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Old 09-06-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
dmbnpj
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I am interested in converting a fridge to a fermentation chamber with a Johnson temperature controller and I am wondering what is the best option for a fridge. Maybe even a chest freezer. My concern about them is that all the insides I see pictures of have a bump out that will not fit a carboy. What do you all recommend?

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:49 AM   #2
Docjowles
 
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You caught the big "gotcha", that stupid hump where the compressor sits. My first fermentation fridge was the exact right dimensions I needed as listed on Craigslist... until I tried to put a bucket in there and the hump prevented the door from closing. I was able to make it work but it took some disassembly.

I recently got a pretty big chest freezer for $20 (<3 Craigslist) and I absolutely love it. It has enough room for a couple carboys, 3-4 corny kegs and my CO2 tank. It also holds temperature pretty well, so that the controller only kicks it on once or twice an hour at normal fermentation temps. Only downside: it was pretty old and one HEAVY SOB Took a lot of grunting to get it moved in.

I attached a pic; I just cleaned it out so the kegs are disconnected. Bonus cameo by my first all-grain batch in the carboy.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
renderit
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Just bought a 5 cu ft GE chest freezer at Home Depot. Will take one carboy with plenty of room to spare. They run about 160. For 180 you can go with a 7(or 8?) that (I think) would go 2. Fermenting at 64 it comes on about once every hour for maybe 2 minutes in a house at 79, so the insulation appears to work ok.

Does anybody make a shorter carboy that could ride the hump?


 
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
KeithMoonsLiver
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I also use a 5 cu ft chest freezer, if you can find a used one they are pretty cheap. I looked at the 7ft ones but I wasn't entirely confident I could fit 2 carboys in with the hump.

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:28 PM   #5
dmbnpj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonsLiver View Post
I also use a 5 cu ft chest freezer, if you can find a used one they are pretty cheap. I looked at the 7ft ones but I wasn't entirely confident I could fit 2 carboys in with the hump.

So youre saying the 5 cuft one you have, does NOT have the hump in it?

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:32 PM   #6
TomSD
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Some of the smaller ones don't have a hump they just raise the entire bottom of the freezer compartment.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:16 PM   #7
KeithMoonsLiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbnpj View Post
So youre saying the 5 cuft one you have, does NOT have the hump in it?
the 5cu ft does have a hump, but there's more than enough room next to it for a 6 gallon carboy.

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:42 PM   #8
Malticulous
 
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I have a few. The 7.2 chest freezer is best. I want a 20 to ferment in and use the 7.2 for six kegs.

The mini fridge

The wood box lifts it even with the compressor. I cut the door and bent the freezer down. I wish it fit two kegs.

The side by side.

This will fit two fermenters or three kegs and a five pound CO2 tank.

The 7.2 Magic Chef.

This fits two buckets and a five gallon carboy. The bucket on the compressor has to have a blow off.

Buckets tend to work better than 6.5 gallon carboys because they are both skinner and shorter. I seldom use mine.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:56 PM   #9
KrayzieVanh
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I'd say check craigslist. You can find upright or chest freezer for cheap (if you have room for them). I don't know if a regular mini fridge would have enough room for a carboy. You may have to do some modifications. You may be able to find kegerator type mini fridges that are built to hold kegs or even wine coolers (with temp control) for cheap. YMMV.

 
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:58 AM   #10
manoaction
 
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I'd enthusiastically second the craigslist comments. I live in a college town and there are dirty old mini fridges aplenty for $25 on craigslist.

Somewhere on here is a post of someone converting a whiskey barrel and a mini fridge into a kegerator and it gave me the bug big-time to find a way to do something similar for homebrew kegs.

 
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