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Old 07-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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1) I would recommend the LOVE TSS2 controller. It is dual stage so you can connect a small heater fan as well to maintain whatever temp you want any time of year. I love them for fermentation control.

2) I recommend a front opening fridge for fermentation chamber. The lift in and out of a chest freezer is a significant task. Also, be very careful, carboys do break, and you don't want a trip to the hospital. That said if you do go with the chest freezer for your ferm control, it will work just fine, just be careful.

3) I would go with a smaller space for ferm control and use the 15cuft for conditioning lagering. Every beer benefits from a cold crash/lager period, but every beer ferments differently (different temps). I would much prefer a couple small fridges for individual ferments, then condition everything in the 15 cuft. That is basically what I have and I use my chest freezer for conditioning and for serving.



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Old 07-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by drat View Post
Having just put a single 6.5-gal carboy sitting in a plastic milk crate into my chest freezer Sunday night, I can easily say that it sucks serious donkey *****... Ok, so I don't have much clearance above my chest freezer, it's still really hard to get leverage when reaching into it. And the handles put unneeded stress on the necks of the carboys, shortening their life, or so I hear...
It depends how tall you are honestly...I can get carboys out without terrible amounts of trouble, but I also have plenty of clearance over the edge of the freezer and can actually reach the bottom of the carboy in the freezer. I am 6'2" just for posterity.

I switched to fermenting in cornies anyway because I could fit way more and they were 20x easier to carry. I also just converted to a mini fridge instead, but for a different reason.


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Old 07-27-2010, 05:58 PM   #13
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It depends how tall you are honestly...I can get carboys out without terrible amounts of trouble, but I also have plenty of clearance over the edge of the freezer and can actually reach the bottom of the carboy in the freezer. I am 6'2" just for posterity..
5'8, 145lbs soaking wet and only have 2' clearance above my chest freezer... We're definitely speaking from two different points of view, literally!
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:49 PM   #14
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imagine dropping a glass carboy full of almost-finished beer
Been there, done that...dropped one in my kitchen, horrible experience between the multiple cuts and 5 gallons of beer on your floor. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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It depends how tall you are honestly...I can get carboys out without terrible amounts of trouble, but I also have plenty of clearance over the edge of the freezer and can actually reach the bottom of the carboy in the freezer. I am 6'2" just for posterity.

I switched to fermenting in cornies anyway because I could fit way more and they were 20x easier to carry. I also just converted to a mini fridge instead, but for a different reason.
+1 to the cornies for fermenting. The afformentioned carboy drop is why I switched to cornies for fermenting. They do not break and have handles. Not to mention they are much easier to clean.

Anyway, I have to agree. A short person might have difficulty pulling carboys safely out of a chest freezer. If you are vertically challenged you might wanna take this into consideration
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:27 PM   #15
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I don't know your brewing volume but I brew 5 gal at a time and I'm pretty sure a 15 cu ft chest freezer just for fermentation would be WAY too big for me, especially if I only had one little mini-fridge as my kegerator. I can't think of any time I've had several fermenters going at once where I wanted to keep them all at the same temp. I often have several fermenters going simultaneously but one might be a lager, another an ale that's pretty much done (so I don't really care if it's kept cool), and another an ale that just started (so I DO really care about the fermentation temp). Once the main fermentation is done (3-5 days for most ales) I just let ales warm to room temp (lagers I increase the temp controller).

I use a regular fridge for lager fermentation (I can fit two carboys plus one corny in there) and use the freezer space in it for hop storage.

I use a 7.0 cu ft chest freezer with a collar on it for serving, holds 6 cornies perfectly. It has 4 taps so 2 of the kegs in there are lagering/conditioning.

Once the pipeline got going I only have 2 maybe 3 fermenters going at once, all requiring different temps.
Well, 68 degrees is good for most ale yeasts. My apartment is never 68, either due to the heat or during the winter because I am too cold at 68. If I want a higher temp, as I might for belgian beers, I can just take them out of the freezer. I don't really like lagers that much, but when I do make them, I'll just stop doing ales until they are done.

I just bought the freezer anyhow. It's sitting in my garage waiting for a temp control. Looks like it will definitely hold 3 6 gallon carboys, possibly even 4 (or a 5 gallon).

I have plenty of space above it, and I'm 6'3.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:55 AM   #16
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Are you still using a temp controller with that? Any pics of the carboys in there with airlocks/blowoffs?
I'm using a Love controller with it; I have been lazy and haven't installed it through the door yet (it's sitting on the top door shelf). I bypassed the built-in thermostat so everything else still works (e.g., the light inside).

Also, I use Better Bottles, not glass carboys, so I'm not sure of the differences in size. I do use two of the uber-expensive BB airlocks, which helps them to fit better.

Here's a crappy cell phone pic of the inside...



Note that the shelves have limited adjustability; I could move the shelf up a couple inches to get a bit more clearance (you can see that on the left-hand side of the shelf), but since I use the BB airlocks I don't need to. Note that I am using a standard one-piece airlock with orange carboy cap on top (but my photog skills suck, so you can't see it). I can fit cornies on the top shelf as well with the way I have it set up now.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:34 AM   #17
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Well, 68 degrees is good for most ale yeasts. My apartment is never 68, either due to the heat or during the winter because I am too cold at 68. If I want a higher temp, as I might for belgian beers, I can just take them out of the freezer. I don't really like lagers that much, but when I do make them, I'll just stop doing ales until they are done.

I just bought the freezer anyhow. It's sitting in my garage waiting for a temp control. Looks like it will definitely hold 3 6 gallon carboys, possibly even 4 (or a 5 gallon).

I have plenty of space above it, and I'm 6'3.
My house is almost never 68* F either but my point was that you only need to maintain that temp for the first few days (during the most active fermentation). After that you can let it rise to room temp no problem. What you plan will certainly work but maybe consider keeping your options open to converting the chest freezer to a keezer (by just adding a collar and taps). If there is a bottleneck/logjam in my rig, it's getting the beer conditioning in the keezer (for instance, right now I have several kegs 'on deck' sitting at room temp just waiting for a spot to open up). Good luck with it whichever way you go.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
My house is almost never 68* F either but my point was that you only need to maintain that temp for the first few days (during the most active fermentation). After that you can let it rise to room temp no problem. What you plan will certainly work but maybe consider keeping your options open to converting the chest freezer to a keezer (by just adding a collar and taps). If there is a bottleneck/logjam in my rig, it's getting the beer conditioning in the keezer (for instance, right now I have several kegs 'on deck' sitting at room temp just waiting for a spot to open up). Good luck with it whichever way you go.
Yeah man, I'm def gonna make a keezer at some point. I think an upright fridge may be a better idea, but I wanted the chest freezer because I knew at some point I'd want to make one.


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