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agraffam 09-26-2012 12:10 PM

Beginning Brewing Setup
I've read some different forums but I'm torn on how I should initiate my setup. I have brewed a few times, but would like to get into a bit more and upgrade my current setup...at this time is just the brewing station.

My question comes in fermentation and kegging. What should I purchase first a used mini fridge or a chest freezer? I want to collar a freezer at some point in next 3 months to have my own keezer and i doubt at this time I will have more than one batch going at a time so could I get away with a keezer only or should I purchase a mini fridge to create a ferm chamber as well? Any idea are welcome, I'm trying to do this on a low cost scale so if I could get away with a chest freezer only that would be ideal. Thanks in advance.

Brulosopher 09-26-2012 12:25 PM

I have 2 chest freezer, both hooked up to temp regulators- one for fermentation and the other is my collared keezer (see link for my build below). I'd opt for getting your fermentation dialed in before kegging, that way you can at least have good bottled beer, rather than not-so-good kegged beer. Keezer's are rather easy to make, really. For a 2-3 faucet setup, all you really need is a 7 cu. ft. chest freezer, some 2x4 lumber, silicone caulk (or liquid nails, even), 15/16" spade bit, corner brackets, and some time. You could probably get the entire thing done on a Saturday morning. Check craigslist for cheap freezers, then offer lower than what's being asked. I purchased a 14.8 cu. ft. that was listed for $120 for only $80. I'm happy to answer any questions if you've got some. Cheers!

Mojzis 09-26-2012 12:39 PM

I just set up a chest freezer with a temp controller. Foe me I got the freezer on cl also, but I paid full price. I dinged the damn thing trying to fit it in my car and I felt bad enough without haggling the woman.

The controller I made for pretty darn cheap. I followed the "ebay temp controller build" thread on here, which worked out perfectly. I agree on controlling fermentation before kegging.

I'm not sure if you could get away with using one freezer for fermentation and as a keezer. Mine would possibly fit either a 3 gal carboy and 1-2 5 gal corny's or 1 5 gal carboy and maybe a 3 gal carboy. I haven't tried though and mines only about 7 cu ft.

silverbullet07 09-26-2012 01:17 PM

Does the chest freezer produce a lot of moisture at the higher temperture which results in mold and mildew?

Mojzis 09-26-2012 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by silverbullet07 (Post 4445637)
Does the chest freezer produce a lot of moisture at the higher temperture which results in mold and mildew?

Moderate moisture. I spray with star san and dry off after each batch. Mold and mildew aren't really a concern for the beer even if there was. The beers sealed off pretty well.

Still, a good disinfect and wipe-down seem to work.

supermoth 09-26-2012 03:39 PM

One thing I wish I'd done with my chest freezer before starting to use it for fermentation was to seal the inside seams with silicone caulk. The condensation on the inside causes rusty water to exude from the seams, which eventually stains the white inside. My freezer was used, so I'm sure some of that rust was already there, but it seems like a good preventative measure when you're using the freezer for something other that its intended purpose.

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