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Old 05-21-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Default temp controlled fridge?

I just procured a nice large refrigerator and cleaned it out and now its in my garage. My wife thinks its for food overflow since we have 3 boys, but what it is in reality is my climate controlled brewing chamber (I hope). Maybe you can help me out. The #1 problem I see coming up time and again is fermentation temp. Im not sure how warm the fridge will run, but basically I am going to be doing a lot of brewing this summer and the garage is going to be 80 degrees plus. Can I purchase some kind of a temp control device and keep the fridge in the 60s? I have heard of people controlling box freezers this way but never a refrigerator. Please offer your insight

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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This is what I did, as have many others. I have a small dorm fridge that is used with a controller. You can buy the controller from different manufacturer's or build you own. 1st one I bought was an old Johnson controller, then I built my own after reading about the 'ebay aquarium temp controller' on here. Then I gave my buddy the Johnson controller.

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
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It works the same way for a fridge as does a chest freezer. You just use an external thermostat. If there is a freezer section the external t-stat will not allow it to function properly. The good thing is, a fridge is designed to handle the condensation and not just pool up in the bottom like a chest freezer.

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Old 05-21-2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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Your local Hbs should have an external thermostat available. 30 bucks maybe. Thats what I use.

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Old 05-21-2011, 11:27 PM   #5
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I'm using a johnson controller on my fridge. No issues to speak of and having a chamber is probably one of the best brewing investment I've made.

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Old 05-22-2011, 02:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daybis
I'm using a johnson controller on my fridge. No issues to speak of and having a chamber is probably one of the best brewing investment I've made.
So are you experiencing what was described here, where the freezer is no longer accurate? I could get away with stealing the fridge section, but I would have to have the freezer available at least some of the time
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
So are you experiencing what was described here, where the freezer is no longer accurate? I could get away with stealing the fridge section, but I would have to have the freezer available at least some of the time
the freezer will not be a freezer if you are using the fridge to ferment in. but, there may be periods where you are not fermenting where it can be put back to normal use. unless you are lagering or something, normal fermentation temps aren't anywhere near cold enough to keep the freezer functioning. hell, just get another fridge and use that for fermenting, you can find them cheap/free on craigslist.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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I have a stand up freezer that I have a Johnsons Controller on set to 65*f and never mess with it. I love mine I welded a shelf up so i can put 4 6.5gal carboys in there. If the outside is a bit rough you can get some appliance paint.


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Old 05-23-2011, 03:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by android View Post
the freezer will not be a freezer if you are using the fridge to ferment in. but, there may be periods where you are not fermenting where it can be put back to normal use. unless you are lagering or something, normal fermentation temps aren't anywhere near cold enough to keep the freezer functioning. hell, just get another fridge and use that for fermenting, you can find them cheap/free on craigslist.
My cousin does get away with using his fridge for lagers and keeps the freezer frozen, but for ales, even keeping the temp in the low 60's doesn't allow enough compressor time to keep the freeze...
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:22 AM   #10
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My cousin does get away with using his fridge for lagers and keeps the freezer frozen, but for ales, even keeping the temp in the low 60's doesn't allow enough compressor time to keep the freeze...
This is exactly the situation I have. For lagers the fridge temp stays low enough for everything in the freezer to stay frozen, but above 60 it's a no-go for the freezer. Also have a chest freezer with an external control where lagering takes place.
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