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Old 08-11-2011, 05:28 AM   #1
Aug 2011
san diego, ca
Posts: 33
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so im looking to buy a used refrigerator or upright freezer. Which would be better to use with one of those cheapo temp controllers? Would the controller be able to control the freezers temp enough to not freeze my beer and shock my ale yeast? As you can tell im new to all this. I think i would mostly be making ales too, but of course that can always change.

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Old 08-11-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
RiverCityBrewer's Avatar
Dec 2009
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 821
Liked 33 Times on 29 Posts

I have both and have controllers on both... I personally like the upright freezer better as it was easy to clear the shelves out and have a flat surface to set my fermenter. If you are looking for storage space though, the refrigerator is most likely what you want.

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Old 08-11-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
Aug 2007
Southern Maine
Posts: 3,942
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Since you are buying used, it may come down to what you can actually find for sale....

I assume you are looking for fermentation control, based on your description?

Both will work. The refrigerator is going to have a freezer on top of it most likely, and the freezer won't stay all that cold (certainly not freezing) if you have controller on the power supply. I do believe you can store ingredients in it however.

The upright freezer may have refrigerant running through the shelves so it becomes difficult/impossible to move/remove them and not ruin the freezer. To me that is a definite no-go. If you can one with the refrigeration lines in the walls, that would be ideal. No lifting in/out like a chest freezer and you might be able to build/leave one shelf in and have capacity for two fermenters.

Hope this helps....

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Old 08-11-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
Dec 2010
In the middle of a hop field in Yakima WA. Seriously
Posts: 250
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Make sure the freezer you look at don't have coils running through the shelves Many do and they cannot be removed. I have been offered many for free by my beer loving friends and I cannot use them.
Former Cellarmaster Pyramid Ales Kalama, WA
Former Bottling Supervisor Strohs Rainier Brewing, Seattle
Current home brewer and Chemical Plant Engineer

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Old 08-13-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
Grossy's Avatar
Aug 2011
Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 482
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I just started brewing here in Tucson AZ, at 120 degrees in the garage a frig or a freezer is a must here.

I purchased an upright freezer on Criags list for $50. Got it home and then realized that the coolant lines ran through the shelves. I carefully bent one of the shelf down and then secured it to the back wall. That got me space for two carboys, and room to condition 50 24oz bottles

However bending down will not work for the bottom shelf. I believe that with a pipe bender I will be able to bend that one up.

When this is done I will be able to ferment 4 carboys at a time. My wife is just going to love me when I get another freezer to condition all the bottles or kegs!!!

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Old 08-13-2011, 10:21 PM   #6
dutchoven's Avatar
Mar 2011
SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 636
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+1 on the freezer, just get a frost free model

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Old 08-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
Adjunct of the Law
Airborneguy's Avatar
Sep 2009
Isle of Staten
Posts: 10,886
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I got lucky and picked up an almost brand new, $700 upright freezer for $200 last year. I love it. I had to cut some of the shelves out so I can fit my conical, but there's never been more than one beer in it at a time anyway. You'll love it. I even use it for fermenting ales now. It's hooked up to a simple Johnson Controller.
Bottled: Atonement Brown Porter

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