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Brew fridge

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koshari

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From my experience with fridges, and I am not a pro, but I have seriously researched refrigeration and bought gear to be able to service and repair my own, if the compressor runs but doesn't cool very well inside, probably low on gas, .......................................................

If it has a clamp on bullet service valve, they do sometimes (often actually!) let a tiny amount of gas past their sealing arrangement and therefore the system slowly loses its gas charge over time, its best to have a proper permanent service valve soldered into place.
If you like the fridge, maybe worth getting it repaired.
pretty much my thoughts as well, and heres another tip, "Propane" if you top the charge up with a bit of propane it may begin working again, propane is already categorized as a UN refrigerent and present on some refrigerent mixes eg R290. its also one of the best refrigerants and readily available without requiring a licence to obtain it..
 

Hangover68

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pretty much my thoughts as well, and heres another tip, "Propane" if you top the charge up with a bit of propane it may begin working again, propane is already categorized as a UN refrigerent and present on some refrigerent mixes eg R290. its also one of the best refrigerants and readily available without requiring a licence to obtain it..
Will propane mix ok with R134a ? if there is any left that is.
 

KegLand-com-au

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Thanks for your replies on the RAPT fridge guys. We really appreciate your feedback.

It seems like foam foor is definitely the way to go and I think most of us feel the same way so we will go with foam door and then have the glass door sold as a separate additional part. This has the slight added advantage that the foam door is a bit cheaper to make and also will enable us to keep the price on the base fridge model a bit lower.

We would totally agree with you on hydrocarbon based fridge. It's strange that many refrigerant technicians in Australia are still dubious about hydrocarbon refrigerant gasses due to flammability but with respect to electrical efficiency, peak current draw, refrigerant pressures, and environmentally the R290(propane) and R600a(isobutane) are significantly better than the flurocarbon and hydro-flurocarbon based gasses gasses. Europe have already largely moved to hydrocarbon gasses but in Australia we are a bit slow unfortunately.

We certainly will be using the R600a (isobutane) gas and for this particular temperature range (-2 to positive 50C) set temp on the RAPT fridge the R600a gas is normally the best choice. It would be possible to use R290 however R600a also does not require a licence to obtain and is really more suitable for this particular product.

We phased out the use of R134a quite some time ago already and I really can't believe that new products are still hitting the shelf with this gas type.
 

koshari

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Will propane mix ok with R134a ? if there is any left that is.
it will, i have a mix of r134 and propane in my triton atm, if there is no gas left straight propane will be fine, you should consult the pressure/temp tables for the gas pressure but generally speaking just adding a little bit at a time untill it starts cooling will do it, its mot like you have both high and low pressure ports to connect the gauges up to anyway with just a bullet connector. prolly more important that the refrigerant oil hasn't got out or the compressor will seize, having said that if ita running still and not cooling its a fair indicator that there is still oil in the system.
 

koshari

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Thanks for your replies on the RAPT fridge guys. We really appreciate your feedback.

It's strange that many refrigerant technicians in Australia are still dubious about hydrocarbon refrigerant gasses due to flammability but with respect to electrical efficiency, peak current draw, refrigerant pressures, and environmentally the R290(propane) and R600a(isobutane) are significantly better than the flurocarbon and hydro-flurocarbon based gasses gasses. Europe have already largely moved to hydrocarbon gasses but in Australia we are a bit slow unfortunately.

.
Same people are happy to use BBQs and LPG cars.

i suspect it has a little bit more to do with the fact that they are licensed to aquire the other gasses and hydro based gasses dont require such licensing.
 
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KegLand-com-au

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Do you have any idea when the RAPT fridges will be back in stock?
The RAPT chamber hopefully will be finished in about 4 months. We are only just about to start the electrical compliance process. Sorry about the long wait.
 

KegLand-com-au

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Same people are happy to use BBQs and LPG cars.

i suspect it has a little bit more to do with the fact that they are licensed to aquire the other gasses and hydro based gasses dont require such licensing.
I would absolutely agree with this statement. As other HCFCs, CFCs, and HFCs are controlled substances substantial barriers to entry to manufacture, import and distribute these gasses exists which is how it's run by this duopoly. Large companies like DuPont and General Motors are able to sustain large markup in these gasses due to these barriers alone.

I recently went to a seminar on the transition to hydrocarbon gasses and it was sponsored by one of these companies and as a result it became a smear campaign not to use hydrocarbons.
 

Grok

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Be careful about mixing gases, there are a few different types of compressor oils that don't always mix properly with certain gases, and you can stuff your compressor up, Do some research !!!!! Also, because of flammable gas in the system, you are supposed to have solid state relays on the compressor and closed sealed switches etc to minimise any ignition sources, plus a flammable gas sticker in close proximity so the next frig tech knows whats in the system. If a compressor is designed for a certain gas, it may not be suitable for another gas, its to do with gas pressures and densities.
Heres a tip, if you want to get your hands on some R134a, check out some electrical and engineering "freeze sprays", look at the propellant or SD sheet.
 
