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Old 01-25-2013, 03:13 AM   #1
Brian4x4
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Default Temp Controlled Refrigerator question.

Hello,
I am going to turn my shed into a brew shed.
I would like to keep all my brew stuff in one place and it seems like a great option.
My question is regarding fermentation in my temp controlled fridge in the winter.

I am using a old "True" refrigerator I picked up cheap ($50) hooked to my custom temp controller using a small heater (750w personal heater) and the refrigeration works fine.
In the winter my basement gets around 50-55* and the heater does plenty fine heating that small area.
There seams to be no need for the refrigeration to come on at all in winter.
But in summer the refrigeration takes over fine and again the heat is not needed.

I would like to install my fridge to my brew shed and have pretty much all my stuff in one spot. (minus the kegs of final product)

Do you think that the space heater would be able to keep the temps needed inside the fridge that I want if it is really cold outside in winter?
I plan to insulate the shed so it will not be as cold as outside temps but still cold..

here is the fridge. (in it's raw form, I plan to make some more stable shelves out of wood.
The door is heat treated dual pane glass.

I am thinking the only answer is to test it out somehow but I don't want to drag it out of my basement to test it.

how can I test that this will work? or can someone tell me what you think?

thanks

shed



fridge

the one on the right.



I just bought a brand new gasket for the fridge as well so it is sealed tight.. (and well insulated I believe?)





thanks for your input

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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My gut feeling is that it would be fine, although I don't have any hard evidence to back that up. Its not that much square footage to heat. One thing you could also do is add another heater if one is working too hard (assuming the amperage is not to crazy).

Also consider getting some dehumidifiers in there. Maybe an Evadry unit. It really helps keep the condensation down. Keeps mold/mildew issues down. I'm really glad I got one for my ferm chamber.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
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thanks,
when you say condensation where are you getting that?
I have not seen any so far.
but I may if the fridge is out in the cold I guess.
let me know if you can.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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I just had a little mold problem in my fermentation chamber. I figured it was from the liquid in the blowoff bucket evaporating a little. It was an old fridge as well, so the seal might not have been very good. If you don't see any, then you probably don't need it.

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:55 PM   #5
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ok cool thanks, well I do have backing soda thing in there. lol

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Old 01-26-2013, 01:23 AM   #6
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good luck with the brew shed. Hope it works out.

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Old 01-26-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
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I am using an 8.8 cf chest freezer for a fermentation chamber located in my detached garage. The winter ambient temperature is about 35 deg. and I keep holding 65 deg. using only a 60 watt heater. The heater comes on for about 10 minutes every 4-5 hours.

I would investigate a smaller heater than your 750 watt one. If something malfunctions you might do some serious damage to the inside of your refrigerator with that much heat if it doesn't shut off. My small heater will only cook the beer and yeast at worst, not melt the inside of the lid.

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
I am using an 8.8 cf chest freezer for a fermentation chamber located in my detached garage. The winter ambient temperature is about 35 deg. and I keep holding 65 deg. using only a 60 watt heater. The heater comes on for about 10 minutes every 4-5 hours.

I would investigate a smaller heater than your 750 watt one. If something malfunctions you might do some serious damage to the inside of your refrigerator with that much heat if it doesn't shut off. My small heater will only cook the beer and yeast at worst, not melt the inside of the lid.
thanks by the way, I wrote a reply to this (long winded drinking to much) and then when I clicked post I was not logged in! doh!

anyway what info you gave me was great./ it will work and hold the temp fine.
also I started looking into low watt heaters and see a few.
do you use a ceramic heat bulb type?

I thought the one I had was ok because it has a low and high. it runs 750w on high and I just keep it on low which is like no heat compared to high. lol

it is nice that it has a fan as well.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:03 AM   #9
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I have mine in an attached garage. Gets cold in there but probably never under 4o degrees. I use a 40 watt incandescent light bulb to keep it at a steady 68F. Looks like a pretty similar fridge to yours.

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #10
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I'm using an old boot drier that I had laying around. A small ceramic heater bulb will be fine, as is a light bulb. If you're worried about light exposure, build a paint can heater.

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