I guess I never posted here to give an update. Oh well.
I used to ferment two 6.5 gal buckets in my GE 7.0 FCM7SUWW. Then I went to stacking two layers of buckets, for a total of 20 gallons fermenting. With a 1x10 collar, the top row has to use
However, that freezer (and many others) are capable of much, much larger volumes, rivaling conicals in capacity. Here's how I fit 40 gallons of fermentation space into this 7 cu ft freezer.
First, build a platform. This is important both to be able to utilize the hump and to raise the fermenters up (more on this later). Since the hump in this model is 9.25", I built a lattice of 2x10, screwed it together, and tossed a piece of plywood all the way across the freezer.
Then I bought two 80# Vittles Vault containers. These are growing in popularity as fermenters. Here's how one fits (picture taken before the platform was lowered in).
You need to be able to get the beer out without having to lift all that weight out of the keezer. How? Siphon it out. A hands free method is best, such as this.
Acquire a 1/4" MFL bulkhead, some swivel nuts, nylon gas washers, etc. Drill a hole, install it, and use diptube o-rings for gaskets.
To siphon out, build a T-siphon (Google or search this forum for a $3 build thread). Connect the t-siphon to the outside of the lid. On the inside, connect a Cask Widge with an appropriate length of tubing. Open the lid slightly to prevent a vacuum, and start the siphon. I siphon directly into corny kegs.
This is ideal for me because I can cold crash for 2 days before kegging and siphon directly off, hands-free, with no chance of accidentally stirring up yeast or trub.
You'll need the freezer on a platform or wheels so that the bottom of the "shelf" you built is taller than the 5-gallon mark on a corny keg, otherwise the siphon will stop before the fermenter is empty.
There you have it. 40 gallons of fermenter space in a 7 cu ft freezer.
BTW, I use a 15.5" collar on the freezer now. Just had the guy at Home Depot slice it into 15.5" strips, then cut it to length and assembled it at home.
Edit: More pictures, this time the siphoning that's going on as I type this.
Yeah they say two thousand, zero zero, party over, oops, out of sight.