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Josh Dodd

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The RAPT chamber hopefully will be finished in about 4 months. We are only just about to start the electrical compliance process. Sorry about the long wait.
Holy Crap. That looks cool. Kind of wish I'd picked up one of these instead of my Series 4 Kegerator!! Able to hold four full-size kegs and two half-size is insane. You should make a Kegerator version with this with a four or six tap font fiitted to the door.
 

koshari

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Be careful about mixing gases, there are a few different types of compressor oils that don't always mix properly with certain gases, and you can stuff your compressor up, Do some research !!!!! Also, because of flammable gas in the system, you are supposed to have solid state relays on the compressor and closed sealed switches etc to minimise any ignition sources, plus a flammable gas sticker in close proximity so the next frig tech knows whats in the system. If a compressor is designed for a certain gas, it may not be suitable for another gas, its to do with gas pressures and densities.
Heres a tip, if you want to get your hands on some R134a, check out some electrical and engineering "freeze sprays", look at the propellant or SD sheet.
good post grok, saved me typing out all these disclaimers :bigcheers:
 

KegLand-com-au

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Holy Crap. That looks cool. Kind of wish I'd picked up one of these instead of my Series 4 Kegerator!! Able to hold four full-size kegs and two half-size is insane. You should make a Kegerator version with this with a four or six tap font fiitted to the door.
Yes I think we will have to make some RAPT kegerator units as you have suggested.
 

Hangover68

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Be careful about mixing gases, there are a few different types of compressor oils that don't always mix properly with certain gases, and you can stuff your compressor up, Do some research !!!!! Also, because of flammable gas in the system, you are supposed to have solid state relays on the compressor and closed sealed switches etc to minimise any ignition sources, plus a flammable gas sticker in close proximity so the next frig tech knows whats in the system. If a compressor is designed for a certain gas, it may not be suitable for another gas, its to do with gas pressures and densities.
Heres a tip, if you want to get your hands on some R134a, check out some electrical and engineering "freeze sprays", look at the propellant or SD sheet.
Yes, wont be mixing gases and already had a discussion with some one on another forum i frequent about using freeze spray as a top up so thats my plan.
 

Hangover68

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Replaced my broken fermenter with a couple of cubes which fit nicely in the fridge, pity i cant fit 2 side by side but not quite enough room.

BREW FRIDGE.jpg
 

Josh Dodd

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Replaced my broken fermenter with a couple of cubes which fit nicely in the fridge, pity i cant fit 2 side by side but not quite enough room.

View attachment 117593
That's why I use 20L Jerry cans to ferment. They can actually fit around 22l in them which gives just enough room for a 19L corny keg brew. The headspace is a little tight, and I have to use blow-off tubes, especially for particularly active brews, but I can fit two Jerry's in my Kegerator for cold crashing or one Jerry and still have room to keep two kegs on tap. They also take up a lot less space on my bench when fermenting and are easy to clean, move around and store. Two side by side takes up roughly the same volume as a single cube but each holds 20-22L as opposed to a single 25-litre cube. I don't have a fridge or fermentation chamber at the moment, I use a heat cable and a digital thermometer to roughly control temps, but if I ever did pick up a fridge for fermenting, the smaller footprint of the Jerry can is a huge benefit.
 

Hangover68

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That's why I use 20L Jerry cans to ferment. They can actually fit around 22l in them which gives just enough room for a 19L corny keg brew. The headspace is a little tight, and I have to use blow-off tubes, especially for particularly active brews, but I can fit two Jerry's in my Kegerator for cold crashing or one Jerry and still have room to keep two kegs on tap. They also take up a lot less space on my bench when fermenting and are easy to clean, move around and store. Two side by side takes up roughly the same volume as a single cube but each holds 20-22L as opposed to a single 25-litre cube. I don't have a fridge or fermentation chamber at the moment, I use a heat cable and a digital thermometer to roughly control temps, but if I ever did pick up a fridge for fermenting, the smaller footprint of the Jerry can is a huge benefit.
I think i will grab a couple of jerry's as well, i could then do 2 at a time or even 2 half batches.
Height is my only concern, i have just under 500mm although i could possibly turn them around and remove the shelf.
 

Josh Dodd

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I think i will grab a couple of jerry's as well, i could then do 2 at a time or even 2 half batches.
Height is my only concern, i have just under 500mm although i could possibly turn them around and remove the shelf.
According to Bunnings they're 440mm tall. You won't be able to fit them in the fridge with a standard airlock, but a blow-off tube would be fine.
However; you also want to allow room for a tap fitting on the front of the Jerry - you need 340mm for the can and another 80mm or so for the taps on the front. That could be your limiting factor if the fridge space is tight?
 
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