Commercial Fridge: Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by mtb, 12/9/17.

 

  1. Fraser's BRB

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I use one almost exactly the same, picked it up reconditioned off a fridgey mate for $200 (cost of parts), he'd gotten it for free not working. Upside, cheap, lots of space. But, I use it as a ferment fridge, not a kegerator.

    Downsides, must be outside because they're very noisy (not to mention very tall and hard to get through a door), had to cover up the glass front for light strike reasons and I added some foam to the inside of the doors for extra insulation (double glass, but they're meant to be in an airconned shop, not outside).

    Works best when at ferment temps, when I try to cold crash with it, I can only get it down to about 6 deg. That said, I'm only running two 30L fermenters in there, it may go lower with more volume in there to hold a thermal mass.
     
  2. Lionman

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I would say no. It is BIG for the price but I think the drawbacks are too significant for it to be worth it.

    For a similar price you can get a new 300 odd litre chesty and build a 6 keg keezer. This would be my preference.
     
  3. Yob

    Hop to it AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 13/9/17
    Disconnect the thermostat, the one I use I've clocked at -1.2...
     
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  4. Fraser's BRB

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I'll give it a go.
     
  5. Mardoo

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I have one in service and another waiting to go in. Love it. Can't speak for that one. It doesn't seem that great a deal. I got my two for $150.
     
  6. mtb

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    Posted 13/9/17
  7. mtb

    Beer Bod

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    Posted 13/9/17
    At the end of the day I'd be shelling out $650 for 10 kegs' worth of fridge space. Not too bad when thinking of it that way. I'll have to sleep on this one - although everyone's opinions are definitely helping. What would REALLY help is if you all had the same opinion, ie "don't buy it" or "just stfu and buy it", but you're a difficult lot :D
     
  8. Bonenose

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I think the are a great way to go, have no experience as far as how well they run but good solid bottom for multiple kegs and shelves are stronger than normal fridge. Missed one similar on gumtree, was sold an hour before I got onto the seller. Location of taps is possibly an issue would be interesting to see if you could replace a section of one of the doors.
     
  9. Grott

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I'd ask myself this:-
    1. Do I need to chill 10 kegs at once?
    2. Will the unit be full all/most of the time ( empty space a costly waste)?
    3. Where am I placing the taps?
    4. What temp will it hold and will this be ok?
    5. Is there a lot of temp loss through the glass?
    6. Is my current set up stuffed therefore I need something else?
    If yes to 1,2,4,6 and no to 5 then get it.
     
  10. mtb

    Beer Bod

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    Posted 13/9/17
    Sound reasoning as always Grott

    1. Do I need to chill 10 kegs at once?
    For optimum quality, yes, Canberra summers will not be kind to kegs in storage - and I plan to have some in storage for ageing
    2. Will the unit be full all/most of the time ( empty space a costly waste)?
    Yes, I have 2 x 50L and 8 x 19L
    3. Where am I placing the taps?
    Side if I must, glass preferred, will make do with a pluto gun while I make up my mind
    4. What temp will it hold and will this be ok?
    Aforementioned experiences indicate 6C with the thermostat, lower if I disconnect the thermostat. I'd be happy with 6C but lower is nice too.
    5. Is there a lot of temp loss through the glass?
    This will be a big dealbreaker, a unit with that much glass is not as energy efficient as a household fridge and I'd be interested to know just how less efficient it is.
    6. Is my current set up stuffed therefore I need something else?
    To a degree. I don't have enough fridge space for all my kegs, and I could convert my two chilling fridges into fermentation fridges - allowing me to ferment two different batches at different temps - and sell the keezer I'm currently using as a fermentation chamber
     
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  11. Stouter

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I think you've already made the decision mtb. You made it the first time you saw it in the ad.
    Whatever it's shortcomings or limitations you can work around them and still be very happy with it.
    I saw a similar unit just today come up locally but I haven't looked at kegging yet, and the size wasn't practical for my space. Recently serviced, nice set of castor wheels, and a mere $350. Maybe next year, but by then I'll bet my ball sack there'll be nothing close to it.
    You though seem to be able to justify enough of the hard considerations and tick enough boxes in the pros column to chase this baby down and live the dream. Do it. Do it for me, and my tired old bottle capper.
     
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  12. Mardoo

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I've had a power meter on mine for a year. They are definitely less efficient than a household fridge, but I've been pleasantly surprised that it's not as bad as I thought. I actually just switched my glass front one over to being the fermenting fridge. In my garage, which is holding around 14C right now, the heat hasn't turned on once in 4 days of fermenting at 20C, meaning the insulating capacity can't be that bad. I've been pretty surprised. However, I do have a plan to get some foam panels from the green shed and rig up a way to hang them on the inside of the glass in such a way that I can take them off if I want to admire my fermenting beer. Velcro comes to mind.
     
    Last edited: 14/9/17
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  13. Grott

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    Posted 13/9/17
    mtb, no more errr, umm etc. Bite the bullet and buy it. (We can both blame Stouter if any problems, will make us both feel better.)
     
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  14. 2cranky

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    Posted 13/9/17
    Are you sure you can drill through the glass. It should be safety glass
    could even be double glazed. I think they cut holes then treat the glass. It just shatters otherwise.
    But I'm not 100% certain of that.
    I replaced my sliding lids with one double glazed. Cost about $200. Insulates really well. I needed to get a new lid anyway though because of the space my fount took. I couldn't cut down my old lids because it's safety glass - or so I was told.
     
  15. Pnutapper

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    Posted 13/9/17
    I just had a look at one I have in the shed (same model.)

    Orford_Schweppes.jpg

    I reckon you could get some stainless rectangular tube made up to take your tubing, and mount taps in, and fix it all horizontally to the door frames.
    A bit like this: (sorry, I can't draw)

    Orford_Schweppes.1.jpg

    You could wrap your tap lines around a recirculating flood line to keep your beer cold to the back of the taps, and insulate the whole lot with some aeroflex or similar. (Essentially making a tap lead python.)
     
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  16. mstrelan

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    Posted 13/9/17
    Fridges like this are really bloody loud.
     
  17. pcqypcqy

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    Posted 13/9/17
    "Dont' buy it"

    You could almost get a brand new freezer and turn it into a keezer with similar capacity. It will be much more efficient and easier to add your taps to.

    https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/midea-mch415w-415l-chest-freezer/
     
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  18. malt junkie

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    Posted 13/9/17
    With the 50L's I get the want/need to have an upright. I have a single door commercial I use for my conical, it will get down to 1c easily, but it lives in the shed and only really motors when CCing. Mine is quite noisy, a fridgey could probably sort that out (fan noise, so maybe worn fan bearing or out of balance). You want to run the thing before purchase, if it's going to be within ear shot of a bedroom.
     
  19. homebrewnewb

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    Posted 14/9/17
    How fkn big is your shed? and when's the next sale?
     
  20. Pnutapper

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    Posted 14/9/17

    Bigger than a bread box, but smaller than the MCG! ;)
     

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