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Old 08-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
rayfound
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Default modifying a fridge?

So I have been using an STC-1000 temperature controller and a full-size fridge (with Top freezer) as a fermentation chamber.

As Such, it is working wonderfully. The only downside is that the Top freezer Stays closed, and grows mold. There's nothing really up there, but I still don't like it.
The way this fridge works is it is a single compressor/cooling unit and it essentially pushes cold air to the freezer first, then cools the fridge down.

I am wondering if there is a way modify this such that the fridge gets priority and the freezer gets nothing - such that I could even remove the freezer door and use the space as general storage or something.

Alternatively, if I were able to make the freezer stay cold/frozen 100% of the time, but still be able to temp control the ferm chamber below (to 55-75F) that would be great too.

Anyone have a good understanding of how fridges/freezers/dampers are set up and how to manipulate (electronically or mechanically)?

Thanks


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Old 08-01-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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It really depends on the fridge. I think most of the time with top freezer units, the cooling coils are in the freezer compartment, and they move cold air into the refrigerator. That being the case, there's no way you'd be able to have the freezer warmer than the fridge.

If you can confirm where the cold side coils are then it will give you an idea of how exactly it works.

You could narrow the temperature gap by setting the temperature on the refrigerator to the coldest (which should just open wide the baffle or damper to move the most air from freezer to fridge), then set the freezer setting (actual thermostat) to the warmest.

If you want the freezer to stay frozen and the fridge to stay warmer, do the opposite and turn the refrigerator to the warmest setting and adjust the freezer colder to just until things stay frozen. If that keeps the refrigerator too cold still, then you could partially block the vents from the freezer section to the fridge with some insulation.

The function will also be very affected by where your temp controller probe is and where it's set. Are you also using a heater inside the fridge compartment?

I hope that helps.


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Old 08-01-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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I think most fridge freezers use a thermostatically controlled fan to send the cold air from the freezer unit to the fridge (much like a Son of Fermentation Chamber). If you can break into this circuit, your temperature controller can then control the fan rather than the compressor, so that the freezer stays cold while the fridge is warmer.

You will probably still want to keep the freezer fairly warm to reduce the power consumption, but you'll be able to keep hops and the like up there (or frosty pint glasses)
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
The function will also be very affected by where your temp controller probe is and where it's set. Are you also using a heater inside the fridge compartment?

I hope that helps.

I use a heating pad in the fridge, and my probe is on the side of the carboy.
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