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Lagering temp control issue

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biberbauer

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I've got my first lager in the fridge right now, and the temperature controls seemed to be working like a charm. I have the fridge set on its lowest setting, and I had just gotten the exterior controls set down to 33°F.

I took a nap after setting it from 35 to 33, and when I woke up, the controls read 44°F. After checking and rechecking both settings, I felt the coils on the back of the fridge to see if it might be in heating mode. By this point, the temp had risen to 47°F. The coils were hot, which would lead me to believe that the fridge had initiated its own defrost cycle. Is this the case? :confused:

I set the controls to 40°F, and so far, it's down to 43 again. Is there a way to override the defrost system? Would taking out the defrost timer or some other part do this, or is it more complicated? Thanks a bunch

-Biber
 

abracadabra

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I don't see where you need an external controller on a refridgerator. A freezer yes a fridge no.

Most fridges are going to have enough trouble getting down to lagering temp without an external controller complicating the situation.

As far as the condenser coils on the back of the fridge getting hot they are suppose to do that. That's how the fridge gets rid of the heat caused by compressing the refridgerant.
 

pjj2ba

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Was your beer warmer when you put it in the fridge? While the fridge will cool the beer, if the beer was "warm" when you put it in, it will conversely raise the temperature of the fridge. I takes a while for the beer to cool. I'd wait a minimum of 12 hrs (24 hrs is better) before checking and making any adjustments

I'd say the coils were hot because the fridge was actively cooling. The heat you feel outside on the coils is the heat that used to be inside the fridge.
 

TexLaw

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Do you have a fridge that can take cooling down to 33F over the long term? While most can do it, they are designed for long term cooling around 38F. You may be asking more out of your compressor than it can deliver.

Consider finding a dent & scratch chest freezer for your lagerator. They can get you to the temperature you want without any trouble, and they do not have to cycle as often to do it.


TL
 
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biberbauer

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I don't see where you need an external controller on a refridgerator [sic]. A freezer yes a fridge no.
Well, I got the fridge for free, and it's all I've got for now. Comes in handy since I don't have any other controlled temperature environment. I don't have to fool with Texas' terribly unpredictable February weather (hit 80 last week!) to get a decent 60 degree environment for a diacetyl rest or whatever else...
Was your beer warmer when you put it in the fridge?
It had been sitting in the fridge at about 35 for roughly two days. I was just trying to figure out, if it handles 35 degrees without a hitch, what might make it go haywire set a couple more degrees down...
Do you have a fridge that can take cooling down to 33F over the long term? While most can do it, they are designed for long term cooling around 38F. You may be asking more out of your compressor than it can deliver.
That seems about right. I suppose I can settle for lagering at 38 degrees. Until I get more room and more resources, I'm a bit restrained, as far as getting more equipment goes...

Thanks for the comments! I appreciate them; sorry for asking annoying n00b questions (in the wrong topic section, no less! forgive me.).

-Biber
 

the_bird

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Back up a second; is the beer still fermenting, or are you in the lagering stage? If it's still fermenting, you need to be more like 50° (or a touch higher) for the yeast to work.
 
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biberbauer

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the_bird said:
Back up a second; is the beer still fermenting, or are you in the lagering stage?
I'm lagering. Primary was done, and FG was reached at 52 degrees F.

Thanks for the concern,

-Biber
 

TheHighContrast

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You are probably way past this, but in researching the topic of lagering temps I have found a couple recommendations for this . It looks like it would meet the needs of a controlled lagering environment and adjustable to the primary stage as well.
 

jldc

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You are probably way past this, but in researching the topic of lagering temps I have found a couple recommendations for this . It looks like it would meet the needs of a controlled lagering environment and adjustable to the primary stage as well.
It looks nice, but you can buy a 9 cu ft chest freezer and a digital controller for 75% as much (or less) and fit two or more carboys.
 

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