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Old 04-07-2013, 06:23 AM   #451
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #452
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On my Holiday 5cft, the set screw was not located under my logo sticker or any other sticker for that fact. Does yours original temperature control on the freezer have 3 slots before the 1-7 and after the 0? What may these notches be?
Jcorn,

I'm sure it's the same control on the front. Little green light above the 7 digit dial with the three dots between 1 and the off setting. When you remove it, it's easier to twist the unit clockwise whilst facing the freezer, you'll notice the sticker on the side wraps around the metal thermoster that is attached to the plastic faceplate/dial. it's on the bottom of that. Just rub your finger around that bottom face until you feel a depression. Use your screwdriver to push through the sticker. It's there, I promise Now. I had to use a very fine philips driver to manipulate the screw and turn it clockwise to get it to raise the temp.

Here is the caveat of my experience though... The HIGHEST I could get my ambient air temp in the freezer was 36F and that sank below freezing after I ran the cycle. It was also only 36F near the collar and about 34F near the compressor hump. So in reality, it was barely above freezing. I had a glass of water in there with a therm for like 3 days that never froze and settled in about 33F. So perhaps this trick would be good for a lagering chamber when you're dropping to the lowest temp but not so much for serving beer... In other words, you're gonna need to buy or build a new part to control the temp range. The good news is you saved a bunch in buying a Holiday in the first place.

Here's the next caveat. I want my Keezer to be ready yesterday so I bought a Johnson Controls plug in off Amazon for $53 and free two day shipping. There are some cheaper ones available, but I wanted fast shipping and I had concerns about deadband. Since the plug-ins control the run of power to your freezer, they shut off your power source once the temp is reached. This can be hard on your freezer's compressor if you constantly start it and also cut power to it mid cycle. The nice thing about controller builds that involve rewiring is that they can work with your freezer's compressor's cycle, potentially increasing it's life-length. Of the ones I saw on Amazon as far as plug-in-and-go, the only one I saw with a (user) posted deadband was the JC I bought. It was plus or minus 3F and I felt that gave a good amount of forgiveness before it would kick the compressor on and enough time to run to allow it to fully cycle before the controller cut power to it. So those are some things to consider. Another is if you'll get one with a shorter deadband and put the probe in a water medium to control frequency of cycling. How much an effect a shorter deadband would have on the freezer's life, I'm not entirely sure, since I'm not incredibly versed in compressor systems, but I figure another $20 is worth peace of mind knowing the couple hundred I sunk in this project may be better protected. There are probably tons of threads that delve deeper into the subject, but this is what I've gathered.

HTH and as always, YMMV.

Cheers!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #453
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Spartacus, I can not thank you enough for that timely spent educational piece you typed out. Extremely informing and brought up things I had been nervous about as well with the on/off compressor effects.
Shortly after my last post I had found that screw and did some adjustments. Right now I am on clockwise turn number 9 and my compressor is shutting off around 36. I have a fridge thermometer at the bottom of the unit. I have a keg full of water in the bottom at the moment which has not frozen but is close to slush. A cup of water on the compressor hump which is reading 35 pretty consistently. Can I flirt with these temps for my brew? I love ice cold brew but do not want to be thawing out any kegs. Even if all plays out well with the kegs potentially not freezing, can I serve my homebrew between the temps of 33 and 36? Hahaha will it hurt anything? Condensation on my 3 new ss perlicks im putting on? This is all if I do not buy the controller you speak of, of course.

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Old 04-10-2013, 06:56 AM   #454
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Not a problem jcorn,

I understand the love and care that goes into raising childrehhhhh-IIII mean building a keezer. Sorry, got my priorities out of wack. Anywho. Today has been a wonderful day. My Johnson Controls arrived earlier and I'm fiddling with it now. The posted deadband was 3.5F on it's instructions but my digital thermom (which I do question it's abilities) seems to say it runs closer to 8F... I set it at 43-44 and the low was 36F, high 52F. So I'm hoping that things even out or at least my thermo is off (which means my 10 gallons of beer waiting for this keezer were steeped at inappropriate temps, but at this point I just want fizzy liquid, damn it). I'll let you know how that goes as it develops...

