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Old 11-01-2012, 04:19 AM   #1
Concho
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I'm wanting to build a combination kegerator/keezer - lagering chamber. The problem I'm having is which would be better, side by side or chest freezer with partition? I've looked through several builds and I'm not sure which would be best. For the kegerator I want to fit a minimum of 3 (preferably 4) corni kegs with three taps so I can be force carbing one while having up to 3 ready to drink. Also how many stc-1000 will I need, I'm figuring 3 one for temp controller of whole unit, one for fan for lagering chamber and heater for lagering chamber.

Any help would be great.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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I've been round and round about this. I ended up buying a 25cf side by side. I can fit 4 carboys in the fridge side, and 3 corny kegs (could be 4 with a little more modification) in the freezer side. I like that the floor space footprint is small, but it provides two temperature control zones. It works pretty well, though has not been as simple as I had hoped.

If you do get a side by side, make sure you get an older, non computer controlled one with the thermostats mounted behind the dials, they are much much easier to hack than the newer models with digital control. There are several threads on here detailing the conversion process on these side by sides that I have found useful (and contributed to). (here, here, to name a couple)

If I were to do it over again, I'd probably get two independent upright (frost free) freezers, or one upright (for fermenting) and one chest freezer (for serving). If you are set on buying just one unit, I think a side by side, or a custom build cabinet is the way to go. I'd avoid trying to create two separate zones inside a chest freezer, as you will inevitably create a situation where your compressor is fighting the heater, to the detriment of your power bill.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Oh, and I am using two HTC-1000 control units for mine. One controls the freezer compressor for cooling the freezer side, the other controls a fan that connects the two chambers, to pull cold air into the fridge side for cooling, and a small space heater for heating that chamber.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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It all comes to personal preference and actual use when what type of freezer to purchase. I have a stand-up that I converted to a Kegerator with 4 taps that gets the most use from friends... however, I also have my personal stash in a chest freezer with 6 taps for my favs. For lagering, I use an old refrigerator that I also place a black light bulb in (for heating, the fridge does the cooling of course)... like I said, it's all about what you have or can get cheap and easy.

Edit: I also agree with the above poster in avoiding trying to create 2 zones in one freezer.

As for the temp controller, you would need 2. One for the serving, one for the fermentation. See my link below for more info on the STC-1000.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Depends on your priorities mine is energy savings a side by side an average uses 10.8-13.4 amps my kezzer holds 17 kegs 14, 5 gallon kegs and 3, 3gallon kegs and uses only 5 amps at $3.50 a month vs. a side by side that would hold less then half that at $8.75 a month. That = a lot of beer! I would go with a chest freezer every time.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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beaksnbeer has a good point. The allure of having a small footprint and multiple temperature zones made me opt for the side by side, but the chest freezers are a way more efficient design (again, as long as you don't try to put a heater in one and create multiple zones).

In fairness, my side by side doesn't use as much power as it's rated for, since I keep the fridge side at 65º and the freezer side at 38º instead of 40º and -3º that it is rated for.

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Old 11-01-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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Thanks, I appreciate the help. I really liked drkwoods build, that is what got me on my current conundrum. Unlike most of the builds I've read, I'm going for the opposite results of cooling my fermentation, not heating it. In Central TX, we have no lack of heat, it was 88* today.

I was looking at a keezer by making a wall that would make the top of the step in the chest freezer a lagering chamber by using FRP sandwiching two to three layers of foam insulation, with a fan to draw cold air in and a vent that will close when the fan is not on. I was going to use one temp controller to bring the freezer up to 38* and the other controller to turn on the fan to cool the chamber and turn on a heating belt or heating pad.

Oh forgot to mention that this will be in my garage that is temp controlled by heat and ac.

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