Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > splitting chest freezer for serving and fermenting?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-28-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
twd000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 410
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default splitting chest freezer for serving and fermenting?

I am considering buying a ~10 cu. ft. chest freezer and converting for use both as a fermentation chamber, and keg server.

A search turned up another brewer who used a mixed cooling/heating cycle. I was hoping I could just take advantage of the cooling, using two temperature controllers.

I figure my target temperatures will always be below ambient (75 F). I would use a foam board and gaskets to divide the freezer into two compartments. The inner wall would have a cutout for a 2" computer fan that only runs when the warmer side needs to be cooled.

But this depends on how the cold air is delivered to the freezer. Is there a fan that blows in the cold air, similar to refrigerators? Or does it cool directly through all 5 walls? Does a frost-free freezer have a fan? If it is cooling though the walls, this idea is not going to work.

__________________
twd000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
phidelt1499
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 207
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 27

Default

Most chest freezers that I know of have the cooling coils throughout all of the walls of the freezer...

__________________
phidelt1499 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
masterchief1112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Toledo Ohio, ohio
Posts: 42
Default

frost free essentially means it shuts off and auto defrosts on a consistent basis. the chest freezer i have cools directly through the walls.

__________________
Power Ten Brewing
Some things I know, others i dont
I AM THE STIG
Primary: (2g): Air (6.5g): panty drop cider
Secondary: (6.5g): Air
Bottled: nada
UP Next: who knows
masterchief1112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #4
shelly_belly
Locomotive Breath
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
shelly_belly's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rabbittown, Bama
Posts: 1,459
Liked 114 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

When I use my chest freezer for fermentation control of ales I'll just fill some 2 litre bottles with whatever I was serving and put them in the fridge for drinking. I keep them carbed up with the homebrewed tire stem carbonator cap.

__________________
shelly_belly is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #5
twd000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 410
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phidelt1499 View Post
Most chest freezers that I know of have the cooling coils throughout all of the walls of the freezer...
if that's the case, this ain't gonna work. So the fan is just for air circulation, it doesn't pass over the evaporator coils?
__________________
twd000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-28-2011, 11:51 PM   #6
twd000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 410
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly View Post
When I use my chest freezer for fermentation control of ales I'll just fill some 2 litre bottles with whatever I was serving and put them in the fridge for drinking. I keep them carbed up with the homebrewed tire stem carbonator cap.
that sounds like a good compromise. Aren't you concerned about temperature-cycling the remainder of the kegs - taking them down to serving temp, then letting them rise back to room temp?

My current brewing schedule would have me using it as a fermentation fridge about 50% of the time, which would mean a lot of disruptions to pull kegs out and fill the 2-liter bottles.
__________________
twd000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-29-2011, 12:36 AM   #7
shelly_belly
Locomotive Breath
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
shelly_belly's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rabbittown, Bama
Posts: 1,459
Liked 114 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

I have a 9 cu ft freezer and it will hold 3 kegs and 2 carboys (1 on the hump) so I rarely have to remove a keg. I'm not concerned about the temperature swings as it doesn't seem to change the beer too much. I've even bottled my lagers (lagered at 33F) post keg and stored them at room temperatures with no problems.

__________________
shelly_belly is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-29-2011, 03:09 AM   #8
twd000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 410
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly View Post
I have a 9 cu ft freezer and it will hold 3 kegs and 2 carboys (1 on the hump) so I rarely have to remove a keg. I'm not concerned about the temperature swings as it doesn't seem to change the beer too much. I've even bottled my lagers (lagered at 33F) post keg and stored them at room temperatures with no problems.

so do you pick one temperature for both fermenting and serving? seems like ale fermenting temps would be too cold for serving
__________________
twd000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
twd000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 410
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Plan B - what about this same idea using a side-by-side refrigerator? It already has divided compartments, with a cutout to pass cold air. It maintains temperatures that are ~20 F apart. I would need a large fridge to ensure the freezer side is big enough to hold a couple corny kegs.

Has anyone attempted this?

__________________
twd000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
bottlebomber
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ukiah, CA
Posts: 14,247
Liked 2642 Times on 2068 Posts
Likes Given: 293

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by twd000

My current brewing schedule would have me using it as a fermentation fridge about 50% of the time, which would mean a lot of disruptions to pull kegs out and fill the 2-liter bottles.
Do you realistically need to ferment in the fridge every time? I know its a nice thing to have in the summer or for a lager, but in the fall and a good part of the winter garage temp works great for me..
__________________
bottlebomber 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
Chest Freezer FoundersBrew DIY Projects 0 08-17-2011 02:26 PM
chest freezer Aschecte DIY Projects 1 07-21-2011 06:32 PM
Chest freezer help benharper13 DIY Projects 2 07-07-2011 04:03 PM
chest freezer brboland DIY Projects 5 02-22-2011 04:36 AM
Chest Freezer jgbrown DIY Projects 12 08-18-2009 04:19 PM