Fermentation chamber built with modified upright refrigerator.
Well, I have been fermenting in my mini fridge to maintain the right temp, I have been looking for a larger place so I can ferment more than one beer at a time.
I went to an auction yesterday and picked up an upright fridge for $25, quick measurements before the auction I knew this would fit 2 fermenters, I was really looking for something I could fit 4 into.
I started looking into the fridge today and started taking components apart to see if there would be any way to extend this to fit 4. I ended up with an upright fridge that looks like an upright freezer, no center section.
I have one question about a component that I did not put back in the fridge and want to make sure it's for what I think it is.
Here are pics of the new chamber first!
I took the inner panels on both doors off, cut the inner portion out of them in order to put the exterior trim back on using the seals from the fridge. I connected the doors together on the outside edge using a bolt where you can switch the doors to the opposite side. ran trash bags along the inside of the door taping them down and then placing the original seals over the top, I hope this will be sufficient with the fiberglass that is already in the doors. I used trash sacks and tape throughout the gap in the doors as insulation.
I had plans to build a shelf in this fridge to allow a top set of fermenters, but the shelving happened to work out perfectly, much more sturdy that I expected, I don't think there will be any issues holding two on it. I modified the styrafoam that was initially filled the area between the fridge and freezer portion to allow air flow to continue to the 3 separate locations throughout (Original freezer location, top frige location, and lower fridge location)
Here is where I have questions. This piece ran between the frige and freezer and appears to be a heat strip. I am assuming this was to keep the freezer door from freezing shut. I did not put it back in as that would have caused a bar across the center that I did not want. Can anyone confirm that this is just a heater for that reason, or is there something else it is for?
Also- Do you think I need to put some sort of fan in this for consistent temps, or do you think it will stay consistent enough as is?
Overall I'm very happy with my $25 purchase, I have a dual kegging kit arriving this week and I plan to turn my mini-fridge into a kegerator... Let the addiction *hobby* continue!
Anyone have any ideas if this front plate heater thing is just to keep the door from freezing shut?
And should I look to put a fan in here to keep the air moving or should it stay constant enough as is?
A fan would be a good idea since the colder air will tend to settle to the bottom. That heater might be part of the periodic defrosting cycle in the frostfree appliances....not sure though.
Nice find! What are you going to use as a temp controller? You might also want to figure out a way to get A/C power inside...I use that to power FermWraps in my chamber when I am doing beers that require temps above the chambers normal ambient temp.
The heater is an auto-defrost. Not needed if your using a temp control, it shouldn't freeze unless you go below 32 F.
I bought an aquarium thermostat off of ebay to use for my mini-fridge fermenter so I have that hooked up keeping it where I need it. I don't plan to do any lagering anytime soon, so it should work out well for what I need!
I'll look at getting a fan put in there!
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