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Old 07-28-2010, 02:56 AM   #1
arturo7
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Default Refrigerator for Fermentation

Today I was offered a refrigerator that I would like to use for fermenting both ales and lagers. It's nothing special, just a standard box with the freezer on top.

I assume I can just add a controller to it and be good to go. However, I searched and didn't find a decent build thread. It seems everyone cannibalizes their fridge to make a fermentation chamber.

Am I missing something? Is there a problem adding a controller to a standard fridge and using it for fermentation?

Thanks

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Old 07-28-2010, 03:16 AM   #2
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Am I missing something? Is there a problem adding a controller to a standard fridge and using it for fermentation?

Thanks
Nope. Plug controller into wall outlet, plug fridge into controller, place bulb in fridge--voila! Fermentation chamber. Easiest way to get temp. control.

There are no build threads b/c it's that simple.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:25 AM   #3
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I hope you don't need to do anything special. I added the aquarium controller to a frig I just got ($40 craigslist). I also replaced the drawers with a piece of plywood, reinforced with 2x4 sections. Easy "build", if you would even call it that. The plywood is strong enough that I can sit on it.



The can is only for testing it the controller. I'll be putting a bucket of water in there tomorrow and insulating the probe. Then, I'll check the temp with a known accurate thermometer to calibrate the controller:

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Old 07-28-2010, 03:51 AM   #4
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So, which are the preferred controllers?

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Old 07-28-2010, 03:57 AM   #5
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Ranco are probably the easiest. The aquarium one was cheapest.

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Old 07-28-2010, 04:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
Nope. Plug controller into wall outlet, plug fridge into controller, place bulb in fridge--voila! Fermentation chamber. Easiest way to get temp. control.

There are no build threads b/c it's that simple.
+1 I have two refrigerator fermentation chambers. I'm using the Johnson analog controllers for both with excellent results. IMO, controlling fermentation temps is one of the best things you can do to improve your beer. Nice for cold conditioning too.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:10 AM   #7
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The only problem you could run into is that some fridges only go down to 40 degrees or so and you may want to lager lower than that.

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:39 AM   #8
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I used a $20 craigslist fridge. The only mods I did were to build a shelf and replace the door shelves with a flat panel so that I can fit 4 carboys plus some growlers and a bunch of bottles. Not much to it at all. Here's the instructable I wrote for it-http://www.instructables.com/id/Conv...rmenting-beer/

I've since replaced the single stage Ranco controller with an e-bay two stage aquarium controller, and lowered the shelf a little so I can fit corny kegs in there too.

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:42 AM   #9
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The only problem you could run into is that some fridges only go down to 40 degrees or so and you may want to lager lower than that.
i removed the damper that connects the fridge to the freezer compartment and wired a fan to run whenever the fridge is on. this way i get a closer fridge to freezer temp. the fridge comes on less and all is well.
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