Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fermentation Chamber - Freezer Chest or Upright Fridge?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-02-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
HopKeller
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 106
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default Fermentation Chamber - Freezer Chest or Upright Fridge?

Being new to the brewing game and living in GA, I'm quickly finding that maintaining steady fermenting temps in the summer is not easy and has, I believe, created some off flavors in my beer.
In an effort to create the ideal temps for fermenting my primaries and secondaries, I'm hoping to get some opinions about what others' prefer in terms of a fermenting chamber. I know everyone has a different opinion on this, which is why I'm asking. Some of my concerns are:

-Cost (am looking to buy used and retrofit it with a temp. controller)
-Capacity (I want to fit at least 2- 6.5 gal. carboys or ale pales)
-Energy Consumption (For financial and environmental reasons)
-Space (I don't have a lot of room - enough for a fridge or 7cu/ft chest freezer)

__________________
HopKeller is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
Shooter
Almaigan Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Shooter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
Posts: 4,454
Liked 233 Times on 180 Posts
Likes Given: 38

Default

Another consideration, sliding five gallons into a refrigerator is usually a little easier on the back then having to drop it in and out of a freezer.

__________________

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)

Shooter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 05:22 PM   #3
walrusbt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 47
Default

I just finished getting all the equipment I needed this week, and plan to brew my first batch this weekend, so I don't have a deep history you can benefit from but I recently made the decision myself. For me the main deciding factor was the footprint - I could either have a large upright freezer or a smaller chest freezer due to where it would have to go. I opted to go bigger and have a 17 cubic foot upright and am happy with the decision. (and I didn't consider a fridge because I wanted to be able to lager).

Other things considered:
* You're going to dump less cold air out with a chest freezer. I still felt the 5 gallon mass wouldn't be impacted that easily from infrequently opening the freezer.
* I think you'll have a much easier time loading/unloading fermenters in an upright
* If you think you may keg and convert to a keezer you may prefer the chest.
* It seems chests were everywhere on Craigslist but uprights (at the price I wanted to pay) were a little harder to find. With a little patience though the right upright can be found for the right price.

__________________
walrusbt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
dancness
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pennsauken, New Jersey
Posts: 142
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

If you are only making ales and not lagers, I found that the swamp cooler method was very inexpensive and effective.

__________________
dancness is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 06:04 PM   #5
HopKeller
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 106
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancness View Post
If you are only making ales and not lagers, I found that the swamp cooler method was very inexpensive and effective.
Only Ales at this point. The problem I have with the swamp cooler is my schedule...can't always be around to drop in ice or frozen H2o bottles. I want to be able to put in a freezer or fridge and leave it alone for 3-4 weeks. On my first beer, I kept a damp t-shirt over the bucket and placed it in front of an AC register. It worked, but the temps fluctuated quite a bit due to the AC turning on and off. Also, the ambient temp. of my house during the summer is around 76-78 deg...too warm to just stick in a closet.
__________________
HopKeller is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
tangofoxtrot308
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lynchburg, Va
Posts: 90
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Got a wine cooler that goes to the low 50's and a temp control. I love it only fits one carboy though

__________________

"Ora et labora" (Pray and Labor)

tangofoxtrot308 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 06:15 PM   #7
Begin2Brew
Searching for the perfect beer one at a time
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Begin2Brew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Antioch, IL
Posts: 737
Liked 59 Times on 56 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default Freezer

If you plan on only doing ales and never brewing a lager then i would say a fridge. With a fridge you can easily maintain ale temps for fermentation. If at any point you might brew lagers then I would suggest a chest freezer, you have the ability to ferment a lager at the optimal fermentation temps with a fridge or freezer but if you are going to lager the fridge might not be able to drop the temps to the proper lagering temps. I like to lager at 31F and the only thing that will go that low is the freezer.

__________________

Bill

Ruffled Feathers Brewery

Begin2Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
dancness
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pennsauken, New Jersey
Posts: 142
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopKeller View Post
Only Ales at this point. The problem I have with the swamp cooler is my schedule...can't always be around to drop in ice or frozen H2o bottles. I want to be able to put in a freezer or fridge and leave it alone for 3-4 weeks. On my first beer, I kept a damp t-shirt over the bucket and placed it in front of an AC register. It worked, but the temps fluctuated quite a bit due to the AC turning on and off. Also, the ambient temp. of my house during the summer is around 76-78 deg...too warm to just stick in a closet.
I see. My house was 76F and I didn't have much problems keeping the cooler at 66F. I just had to drop in ice bottles twice a day and keep the fan on it around the clock. If you want a hands free system, obviously the swamp cooler won't allow that. But it sure is cheap.
__________________
dancness is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #9
Marlowefire
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dahlonega, Ga
Posts: 234
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I too live in Georgia. And I got a GE 7.0 cubic foot chest freezer earlier this summer. It fits 2 6-gallon better bottles with enough room on the hump for a 4lb bucket of damp rid. It gets humid at crap here in GA and when opening and closing this in my garage I find some of that gets trapped, not much. I don't plan on having to change the bucket for many months.

I bought mine new since i couldnt find any on craigslist. It was 298 plus tax at SAMs club. I use a johnson digital temp controller and it's been great. Any of the new chest freezers will cost very very little in terms of energy usage. They say about 30 dollars a year to run it as an actual freezer and I'm using it for 66F. Just make sure to up the delay on the temp controller so it wont kick the compressor on and off a lot.

__________________

Marlowefire is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 08:31 PM   #10
Maxkling
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 506
Liked 22 Times on 9 Posts

Default

Chest freezer hands down. You'll eventually want to cold crash also, so this works great. Mine is very efficient in my 110 degree garage.

__________________

"It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it."

"Gun Control Means Using Both Hands."

Maxkling is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chest Freezer or No-Freezer Fridge? Kesigage Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 01-18-2013 08:16 PM
Chest freezer/Fermentation chamber temp control Thehopguy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 06-17-2011 06:22 AM
Chest Freezer conversion to Ferm. Chamber BugAC Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 05-06-2011 03:02 PM
Keezer Build: Upright or Chest Freezer? ultravista Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 12-31-2010 09:44 PM
Fridge vs. Chest Freezer ChiN8 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 05-23-2010 08:12 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS