Upright freezer useful..?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

beergears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
999
Reaction score
8
Location
somewhere west of Boston Harba'
I am not a kegger (yet?) but am looking at freezers on craigslist and such.

Currently I see an upright freezer listed.

Is an upright useful at all?

I was thinking lagering chamber..?
 

srm775

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,370
Reaction score
4
Location
IL
It's just as good (perhaps not as roomy or efficient) as a chest freezer. With a johnson or ranco temp controller you can use it as either a lagerator or a keggerator
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
I've got an upright that I use as a kegerator. You do have to shop around to find one that will work and is big enough. Mine is 20cf and can hold 10 cornies. I have five tapped and five conditioning in it. Smaller uprights would make a nice fermentation fridge if you get a conical. If you are wanting to hold lots of cornies, though, chest freezers are usually cheaper and easier to find.
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,471
Reaction score
34
beerbuddy said:
On some upright freezers the shelves are not movable.
That's my first thought as well, that the cooling elements are often integrated into the shelves.

The other issue with an upright is that the cold air inside will "fall" out every time the door is opened, making it harder to maintain your temperature. Of course this isn't a problem with a chest freezer.

So yeah, it can still be useful, just be aware of the limitations.
 

FlyingHorse

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
15
Location
Evanston IL
BlindLemonLars said:
That's my first thought as well, that the cooling elements are often integrated into the shelves.
The shelves can usually be carefully bent out of the way. The previous owners of my last house left an old working upright freezer in the basement, and I did just that (after asking here at HBT if anyone had a similar experience...several did). Worked fine as a kegerator with some additional storage space for yeats, etc.

I wouldn't go out of my way to get one (as others have mentioned, chest freezers are better for a lot of reasons). But if you get a good deal, it's workable.
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
chest freezer pros:

1. Doesn't lose cold air when opened
2. a 20' chest may hold more cornies than a 20' upright
3. more common / easier to find
4. May be cheaper

chest freezer cons

1. a 20' chest take up considerably more floorspace than a 20' or larger upright
2. more difficult to lift carboys or cornies into and out of
3. more extensive modifications needed for kegerator ( needs a collar)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

upright pros

1. easier to put stuff in and take stuff out
2. takes up less floor space
(a 25' upright take up no more floor space than an 8' chest)
3. easier to modify for kegerator (no collar to build)

upright cons

1. loses cold air when opened
( this can be partially offset by having the freezer fully loaded thereby increasing the thermal mass and also making less air available to fall out and / or installing a slotted plastic curtian behind the door.
2. may be be harder to find
3. may hold less than a comparible sized chest
4. may be more expensive

others may want to add to the list but this may help you make a decision.
 

Passload

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
355
Reaction score
13
Location
Trenton, IL (32 Miles East of St. Louis)
abracadabra said:
chest freezer pros:

1. Doesn't lose cold air when opened
2. a 20' chest may hold more cornies than a 20' upright
3. more common / easier to find

chest freezer cons

1. a 20' chest take up considerably more floorspace than a 20' or larger upright
2. more difficult to lift carboys or cornies into and out of
3. more extensive modifications needed for kegerator ( needs a collar)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

upright pros

1. easier to put stuff in and take stuff out
2. takes up less floor space
(a 25' upright take up no more floor space than an 8' chest)
3. easier to modify for kegerator (no collar to build)

upright cons

1. loses cold air when opened
( this can be partially offset by having the freezer fully loaded thereby increasing the thermal mass and also making less air available to fall out and / or installing a slotted plastic curtian behind the door.
2. maybe be harder to find
3. may hold less than a comparible sized chest

others may want to add to the list but this may help you make a decision.
Goodness a 20' freezer:eek: hold alot of stuff haha.
I was wondering if it would be possible to lay the upright on its back to make it a chest freezer?
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
Passload said:
Goodness a 20' freezer:eek: hold alot of stuff haha.
I was wondering if it would be possible to lay the upright on its back to make it a chest freezer?
No you can't lay an upright freezer down to make it a chest freezer. In fact you never want to lay an upright freezer on it's side or back. The coolant will get mixed with the oil from the compressor and potentially ruin it.
 

Passload

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
355
Reaction score
13
Location
Trenton, IL (32 Miles East of St. Louis)
jdoiv said:
No you can't lay an upright freezer down to make it a chest freezer. In fact you never want to lay an upright freezer on it's side or back. The coolant will get mixed with the oil from the compressor and potentially ruin it.
Well then thats another con against the upright. I think if you can get it really cheep go for it. Otherwise IMO save for a chest.
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
Uprights are good for people who have limited floor space. That's why I picked up one. It was more expensive than a chest freezer but it fits my needs the best.
 
OP
beergears

beergears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
999
Reaction score
8
Location
somewhere west of Boston Harba'
jdoiv said:
No you can't lay an upright freezer down to make it a chest freezer. In fact you never want to lay an upright freezer on it's side or back. The coolant will get mixed with the oil from the compressor and potentially ruin it.

Even during transport, with a long system OFF period before and after the move..?
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
beergears said:
Even during transport, with a long system OFF period before and after the move..?
Yes, If possible keep it upright at all times. It might not kill it but it could.

If it's transported sideways let if stand in the upright position for a day or so.
 

Lanfox

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Ft Hood, TX
Passload said:
Goodness a 20' freezer:eek: hold alot of stuff haha.
I was wondering if it would be possible to lay the upright on its back to make it a chest freezer?
Im going to say no to the supine freezer idea, the compresser wouldnt work right, and would shorten the life dramaticaly. thats why you should alwas leave a recently tiped frige standing upright for 24 hours before plugging in.
 

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,312
Reaction score
5,712
Location
Reed City, MI
But, couldn't you relocate the compressor, etc.? You know, even though the freezer is on it's back, doesn't mean you can't turn the compressor 90 degrees and make it work like a chest freezer, right? (I'm speaking hypthetically here. I've never done it, or even taken a good look at one).

I'd imagine all one would have to do is carefully bend a few lines, and rig up the parts in a nice stable position. Seems possible....
 

srm775

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,370
Reaction score
4
Location
IL
Homercidal said:
But, couldn't you relocate the compressor, etc.? You know, even though the freezer is on it's back, doesn't mean you can't turn the compressor 90 degrees and make it work like a chest freezer, right? (I'm speaking hypthetically here. I've never done it, or even taken a good look at one).

I'd imagine all one would have to do is carefully bend a few lines, and rig up the parts in a nice stable position. Seems possible....
No. you really couldn't. I don't think it would be as simple as "bending a few lines" but rather cutting, adding new ones and reconnecting them. And, once you do that, it's no longer viable since closed coolant systems like a fridge/freezer will never function properly again.

Not to mention, the two systems are designed very specifically for the different freezers, so even if you were able to relocate the compressor and coolant lines, it still wouldn't function properly.
 

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,312
Reaction score
5,712
Location
Reed City, MI
Well, I didn't mean to cut the lines, but just bend them a little so that you could rotate the parts so they are upright while the freezer was layed on it's back. As far as I know, AC systems should function just fine either way, as long as certain parts are upright. I'll as a friend of mine, who does AC R&D for a living.

And, yes you can cut the lines and still make a perfectly working fridge/freezer, but I would not recommend the average person to do it, because it takes special tools to recharge them, even after you've properly fitted the lines again.

There is no doubt that modifying a freezer might require a little creativity and/or custom modifications. I'm beginning to think that we don't use our freezer for storing foods enough to make it worthwhile to use as a freezer... I can think of one or two other uses though! ;)
 

Latest posts

Top