Fermentation Fridge

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Hengoedbrewer

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Hi all

With surprisingly little nagging; swmbo has agreed to let me get a fridge to ferment my brews inacheers.. I'll be getting a brand new one rather than checking freecycle etc as they are relatively inexpensive, and she is funny about second hand stuff. I already have an Inkbird ITC 308-S; so understand all I need now is
1. a tubular heater- possibly like this one? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-Electric-Tubular-Greenhouse-ConservatoryHeater/dp/B00GLRUTOS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1IVF0NEXNCTD2&keywords=tubular+heater+45w&qid=1573119678&refinements=p_72:419153031&rnid=419152031&sprefix=45w+tubu,aps,147&sr=8-1
and
2. possibly a shelf constructed (or something ready made as I hate DIY!) to sit the FV on as it ferments away, although I am now doing BIAB and only brew smaller batches...but still not sure a glass shelf could safely hold 10L or so?

I have begun looking and as regards a fridge I suppose I want a standard sized larder style fridge, is this right? I am currently eyeing up this one...
https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8338640

Any opinions welcome- I'm really excited to have PROPER temp control; an upgrade on the old water bath method!
 

MrL73

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I'm lazy, and a cheapskate. Rather than spend out on a proper heater, I just use an ordinary light bulb in a bulb holder screwed to a small piece of wood as my heating element. Works pretty well. A 40w bulb is hideously inefficient as a light source due to the amount of heat generated, so therefore works fairly well as a small space heater. Also, I still use the glass shelf in my fridge when fermenting 23l batches, so 10l will be absolutely fine...

One other thing I would suggest, is to get a small fan to circulate the air. I got a small usb fan and utilised an old phone charger to provide the power for it. Even this yeehaw set up made a huge difference to the quality of the beer I produce. A steady temperature makes for happy yeast.
 

Hengoedbrewer

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I'm lazy, and a cheapskate. Rather than spend out on a proper heater, I just use an ordinary light bulb in a bulb holder screwed to a small piece of wood as my heating element. Works pretty well. A 40w bulb is hideously inefficient as a light source due to the amount of heat generated, so therefore works fairly well as a small space heater. Also, I still use the glass shelf in my fridge when fermenting 23l batches, so 10l will be absolutely fine...

One other thing I would suggest, is to get a small fan to circulate the air. I got a small usb fan and utilised an old phone charger to provide the power for it. Even this yeehaw set up made a huge difference to the quality of the beer I produce. A steady temperature makes for happy yeast.
That's interesting; thanks for the reply. Surprised that the shelf is sturdy enough to support 23L but good to know if ever I decide to up brew volumes!
 

Clint

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I used a bit of ply for a shelf...just in case.
I didn't bother with a fan. I think I need another brew fridge.
 

Hengoedbrewer

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I used a bit of ply for a shelf...just in case.
I didn't bother with a fan. I think I need another brew fridge.
I think I probably will, last thing I want is swmbo giving me earache about spilt wort all over the porch if the shelf cracks...

I'm guessing the above fridge dimensions- which are H84.5, W50.1, D54cm- will be fine?
 

Clint

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I take it the compressor sits at the base behind the salad drawer.. I would measure from there for height as this is where you may need to place your shelf. Mine has two legs at the front and rests on the compressor.
 

Graz

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The fridge shown would be fine. The key thing is to have one without an ice box. Are you sure you really need a new one, you should easily find one for £20 or thereabouts on eBay, Gumtree or one of those sorts of sites. Might even be lucky enough to get one free somewhere. It's not doing the work of an actual fridge, even in the height of summer the cooling side will only kick in once in a while at you're keeping it at 20°C rather than 4°C. Besides which both mine will happily chill a brew down if I want to cold crash, in fact the eBay job seems to work better than the fridge that we had bought but was now spare after a kitchen refurb.

As for the shelves, in one of mine I have yet to get round to making a proper one, the fermenter just goes onto the wire shelf which flexes a bit but I stuck a few wooden blocks under to brace it :D

In my keg fridge I keep a 5 gallon pressure barrel in there for chilled beer and that goes straight onto a glass shelf but did put it on there quite carefully the first time. It is only temporary as I shortly be turning it into a kegerator but it's been fine so far.

Is a bit fridgetastic now in my garage, we already had a chest freezer for food, but now have two larder type fridges stacked for fermentation and a tall larder fridge which will shortly become the kegerator. Not sure I need anymore :D
 

MickDundee

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Is a bit fridgetastic now in my garage, we already had a chest freezer for food, but now have two larder type fridges stacked for fermentation and a tall larder fridge which will shortly become the kegerator. Not sure I need anymore :D
My garage is similar - chest freezer (not for HB), 2 tall fridges (a fermentation fridge and conditioning fridge) and a small beer fridge which I use for storing hops, yeast and other bits and bobs that need to be kept cool.

I also have a small gym in the garage too - 200kg of weight plates and various barbells, racks, benches etc - but I’ve just joined a proper gym (it’s less than 2mins jog from the house and SWMBO got a promotion at work so we treated ourselves to family membership) so I’m considering selling the gym gear and getting a kegerator.
 
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Hengoedbrewer

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Thanks everyone for replies- I wouldn't mind a second hand fridge at a push, have asked around work and missus' work if anyone wants shot of one, and have joined Freecycle, if I see anything I'll get it there. Otherwise not averse to getting a new one, I had a brainwave to keep an eye on black friday deals; or can always call in some birthday presents if I wait till new year. The fridge will be in the porch when I am using it to ferment (which is unheated, but guessing that's fine given the amount of people who use theirs garages- sadly not an option for me as no power in there) and then I'll move it to the garage when not using it. At least, that's what I am telling the wife....
 
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