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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Chest Freezer as Carboy cooler for fermenting?
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:07 AM   #1
muenchk
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Default Chest Freezer as Carboy cooler for fermenting?

I did a search and found a lot about using chest freezers to create keezers, but I can't find anything about them being good/bad as a place to keep my fermenting carboys cool.

I was thinking of getting a used chest freezer and put 2 fermenting carboys/buckets in. Connect an external Johnson temp control and set it to 65 degrees.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Good idea? Bad idea?

This swamp cooler thing isn't working for me....

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by muenchk View Post
I did a search and found a lot about using chest freezers to create keezers, but I can't find anything about them being good/bad as a place to keep my fermenting carboys cool.

I was thinking of getting a used chest freezer and put 2 fermenting carboys/buckets in. Connect an external Johnson temp control and set it to 65 degrees.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Good idea? Bad idea?

This swamp cooler thing isn't working for me....
I have a chest freezer with three carboys in it doing exactly that. Works great.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:16 AM   #3
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I have seen a few tours of peoples homebrewerys that use that same method. And now you can brew lagers!



-Nick

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:21 AM   #4
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I am thinking about doing the same thing, I don't think a swamp cooler is going to work for me also. I am hoping to find a decent chest freezer on craigslist. Good luck with yours!
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:26 AM   #5
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cool!

I've found a couple chest freezers on craigslist under $100. Then about $60 for the Johnson Temp control and I'm done, right?

I wonder though...that Johnson temp control essentially turns the freezer on and off to maintain the ideal temp. Doesn't that screw with the motor and dramatically reduce its life span?

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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cool!

I've found a couple chest freezers on craigslist under $100. Then about $60 for the Johnson Temp control and I'm done, right?

I wonder though...that Johnson temp control essentially turns the freezer on and off to maintain the ideal temp. Doesn't that screw with the motor and dramatically reduce its life span?
I wouldn't think so. I mean your average freezer turns on and off, right? It is controlled by a thermostat that will turn it on and off when it gets to a certain point. I doubt it is any different. It might be more suited for the temps it was meant to hold, and it might kick on a little more often, but I don't know that it'll do much harm.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #7
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This works fine.

I use mine simultaneously as a keezer and for lager ferments. Because I keep my beer around 48-50 it's perfect for fermenting too.

The only downside I can see is condensation. Freezers are meant to be frozen. So they will produce a lot of condensation at these warmer temps. It's not a big deal, just be meticulous about wiping them down or you can get some mold and such. Same problem for a keezer though.

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:43 AM   #8
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Freezers work great as fermentation chambers.

You might want to consider getting a stand-up freezer instead of a chest freezer, depending on your circumstances and equipment. I use a stand-up freezer and I think it works better as a fermentation chamber:

1. Shorter height to lift the carboy.
2. Easier to see the sides of the carboy (I'm a bit of a voyeur during fermentation).
3. Easy access for pulling samples if you have a Better Bottle or other carboy with a spigot.

One argument against a stand-up freezer is that you lose the cold air when you open the door, but I don't believe this is much of an issue because the temperature of the air inside the freezer, even during a lager fermentation, is not very cold. Plus, the thermal mass of your fermenting beer is way larger than the air, so it won't significantly affect its temperature.

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:31 AM   #9
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How many carboys can you fit in a stand up freezer? Aren't they awfully heavy for those rather flimsy shelves?

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:40 AM   #10
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How many carboys can you fit in a stand up freezer? Aren't they awfully heavy for those rather flimsy shelves?
I can fit two carboys easily. Check out my photos and comments in this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/bett...freezer-60102/

The carboys rest on the bottom of the freezer, not on the shelves.

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