FastFeremtn, Old Fridge, Johnson Controls, and a Little Elbow Grease = greatFermenter

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ku5e

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This week we had to buy a new fridge. The old one would not make ice or dispense water. Something about a solenoid blah blah blah. And I just did not want to deal with it. So when given lemons, I make a fermenter.

1 - FastFerment
1 - Ferment Bucket or Carboy
1 - Retired Fridge
1 - A19AAT-2C

Here is the finished product. With Bucket
IMG_0003.jpg

And with Carboy
IMG_0005.jpg

I Had to cut the shelf hanger to accommodate the FastFerment's Bracket
IMG_0004.jpg

Then I mounted the JC Thermostat to a makeshift hanger I fashioned from the metal I cut off of the shelf hanger and attached to the fridge using one of the door screws.
IMG_0008.jpg

And finally I routed the thermostat probe to the center of the fridge.
IMG_0007.jpg
IMG_0006.jpg

Now I have to test to see what the temp differential between the freezer side and the fridge side is. I am contemplating using the freezer side to lager while regular fermenting on the fridge side.

Thoughts please.
 

Black Island Brewer

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If you're using it for fermentation, the probe for your temp controller would be best set up to measure the fermenter, not the ambient air in the fridge. Fermentation is exothermic, and can be as much as 10 degrees over ambient. So if your controller was set to 65, your fermentation temp could be 75, and whatever temperature it was, it would have to heat all of the ambient air up to 66 before the cooling cycle would come on (if you had it set to 1 degree).

Most of us using temperature control either secure the probe to the side of the fermenter and insulate it against the ambient air, or (my preference) use a thermowell that lets you measure the actual wort temperature.
 

Artifishal

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You would have to seal off the fridge vents from the freezer side of you wanted to lager in the freezer. I don't see how it could work because refrigerator/freezers only cool the fridge by a fan and baffles coming from the freezer side.

Very very nice fermentation chamber though. I'm planning to do the same thing with my unused stand up freezer.

Did you add those white slotted shelf strips or were you saying you had to cut the brown ones to make it fit the existing white shelf strips?
 
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ku5e

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If you're using it for fermentation, the probe for your temp controller would be best set up to measure the fermenter, not the ambient air in the fridge. Fermentation is exothermic, and can be as much as 10 degrees over ambient. So if your controller was set to 65, your fermentation temp could be 75, and whatever temperature it was, it would have to heat all of the ambient air up to 66 before the cooling cycle would come on (if you had it set to 1 degree).

Most of us using temperature control either secure the probe to the side of the fermenter and insulate it against the ambient air, or (my preference) use a thermowell that lets you measure the actual wort temperature.
Ok, after using it, the temp of the fermenter itself did not go more than 3 degrees F higher than the ambient of the chamber. So all I have to do is adjust the Thermostat to reflect the 3 degree rise. As a precaution I have a digital thermometer in the well, just in case the fermentation pushes the temp too high. Thanks for the heads up on this.
 
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ku5e

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You would have to seal off the fridge vents from the freezer side of you wanted to lager in the freezer. I don't see how it could work because refrigerator/freezers only cool the fridge by a fan and baffles coming from the freezer side.

Very very nice fermentation chamber though. I'm planning to do the same thing with my unused stand up freezer.

Did you add those white slotted shelf strips or were you saying you had to cut the brown ones to make it fit the existing white shelf strips?
I figured out that I can move the thermostat to the freezer side and Lager on the freezer side at 45F primary, and 35F secondary in carboys, while having 75F and 65F on the fridge side. I could make a baffle that would close when the temp in the fridge side dips below 70F with an Arduino very easily if needed.

I made a stand so i can fit two carboys on freezer side, so I can lager 2 carboys and regular ferment the fast ferment and a carboy at the same time. Not that I would ever do that, or would I? :fro:
 
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ku5e

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Did you add those white slotted shelf strips or were you saying you had to cut the brown ones to make it fit the existing white shelf strips?
Those slotted strips were the ones that held the fridge shelves. I had to take off the side flange to accommodate the mounting bracket. I only did it in the area that the bracket was going to be, in order to preserve the strength of the shelf strip as much as I could. You will also note from the picture that the bracket is reversed. In other words the right one is on the left and visa v.

If you have any other questions please do not hesitate.
IMG_20150212_112126837.jpg
 
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ku5e

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My concern is the weight of the fastferment. Will those rails hold?
I would not be concerned, it worked and held well.
IMG_20150212_110408186.jpg

In any case fridge shelves (spill proof ones) are designed to hold 6 gallons jugs of milk (50+ pounds) before the glass breaks. And 5 gallons of wort would be slightly heavier than 42 pounds. And there is no glass to break. And the bracket is attached to 2 places on each side, instead of one like the shelves would be.

The only problem I found is placing the fastferment on the brackets when full. There was almost no room for my hands on the side when I was lifting it into place.

Thanks for the response.
 

Artifishal

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What about filling it by setting the pot of wort on top of the fridge and racking out of that into the already mounted ff
 
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ku5e

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What about filling it by setting the pot of wort on top of the fridge and racking out of that into the already mounted ff
Ok Artifishal, I am having you over next brew day to help me lift my 30 pound Keggle with 50 pounds of beer to the top of the fridge, LOL.

It is a good idea, but it would be really hard. However you gave me the idea to look into a BrewPump to pump it up to the Fermenter. Hmmmmmm?!?!?
 

helterscelter

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Ok Artifishal, I am having you over next brew day to help me lift my 30 pound Keggle with 50 pounds of beer to the top of the fridge, LOL.

It is a good idea, but it would be really hard. However you gave me the idea to look into a BrewPump to pump it up to the Fermenter. Hmmmmmm?!?!?
Hah. +1 to this. You can come help me too. Love the ff mount in the fridge BTW. Thinking about options for mine. This is a good idea
 
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ku5e

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Get a lighter pot. I heft mine up that high to get it into mine. View attachment 256265
Artifishal, I am so invested in my set up, that buying another kettle is just not an option.

I use:
a Keg for my Hot Liqupr Tank
a 10 Gallon Cooler as a Mash/Lautering Tun
and
a Keg for my boil pot.

The picture below is my set up in fly sparge mode:
IMG_20150201_173914780_HDR.jpg
...and before anyone gives me gruff about the kegs, they were retired because they were pierced in a truck accident. I had to weld them to seal them...
 
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