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Truman42

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Ive just scored myself a fridge freezer and in an effort to keep the amount of fridges in my garage to 3 I want to set it up to hold my kegs and age cheese at the same time.

So heres my plan. By running an insulated duct from the freezer vent through a shelf into the bottom of the fridge I hope to keep my kegs at a nice comfortable 6-8C whilst my cheese ages happily at above 10C.

The shelf will be insulated with a seal on the front that butts up against the door (With lining removed) and so keeps out the cold air from the bottom. It will have vent holes to allow the cold air to rise up from the bottom which can be blocked off if need be.
Obviously a bit of experimenting will be required to see if I can in fact keep the two compartments at the right temperature but Im sure if I have the temp controller set for the cheese section it will take longer to reach the required temp than the keg area which will get much colder in that time and hopefully pull down to 6-8C.

Anyway thought I would share the idea for comments criticisms etc. (I didnt draw my fire extinguisher on the side of the fridge mounted upside down as I havent worked out how to do that yet. ;) :p

kegcheeserator.jpg
 

Jay Cee

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Ah yes, keeping the wife happy and the kegs cold :icon_cheers:

Haven't looked into cheesemaking too much since my ongoing pleas were rejected (the boss woman draws the line at stinky cheese smell through the house) but I thought that you needed fresh air exchange for ageing, or is airflow in a sealed environment satisfactory? And are you factoring in humidity requirements, which I thought was 95+% to keep from drying out?

Keep us posted through the months, I many yet have a chance to do it myself if I can use your project to sell the idea.

Good luck.
 

Wolfy

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I don't think it will work (for quite a few reasons), putting a vent into the freezer-section is more difficult than it sounds.
If cheese is happy at 10-12, serve your beer at that temp (put beer glasses in the freezer if you want your beer slightly colder when you drink it).
 

Truman42

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I don't think it will work (for quite a few reasons), putting a vent into the freezer-section is more difficult than it sounds.
If cheese is happy at 10-12, serve your beer at that temp (put beer glasses in the freezer if you want your beer slightly colder when you drink it).
The freezer already has a vent that blows cold air down into the fridge section. There is a dial which you turn to make the freezer section colder which all it does is close off this vent so less cold air blows into the fridge.
From what I can work out these fridges dont have any coils in the walls of the fridge section and rely on the cold air from the freezer to cool the fridge compartment. The thermostat setting shuts off the compressor when the fridge reaches temp relying on the fact that the freezer will always be a a lot colder anyway. If you close off the vent to make the freezer colder it just runs longer to allow the fridge to get to its required temp setting.
So I was just going to attach the duct to the vent to pipe the cold air into the bottom compartment only.
 

Truman42

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Ah yes, keeping the wife happy and the kegs cold :icon_cheers:

Haven't looked into cheesemaking too much since my ongoing pleas were rejected (the boss woman draws the line at stinky cheese smell through the house) but I thought that you needed fresh air exchange for ageing, or is airflow in a sealed environment satisfactory? And are you factoring in humidity requirements, which I thought was 95+% to keep from drying out?

Keep us posted through the months, I many yet have a chance to do it myself if I can use your project to sell the idea.

Good luck.
Yes thats exactly right. Happy wife..More hobby time for me= happy life..

Not sure about humidity etc still learning all that. Was hoping that a wet face washer in my cheese container will do the trick. Lots of experimenting to do I guess.
 

white.grant

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I'm assuming you will be using an inline temp controller like the stc1000 which just turns the power on or off depending on temp, I reckon the cheese temps will mean that the power is off more than it is on so the freezer won't get particularly cold.

As a test you could put the probe into the fridge set it to 10 degrees and see how cold the freezer compartment gets. That should indicate if it will get cold enough to chill the kegs and keep the cheese at the right spot.
 

