drums..........SWMBO is very tolerant as long as I make EdWort's apfelwein every once in a while.


In my opinion, if your recipe is sound the constant fermenation temperatures are a absolute requirement to obtain the flavour that you're after. One of my recipes for a hefeweizen can have very different flavours depending on the temperature of fermentation; I can change the banana or clove character by simply fermenting a few degrees cooler or warmer. For most of my recipes warmer temperatures bring out more esters or at least certain esters are more pronounced.

I also learned a lesson the hard way; if you set the controller to say 68°F the carboy will be slightly warmer due to all that wonderful biological activity going on so for mine I need to set it the controller 5°F cooler so the carboy actually maintains the desired 68°F.

Pull the trigger on the chest freezer, you won't regret it.

Jeffrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa FE
I see some advantages of getting a freezer tell me if I miss any.
1) Constant temp control (I live in FL, so this might be key)
2) Able to keep kegs in a cool place to condition and store
3) Storage room for grains and such.


So what am I missing? Am I over simplifiying the need for a constant temperature, right now my ferment temps fluctuate between 70 - 76 daily..

Thanks for the help again.
Josh
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keg 1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
keg 2-Yooper's Fat Sam - I highly recommend it
keg 3-Yooper's Fat Tire
keg 4-XXX Stout
keg 5-empty


Fermenter #1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
Fermenter #2-empty

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Old 03-10-2008, 04:07 AM   #4
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In my mind good fermentation temperature control is second only to sanitation in producing reproducibly good beer. Get a temperature controller and tape the probe to the side of your fermentation vessel and cover with bubble wrap. That way you are controlling the temperature of your beer more so then the interior space of the freezer.

GT

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Old 03-10-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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I just picked up a chest freezer yesterday, the warm weather of Houston is coming upon us.

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Old 03-10-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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I snagged a scratch/dent smallish fridge from Home Depot last night.

I'd measured the carboy and bucket fermenters with airlock before going, so I knew it would fit. It's in the workshop on a controller from NB (johnson, IIRC).

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Old 03-10-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
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I just got my 18 cu. ft. chest freezer up an running this weekend and it's awesome. I bought a Ranco digital single-stage (which is what you need) controller and hooked it up. Wiring up the extension cord to it with a clear diagram from HBT took about 40 min. and it's well worth it. Buy a Ranco digital on E-bay and an extension cord an save yourself about $30.

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