Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > How much cold can a mini-fridge get with tweaking and mods?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-11-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
nebben
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Now legal in Utah
Posts: 1,188
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default How much cold can a mini-fridge get with tweaking and mods?

I put a small bath of saline water into the chiller of a mini-fridge at work, and after a few hours it got down to around 18F. Understandably, this is in the coldest part of the fridge, but in theory, with adequate insulation and air circulation, I don't see why the rest of the fridge wouldn't eventually reach this temperature.

I've seen a how-to on instructables.com about modifying a mini-fridge to operate on its back (the door opens vertically), and I think this format would allow the most cold air to remain inside the fridge. How the collar would be modified to allow for a few corny kegs...I don't know yet.

Anywho, those with some experience super-weatherstripping and super-insulating a mini-fridge, how cold can they get and maintain it?

__________________
nebben is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 195 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

The problem with adding insulation to a mini-fridge is that you would have to add it to the INSIDE. The heat exchanger on most mini-fridges are attached to the outer skin. Adding insulation to the outside would slow down it's ability to get rid of the heat. If you happen to have a model with the coils on the back, then you can safely add insulation to the outside.

Or you can build a custom box and add the innards from a dissected mini-fridge. That's what I did.

__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
brrman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN, Indiana
Posts: 1,448
Liked 35 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Quote:
I've seen a how-to on instructables.com about modifying a mini-fridge to operate on its back (the door opens vertically), and I think this format would allow the most cold air to remain inside the fridge. How the collar would be modified to allow for a few corny kegs...I don't know yet.
Can you post a link to this? I'd like to see that for sure. I did not think fridges and freezers could be tipped on their side or back for operation - the compressor relies on oil from a reservoir that will not be available when the unit is not standing straight.
__________________
* My Bar Build
8-Paws Brewing Co.
On tap:
. SN Tumbler Clone
. Nierra Sevada
Secondary:
Primary:
. SN Tumbler Clone 10g
. Sycamore Oatmeal Porter 10g
. Nierra Sevada 10g
On Deck:
.
Kegged:
.

Being a perfectionist does not make one perfect.
brrman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
nebben
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Now legal in Utah
Posts: 1,188
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brrman View Post
Can you post a link to this? I'd like to see that for sure. I did not think fridges and freezers could be tipped on their side or back for operation - the compressor relies on oil from a reservoir that will not be available when the unit is not standing straight.
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...st-refrigerat/
__________________
nebben is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
nebben
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Now legal in Utah
Posts: 1,188
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
The problem with adding insulation to a mini-fridge is that you would have to add it to the INSIDE. The heat exchanger on most mini-fridges are attached to the outer skin. Adding insulation to the outside would slow down it's ability to get rid of the heat. If you happen to have a model with the coils on the back, then you can safely add insulation to the outside.

Or you can build a custom box and add the innards from a dissected mini-fridge. That's what I did.
Part of my idea is to get an old office-water cooler that has a heating component and a mini-fridge component with big coils on the back. How cold does your chamber stay? Do you have any more pics of it?
__________________
nebben is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
brrman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN, Indiana
Posts: 1,448
Liked 35 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nebben View Post


AH - so they DO rotate the compressor! genius!
__________________
* My Bar Build
8-Paws Brewing Co.
On tap:
. SN Tumbler Clone
. Nierra Sevada
Secondary:
Primary:
. SN Tumbler Clone 10g
. Sycamore Oatmeal Porter 10g
. Nierra Sevada 10g
On Deck:
.
Kegged:
.

Being a perfectionist does not make one perfect.
brrman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2010, 09:11 PM   #7
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 195 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nebben View Post
Part of my idea is to get an old office-water cooler that has a heating component and a mini-fridge component with big coils on the back. How cold does your chamber stay? Do you have any more pics of it?
mini-fridge-total-dissection-photo-story

It holds and will easily accidently freeze 4 cornies. This is better insulated that it was as a mini-fridge
__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
Randar
Damn right I got da brews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Randar's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wheeling, IL
Posts: 29,359
Liked 4615 Times on 4518 Posts
Likes Given: 2144

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
mini-fridge-total-dissection-photo-story

It holds and will easily accidently freeze 4 cornies. This is better insulated that it was as a mini-fridge

Yes, but can it get colder than -20 C? Has anyone left it on 100% cycle to see how low you can go?
__________________
Randar is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 195 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

I don't know. I doubt mine would as it is. I suspect though with enough insulation/sealing it could. Maybe a refridgeration expert will chime in. I don't think the mechanism are different for fridges versus freezers. It's just the size of the system (and the insulation)

__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba 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
mini fridge - is this possible? ekjohns Bottling/Kegging 6 09-20-2009 02:11 PM
What should I do with my mini-fridge? Jsamp Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 08-16-2009 05:34 PM
3 Keg Mini-Fridge RockfordWhite Bottling/Kegging 11 09-24-2008 12:45 AM
Which of these will fit in a mini-fridge? Steel-Reserve Equipment/Sanitation 4 09-05-2008 08:50 PM
How to get rid of a mini-fridge? Mishka Equipment/Sanitation 3 12-26-2006 05:56 PM