Jay Cee

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Not sure about humidity etc still learning all that. Was hoping that a wet face washer in my cheese container will do the trick. Lots of experimenting to do I guess.
Please let us know. If humidity is required (Ill be clear again and say I dont know for sure), then maybe a reptile fogger would do the job.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/EA-0601-Humidif...=item3a73b43621

Which can be controlled by a humidity sensor, by good fortune designed with a housing to match your STC1000.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/WH8040-Digital-...=item1c28120161

Just throwing it out there while you are in the design stage, in case you need to factor that in.
 

kymba

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i'm assume that no matter how well baffled your set-up is, the whole lot will at some point reach temperature equilibrium - probably over a couple of days

you might want to consider a heater in your cheese cabinet to make sure the temp doesn't get too low for your blue vein. just run the heater off your STC and the fridge is just business as normal
 

Truman42

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Thanks guys, lots of good ideas. Yes you do require humidity for cheese Jaycee so those links are handy thanks for that.

@Kymba.....good idea with the heater, I can use a small lamp like I have in my ferm fridge to help keep the temp in their higher than the bottom temps.
 

Muscovy_333

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I'd get your head around the cheese spec requirements before you get started on your build Truman.
Humidity will be a requirement but their is no reason why you cant make it work.
Sounds like a good project...I wouldnt mind a dual purpose kegcheserator. Perhaps their is a way to use the freezer compartment itself if you can disable the freezer. Easier to keep the top warm and the bottom cold.
 

Truman42

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I'd get your head around the cheese spec requirements before you get started on your build Truman.
Humidity will be a requirement but their is no reason why you cant make it work.
Sounds like a good project...I wouldnt mind a dual purpose kegcheserator. Perhaps their is a way to use the freezer compartment itself if you can disable the freezer. Easier to keep the top warm and the bottom cold.
The evaporator is situated in the freezer compartment and the cold air blown down into the fridge. But.....If you were to block the vents that blow air into the freezer so all the airflow was directed into the fridge section you just might be able to keep the freezer section warm/er while cooling the bottom. Maybe some thick foam to really insulate the freezer from the evaporator and block off the vents at the same time.

The colder and stronger airflow into the fridge would certainly bring it down much quicker and possibly in the time it takes the freezer to reach 10-14 C the fridge might be cold enough. Interesting idea Muscovy and something I will add to my list of things to try. Im hesistant that I can insulate the freezer section enough to stop something that normally holds temp at -18C to sit at 11C but worth a shot.
 

Muscovy_333

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The evaporator is situated in the freezer compartment and the cold air blown down into the fridge. But.....If you were to block the vents that blow air into the freezer so all the airflow was directed into the fridge section you just might be able to keep the freezer section warm/er while cooling the bottom. Maybe some thick foam to really insulate the freezer from the evaporator and block off the vents at the same time.

The colder and stronger airflow into the fridge would certainly bring it down much quicker and possibly in the time it takes the freezer to reach 10-14 C the fridge might be cold enough. Interesting idea Muscovy and something I will add to my list of things to try. Im hesistant that I can insulate the freezer section enough to stop something that normally holds temp at -18C to sit at 11C but worth a shot.
If you completely isolate the freezer and divert the flow to the fridge you will be able to more efficiently cool the fridge (more like a kegerator) and at that point you wont have to build your 'cheese' box inside the fridge but instead focus on some sort of regulation mechanism to allow cool air to flow back into the freezer compartment from the fridge. It could be a small throat with a butterfly fitting, much like a carby where you could manually adjust cool air in. The manual set up would also allow you to adjust as required if you wish to change the temp that you serve your kegs.

An open water container in with the cheese should provide some relative humidity if it is a sealed compartment. You would just have to watch mould growth of the undesirables as you would with any cheese ageing.
 

Golani51

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I make parmesan, feta, brie, blue vein and camembert etc but don't keep them in the same fridge. I use a bar fridge to age the cheeses. Unless you have them waxed, you should keep them in airtight containers and on a rack. The temp required for the cheese is above the beer. The humidity will not be an issue.
 

