I appreciate the support and I'm glad I was able to help, even if only inspirational. Part of me wants this to "just work" again by buying another, but as we know - these models are getting up there in age. The thought of trying again (and all the work it takes) to have it fail makes me shy away from the idea. When the chest freezers and mini fridges are common and simple, the decision to move on becomes a little easier.That doesn't sound good - You were the one that inspired me to do mine and it bums me out to hear that you lost your kegerator!
All that work down the drain - but alas - you can rebuild it and maybe even use the old door on the new one - if you get the exact version again or just get plain lucky... The good thing is that you can strip your electronic parts off the old one so that should help also. Best of luck in your upcoming search!
If I'm reading this correctly, you are moving on to a separate kegerator and fermentation chamber. Although its sad to loose an old friend, I think you will like having those operations separate. Don't give up on a side by side for kegging. Inspired by you and others, that is what I built. and am loving it. 8 keg capacity with room for bottles (and the occasional loaf of bread. Thanks a lot SWMBO!). Also, no lifting kegs up over the keezer wall. Smaller foot print than a keezer with the same capacity. I'm a side by side convert. Wouldn't think of doing otherwise.The Fridgenstein has been put to rest at the city recycling center, but not before I scavenged a few parts.
I picked up a 10.2 cu ft Igloo from Best Buy on sale for a keeper build, and a freezer less Kenmore mini fridge that's more or less the same specs as the legendary Sanyo. Big enough for my 6.5gal carboy. The keeper can fit 6 ball lock cornies, though I won't have more than 4 going at any time. I went for the extra space so I could lager if I wanted, or sky least have cold storage for aging.
That is a little concerning. Especially since I just finished reading this entire thread and am about to start on my side-by-side conversion. Any idea what caused the melting styrofoam? Thanks for the write up, btw, and to everyone else who has contributed to this thread.And by the way, this photo of the dead fridge is rather concerning. It's the cold air port in the partition wall, next to the condenser & defrost coil.
Melted styrofoam. I'm glad it didn't catch fire!
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I think it's a pretty safe bet this is related to the demise.
I don't think that would work. All of the side-by-sides I have seen have all of the active cooling on the freezer side. The fridge side is cooled by pulling cold air in from the freezer. Unless you can find one with separate cooling systems for each side...In my simple mind it seems I could just leave the fridge side alone as the normal fridge temp is what I want, and wire a controller into the freezer side to raise it up to room temp? Or maybe completely shut off the freezer and setup some kind of ghetto pass-through system to pull a bit of cool air from fridge side just enough to keep ferm side in the 70's? Or disconnect the freezer and hookup some kind of simple homemade A/C window unit type of thing to circulate the air through a cooling source just enough to get the heat down from the 90's into the 70's...
bummer. I guess I'll build a simple mini-fridge ferm chamber and wait on the kegerator.I don't think that would work. All of the side-by-sides I have seen have all of the active cooling on the freezer side. The fridge side is cooled by pulling cold air in from the freezer. Unless you can find one with separate cooling systems for each side...
I primary ferment in cornies, secondary in cornies, serve in cornies, cornies cornies cornelius. Yeh, my only reasoning was if half of the thing already does what I want it to, why would I wanna change both sides when I can just change one side. Silly me.Why do you want the kegs on the fridge side? Were you just hoping that it would be easier since it keeps at serving temps already?
I'm not sure that you could fit a fermentation bucket on the freezer side either. If I remember right my bucket needs 13" and my freezer is about 10" wide. The kegs are a tight fit at 8.5".
[EDITEDIT]I just made a chamber out of a side by side, only I am holding the frig side to ale temps, which gives the freezer side a temp right around 40F (it swings between 37 and 43 depending on whether the frig side needs cooling), which is basically frig temps. I am going to ferment ales (65F - 18.3C) on the frig side, and use the other side to cold crash for bottling and as a frig for storage of grains etc....
You should ask the manufacturer of that would work. I don't know if a fermwrap can keep temps 25-30 degrees above ambient. It might.Or maybe I'll make things easier on myself, get any 'ol fridge of cl, plug it in normal to use as 40f kegerator and buy a fermwrap plugged into temp controller for fermenting individual batches inside the kegerator at 65-70f.
It looks like the advertised range of ferm-wrap is 5-20f, so I'd have keezer sitting at about 40f and be able ferm at 60f, which I've always dreamed of being able to do in TX. If the ambient temp becomes an issue I'll add some type of insulationYou should ask the manufacturer of that would work. I don't know if a fermwrap can keep temps 25-30 degrees above ambient. It might.
But you'd have the thing fighting constantly to keep the temp up. You'd also have one compartment with 5 gallons of 70 degree wort and 5-10 gallons of 40 degree beer. Those would work against each other, too.
well screw it, I'm just gonna get a second chest freezer so I'll have one dedicated for fermenting and one for keezer. If there's one thing I've learned in 10 years of 'trying' to homebrew, it's that a larger upfront investment is way cheaper in the long run than a bunch of half-assed attempts at ill advised shortcuts. I'm officially done high jacking this thread.
It looks like you have individual fans to cool the fermentation side. And that you are trying to get two different zones. The only problem I see is that when you pull air from the left side, air must return. So if the bottom fan kicks in to cool the lower zone, air will return to the left side, and probably through the upper fan hole, unless it is running as well, so then the return would be the top hole where the original baffles were. If there is no return the cold draw will be diminished. If the return is through an upper hole then the cold air from the lower chamber will move up and cool the upper chamber, possibly more than you want, for instance , if you are lagering on the lower, and got an ale on top.Thank you all for for the inspiration and guidance on this project. I finished my build about 2 weeks ago. I havent had the opportunity to try out the ferm chamber yet, but i will soon. The kegerator side works great.
Somehow I just saw this for the first time. Thanks for the advice. I've only used it once so far, and only the top compartment on the fermenter. It held steady, but it seemed to be cycling a lot. I'll keep a closer eye on it next time I put two in there.It looks like you have individual fans to cool the fermentation side. And that you are trying to get two different zones. The only problem I see is that when you pull air from the left side, air must return. So if the bottom fan kicks in to cool the lower zone, air will return to the left side, and probably through the upper fan hole, unless it is running as well, so then the return would be the top hole where the original baffles were. If there is no return the cold draw will be diminished. If the return is through an upper hole then the cold air from the lower chamber will move up and cool the upper chamber, possibly more than you want, for instance , if you are lagering on the lower, and got an ale on top.
If you have problems maintaining temperature seperation, and want to completely isolate the two zones, you may need to cut return holes for each zone, and possibly make them one way with a flap, so the cold air only moves when and where you want.
Just a thought. Nice jog BTW. I love those side by sides.
This is great and exactly what I'm looking to do!
Quick question, assuming the fridge doesn't have dual compressors and that the fridge is cooled by air coming in from the freezer, do you have any issues with the fridge (ferm chamber) getting to cold or the freezer (kegerator) getting to warm? It seems like the dual temperature controllers might fight a bit since there is only one cooling unit.
Awesome write up! Thanks!
Did you use 1 bys to build the legs for your shelves?Here are some thumbnails of my build and more photos are available at the album https://www.homebrewtalk.com/photo/albums/kegerator-7888.html