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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Guide to set internal chest freezer thermostat to >32F; Eliminate external control

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Old 06-23-2012, 03:10 PM   #321
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Originally Posted by JSGT09 View Post
I'm wanting to try this on my Holiday 5.0 freezer but am nervous about freezing my kegs that I currently have inside it. I'm controlling the temp right now with an ebay temp controller, but I need to steal it for my new fermentation fridge. What is my risk is freezing my kegged beer while messing with the screw adjustments?
Hi

Monitor the temperature with a small water bottle or something similar. It will react faster than your beer. Plan to spend some quality time watching what is going on and you likely won't freeze the beer. It takes a long time (hours) to freeze a keg.

That said, I'd pull the beer out of the lines while you are messing around. They can freeze pretty fast.

Bob
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:16 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
Sweet; thanks for the info. Right now my system runs for 4 minutes then stays off for about a half-hour. I think I will add some hysteresis by putting the temp sensor in a glass of water and see how that goes.

Anyone else have another data point?
Hi

Off time is what you want to "worry about". If the compressor fires up again within about 20 minutes that's not a real good thing at all. If you watch a "real" small freezer the compressor does indeed come on once an hour under some conditions. The big freezers don't seem to fire up quite as often.

The flip side to this is that the longer between re-starts, the bigger the temperature swing in the freezer. Since the keg moves very slowly, the freezer can move quite a bit and the beer won't notice much at all. If you are out in the "cycle per hour" range that's probably ok.

I would not rip the the controller out of it's original location just to so something with a jug of water. One big advantage to modifying the original controller is that it's rugged and reliable.

Bob
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #323
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I'm not modifying the original controller, I'm using an external controller. So I can just dangle the temp probe in there, or tape it to a keg, or put it water or whatever. My temp controller also has an adjustable deadband in itself.

I was asking in this thread because I think it's good to know how often these small freezers kick on when people modify the original thermostat. I think it's good to target that same cycle frequency when setting up an external temp controller. I think it's good info for people using Johnson etc. temp controllers--it seems to me like you should try to mimic the cycle frequency of the stock thermostat, and until people started turning the stock thermostats up, we didn't really know what that cycle frequency would be at say, 40F.

I will try to get my thermostat to stay off for a bit longer, like at least 45 minutes. If anyone else is adjusting the thermostats on these and is bored enough to sit there and time the cycle frequency, I think it would be good to get as much data on this as possible.

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by HBrew71 View Post
That is not the screw. It is on the other side -- on the bottom -- underneath the tape.
dang i am so happy i came back to this "that one" was the same one i was adjusting and not working ,just went an looked under the tape -
woo hoo we're cookin with gas now i will post back in a day when i get'er adjusted.
Thanks all
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:42 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
I'm not modifying the original controller, I'm using an external controller. So I can just dangle the temp probe in there, or tape it to a keg, or put it water or whatever. My temp controller also has an adjustable deadband in itself.

I was asking in this thread because I think it's good to know how often these small freezers kick on when people modify the original thermostat. I think it's good to target that same cycle frequency when setting up an external temp controller. I think it's good info for people using Johnson etc. temp controllers--it seems to me like you should try to mimic the cycle frequency of the stock thermostat, and until people started turning the stock thermostats up, we didn't really know what that cycle frequency would be at say, 40F.

I will try to get my thermostat to stay off for a bit longer, like at least 45 minutes. If anyone else is adjusting the thermostats on these and is bored enough to sit there and time the cycle frequency, I think it would be good to get as much data on this as possible.
Hi

There is a reasonable amount of variation between freezers with stock controllers running at normal target temperature (0F or below). Great big freezers with a full load of "stuff" in a cold room - not much cycling. Little low cost units in a warm room - you'll see them cycle amazingly often (like every 30 to 45 minutes).

Obviously the original thermostat is trying to run at 0F and not at 40. Because of they way the mechanics work, their cut in / cut out points get closer as you raise the temperature. They will cycle a bit more than you might expect at 40F.

Bob
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:08 PM   #326
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Default Colder not warmer.

See one on C-list...cheap so wondering
Can it be done on a "wine cooler" bottle fridge.?
Want it to get colder. Manuel says 45-49 for sparkling wine.
Can you Un-screw the coarse screw to get it colder.?
Avanti Wine Cooler, Model WC601CL
http://www.abt.com/product/10930/Avanti-WC601CL.html

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:08 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by Double-R View Post
See one on C-list...cheap so wondering
Can it be done on a "wine cooler" bottle fridge.?
Want it to get colder. Manuel says 45-49 for sparkling wine.
Can you Un-screw the coarse screw to get it colder.?
Avanti Wine Cooler, Model WC601CL
http://www.abt.com/product/10930/Avanti-WC601CL.html
Hi

You probably can get the controller to go quite a bit colder. The compressor / cooler in the fridge likely will croak pretty quick trying to get to 36F and stay there. My stock wine fridges cycle a lot just holding 45 or so.

Bob
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:39 PM   #328
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Default Success!!!

Hey, I just wanted to give AssistantBrewer a great big ol' Thank You!

This weekend I decided to try this out on my Frigidaire 5cuft chest freezer, and it so far has worked like a charm! The hardest thing I came across was finding a screw driver small enough to rotate the course adjustment screw. You, Sir, rock!

Here are a couple of pictures of my small chest freezer. Just in case you were wondering model information, here it is:




Freezer moved out to where I can work on it easily:



All of the controls were on the side of the freezer, the temperature dial is on the lower left in this picture:



Here is the dial removed, I recognized what this looked like from what other people did, and that made me happy that I was on the right track!:



All that was left to do was pull the dial off of the unit so I could easily work on it. I just removed the tape, and then spent about 20 minutes trying to find a screw driver that was small enough to get in there and rotate the course adjustment screw.



The freezer has been running for two days now, and I have a pitcher of water in there that is cold to the touch, but the water isn't frozen. When I get home tonight I'll get a temperature reading for y'all and post my results! (I had a thermometer in there for two days, but it says it's 28 degrees, however the water isn't frozen, so I don't really believe that.)

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Old 06-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #329
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I just did this on a brand new 7cu ft Holiday (Lowes). I turned my adjustment screw all the way in (clockwise) - roughly 12 turns - until it stopped. I now have a temp probe monitoring the temp of a 5 gallon bucket of water inside it. It's otherwise empty. Hoping for ~40-45F stabilization. Thanks for the great info!

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #330
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So, I started fiddling with this last evening. I put a 5 gallon bucket of water in the freezer with a thermometer in the water and another one just sitting on the compressor hump. I checked the temps this morning, the water gave a 40F reading and the other one on the compressor hump gave a ~20F reading.

I wouldn't expect them to be the same, but does that seem like a "normal" delta between temps? To get the "beer" to 40F, does the keezer actually need to be 20-30F? Maybe one of my thermometers is off?

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