Thirsty Boy

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it might be easier to do what wolfy suggested and just compromise the temps a little on the basis that

a} Your beer could probably stand being a few degrees warmer than the stock standard Aussie "freezing bloody cold"
b} Cheese still works just fine a little colder than the ideal temps, it just takes a little longer to get to its end point

I've nicely matured camembert in my keg fridge. fridge set to 6 which is fine for even "cold" serve beers, and that meant that the warmest bit of the fridge was probably at closer to 7-8 most of the time. Thats where i put the cheese.

I think your idea has a lot of merit, but might not be necessary. Try just tweaking your temperature expectations first and see if anything more complex is actually needed. Still, partitioning off a section and isolating it form the source of the cold, can only serve to make more definite the "warm bit", and will help if you do end up needing to enhance the humidity. Mind you, just a bog standard foam box with a lid sitting inside the fridge would do the same job and be a lot easier to "make"
 

Truman42

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I must admit TB what you and Wolfy suggest will certainly be easier in the long run. I could certainly give it a go and see how the cheese turns out. A foam box in my top compartment might be the way to go.

In the words of Sam Calagione "The difference between a good craft beer and a commercially produced beer is to try letting the commercially produced beer warm up and see if you can still drink it."
I find that most of my home brews actually taste better once they have sat in the glass for awhile and warmed up from fridge temps. I thought it was just because I had drunk half of it by then.. :D
 

Truman42

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The humidity will not be an issue.
Interesting comment Golani. From the websites Ive read and forums on cheese making I was given the impression that I would require some sort of humidifier. Or at the least wet cloths in the cheese box.
Do you use anything for humidty control?
 

Golani51

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Interesting comment Golani. From the websites Ive read and forums on cheese making I was given the impression that I would require some sort of humidifier. Or at the least wet cloths in the cheese box.
Do you use anything for humidty control?
No mate:

it a majority of the cases the cheese is still leaching out moisture (look at mouldy cheeses ie camem and blue) constantly. The camembert I made on Thursday still must be dried off(the containers wiped out) every night. Just use those plastic container with little draining racks in them (red with clear lid and little red flip button that allows bit of airflow. Always half price sales at coles. Very god quality. Allows you to age different types without cross contamination of the moulds etc. Look at cheeselinks.com.au for more info. Great site. Helpful to deal with. Mailorder reasonable. Based in Little river.
 

Truman42

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No mate:

it a majority of the cases the cheese is still leaching out moisture (look at mouldy cheeses ie camem and blue) constantly. The camembert I made on Thursday still must be dried off(the containers wiped out) every night. Just use those plastic container with little draining racks in them (red with clear lid and little red flip button that allows bit of airflow. Always half price sales at coles. Very god quality. Allows you to age different types without cross contamination of the moulds etc. Look at cheeselinks.com.au for more info. Great site. Helpful to deal with. Mailorder reasonable. Based in Little river.
Cheers mate thanks for the info.
 

stux

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I tried a slightly similar idea. Wanted an all fridge with two fermentation sections. So there was a refrigeration plate in the top half, a marine ply shelf and a fan hole in shelf.

Worked okay, the problem was you need some sort of butterfly closure on the hole to prevent the 'cold' from falling into the bottom chamber.

But you don't have this problem ;)

Still think I can get it to work... Anyone know how to use two STC-1000s to control one fridge? There are two heat sources ;)
 

glenwal

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I tried a slightly similar idea. Wanted an all fridge with two fermentation sections. So there was a refrigeration plate in the top half, a marine ply shelf and a fan hole in shelf.

Worked okay, the problem was you need some sort of butterfly closure on the hole to prevent the 'cold' from falling into the bottom chamber.

But you don't have this problem ;)

Still think I can get it to work... Anyone know how to use two STC-1000s to control one fridge? There are two heat sources ;)
I've been thinking of doing the same to allow me to ferment ales and lagers at the same time. Was thinking an S-Trap should stop the cold falling to the bottom chamber.

As for the STC's, i was thinking

Top Chamber (Lagers) - Cool side of STC connected to fridge. Warm side connected to a fan blowing air from the bottom to the top

Bottom Chamber (Ales) - Cool side connect to fan blowing air from top -> bottom. Warm side connected to heat source.
 

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