Jerry Riggin Your Set-up, LOTS of Useless Science
SO!!! back to your task at hand. What's happening is that your freezer is kicking on at 36 degrees, so that means it spends little time at that temp. in reality, your brew will prolly be closer to the 33-34F range if not at freezing. Due to the solutes in your beer (as few as they may be, alcohol probably being the largest concentration-YIPPEE!) that may not be an issue. There is this thing in chemistry called the colligative property and it basically is the measure of the ratio of solutes in a liquid that cause a freezing-temp depression. Simply put, your beer will freeze at a temperature lower than 32F (though perhaps not by much, maybe 2-4F MAX, I'm not sure since I'm not going to calculate it) because the extra molecules in the liquid make it harder for the water molecules to adhere to one another in the proper fashion to make a solid (The Hex shape is due to the atomic structure of water, blah blah blah, makes snowflakes' shape, blah blah blah). The best example of the colligative property is using salt to melt ice, or better yet, to make ice-water COLDER when you hand make ice cream (loved that lab day). In the end, you'll be FLIRTING close with a frozen keg, but between the temp difference from the top of your keezer to the bottom (assuming you did a 2x4 collar and minimal insulation, like me) it's unlikely a keg will freeze. It may spontaneously freeze if it's on the cusp of freeze-temp and you bump it (causing a nucleation point for crystal formation, again, blah blah), but again, this is all theoretical because I haven't tried it.

Those issues probably aren't real and I just wasted a ton of time writing out bed-time stories from the book of "Homebrew Boogie-Man," but a few people have had kegs randomly freeze when their screw was set around 45 (very few) for a number of reasons... Worst case, if it does freeze, well, remember that any beer that says ICE on it means they froze it partially, scooped out the ice (pure water) and thereby increased ABV. So that's a silver-lining option if it hits the fan. You can make cheap brandy that way too.

THE VERDICT
I'd say try it for now, since it won't kill your brew as far as I know and I'll keep you posted on how my JC works, but there is one last thing to consider. As your beer gets colder, many of the aroma's, alcohol heat, and subtle flavors that make your beer special are masked. (why do you think BMC's try to serve you their "stuff" as cold as possible? Let one get warm and taste it next to a warm craft. Neither will be awesome, but you'll see a definite quality difference from a true craft. Same goes for room temp to slightly chilled red wine, it's less masked, more vibrant) For example, I prefer beer around 45 on the whole but I brewed a pumkin porter that, while extremely delicious, I found it got far better tasting as it got closer to 50+F since the subtle sweetness and nuances became more pronounced. So by chilling your beer to 33-36F, you're gonna hide a lot of that love and extra you put into your brew. Don't get me wrong, if that's how you like the taste best, by all means go for it. I would just hate for you to be underwhelmed after a month and a half of patience and love and care and attention to detail from something as trivial as serving temp.

CONDENSATION
Tap condensation is something I have no experience with personally, the restaurant I worked at/barbacked was air conditioned... But I can tell you that it seems unlikely. Unless it's stupid humid out already, it just doesn't seem relevant as far as an issue. Perhaps someone else can elaborate via anecdotal evidence, but I wouldn't worry.

CARBING!!!
The only thing I could see as troublesome is not adjusting your keg pressure to account for beer temp. Colder beer more readily absorbs CO2, so you'll need lower pressure to avoid over-carbing = foam-pints. There are charts you can easily find here, BierMuncher has a good one somewheres (just search keg carbing chart). So tape a thermo to your keg and insulate it to get an idea where those are sitting at equlibrium for your carbing levels.



HTH and YMMV my friend.


EDIT:

My controler seems to kick the compressor on about once an hour for about 4 minutes. I'm fairly pleased with this cycle, it seems close to what it was before I added the regulator. Sadly, it still seems my hysterysis is like 8F. I'll keep checking to make sure it's my thermo and not my regulator (I hope).

