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Old 04-10-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
The Pol
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Default What to do, chest freezer or??

Hey all, I came into some more capitol to advance my brewing equipment. Here is my quandry... should I purchase a 5-8 cu. ft. chest freezer for fermenting OR should I purchase a small fridge? The problem that I see with the small refrigerators is that they have that "step" in the bottom where the compressor and such reside, thus making it impossible to insert my carboy. ANY IDEAS??? Any models out there that you use?

Pol

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
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For fermenting and lagering, I went on ebay and bought a used commerical refrigerator. I think I spent something like $150 plus shipping. It was sort of beat up and has Pepsi written all over it but it works well and resides in the garage. It's a True so I can get parts for it if I need to. Only downside is that there are doors on both sides of it and they are sliding doors so the opening is a little narrow at 14.75 inches. I can put two 6.5 gallon and one 5 gallon carboys in it fairly easily.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:49 PM   #3
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I have used a fridge on a temperature controller, and you can overcome the step buy building a small wooden shelf that fits in the bottom. The downside to a fridge is that you have limited space.

Soon I will get a freezer and move my temp. controller to it for fermenting/lagering. The upside is that you can get big freezers to hold a lot of fermenters, and the freezers hold in the cold a bit better (since cold sinks and won't run out like when you open the fridge door). The downside is that the fermenters are harder to lift in and out of the cooler (but not a huge issue).

I would also be very tempted to follow Craigslist or the local classifieds. People often give away old chest freezers (and fridges), or let them go for next to nothing.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol
Hey all, I came into some more capitol to advance my brewing equipment. Here is my quandry... should I purchase a 5-8 cu. ft. chest freezer for fermenting OR should I purchase a small fridge? The problem that I see with the small refrigerators is that they have that "step" in the bottom where the compressor and such reside, thus making it impossible to insert my carboy. ANY IDEAS??? Any models out there that you use?

Pol
Chest freezers also have a hump.

Have you seen this recent post?
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=25756
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:06 PM   #5
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I'd go with a freezer personally, but maybe that's just because I am coveting one.

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:13 PM   #6
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I've picked up a chest freezer so I could use it for lagering as well. I want to have several types of brew on tap and I have the space in my new bar. I have to keep my eyes open for a temperature controller, but other than that, the freezer is tall enough that I don't have to build a skirt. I'll put my CO2 tank on the hump.

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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I found a nearly new20 cu/ft refrigerator for $100 on craigslist in my area... there was not much to be had around here for less than $150. I suppose I have time to shop though, as I will not need it until I brew in July... I was just curious as to what makes or models may be better suited for brewing. I like the fridge for ease of access, but there may be alot of wasted space unless I can utilize the shelves and double up my fermentors.

Pol

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:28 PM   #8
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I am not sure about best makes and models, but you might want to pay attention to the energy rating on freezers and fridges. The older units, especially, can suck back a lot of power. That's one reason why you see so many of them in the classifieds - people upgrading to more energy efficient ones.

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:45 PM   #9
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Agreed... I already have the controller, just need to get a suitable fridge or freezer to put it on. I am excited to have the ability to start lagers too!

Pol

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Old 04-10-2007, 08:09 PM   #10
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Yeah, me too. I just have to get around to finding a freezer. My old fridge can't get down to lagering temperatures very well, and now it has my kegging system in it.

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