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Fermentation fridge Vs. Freezer

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philmud

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Hi guys,

apologies if this has been done before, I did a search but couldn't find it. I am interested to hear from anyone who uses a chest freezer as a fermentation chamber. I did find a thread at HBT where a few members expressed a definite preference for freezers on accound of the better insulation. Presumably they are at least comparable for power consumption when using with an STC1000 - any reason NOT to buy a chest freezer and ferment in this?
 

Batz

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Phil Mud said:
Hi guys,

apologies if this has been done before, I did a search but couldn't find it. I am interested to hear from anyone who uses a chest freezer as a fermentation chamber. I did find a thread at HBT where a few members expressed a definite preference for freezers on accound of the better insulation. Presumably they are at least comparable for power consumption when using with an STC1000 - any reason NOT to buy a chest freezer and ferment in this?
I used one for a couple of years, It died eventually. Lifting full fermenters in and out does your back no good at all, it's not possible to use good lifting practices either.

Batz
 

philmud

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Batz said:
I used one for a couple of years, It died eventually. Lifting full fermenters in and out does your back no good at all, it's not possible to use good lifting practices either.

Batz
That's an excellent point - My back is rooted as it is.
 

Aussiedrifter

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Yer lifting can be a pain, not to bad if you do a 20l batch but a 40l batch is hard. The best thing about them though is cold crashing. If you attach your temp probe to the fermenter it brings the temp down very fast.
 

sp0rk

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I've just bought an upright freezer that I'll be using as a fermentation fridge
I guess i'll report back with a comparison between it and my old bar fridge that i fermented in (if i can remember...)
 

gordo_t

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I've been using a chest freezer and find it very very effiecient even in a hot colourbond shed (even when cold crashing at 1 deg it only uses 0.6Kw per day - with 30+ degress ambient temp in shed), . Lifting the rounder fermenters in and out is annoying, but I over came that by using Cubes and Willow water containers, handles are easy to access, just screw the lid on the fermenter when lifting out so that you don't suck in the contents of your air lock.

I could be swayed to use a fridge (ie. all fridge no freezer) in the future if it proves close to be as efficient as the chesty, I do like the idea of being able to keg the beer straight from the fridge without moving the fermenter (and stirring up the yeast - its minimal at the moment, but none would be better)
 

mikec

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I used to have a little upright freezer but it wasn't frost free and so there was always ice melting from the cooling elements, making it damp and mouldy. I didn't fancy mould near my wort so I ditched it and went for a good fridge.
 

QldKev

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I've got an upright fridge and also an upright freezer from a pigeon pair, both roughly the same size. When set to the same temperature I find no difference in power consumption. Maybe a chest freezer is better on power? but Batz's point about your back is a good thing to think about. Also at 18c fridges use next to no power, I measured mine at $33 a year.

QldKev
 

slash22000

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I use a chest freezer for fermenting.

Lifting things out of it is a pain but at the end of the day it's ~20kg which isn't world-class strongman weight.
 

acarey

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I use one as a fermentation chamber / keg dispenser. I'd love to have a dedicatiied fermentation chesty but due to space requirements I can't. No problems with power or lifting the fermenters.

With the addition of a collar with a couple of taps and an ST1000, it's a space conscious all purpose beer solution.

Couldnt be happier (expect you need to drain it occasionally becuase of water build up over time)
 

pommiebloke

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I use a frost-free upright freezer I got off eBay for fermentation, hooked up to a STC-1000 for temp control.

Can fit two large fermenters or four 25 litre jerry cans. Advantage of the upright over a chesty for me is no need to lift heavy fermenters in and out and can rack/bottle straight from the shelf.
 

philmud

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Cheers everyone - food for thought, though a history of lower back issues makes me think a fridge or upright freezer is the go for my needs. Been keeping a beady eye on gumtree for a suitable vessel.
 

QldKev

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I probably should add one brewer up here uses a chest freezer as he finds it the easiest. He has a block and tackle set up above it and uses it to lift in and out the fermenters. Being a chest freezer opens at the top it makes it too easy. If your area where the fermenting freezer can have a block and tackle it may be worth thinking about if you already have a bad back.

Here's his website with some pics. You may not need a full gantry like this, I think one mounted from a simple hook level with the front of the freezer could work. But if you have the space, then this makes life even easier.

QldKev
 

Phoney

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Batz said:
I used one for a couple of years, It died eventually. Lifting full fermenters in and out does your back no good at all, it's not possible to use good lifting practices either.

Batz
Lifting 23L of wort in and out of a fermentation chest freezer isnt all that much more difficult than putting a 19L full keg of beer into a kegerator.

60L fermenters, sure, but I've never seen a chest freezer tall enough to accommodate one of those.
 

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