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Old 08-28-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
twd000
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I am considering buying a ~10 cu. ft. chest freezer and converting for use both as a fermentation chamber, and keg server.

A search turned up another brewer who used a mixed cooling/heating cycle. I was hoping I could just take advantage of the cooling, using two temperature controllers.

I figure my target temperatures will always be below ambient (75 F). I would use a foam board and gaskets to divide the freezer into two compartments. The inner wall would have a cutout for a 2" computer fan that only runs when the warmer side needs to be cooled.

But this depends on how the cold air is delivered to the freezer. Is there a fan that blows in the cold air, similar to refrigerators? Or does it cool directly through all 5 walls? Does a frost-free freezer have a fan? If it is cooling though the walls, this idea is not going to work.

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
phidelt1499
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Most chest freezers that I know of have the cooling coils throughout all of the walls of the freezer...

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
masterchief1112
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frost free essentially means it shuts off and auto defrosts on a consistent basis. the chest freezer i have cools directly through the walls.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #4
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When I use my chest freezer for fermentation control of ales I'll just fill some 2 litre bottles with whatever I was serving and put them in the fridge for drinking. I keep them carbed up with the homebrewed tire stem carbonator cap.

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #5
twd000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidelt1499 View Post
Most chest freezers that I know of have the cooling coils throughout all of the walls of the freezer...
if that's the case, this ain't gonna work. So the fan is just for air circulation, it doesn't pass over the evaporator coils?

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly View Post
When I use my chest freezer for fermentation control of ales I'll just fill some 2 litre bottles with whatever I was serving and put them in the fridge for drinking. I keep them carbed up with the homebrewed tire stem carbonator cap.
that sounds like a good compromise. Aren't you concerned about temperature-cycling the remainder of the kegs - taking them down to serving temp, then letting them rise back to room temp?

My current brewing schedule would have me using it as a fermentation fridge about 50% of the time, which would mean a lot of disruptions to pull kegs out and fill the 2-liter bottles.

 
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:36 AM   #7
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I have a 9 cu ft freezer and it will hold 3 kegs and 2 carboys (1 on the hump) so I rarely have to remove a keg. I'm not concerned about the temperature swings as it doesn't seem to change the beer too much. I've even bottled my lagers (lagered at 33F) post keg and stored them at room temperatures with no problems.

 
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly View Post
I have a 9 cu ft freezer and it will hold 3 kegs and 2 carboys (1 on the hump) so I rarely have to remove a keg. I'm not concerned about the temperature swings as it doesn't seem to change the beer too much. I've even bottled my lagers (lagered at 33F) post keg and stored them at room temperatures with no problems.

so do you pick one temperature for both fermenting and serving? seems like ale fermenting temps would be too cold for serving

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
twd000
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Plan B - what about this same idea using a side-by-side refrigerator? It already has divided compartments, with a cutout to pass cold air. It maintains temperatures that are ~20 F apart. I would need a large fridge to ensure the freezer side is big enough to hold a couple corny kegs.

Has anyone attempted this?

 
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twd000

My current brewing schedule would have me using it as a fermentation fridge about 50% of the time, which would mean a lot of disruptions to pull kegs out and fill the 2-liter bottles.
Do you realistically need to ferment in the fridge every time? I know its a nice thing to have in the summer or for a lager, but in the fall and a good part of the winter garage temp works great for me..

 
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