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-Fermentor: Best Brown Out (Ithica' Nut Brown clone)
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #455
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Your responses still seem to find ways to blow me out of the water. Extremely informative and I appreciate it all. Some things I have noticed about my brewing styles as I look deeper into this ice cold consideration are as follows. 1. I do not carb as honest as I should. All of my beers come out a little undercarbed but taste great to me. So the extra carbonation adds to my advantage. Another weird habit I have run into with most of my brews is using my co2 as needed. I do not have my co2 turned on all of the time. I turn it on as needed. Mostly used when I am getting too low of a pouring pressure or when I havent drank from a keg in a while. I live about an hour away from a co2 source so this keeps me safe.
2. I am always running around the house multi-tasking. Pouring an ice cold beer and having a few sips while on the run and returning to a perfectly cooled brew (around 45 as I totally agree with you!) minutes later works wonderfully for me. I am loving the fact of letting my brew warm up to temps that I can appreciate it.
3. Going to try and build a nice 2x4 collar to house my 2 5gallon ball lock kegs and my cute little 2.5 gallon ball lock keg which will sit on the hump nicely. Hopefully that will assist in keeping this puppy from freezing.
4. If I do choose to a true controlled keezer setup I am definitely following your advice. Even at a difference at 8, I would want to feel that relief knowing that everything is A-ok compressor wise.

Cheers buddy! Oh yea, what is HTH and YMMV? haha lost on that one!

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Old 04-10-2013, 08:22 AM   #456
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Haha, HTH is Hope This Helps, and YMMV is Your Milage May Vary (basically, your results will likely differ from mine)

I'm actually happy you're gonna try it. I'm intrigued to see how it works our for you. As far as waiting to enjoy, delayed gratification is a wonderful thing for those strong enough to follow it. I, on the other hand, will be student teaching next year and by the time I pull a pint after a 12-14 hour day will need to start enjoying immediately or risk waking up on the couch in the morning to a room temp beer haha.

I feel that carbing will vary based on external temp for me anyways. This analog controller (which you're using too, technically) works well but varies depending on external temp. So hopefully where you keep your freezer is fairly temp controlled or it will shift up or down degrees accordingly. I'm not too worried personally. Hell, some people like a little less fizz in their beer. If nothing else, it makes it more yours (and less a pain to drive a friggin hour, ouch man). It's like your signature. Neil Armstrong didn't build a sandcastle in outer space by being like everybody else either.

2.) That's good motivation to get your work done if you ask me! Plus you get the chance to experience just how much temp changes your flavor profile. That's how recommended temps are discovered and I feel adds to the experience.

3.) The collar definitely makes things nice. I gotta say though, I'm (financially) handcuffed at 2 kegs so I'm jealous of your extra 2.5 guy. I have a Mr. Beer I do all-grain with in my apt so a 2.5 keg would be perfect for that. Nice play. I'm keeping the tray/bucket thingy hanging over the hump to hold up to 8 pint glasses at beer temps. Trying to give a false impression of class for my guests haha. It'll also be nice being so cold since you have PLENTY of room to store extra hops AND grains. That'll be nice.

4.) The way I see it, even with 8F, it will only change 12 friggin ounces of beer like half a degree if that, so it should be good. If you end up getting a controller, I'll be happy to let you know how mine is treating me.



Glad your keezer is doing well, sounds like your set up is quite nice. Cheers buddy, have one for me, I graduate in less than a month! WAHOO!

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-Fermentor: Satinugal IPA (Lagunitas clone)
-Fermentor: Best Brown Out (Ithica' Nut Brown clone)
-Fermentor: O2, CO2, N2 and friends
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #457
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Dude this brewing hobby has absolutely changed my life. I am nuts about brewing! But it falls as short as extract brewing at the moment. I just cannot do all grain (too much timeand guess work involved for me. Hitting those temps are SOOO crucial. I like adding 6 lbs. of dme to 5 gallons and know I can consistently hit 1.058 with a tiny bit of steep grains.)
3. I caught that 2.5 on sale at Williamsbrewing.com for around 80 some bucks and pulled the trigger. I love having it for the pool side in the summers with my buds! My girlfriend actually loves the fact that all of my hops and frozen orange peel will be leaving the freezer. I have to hear about it quite often but all in fun! haha .
4. The controller sounds like a great place to be for your brew. I wish my damn compressor didnt turn on every half hour. I already busted that keezer flirting with 27ish temps today. Made me a tiny bit nervous I have to say.

