fermentation: freezer vs. refrigerator - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > fermentation: freezer vs. refrigerator
Cool Brewing Giveaway - Supporting Membership Drive & Discount

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
HenBat
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Posts: 8



Greetings to all my fellow homebrewers and crafters. I am almost at the bottling stage with my first brew while thinking about updating my setup for the next batch.

Fermentation temperature control has been an issue that need to be addressed so I ask this before I make my next purchase:

1. Freezer or Refrigerator as a fermentation chamber? (with ranco or johnson temp control)

2. are there any features I should look for or avoid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I know this has been touched on from a number of angles but this would clarify it a bit for me in one place. Please feel free to send links to associated discussions or articles.

Thanks!



 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
BxBrewer
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Bronx, NY
Posts: 448
Liked 60 Times on 43 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by HenBat View Post
Greetings to all my fellow homebrewers and crafters. I am almost at the bottling stage with my first brew while thinking about updating my setup for the next batch.

Fermentation temperature control has been an issue that need to be addressed so I ask this before I make my next purchase:

1. Freezer or Refrigerator as a fermentation chamber? (with ranco or johnson temp control)

2. are there any features I should look for or avoid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I know this has been touched on from a number of angles but this would clarify it a bit for me in one place. Please feel free to send links to associated discussions or articles.

Thanks!
I used a freezer with Johnson controller for a good while. I have since went to a "cool brewing" fermintaion chamber. I like the cool brewing option better as it cost nothing to use/run. And not taking up floor space when not in use.




Cool Brewing......https://cool-brewing.com/




 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #3
Jayhem
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
Liked 278 Times on 225 Posts


From a cost standpoint it is cheaper to go with a fridge and temp controller because you can always find plenty of good working refrigerators on your local classifieds for $50. Not so easy to find chest freezers for cheap.

The added benefit of getting a fridge instead is when not being used as a temp controlled chamber you can store your ingredients and equipment in it or use it as a beer fridge to cold condition your brews in.
The fridge can also double as a kegerator and easily fits 3 corny kegs plus CO2 and you can simply install taps through the side wall at a perfect height for serving.

Another benefit? It's much easier to move full fermenters into and out of a fridge than a chest freezer (trust me!).

That's just my 2 cents.
__________________
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
Jsslack
Recipes 
 
Aug 2011
Keedsville, Maryland
Posts: 74
Liked 17 Times on 6 Posts


If you plan on lagering i would go with the freezer to ensure that you are able to hit the desired temp. I plan on using a mini fridge for my ferm chamber but i also built a keezer so that will give me another option for lagering.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
Jayhem
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
Liked 278 Times on 225 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsslack View Post
If you plan on lagering i would go with the freezer to ensure that you are able to hit the desired temp. I plan on using a mini fridge for my ferm chamber but i also built a keezer so that will give me another option for lagering.
Refrigerators are designed to run between 34 and 38F. No problem hitting lagering temps in either.
__________________
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
Foosier
Recipes 
 
Aug 2012
Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 507
Liked 96 Times on 75 Posts


Consider wine fridges too. There is a thread on the Vissani wine fridge which got me looking into wine fridges for fermentation chambers. I Found a really nice undercounter wine fridge on Craigslist and it fits my fermenters perfectly. Has really improved my results so far.

I agree with the benefit of the cool brewing bag though. takes no space when you are done with it. However, having the ability to set your fridge and forget it with a temp controller keeping things at the right temp is a VERY nice feature.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
Jsslack
Recipes 
 
Aug 2011
Keedsville, Maryland
Posts: 74
Liked 17 Times on 6 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhem View Post

Refrigerators are designed to run between 34 and 38F. No problem hitting lagering temps in either.
I understand that but building a ferm chamber with a small fridge you are in creasing the volume of air you are demanding the fridge to cool, causing it to be less efficient and possibly unable to keep up with the demand.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
jmcquesten
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Posts: 511
Liked 79 Times on 55 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsslack View Post

I understand that but building a ferm chamber with a small fridge you are in creasing the volume of air you are demanding the fridge to cool, causing it to be less efficient and possibly unable to keep up with the demand.
What? Who said anything about increasing the volume of air? Sounds like he just wants to know what's better to put his bucket/carboy in to control fermentation temp or to lager in.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
HenBat
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Posts: 8


Wow thanks for everyone suggestions.

I am looking to control the temp in my apt in a set it and forget it kind of way. At the moment I am more into ales than lagers but this could change in the future.

Seems that fridge is a better option but I am more curious if I should avoid certain features like auto defrosters and things.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
Jayhem
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
Liked 278 Times on 225 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by HenBat View Post
Seems that fridge is a better option but I am curious if I should avoid certain features like auto defrosters and things.
Auto defrosters won't be an issue as they don't even kick on more than maybe once a week since you will only need to run your compressor for maybe an hour a day in total to maintain ale fermentation temps. If there is no frost on the coils (and their will not be when using the fridge for fermentations due to their long rest periods) then the auto-defrost will cause no issues.

My fermentation fridge is in my basement and since it's generally about 65F down there the fridge only has to kick on for about 3 minutes every hour or so to maintain ale fermentation temps inside (about 60F ambient to keep my beer at 65F).


__________________
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chest freezer vs refrigerator? chiteface Bottling/Kegging 4 12-26-2012 03:29 PM
Converted Freezer or Refrigerator first? Gammon N Beer Equipment/Sanitation 4 03-19-2010 02:47 PM
Refrigerator or freezer? inhifistereo General Techniques 5 06-23-2008 03:24 PM
Refrigerator and Freezer for $50!! CollinsBrew Equipment/Sanitation 1 05-08-2007 11:27 PM
Refrigerator or freezer Georgian Novice General Techniques 2 12-16-2005 04:04 AM


Forum Jump