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Old 08-29-2008, 12:33 AM   #1
Jekster
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Default Wine Chiller for Temp Control Fermentation

I recently moved into an older house with tons of charm but no central air. We have window units and I know that it's going to be hard to control my fermentation temps with the old ice water bath and towel trick.

My thoughts are to buy a wine cellar fridge and use it to house one carboy for fermentation at a time. I would get a chest freezer, however I don't have nearly enough room for that in my new place. I have scoped out the market a bit and found this bad boy:

Danby - 35-Bottle Wine Cooler - Black - DWC350BLP

I'm fairly certain it has enough room to hold my better bottle fermentors, but wanted to hear if anyone had comments or suggestions before I throw down the cash. My one concern is that it has a temperature range between (42.8°F - 57.2°F). My question would be do you think 57 is the minimum temp? Or could I keep this sucker at a nice 62-65 for some good ale fermenting?

All in all I'm just looking for comments and anyone that can pick out things that I might be overlooking. I'm dieing to brew and would like to get this soon if possible. I'm running out of homebrew and it's a scary thing!

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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Check out one of the product reviews on Best Buy's website for your answer:

"The Danby specs say this cellar will store wines at up to 57.2 degrees (F). However, no matter what setting you put the turn-dial temperature on (which is only specified by Max or Min) it stays at a way-too-cold-for-reds 44 - 48 degrees (F). I purchased the inexpensive unit specifically to house imported reds at 55 - 60 degrees, but it is not fulfilling that purpose."

So my guess is no. I have an older Sunbeam wine chiller that I can easily keep in the mid 60s. I saw one on craigslist in Indy a while back that looks just like it. Just checked and it is still posted and only $75. The ad says between 34 and 50 degrees, but at it's lowest setting mine stays between 66-68 degrees.

LIKE NEW WINE COOLER

If it doesn't stay warm enough, you would have saved enough money to buy an external temperature controller like this:

External Temperature Controller

I probably shouldn't be telling you this since you're most likely an IU fan, but I'm feeling nice today....Go Boilers!

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Old 08-29-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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Rudy,

Thanks for the awesome information and reply! If that sunbeam in Indy works out it would be well worth the short hourish drive. I just e-mailed the seller and will let you know how it works out!

Thanks again!

Jek

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Old 08-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
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Anytime. I was actually considering buying that for a while because I'm currently using mine as a kegerator (it's also big enough to hold 2 cornies and a co2 tank). But I came across a free mini-fridge that I'm gonna convert to a cold box instead. That will allow me to use the cold box as a kegerator and free up the wine chiller for a fermentation chamber again.

Good Luck! I hope it works out for you.

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Old 08-30-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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It's sold. =( I guess I'll look around and see if I can fine a sunbeam forsale on any sites. Let me know if anyone has a nice in on a cheap buy out there. =D

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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I'm using a VinoTemp 28 bottle wine cooler and the fermentor fits perfectly. I think Target has them but they might be around $300. I'm a wine drinker as well so it serves a dual purpose. The temp range is 54-66 degrees and I generally set it at 66 for my ales....works great! I'm in Florida and my house is never under 76-77 degrees so I needed something to control the temp.

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Old 09-02-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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I have been toying with the idea of using a wine cooler as a fermentations chiller as well. but my thoughts were to build a cabinet out of foam board and use the guts from a wine cooler to keep it cool instead of frozen water bottles or a/c. It shouldnt be too hard as the wine cooler will have most everything, power supply, temperature controlller, etc. just need to locate the thermistor and simply add some additional wire to it to make it long enough to fit inside a thermowell. many wine coolers use a thermoelectric module to provide cooling power and from the looks of the one i have, it seems to be a fairly self contained module.

It probably wouldnt be enough for lagering, but for trying to maintain mid 60s for ales during the summer shouldnt be a problem at all

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Old 12-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Does anybody have any experience with a countertop wine chiller for Mr. Beer LBKs? Seems like a great solution for those of us doing smaller batches.

I'm thinking the smallest model, 6 or 8 bottles, could be perfect, but I can't tell which one might fit the Mr. Beer little kegs. If I can get to a store to test them out, I'll post what I find.

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Old 12-04-2013, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zookeeps
Does anybody have any experience with a countertop wine chiller for Mr. Beer LBKs? Seems like a great solution for those of us doing smaller batches.

I'm thinking the smallest model, 6 or 8 bottles, could be perfect, but I can't tell which one might fit the Mr. Beer little kegs. If I can get to a store to test them out, I'll post what I find.
Update: Lbk doesn't fit 8 bottle chillers. needs to be 12 or 16.
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