COLD weather brewers - do you use your fridge in winter?

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azingsheim

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Gang, I'm from WI and as many know winter gets COLD here. i have a garage fridge and have plans to turn it into a kegerator. Just wondering if i do is my beer going to freeze? I usually turn it off for winter, but was wondering if others keep there's running. I unplugged it and put a 24 pack of water in there just to see if it froze and the water in front closest to the door froze, while the stuff in the back didn't. If i leave the fridge plugged in and running will it work ok? Will my beer freeze? I'm planning on doing a 2 keg system with shanks through the door so i wouldn't be constantly opening and closing. Thanks for the advice!!

Aaron
 

pwndabear

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if you unplugged it and stuff froze in there, imagine if you had an extra cold source blowing cold on your beer. yes, it would freeze.
 

brewinjunk

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I am going to second pwndabear! It is likely the fridge wouldn't run due to it being colder than the temp setting. I recently brought my kegerator inside due to the cold Montana weather (convenient but dangerous). Eventually, when sufficient funds are available, I plan to place a small space heater in the fridge connected to a temperature controller to keep it warm enough. This would allow you to switch between the fridge and heater depending on the season, and not have to bring it inside.
 

MikeRoBrew1

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I am in my first year of brewing and have wondered the same thing. My kegerator is in the garage (tuckunder garage, uninsulated, about 40degrees) and so far nothing has frozen. We have had a few (all temps deg F) 0 - neg5 days but no super extended cold swings. I turned the fridge completely off and it hovers between 32 when it's very cold outside, to 40 when it is 25 outside. Remember beer is slightly alcoholic and has to be a little below 32 to freeze.
 

AlphaWolf-Brewery

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I have my kegerater on a unheated front porch here in MI. I bought some soil heating cables and hooked it up to one of those outlets that turn on at 35F and off and 45F. I ran the cable around the bottom of the freezer and it has worked great! No worries of frozen beer.
 

Bensiff

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Toss a heating pad in there with a temperature controller
 

zacster

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I guess I'm lucky. I just took a measurement and it said 48F in my pantry. No refrigeration needed and it isn't that cold outside today. I'm going to let it ferment at that temp, and then put it outside to lager. If it gets too cold I'll put the carboy into a plastic garbage can in the pantry and keep it cold with ice bottles. I'll at least get some control that way.
 

gungadin

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I have a utility 25w light bulb in mine connected to a thermostat that turns on when the temperature outside the unit goes below 45 degrees. If you are in a very cold location, just use a 40 or 60w bulb.
 

CDbrews

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my fermenting fridge is in my uninsulated shed, unplugged with a cheapo space heater plugged into my temp controller
 
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