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Old 04-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #458
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Oh and I also work at Pepsi so I caught a little break on my cornies. Making it easier to splurge for my 2.5

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:37 AM   #459
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I’m going disclose this now so no one is dissatisfied with the ending: this post is about a mysterious second screw, and it presents no answers other than that waiting and lowering my expectations have led me to pseudo-success. (This might also double as good dating advice)

So, I have read through *every* post in this thread pursuing an answer to my keezer thermostat-mod question. You see, I have been struggling for over a week to get my keezer to a stable temperature that is above freezing. I have made an elaborate chart of temperature measurements taken about twenty times a day (this issue has been very much on my mind). Using the coarse adjustment screw, I attempted to zero in on a good temperature reading on a thermometer floating in water. I found that I would get close, but the keezer would never kick in again and the unit would simply warm up *or* the villainous contraption would freeze-up, bringing everything to sub-zero (Celsius) temperatures, producing equally unsatisfying results.

What did I do? Well, I went exploring after reading about dead-zone settings on digital thermometers and I found a much less obvious second screw on the unit. For reference, I have a *Danby Freezer* with a liquid WP series *Foshan Tongbao* thermometer. I could find no documentation on the thermometer, so I did what seemed natural: start fiddling with things I had no understanding of.

Fiddling with the second screw would sometimes lead the compressor to kick in after the screw had been taken all the way out. I started wondering if it was in fact the coarse adjustment screw, and it might indeed be. I think that’s unlikely though, the first screw strikes me as more obviously constructed to be adjusted. The second one is a sunken screw that seems almost like a structural screw holding the whole thermometer together. I don’t know why the second screw led the compressor to engage, but it isn’t coincidence though as I managed to do this twice.

I continued to experiment with all adjustable settings in a variety of positions. The ultimate outcome has been that I am very close to cold temperatures without freezing, *and* I think my thermometer is slightly out of whack, or the variance in temperature is not enough to create significant freezing (this is outside of my understanding of physics). I kept responding to sub-zero measurements with adjustments. My thermometer, when it wasn’t reaching over 10 degrees Celsius, would push temperatures to bellow – 6 degrees. However, I realized that, while there was some freezing, there was not a lot of it. At that, the only freezing was inside the glass container holding the thermometer in tepid water. The bottles of carbonated water inside were not freezing at all. Thus, I have decided to leave things at the stable – 6 degree range because, well, it seems like there is not a significant amount of freezing happening, and I don’t trust myself to make any more adjustments without messing everything up! So far, there has been no significant freezing, although I froze up the line from a keg once, but that was under what I believe was a much colder setting. I’m going to leave it like this and simply pray that it all stays stable and I don’t experience any freezing. I don’t know for sure that my thermostat is failing, but it does not make a lot of sense to me that it will read -5 for hours at a time, but only a little bit of ice freezes, and none on compressed bottles.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:10 AM   #460
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I just came across this thread when looking for ways to adjust temps in fridges for fermentation. I have an extra fridge (about 20 years old) in my basement, and after reading several posts here, along with looking at the pictures posted, I was able to dismantle the thermostat cover, find the small screw, and started turning... clockwise mind you It has taken me a couple of days to dial it in, but I put a 5 gallon bucket of water with floating thermometer inside the fridge and it has been holding at consistent 66-67 degrees. Perfect for fermenting ales! There is no need to go out and buy a separate temperature controller if you are willing to invest a little time in figuring out where that little screw is located! Can't thank you enough. I will be brewing BIAB for the first time in a year next week and will post how things went once its done fermenting. I wished they would sticky this thread!

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