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Fermenting In A Turned Off Fridge

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nicholask

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will i have better temp control while fermenting in a fridge that isn't plugged in? I'm in Brissy, the temps are getting quite low, and about to start a lager and a pilsner, (will also be starting a ginger beer and cider soon,) will this be better than simply leaving it in a fridge on a stand? any advice on how to better control my brews fermentation would be great .. i cannot modify this fridge.


Also, just gone through a 6 pack of dundee's and an atomic IPA my grammar and spelling may not be the best..

Cheers guys, Nick.
 

mjadeb1984

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its better than nothing mate grab yourself a digital thermometer i got one off ebay for next to nothin, chuck it in there and try and check it at different times and temps of the day to give your self an idea. even better get a stc100 and set up a temp controled fridge (assuming the fridge works)

Mic
 

Camo1234

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+1 STC 100 and there is no need to modify the fridge, just plug the fridge's existing power cord into it and it will control when it turns on and off.
 

nicholask

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its better than nothing mate grab yourself a digital thermometer i got one off ebay for next to nothin, chuck it in there and try and check it at different times and temps of the day to give your self an idea. even better get a stc100 and set up a temp controled fridge (assuming the fridge works)

Mic
The fridge does work, but Im not gonna turn it on for a few months I have 3 fridges running atm , and this one is just taking space.
eventually I would like a temp controlled fridge but for now all I want is something that is better than the icy cold garage.
 

mjadeb1984

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no worries, so try get an idea of temps in the fridge and out , and with good planning you should be able to ferment different beers most of the year round

mic
 

nicholask

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no worries, so try get an idea of temps in the fridge and out , and with good planning you should be able to ferment different beers most of the year round

mic
Ah, excellent. Is there anything I should try other than Lagers and Pilsner's at this time of year? I am quite partial to pale ales and amber ales. If I could be doing these i would be very happy. I have only ever done 2 beer brews and this forum is my only source of information, and it hasn't led me astray yet.

Cheers,
Nick.
 

nathan_madness

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How I use to do it was.
Get a fish tank heater and a old milk bottle cut a hole to fit the heater in the milk bottle lid tight! set the heater to 18deg and keep the fridge in the coldest possible part of the house. Just sit the milk bottle in the bottom of the fridge and plug it in and run the lead out the door close to a corner for the best seal.
 

yum beer

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The fridge does work, but Im not gonna turn it on for a few months I have 3 fridges running atm , and this one is just taking space.
eventually I would like a temp controlled fridge but for now all I want is something that is better than the icy cold garage.
Use one of the fridges you already have on with an Stc-1000, for **** sake man what do you have 3 fridges for if 1 isnt for beer making.....dead relatives?????

How icy cold is your garage, maybe its at a decent temp. Urquell brews at 4c.....just sayin
 

nicholask

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Use one of the fridges you already have on with an Stc-1000, for **** sake man what do you have 3 fridges for if 1 isnt for beer making.....dead relatives?????

How icy cold is your garage, maybe its at a decent temp. Urquell brews at 4c.....just sayin
its brisbane temp.. I was told that its too cold to brew most beers.. just in a hard time atm so im at dads for a few months.. his fridges.. i just wanting to use one without modifying it
 

cam89brewer

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Mmmm I reckon I could make an eisbock in my garage at the moment.... :lol: I think you will be fine fermenting in your fridge whilst off and at least would be a lot more of a stable temperature compared to ambient....
 

yum beer

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its brisbane temp.. I was told that its too cold to brew most beers.. just in a hard time atm so im at dads for a few months.. his fridges.. i just wanting to use one without modifying it

sorry, when you say 'icy cold' I dont think of Brisbane, here lately -3/-6 overnight, 10-12 during the day, garage sitting on 8-9c...beautiful.
you can probably get away with a lager in the empty fridge, maybe an ice bottle or two on slow rotation....hard to say if you dont have actual temp figures.

If its sitting a little higher which I assume it would be, go for an ale at ambient temps....15-18c no problems.
 

yum beer

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Mmmm I reckon I could make an eisbock in my garage at the moment.... :lol: I think you will be fine fermenting in your fridge whilst off and at least would be a lot more of a stable temperature compared to ambient....

Theres a brewer who knows the meaning of 'icy cold'.
 

pk.sax

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Ffs, I am sleeping under a blanket with the fan turned down! It's freezing up here.

OP, depending on how cold it actually is, you could even get away with sticking a bottle of hot water in there once or twice a day and using the empty fridge as a insulated box like you say.
15-20C works for US05 yeast to brew ales. I do it at 17 regularly using a controlled fridge. No issues. The ferment itself creates it's own heat too so don't worry over the top.
 

Truman42

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i use a bar fridge to ferment all year round. This time of year I use a light to provide heat connected to an STC1000.

I had a spare spotlight, the type that is coned shape and uses the small halogen type bulbs. (you often see them for sale with the light sensor below it)
I unscrewed the glass top, replaced the globe with a 40 watt globe, and covered the glass with a metal disc I cut from some tin, to stop light getting out.

I just velcroed it to the compressor hump and the STC controls the temperature and works very well.

Or you could just buy a heat belt for $20 and hang it inside your fridge.
 

mosto

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A heat cord for a fish tank or reptile tank works for me. My ferment fridge sits in an uninsulated colourbond shed and temps here are currently ranging from 0 to 15. It is hooked up to an STC1000, but I'm currently fermenting an Ale at 18 deg, so the cooling cycle doesn't need to kick in so the fridge is effectively turned off. On the heat cycle I have a heat cord plugged in that runs through door and wraps around the fermenter. This obviously switches off automatically at 18 deg, but you could use it manually if you don't want to fork out for the STC1000. Just plug the cord in, run through the door and monitor the temp. You may have to switch off occasionally if it's getting to hot. As an indication my heat cord cost me $22 on ebay.
 

RobboMC

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Get yourself a stick on thermometer from the HBS, same as the one on your fermenter; and stick it on the inside about 10 cm from the top. This will soon give you a decent temp reading an you will know where you are. I'm in sydney and this time of year I brew pilsener at 14 deg c with the fridge turned off. A champion brewer tells me it's the day/night up and down temp changes that stuff a brew more than the actual temp, you should find that your beer comes out better just by reducing that variation.

If you want to go cooler than the ambient average, my simple and cheap fix is a 'kambrook' timer. Set 3-4 segments each day and the fridge goes on and off and the brew cools down a bit. Yes it puts bit of temp cycling into the system, but it's cheap, easy and you don't need to change the fridge, just plug it in.

Good temps for pilsener are from 14 deg to 12 deg, slightly lower for lager but I don't do much of that. I wouldn't waster the nice cool weather brewing ales with a heater, brew lagers and pilseners while it's so cool.
 

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