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Old 09-07-2006, 05:02 AM   #1
Mike-H
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Default How to keep temps cool for lagering? Methods wanted!

I am thinking of purchasing the heinekin kit from AHS. I want to know how you all keep your primary at 45-50 degrees.

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Old 09-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #2
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Really easy. Old refrigerator and ranco temp controller.

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Old 09-07-2006, 11:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdIn
Really easy. Old refrigerator and ranco temp controller.
That's the best possible answer. Jerking around with ice baths, wet towels fans etc is OK to reduce an ale by a few degrees but won't do the trick for a lager. Besides, you'll need to lager the beer at 32-34 for a few months anyway, you'll need space to do that.
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:12 PM   #4
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Obviously, having a Ranco or Johnson Controls temp controller is the easiest way to do this (with either a fridge or a freezer), but FWIW, most refridgerators can probably come pretty close to holding a steady temp anywhere in the range needed for lager brewing (32 to 45 or 50), if the fridge is in a place where the ambient temperature is relatively steady.

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Old 09-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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What size fridge will hold a 5-gallon glass carboy or a 6-gallon plastic bucket?

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Old 09-07-2006, 03:57 PM   #6
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Depends on the diameter of your carboys and the usable flat surface area of your fridge.

A single door, used, flat bottomed commercial fridge like the kind that holds flowers at the grocery store, or professional film at a photo store, or softdrinks and beer at your local Deli would probably accommodate six bottles, three on the bottom two on a sturdy shelf you build above it. Or perhaps you could fit two 27 gallon conicals side by side in a double-door model. These sorts of refridgerators are often available for reasonable amounts of money if you look around at store and restaurant closings and such.

Your typical home refridgerators come in all sorts of sizes and configurations. Many do not have flat bottoms, so you might need to build a shelf at floor level (plywood) to make a flat surface. My larger refridgerator is tall and narrow and could only handle two bottles. My smaller refridgerator is squat and wide and could hold three.

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Old 09-07-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
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I use this:
http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer/chiller/chiller.PDF#search=%22fermenter%20chiller%22

I know there's been threads on it before, so search around if it interests you or PM me. It works great. I live in Hawaii with no AC. My room temp easily gets into the 90s sometimes. For the last 3+ weeks I've been fermenting a Dubbel @ 65 degrees. It took me a week to get the materials together, an evening to build it, and it's powered by 2x 2 liters of water. I keep two in the freezer and two in the chiller. Every 24 hours I switch them out and there's always still ice in the bottles and, unless I open it, sits between 64 and 66 degrees.

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