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Old 07-17-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
jfrizzell
 
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I'm looking to get either a fridge or freezer to serve a number of purposes.

Initially I'm just looking for a place to store beer once bottled and carbed. Once the beer is carbed, it's best to be stored cool, correct?

I would also like the capability of doing lagers so I need some sort of cold storage.

Eventually, I would like to be able to get into kegging my beer.

Having said all of that, which would be best for this purpose? A fridge or a freezer? I realize with the freezer, I'd need a temperature controller, but other than that, are there any benefits to one over the other?

Thanks!


 
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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I'm thinking that with a temp control either one will get the job done.

But on the same note, if you are going to use it for cold fermenting, a large chest freezer may work better.
I say get the bigest one you have room and money for.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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Since it sounds like you'll need a fair bit of space, I'd personally recommend a chest freezer, especially for once you get into kegging. But a fridge will work fine for the short term and work alright for a kegerator, just not as much capacity. Completely your call, like FSR said get the biggest with the best price .

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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I think it was John Palmer's book "How to Brew" that suggests using a freezer rather than a fridge to lager because:

In order to lager you need to be very close to freezing 32-34 degrees F and keep it there. Many if not most refridgerators have trouble getting that cold. I have one that can but if I simply open the door the cold air falls out and the temp goes way up. Then it takes quite a while for the temp to come back down.

One of the reasons a chest freezer works so well is that the cold air stays inside the freezer when the door is opened so the temp stays constant (very important to lagering). That and the fact that getting close to the freezing point is easily accomplished by a freezer that's why you need a temp controller to keep it slightly above the freezing point.

You could make it work with a fridge but you'll need to see how cold it can get and be very careful about opening it up during the lagering stage. Also the location of a fridge will make a big difference as to whether or not it can approach the freezing point of water.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
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I've got a fridge, but I'm building a new kegger out of a chest freezer. One big plus of the fridge, I use the freezer section for storing hops & crushed grains. I'll miss that.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:57 PM   #6
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I recommend a freezer but make sure you dont get one that has the cooling coils as shelves... it'll make kegging a bitch, i've yet to figure out what i'm gonna do about mine when i get to kegging.

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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Chest freezer all the way. Used to use a fridge, but when it died we went with a 15 cubic ft. chest freezer. Only down side is cold crashing carboys. Long way to the bottom to drop the carboy in or take it out. If you have enough brew haulers, then it isn't a problem. Once you get kegging, you will really be glad you have the space afforded by a chest freezer. I can run 6 on tap, 20 lb. Co2 and a cold conditioning 7 gal carboy, or 4 on tap and 2 carboys.

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:13 PM   #8
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are any readily available chest freezers deep enough to hold a 6.5 gallon carboy (w/ airlock in place) WITHOUT adding a collar?

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:34 PM   #9
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Chest freezers are built to be at constant temps of 0-10 degrees and are therefore more efficient. That might save you some on you electric bill.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote
are any readily available chest freezers deep enough to hold a 6.5 gallon carboy (w/ airlock in place) WITHOUT adding a collar?
I would say that any chest freezer larger then 5 QF would be large/deep enough for that.
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