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Old 12-02-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
Oct 2011
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12

My buddy & I have recently started all-grain brewing. Some of our favorite beers are lagers, so we really want to be able to make some of our own. He found his old dorm fridge in his parents garage and came up with a plan to use it in a lager chamber. We were curious what others use to lager and what they think of this creation.

He is a sheet metal worker and constructed the box out of .019 galvanized steel. Each side is double walled with 2 layers of 1 fiberglass insulation in between. The refrigerator is wired to a temperature control that will turn the cooling on or off at a set temp. He turned it on and got it down to 30 degrees yesterday. Inside dimensions are 45"x21"x33" tall. Oh yeah, all materials were taken from the scrap pile at his work, so the only cost was his labor.

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:54 AM   #2
Jun 2010
Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 468
Liked 36 Times on 27 Posts

That is freakin awesome. Right on. Nice crisp breaks on the metal and the connection to the fridge looks solid.

One thing I would suggest is maybe rigging up a computer fan to move the air around a little and keep the chamber equalized. Not a huge deal though.

I have a glorified son of fermentation chamber that I use when my chest freezer is taken. It's 2" rigid insulation wrapped in 3/4 ply, with two chambers on one end to put gallon jugs of frozen water in. If I really needed to I could ferment a lager in there at 50, the actual lagering would be tough though. I usually plan ahead to make sure the chest freezer is free for a few months before I brew lagers. You guys shouldn't have an issue at all with that. You could even do 10 gallon batches and ferment in two ale pales size by side.
Primary: Honey Kolsch Take 2
Kegged: Alt
Kegged: meBohPils
Bottled: Belgian Gold

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:58 AM   #3
Gear101's Avatar
Nov 2010
Posts: 2,068
Liked 73 Times on 68 Posts

Looks really good to me

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Old 12-02-2011, 03:10 AM   #4
Oct 2011
, Pa
Posts: 743
Liked 173 Times on 118 Posts

That is one beautiful sheet metal job!! The compressor run time will be longer, due to the added volume. You may need to add a defrost timer if you find the coil to be building up too much ice. If the coil ices up. Try playing around with the stat differential before getting a timer.

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Old 12-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
Oct 2011
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I will pass on the compliments too.

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Old 12-03-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
Mar 2011
Jackson, New Jersey
Posts: 892
Liked 86 Times on 68 Posts

Nice work i would get a gasket for the lid to reduce air leaks.
Ocean County home brew club

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Old 12-04-2011, 02:22 AM   #7
Jul 2010
Warrenton, Virginia
Posts: 80
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Great job! I am jealous of the sheetmetal skills.
Good point on the gasket idea also.

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Old 12-04-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
Dec 2009
Central City
Posts: 279
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

nicely done, not to mention nice cleane setup, din't have to spend on materials. very cool. i will second the computer fam, all i did is take an old cell phone charger wire it to a computer fan, i would suggest one of the larger sized fans. and go for it. very very cool. just a little info for wat its worth. i ust an old chest freezer for lagers, and even for ales to maintain temp, it can be hard to put 6.5 gallon carboys in and out of the frezzer. if you coupd, maybey you could add a stand and put in a side door? but really nice build very cool idea.

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Old 12-04-2011, 08:59 PM   #9
Oct 2011
Columbia, MO
Posts: 516
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

I'm thinking that I'm right here in Columbia and I'm home to St. Louis regularly - you and your bro ever consider making something like that for money? Looks great - I'm planning on cobbling something together soon, but it won't be that nice.

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