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Old 09-26-2010, 03:57 AM   #1
Jun 2010
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 145
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I have a 7.2 cu ft fridge I am converting to a fermentation chamber. I am looking for advice from anyone who knows anything about this process or has gone through it themselves.

I have 2 objectives:

1. Temperature control.

Option A: Purchase a Johnson Controls thermostat (such as

Option B: Using the current wiring of the refrigerator, remove the built-in thermostat and replace it with an external digital thermostat set to my choosing.

Option A seems very easy. In fact, my father works for JC and could possibly find me something very similar to the link above for a fraction of the list price. Of course with this option I have to figure out how to get the temperature gauge into the fridge.

Option B would be awesome because I could easily control the temperature with the digital read out, and it would be far less expensive with just purchasing or finding an old thermostat. Plus it uses the existing wiring so it seems like while it would be more work, it could possibly be less as I don't have to worry about external wires coming from the temperature gauge running into the door or whatever

2. Removing the built-in freezer

Basically, the fridge looks like this (

The freezer section is easily removed by unscrewing the coiled section from the top of the fridge. The problem is crimping off the freon tube going to the freezer so that I can remove it completely. I don't want to lose some of the freon and then have a fridge that doesn't work properly.

Is there a real effective way to doing this? Any advice?

Anyone who is familiar with converting a fridge to a fermentation chamber please give me any advice you can.

It's a Kenmore, model # 564.9143110


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Old 09-26-2010, 06:27 AM   #2
Jan 2009
Southern California
Posts: 63

1) I use the Ranco digital controllers and really like them. With your connection to Johnson though, I'm sure that would work well too.
2) I have the same fridge. I bent the freezer portion against the back wall. I believe this is the only cooling element, so you can't really remove it. Bending it does carry some risk of crimping the tube. Proceed with at your own risk.

This fridge, with the Ranco digital controller, works awesome. My beers have improved immensely since I started using it.

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