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Old 08-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Ideas for a broken chest freezer?

It's official, my chest freezer has called it quits. I used it for a fermentation chamber as well as cold storage via a Johnson controller. I have been debating on what to do with it. A few thoughts I had were;

1 - Perhaps convert it into a Peltier fermentation chamber. I'm not sure if this is even possible. I wonder how many cooling units I would need to easily cool it down to 38 - 34 degrees? I also wonder how complicated the circuitry would need to be.

2 - I have an unused window air conditioner (two actually) that I could some how mount to the side of it. I know I would have to cut a very large hole and create some sort of support system. This is probably the cheapest option as I already have the parts and if the AC unit dies I have an exact match for a backup. The downside is that I would need to worry about the condensation off the back of the AC unit.

3 - Buy another and trash the old one.

Anyone have any other suggestions or thoughts on my ideas?

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Old 08-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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I'd say if you're not in the position to buy a new one, make a frankenkeezer . Mount it higher as cold air is more dense and will sink once inside (or don't and just make sure you've got air movement inside). If it was me, I'd mount it so that the lid of the freezer sits right on the top of the AC (less cuts, easier to install, easier to insulate). This will also allow you to use a larger bucket to collect condensation water. Figure out what you're going to build the AC support from and keep it simple.

If it starts to feel like it's not worth it while you're planning it, ditch it. Either hit up craigslist for a lightly used one or pick up a new one. They're really not too expensive and I'm not sure how old your other unit was but a newer one surely costs less to run.

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Old 08-02-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
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About the only thing that would IMHO kill my kezzer is a leak in the coil, most times it's just the relay/overload that fries out.

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Old 08-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #4
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It's not so much about the money as it is about trying to find another freezer that is roughly the same size. This one is probably 15 - 20 years old and is alot deeper (front to back) then most new ones I have seen. I am able to fit four six gallon buckets in the deep part of this freezer. Plus I still have the compressor hump to put excess growlers or bottles. Lately when I have time to brew I try do two ten gallon batches to try to maximize the amount of beer I produce.

Not to mention the hassle of carrying the freezer up from my basement and finding someone to scrap it.

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Old 08-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaksnbeer View Post
About the only thing that would IMHO kill my kezzer is a leak in the coil, most times it's just the relay/overload that fries out.
The compressor runs, but it is not getting cold. This leads me to believe it is either a leak or a blockage. Either way it is not serviceable by any DIY methods that I am aware of.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:31 AM   #6
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Ditch the dead unit and start trawling your local Craig's List...

Cheers!

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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I use my dead chest freezer as a fermentation chamber in the cold winter months of PA. I have a small space heater that I put in one corner attached to my temp controller and it keeps the chamber at a constant fermentation temp in my cold basement all winter!

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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"compressor runs but its not getting cold" is how every chest freezer meets its death. Finding someone to scrap it for free should not be a problem. I had mine out on the curb for a couple hours before someone took it. Just make sure you put a sign on it that says broken.

the craigslist chest freezer market is flooded. watch it daily for a few weeks and you'll find a nice replacement

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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I haven't had any luck finding another freezer on craigslist yet so I think I'm going to try out the window AC idea. I'll let you guys know how it turns out. If it fails I will only be out a couple hours of my time and some scrap wood.

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #10
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is the output air cold enough to reach a total ambient temp of middle 30's? The output air will need to be somewhere in the 20's I'd imagine.

you won't be able to have the chest freezer completely sealed I don't think, unless it's a very large one.

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