Fridge v/s Freezer?
I'm planing on building a kegerator. My original plan was a small chest freezer with a collar.
However, once I buy a freezer, then I have to buy the temp. controller.
For the same (or maybe less) money I'm fairly sure I can find a nice fridge. I'm just wondering if their is some benefit to the freezer that I don't know about?
With a chest freezer, all the cold air won't pour out every time you open it, like the fridge. Unless the fridge is the same height inside as your kegs, you're going to have a fair amount of wasted space.
Plus, to get the kind of control you really want, you're going to end up buying a temp controller for the fridge, too...small movements on the 0-9 scale make big changes in degrees.
Decent sized freezers store more compared to most smaller sized ones storing 2. No worries on keeping tower cool as u will be keeping all the beer inside the freezer except the faucet. You don't need a temp controller for the fridge but it gives u a finer control on temp and u don't need to guess the temp or use a thermometer inside to know what it is.
I have a chest freezer with a collar and love it... I can see benefits of a fridge though. It's easier to lift the kegs in and out and it would be super nice to have a spare freezer to store all my hops. Even with that, I'd go with the freezer.
As have been pointed out there are pluses and minuses to both
here's a couple of pluses that haven't yet be mentioned for having a fridge
1 they are cheap, you can get them for free or almost free on craig's list or freecycle.com
2 they store other things as well as cornies I keep soft drinks and a wide selection of commercial beers and other things in the refridgeration section
(a) having a full or almost full fridge considerably reduces the amount of lost cooling when you open the door due to the thermal mass (althought the cold air does flow out the beer, soft drinks, and cornies remain cold, so it's not as if you lose all or even most of you cooling by simply opening the door.
3 no worries about keeping the beer in the cooling tower lines cold as the lines are inside the fridge
4 much easier to start using a fridge as you can start with a picnic tap by just opening the door an later add more expensive beer taps to the side or door of the fridge
5 already mentioned but deserves another mention is the fact that I can store frozen wort and hops in the freezer section
one reason to have a freezer is if you plan to also use it as a lagerator sometimes fridges have trouble getting to and maintaining lagering temps (mine doesn't but some perhaps many do)
you just need to make a determination what advantages or disadvantages appeal or detract from either setup to you personally
I started with a fridge and it's a real pain having to unload all of the kegs when one in the back row floats. There are certainly some pluses (as abracadabra lists), but I have a chest freezer now and would never go back to a fridge.
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