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Old 05-26-2010, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default Converting my dorm fridge to a fermentation chamber?

I'm thinking that my old dorm fridge will be a nice temp control option for fermenting, but the 6 gal Better Bottle won't fit without moving the "chiller" from the roof of the fridge. Does anybody know how to do this?

There is a line (presumably the coolant line) running into the metal chiller frame. The frame is attached to the fridge with just a few screws but I don't know what to do about the coolant line. Can it be capped? Can I cut and cap the lines and get the fridge recharged? Would it be cheaper just to buy something else?Other ideas?

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Old 05-26-2010, 03:17 AM   #2
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I've been told that fridges are "closed" systems, therefore no way to recharged.

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Old 05-26-2010, 04:48 AM   #3
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If you take the fridge apart, and carefully remove the cooling lines, you can build a new enclosure and route them as you please- there are a few threads on this forum that I've seen that deal with it.

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll look at taking it apart!

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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If the freezer thing is a sheet of bent metal, you can (carefully) bend the whole thing down so that it rests against the back, like this:

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
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My dorm fridge had the chiller plate that doubled as the freezer floor, it was held in place with some plastic tabs, I released the tabs and carefully folded the chiller down so it did not kink the lines at the back and it now sits flush along the back of the fridge. I just finished building a 2x12 collar that will be used to expand it enough to ferment 10 gallons with no problems. I think I could take pics of the construction and post up a DIY if it might be useful to anyone.

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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Yup mine is just like Walkers up above!

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:48 PM   #8
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Walker-san,
I did that with my Ferminatrix(tm) and the motor kept tripping. The compressor didn't have enough oomph to push the coolant up a vertical plate. I ended up grinding off the extra metal above the coolant plate (on the sides) and I moved the whole thing up.

I have to cram the cornies in there, but I can get two at a time.

B

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azscoob View Post
Yup mine is just like Walkers up above!
+ 2.

I use a Johnson or Ranco controller now (can't remember which), and it works great. I'll soon be switching that controller to a keezer, and using an ebay aquarium controller to controll heating and cooling for fermentation.

Also, I found the dorm on the street, and it works great!
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad coffee View Post
Walker-san,
I did that with my Ferminatrix(tm) and the motor kept tripping. The compressor didn't have enough oomph to push the coolant up a vertical plate.
That sucks.... I wonder if you kinked the line when you bent it down?

Anyway.... back to the topic of a fermentation chamber....

What size is your fridge, Fishin-Jay? I know that the one I have will not hold a carboy because the diameter of the fermenter is large enough that it would have to sit up off the floor (above the hump covering the compressor) and that doesn't leave enough height to put a carboy or better bottle in there.

Kegs fit because they can sit all the way down on the floor (between the compressor hump and the door).
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