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Old 07-09-2013, 04:12 AM   #21
BigFloyd
 
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Dec 2012
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Craigslist fermenter fridge + STC-1000. Craigslist upright lagering/cold-crash freezer + STC-1000.

No worries.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #22
mredge73
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You would be surprised how cheap you can find an upright frost-free freezer at the used appliance stores littered around Pasadena.
With $150, some creative wiring, and a STC1000; I can brew year round at any temperature in Houston.
Achieved heating by wiring the heating element used to defrost the coils to the heating side of the STC and cooling by wiring the compressor to the cooling side of the STC. Wired the fan to run constantly to provide circulation at all times.

 
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #23
Wynne-R
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When I read ‘creative wiring’ I pictured a little mushroom cloud. On further reading and a little thought, that is pretty damn creative.

Then again, what’s the heat for? I think I’d rather have the defroster. Not much need for heat in Houston. Be careful that you don’t get cycling back and forth from temperature overshoot.

 
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #24
BigFloyd
 
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In Houston, there's probably very little, if any, need for a heat source inside the fermenter fridge/freezer.

I'm a bit farther north and when I had my fermenter chest freezer (now my keezer) in the garage, I used one of these plugged into the "heat" outlet of my STC-1000 controller box - http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html"]http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html It's simple and there was no need at all for any "creative wiring".
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #25
Zymologist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mredge73 View Post
Achieved heating by wiring the heating element used to defrost the coils to the heating side of the STC
That is genius! I made one of these.

 
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:33 PM   #26
mredge73
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Not much heat is needed; my heater rarely runs and when it does it warms up pretty quickly.
But I can do Ales in December in the middle of a cold front and I like that flexibility. I brew a lot more in the fall/winter because I cannot stand to be around the brewpot in the summer.

Defroster is not needed if you never freeze the coils; when it is not a fermentation chamber I use it as a refrigerator so I never get near freezing.

These circuits are very easy to modify once you get your hands on a schematic; these are easily available online.
Took me a little while because I wanted to design the circuit where I could turn it back to factory in less then 5 minutes.
So all my wiring changes have spade connections on them and I added lots of labels to guide me into putting it back if I want it to be a standard freezer again.

 
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:51 AM   #27
DRog00
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Apr 2012
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This is how I do it.

5 individually controlled environments, one commercial beer fridge, one cellar (to the very left in that photo), and a 20cuft freezer for kegs. I also have a Danby kegerator with 3 taps.

Just in case you are wondering, my bike is on the top right (out of view).

BTW, lower left of that photo, is the cage to my attack iguana. She is 4ft long, and is trained in 10 types of karate.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #28
chezhed
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That's cool...literally
I only have three individual environments, all Avanti 2.5 CF compressorless with STC-1000 controls that I built and heat pads inside......not that I need those anymore.
One chest freezer that holds 4 kegs perfectly and one old fridge/kegerator with 3 taps.
Sorry to say I don't have an attack iguana....but a beer loving pomeranian that thinks it's a rottweiller .....and it's not caged.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #29
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San Antonio, TX
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Don't have the space or I'd probably go for a cheap fridge and an STC-1000. Right now it's about 75-78 or so in my apartment most of the time so I'm brewing a Saison without any temp control. I do have an Igloo cube cooler I'm planning on using as a swamp cooler for next batch and just swapping out frozen bottles.

 
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:02 PM   #30
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Up until now, my brother in law and I have used a spare bathtub upstairs at his house. Filled with a bunch of ice water to cool down hot wort, and then maintained with cold water and frozen bottles, fan pointed at the 2 carboys, and dropping the AC to about 65 (he doesn't mind running his entire upstairs for 2 wks during active fermentation). Our bathtub system actually works perfectly, but you do have to baby it and monitor very closely, especially during the first couple days of fermentation.

We recently picked up an old school milk-cooler from a going out of business sale for $50 at a local watering hole they used to keep beer cool in, and picked up a digital Johnson controls temp controller. The cooler is big, old, dirty, loud, but fits 4 X 6.5 gallon buckets and/or better bottles with room to spare!!

We have yet to put it into service (haven't had time to brew since we got it), but looking forward to automating temp control. We've run it for a couple days, and it seems to run OK and get temps plenty cold for ales (though we've got some more testing to do to see how well it can maintain temps). I think I posted some pics of it here a while back when I got it. If I can find them, I'll post them again.
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