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Old 11-26-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
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So I'm scouring craigslist in my area for a 4.3 cu ft dorm fridge to force carb in. My biggest question is do I really need a temp. controller? Shouldn't I be able to take the ambient temp. inside the fridge and carb for that?

My other question is regarding the general aging of the beer. From what I understand, carbing in a keg conditions the beer faster. If I get the beer kegged this weekend (11/30/08) do you think it would be ready by Christmas?

Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
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Ok, first, I'm kind of newbie in this area, but I highly recommend looking for a 4.6 or larger fridge. I think the 4.3 might be too small to hold the cornies and the CO2.

You do NOT need a temp controller for a fridge. You would need it for converting a FREEZER into a kegerator, but a fridge can be turned to the right temp easily.

I do not know about aging beer in a keg is any different, however, the real question about aging would pertain to the beer you were brewing. Different beer require different amounts of aging. Generally a pale ale would brew in about 2 weeks, and require 2-4 weeks conditioning. However, this really depends on you. You might like it just fine after 2 weeks of aging, so if you can manage to ferment in 7 days, and give 2 weeks aging, then you could possibly drink before Christmas.

Back to the Keg. I think what you might have understood about kegging affecting the aging of beer, is that you can CARB you beer in a day with a keg if you force carb using the high pressure shake method. As far as the beer actually aging faster, I am not aware, and frankly doesn't make a difference to me, since I will drink it early anyway.

Keep looking in the threads for info on equipment and pressure tables. You will want to get the right type of connectors for your kegs, and the right amount of hose for the beer (this is important) and know what to set the pressure at for the temp in your fridge, and for the style of beer you are serving.

If you are serving beers with two different pressure requirements, then you are going to want to get a dual regulator, so you can carb one higher than the other.

 
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBrewMaster View Post
So I'm scouring craigslist in my area for a 4.3 cu ft dorm fridge to force carb in. My biggest question is do I really need a temp. controller? Shouldn't I be able to take the ambient temp. inside the fridge and carb for that?
Most newer refrigerators don't have a problem holding 40* or so. Make sure you get a small thermometer.

Quote:
My other question is regarding the general aging of the beer. From what I understand, carbing in a keg conditions the beer faster. If I get the beer kegged this weekend (11/30/08) do you think it would be ready by Christmas?
Depends...what type of beer? If you're talking pale ale or something, probably; if you're talking barleywine, hell no.

 
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:59 PM   #5
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Unless you use 3 or 2.5 gallon cornies, it will be hard to find a fridge under 4.9 cubic feet that will work due to the stupid little freezer.

The Sanyo 4912 is a great one as well as the Oster 5 for this. Best Buy sells the Oster and you can still get the Sanyo 4912 at Fry's (saw one there last week).

 
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBrewMaster View Post
So I'm scouring craigslist in my area for a 4.3 cu ft dorm fridge to force carb in. My biggest question is do I really need a temp. controller? Shouldn't I be able to take the ambient temp. inside the fridge and carb for that?
I have a couple Sanyo 4912s, and I find that I can run them in the mid to high 40s pretty consistently (or much lower) with just using the thermostat. Of course the fridge you get might be different. I bought a controller for one of them in case I want to ferment or lager in them, and I hope to be able to convert one into a kegerator at some point. I keep mine in the garage, so the temp will fluctuate with the weather.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:09 PM   #7
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You can just force carb without the fridge. Check your carbonation charts and take a temp reading in the room the keg will be in.

For me 30psi is right for about 2.5vols. I shake my kegs 3 times a day, but I do not amp up the pressure. It takes my kegs about 4 or 5 days to reach the proper carbonation level. If you follow a carbonation chart you will not go wrong.

When you cool it down in you fridge later it will still have 2.5 vol.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:58 PM   #8
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As stated, no temp controller needed, but a thermometer would be really handy. My Sanyo holds temps pretty good, but even the same model fridges can be a little different based on compressor and surrounding conditions.

 
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