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Old 09-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default 1 Chest Freezer - 2 temps?

New to the forum, and just getting back in to brewing after more than 10 years off. Decided to come back w/ a Lager...so got a 9 cubic foot chest freezer from Craigslist for $60, and a Johnson controls analog temp controller. Now every time i look in my cooler at my one lonely carboy I'm thinking in need to get more than one batch going at a time.

Here's the question (sorry if i'm in the wrong place, but my eyes are crossed from reading threads to find the right place).

Can i ferment an ale and a lager in the same freezer? I'm keeping freezer right at 50 for my lager, but I'd like to know if i do something like wrap some R30 insulation (have some spare laying around) on the Ale fermenter...or something similar...will that keep it warm enough (60ish)? Any other ideas? Maybe build a walled off section w/ foam board and use the insulation too?

PS i'm in Florida and we keep the house around 78 most of the year so putting an ale in the closet is prob out of the question

Thanks for any thoughts (and again sorry if i put this thread in the wrong section)

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Old 09-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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Yep, there have been threads on this before. I would suggest putting a wall of hard insulation between the Lager side and Ale side. Get another Temp controller and run a form of Heating on the Ale side thru that controller. Maybe a heat blanket, incandescent bulb or aquarium heater. It's obviously not very efficient... but it will work.

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Old 09-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #3
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Or a Fermwrap and some sort of insulation around the ale. Ditto on the second controller.

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Old 09-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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I have 2 of the eBay temp controllers and they work great (20 bucks each) , I have the chest freezer plugged in on the colder beer controller, and 2 fermwraps attached to the heating side of both controllers to keep them fermenting where I want them. I also don't have any insulation in there separating them. Fermwraps can do about 25 degrees f above ambient. So unless you are doing a Belgian beer with a lager you should be ok.

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Old 09-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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It is going to be pretty energy inefficient.
I am working on keezer w/fermentation chamber. I got small broken freezer for free and I"m thinking to use it as ferm. chamber, they will be connected with insulated pipes and fan to blow cold air.

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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Excellent...thanks for the ideas. This should give me enough to either brake my freezer or make something work!!

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Old 09-25-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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Worried for nothing...looks like i found an easy solution. Have a plisner in a secondary in the freezer set to 48 deg. Sunday I brewed a pale ale, cooled to 65 and pitched the yeast. I took that carboy and put in the freezer as well, but i took some extra R13 wall insulation i had laying around and wrapped that carboy.

Temp held at 65 until fermentation kicked in (about 24 hours later), then temp jumped to 72 deg...so i took some of the insulation off (exposing about 1/3 of the carboy) Since then, the temp has been holding steady at 68 degrees and ale is fermenting like gang busters ! No heater, no light, no thermawrap.

I love finding a cheap and easy solution. (and my wife complains about all the crap i keep laying around the house...Hey..u never know when u may need it )

Hopefully this will help someone else in the same situation.

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