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peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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I'm trying to find a fermentation fridge for brewing, and have been looking at different options. One place is a store called the 'colour king', which sells reconditioned stuff. I went there last tuesday and saw a nice, albeit beaten up (not that important) chest freezer, big enough for 2 fermentors. He said that he'll consult his tech and ring me wednesday regarding fixing it up (as the interior panels are falling off) and installing a new thermostat to get to the igher temps. He doesn't.

Fast forward to today. I ring him and he says that trying to get a freezer to the higher temperatures is 'impossible'. I asked why, and he said 'It's like putting a V8 into a mini'. Hmm. I point out to him that I know of several people who use freezers as fermentation fridges and they have good results. Having higher tepmeratures just means that the compressor doesn't work as much as it would if it was used as a freezer. He said he will ring me back.

It's annoying.

Only one way to forget about that converstion- :chug: :chug: :chug:
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Got a call from him- willing to give me the fridge for $150. But there's a catch. He is adding $80 for the new thermostat to be installed and, well, I don't know much about electronics (my favourite saying recently has been "i'm an arts student, I can't do anything useful"); and my electrician father- he hates fridges and when he has to fix them at work, he doesn't like it. I don't want to get him to do something he knows little about.
 

Wortgames

'Draught' is not a beer style - it's a lifestyle
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Tell him to stick the $80, and put it towards a separate temp controller. That way you can move it to a different fridge / freezer if you have to, and if you get a 2-stage one it can heat and cool.

There's lots of options for temp controllers, they may cost you a bit extra but your old man can do any wiring without ever having to touch the freezer (they just plug inline).

I'd hate to see what sort of thermostat you'd end up with anyway.

Fridge techs don't know whether their a-hole is punched or bored.
 

MAH

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P&K

What Wortgames said. Even if you're an Arts student you can make your own temp controller. For about $60 I made a thermostat using a Tobins TS-040s and I've got an Honours degree in Philosophy!

Alternatively you can buy a digital unit like a Ranco ETC, that are also very easy to wire up. This would probably cost more than $80, but at least you can swap it over to another fridge.

Cheers
MAH
 

Jye

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Hey P&K, your dad will be able to wire that thermostat up in about 15 min or less... if he doesn't do it then no beer for him :D
 

captainbrewer

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Does the Ranco ETC or similar unit allow the freezer conversion to drop the temperature to drinking temp and not just a brewing temp. I have had the same issues with trying to get a freezer converted to a fridge as I want to put a three tap font on top and use like a bar in the garage.
 

Jez

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BTW.......what's a gug? :blink:
 

Mr Bond

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Jez said:
BTW.......what's a gug? :blink:
[post="83486"][/post]​
A coloquial expression for an idiot that was popular in the 80's.Not sure if its endemic to S.A only,but i can certainly remember it from high school.

Wonder if its making a come back :blink:
Hijack over ,resuming topic now.
 

Hillbilly

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I bought a brand new wine cooler fridge with glass door from K-Mart a few months ago, adjustable thermostat from 22C to 5C works a treat for $199.00.
Hillbilly
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Anyway, I'm going to go the DIY option and get a temp controller... but I need you guys to help me out, as I'm new to all this electronic stuff.

I'll get a few pics of the freezer, and I want you guys to suggest what setup I should go for... I'm a bit in the dark and confused, and when I start reading past threads the terminology confuses me, as I have no background in electronics. Simple words and pictures would be nice.
 

Uncle Fester

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Brauluver said:
Jez said:
BTW.......what's a gug? :blink:
[post="83486"][/post]​
A coloquial expression for an idiot that was popular in the 80's.Not sure if its endemic to S.A only,but i can certainly remember it from high school.

Wonder if its making a come back :blink:
Hijack over ,resuming topic now.
[post="83495"][/post]​
Must have been an Adelaide term. Never heard of it out in the sticks...
 

OCC

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very easy to do p&k,waiting to see pictures before going into detail, but first things first unplug it from the power point before playin :wacko: :wacko: :p :p
 

Jez

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P&K - do a search for Justins colour pic of which colour wire goes where. There's only 3 wires you have to connect - one is obvious as to where it goes, it's the other 2 you might get confused about. With the pic you see exactly which of these 2 wires goes where.

I'm inexperienced with electronics too but, using the pictures, I found this project very easy to knock up.

Did it about 6 mths ago, hasn't skipped a beat.

Being able to control the fermentation temp made a world of difference to my brewing.

Jez
 

Wortgames

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There are 2 main types of temp control, mechanical and electronic.

Mechanical ones have a capillary tube containing a liquid that expands and contracts, and acts on the switch inside the unit. Most fridges have a simplified version of this, without the accuracy or graduations.

PENN.jpg a mechanical one

Electronic ones usually have a digital display and a separate probe

Ranco.jpg an electronic one

Either way, they need to be wired up - their usual purpose is to be installed in commercial fridges and coolrooms etc. As home brewers we just want a power lead going in and a power lead coming out, so we can plug any fridge or freezer into the output.

dixell.jpg a 2-stage controller in a box

Most guys use a single-stage controller (which will control heating or cooling). A 2-stage controller is actually 2 controllers in one, it can operate a cooling circuit and a heating circuit (eg a lightbulb inside the fridge) to maintain a certain temperature all year round.

Generally speaking you can get a mechanical one for $60-$100, a single stage electronic for $100-$160 and a 2-stage electronic can cost up to $250.

Often there are bargains to be had on eBay and elsewhere, but it's like anything - if you want to get a bargain, you have to do some research, otherwise you walk in off the street and pay rack rate. Search the forums and you will find heaps of stories about prices, suppliers, bulk purchases etc, as well as tales of woe regarding dodgy ones that don't work properly, have no manual, are built for 110v etc.

Alternatively support your local home brew shop and buy one from them ready to go.
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Unplug it? That's new... :p

And three whole wires?? that's starting to get a bit confusing!!

Cheers wortgames; that was a great help; my dad's insistence that I don't follow in his footsteps has meant that I know virtually nothing about electronics :lol:
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Cheers.

I'll be posting pics of the freezer when it gets delivered (sometime later this week... maybe)
 

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