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Old 03-02-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Using a refrigerator for fermentation (assistance needed)

Fermenting for the first time in my old kegerator, now a fermentation chamber with a Ranco controller. Here is the issue I have. My garage is currently at between 70-74 degrees. The Belgian Pale ale is supposed to ferment at 68 degrees. Because of the top freezer the only way to maintain fermentation temp is to turn the unit off, as soon as I turn the interior thermostat on to even the lowest setting, the refrigerator drops down to 60 or less.

I'm trying to maintain a warmer temperature in the refrigerator, but not lose the freezing capacity as this is where I store my hops. One possible solution that came to mind is to use a heating pad, and shift the Ranco to heating mode and maintain the temperature in the refrigerator that way, but it seems a bit inefficient. In this particular case, I could probably just move my beer to a different location, but there has to be a simpler way to resolve things.

Thanks for the assist.

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Old 03-02-2009, 07:12 PM   #2
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What kind of fridge is this? Chest freezer, side-by-side, over under, etc.?

If it is just an open chest freezer and you want to have 60º and freezing in the same space, that will be a challenge.

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Old 03-02-2009, 07:39 PM   #3
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Standard upright refrigerator with the freezer on top. (Older model).

Not the freezer in my avatar.

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Old 03-02-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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where are the cold air outlets in the fridge section? Are they only holes directly in the top immediately adjacent the freezer?

I am thinking you could maybe construct a baffle tube with a muffin fan connected to a controller. The fan would turn on and off to move cold air into the fridge, and the baffle would inhibit cold air from moving when the fan was not on.

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Old 03-02-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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I'll have to look into that and post some more details.

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Old 03-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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Note to self. Before going on HBT and posting a question, take a good look at what you are doing. If you have two refrigerators side by side but don't want to move them because of how much crap is on top, then really make sure that the cord for the refrigerator you are using is the one you plug into the RANCO. When the other refrigerator starts defrosting, chances are you chose the wrong one.

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Old 03-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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lol! That sounds like exactly the kind of thing I would do!

Glad you got it worked out!

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Old 04-22-2009, 07:17 PM   #8
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Any updates on this thread? I was wondering about this topic myself.

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Old 04-23-2009, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonGoku View Post
Any updates on this thread? I was wondering about this topic myself.
Yeah. I was dumb and had the wrong thing plugged in.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:09 PM   #10
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You could go with something like this: The Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum • View topic - Fermentation Chiller (Pic's Included)

Would allow you to keep using the fridge/freezer as is, and should give you more precision control in a separate fermentation chamber.

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