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Old 01-21-2010, 03:02 AM   #1
xinunix
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I am getting ready to make the move into kegging and have been reading posts on this forum for weeks learning and absorbing everything I can.

I am struggling with what appears to be a common issue for most people that are new to kegging, freezer vs. fridge for my kegerator.

Many great posts on pros and cons so I am not asking for opinions on which is better. However I am interested to know how many people that have had chest freezers for kegerators have had to deal with mold/mildew issues from the moisture that builds up in them when keeping them at temperatures just above freezing.

I am currently using a chest freezer for fermentation temp control but am mostly brewing ales so I really have not had any issues with condensation.

How much of a problem is this with a keezer setup? Seems it would be a non-issue with a fridge but could be a PITA with a keezer if it happens often. What things are people doing to mitigate this, do you use something like damprid? Also are you treating the wood for your collars with something to reduce the potential of mold/mildew?

Thanks for all of the great advice, this site rocks


 
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:49 AM   #2
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I have mine set at 35 degrees. This is where the condensation freezes to the sides of my keezer but doesn't freeze the beer inside the kegs. I have the Magic Chef 7.2 cubic foot chest freezer. If I set it any warmer 38 or so, the condensation drips down to the floor of the freezer and puddles up. I think that is just life with a manual defrost freezer. I like my beer cold though, and it always warms up some to "serving temps" before I'm done with it anyway.

I think your OK at near freezing temps, but if you like your English ales at 52 you might have a problem... at least that is my experience.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:04 AM   #3
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You can throw a bucket of DampRid into the keezer, and/or set up a fan to circulate air. Each will help dry it out a bit.

 
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
You can throw a bucket of DampRid into the keezer, and/or set up a fan to circulate air. Each will help dry it out a bit.
A fan? I am turning an old vintage freezer into a kegerator and I am focusing alot on these issues as I have found that condensation was obviously an issue for this style freezer. Do you use a fan in your freezer? I have done a lot of research on even the insulation that I will be replacing and have only really become fond of one style, mineral wool. It can handle moderate amounts of liquid or condensation without interupting the "R" value.

I would be interested in seeing how someone has a fan setup inside there system.

 
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:30 PM   #5
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I have a Magic Chef 7.2 cu ft keezer and I do get some ice on the walls but no mold/mildew/puddles and my keezer is out in the garage in humid-as-heck Florida. I insulated the collar but I'm not sure how much it helps prevent moisture inside the keezer (the insulation was more to prevent condensation on the outside of the keezer). It used to be set at 40 F and even lower but I run it at around 42 F now (on the compressor 'shelf', back corner is colder).

I just used flat, styrofoam from Home Depot and custom fit/cut it. Attached it using door window seal and then covered with Gorilla Tape. It has held up very well so far but it's only been about a year.



Also, FWIW the back left corner is the coldest spot.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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I had some mold/mildew in my Magic Chef also. I use picnic taps, so there is a chance of a few drops of beer dripping after i pour a pint.

I took my kegs out, poured a galon of water inside along with 1/2 cup of bleach. mixed it up and sponged down the entire inside surfaces a couple of times, and then rinsed it out. Have not seen any since. I have mine at 38deg. I have concidered adding a towel to the floor to soak up the condensation, but will try some damprid first.

 
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
CarsonCE
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I have a fan on my keezer. I used a computer fan and powered it using an old cell phone charger. It is currently mounted onto my collar and constantly circulates the air. It keeps the air inside a more contant temperature from top to bottom. I wasn't thinking about mildew when I installed it, but it makes sense that it would help in that regard as well.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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I have my keezer outside on the patio in Texas weather and no mildew inside, just on the outside face of the collar. But that mildew is on everything where there is shade in the back yard. It never makes it inside and it's been over a year.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
wildwest450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseRC View Post
I have my keezer outside on the patio in Texas weather and no mildew inside, just on the outside face of the collar. But that mildew is on everything where there is shade in the back yard. It never makes it inside and it's been over a year.
Is it by any chance next to a couch?

 
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:03 PM   #10
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I also have a fan in my keezer as described in my earlier post. It is a computer fan and cell phone charger like CarsonCE but I hooked a 4" heavy cardboard tube that is about 20" long to it so it can draw the colder air from the bottom of the keezer and circulate it around. The purpose for the fan was to eliminate temperature stratification and warm beer lines, but not necessarily to help with condensation. I really can't see how an internal fan would help with condensation being that the moisture doesn't have any where to evaporate to with the lid closed. If you don't want mildew, then you've got to get rid of the moisture. To get rid of the moisture you'll either have to freeze it, by dropping the temp near freezing (you can freeze the moisture to the sides before the beer will freeze), or you can maintain its levels by damp rid, or towels, but you will have to keep an eye on it.

In the pictures you can see the ice on the back wall, also the fan, and the insulation put both on the collar and the tap shanks. At 35 degrees I had to insulate these in order to keep sweat off the outside, especially the faucets.

Works great and I'm happy with it... and never a problem with mildew.



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Kegged: BCS American Pale Ale, Blonde Ale
Primary: BCS American Pale Ale
Secondary: Air
Bottled: Janet's Brown Ale, Dry Stout, Irish Red Ale, Apfelwein
Gone:American Pale Ale, Irish Red Ale, Dry Stout, West Coast Red
Long Gone: Too much


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