How long will a normal fridge last in an outhouse as a Fermentation Chamber?

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Galena

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Just wondering from those with experience, the affect on a fridge kept in an outhouse will be on a fridge not designed for outdoor use, bearing in mind it will usually only be used as a Fermentation chamber and so in winter presumably the heater will be on more then the refrigeration?
 

Banbeer

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A few years ago I had a freezer and 2 brewfridges working in an out house (didn't know at the time they weren't designed for out houses) and I still have them working in my new brewing space. I think you can buy them for out houses but I'm presumming you're using second hand?
 

Galena

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@Banbeer No it's new but at a good price and compared to outhouse fridges much cheaper, I have ordered then realised my mistake so not too late to cancel so hence the question, if I can get a few years out of it I'll be happy. It will be for fermenting and conditioning though I suppose I could use it to chill a few things when not fermenting beer.
 

An Ankoù

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I presume your outhouse is dry and the fridge is sheltered from the weather- apart from heat and coldness. I don't see why it shouldn't last just as long in an "outhouse" as it does in the kitchen. If it's open to the rain it's not safe to use anyway.
 

Banbeer

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Mine were in there for four years both had temp control, freezer was just for bread really. I've just bought a new tall larder fridge for use as a kegerator as I didn't want to look for a cheap one with lockdown etc. Only problem is I'm loathed to drill holes in it and void the warranty.
 

PhilBrew

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Hi Galena

My brewfridge was second-hand, and of unknown age/use before I got it but has been out in my (unheated) garage for 4-5 years now ... it's not really designed for out-of-doors use, and after the first heavy winter it was noticeable how it was no longer able to crash-chill to quite as cold (down to around 4-4.5C at best, but that's cool enough to get yeast to drop) and other than that it's been fine for controlling fermentation temperatures athumb..

Weirdly, it's better at chilling cooler in the summer ... it can be freezing temps out and the fridge won't get 5 gals of beer down below 4C ... but when its high 20sC ambient, the fridge will happily chill down to 1-2C :confused.:

Cheers, PhilB
 

Galena

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I presume your outhouse is dry and the fridge is sheltered from the weather- apart from heat and coldness. I don't see why it shouldn't last just as long in an "outhouse" as it does in the kitchen. If it's open to the rain it's not safe to use anyway.
Yes it is completely dry, quite nice actually but completely seperate from the house and I don't want to heat it in winter, unless I am in there working.
 

Galena

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Mine were in there for four years both had temp control, freezer was just for bread really. I've just bought a new tall larder fridge for use as a kegerator as I didn't want to look for a cheap one with lockdown etc. Only problem is I'm loathed to drill holes in it and void the warranty.
Lockdown is the reason I bought new to be honest, that and I am in a hurry, mine is a tall larder fridge but as its for fermentation I wont need to drill holes fortunately.
 

Galena

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Hi Galena

My brewfridge was second-hand, and of unknown age/use before I got it but has been out in my (unheated) garage for 4-5 years now ... it's not really designed for out-of-doors use, and after the first heavy winter it was noticeable how it was no longer able to crash-chill to quite as cold (down to around 4-4.5C at best, but that's cool enough to get yeast to drop) and other than that it's been fine for controlling fermentation temperatures athumb..

Weirdly, it's better at chilling cooler in the summer ... it can be freezing temps out and the fridge won't get 5 gals of beer down below 4C ... but when its high 20sC ambient, the fridge will happily chill down to 1-2C :confused.:

Cheers, PhilB
Thanks, that is reassuring.
 

Richie_asg1

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Being in a cold area can do some strange things to modern fridges. Some misbehave and other will give error messages and just not turn on at all. It all depends on how clever it thinks it is as the simpler mechanical thermostats just keep on going.
If you are using it as a brewfridge it probably won't be an issue but could play up if you press it into use over Christmas.
The other issue is rats and mice love to chew PVC cables on the ground, so if possible keep sockets 1M off the ground and keep the wires out of general reach.
 

Galena

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Being in a cold area can do some strange things to modern fridges. Some misbehave and other will give error messages and just not turn on at all. It all depends on how clever it thinks it is as the simpler mechanical thermostats just keep on going.
If you are using it as a brewfridge it probably won't be an issue but could play up if you press it into use over Christmas.
The other issue is rats and mice love to chew PVC cables on the ground, so if possible keep sockets 1M off the ground and keep the wires out of general reach.
Yes mainly just a brewfridge, but I will take care at Christmas, good info thanks, fortunately the outhouse is completely rat and mouse proof.
 

CliffC

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I have a couple of fridges, one for fermentation, one for kegs in an unheated detached garage. Had no problems with them in the winter. Most fridges state they should be used in areas above 5 degrees centigrade. You'll probably be OK but if I was buying new I'd get a Beko. They seem to be rated for lower temperatures. I also have a beko freezer in the garage for food and bought it for this reason.
 

Coffin Dodger

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I bought this large chest freezer exactly 25 years ago, and have been using it one way or another to store beer in, and serve it from, ever since. It cost me £60, and had been used by a sea angler in Shaldon to store his catch. The original compressor unit packed up after just 3 years, probably because it didn’t like being cycled on and off to hold the temperature at around 12 to 13C.

I already had an under-counter drinks cooler, similar to the Maxi, to control my fermentation vessel temperature, so I rigged a central heating pump to circulate water through this and the cooling pipes buried in the insulation on all sides of the old freezer. A temperature controller switched the pump on and off in the summer, and an airing cupboard heater in the winter, and apart from the fact that I couldn’t use the cooler for the week I was fermenting, all was well again.

Fourteen years later, in 2012, an ominous leakage from under the freezer was traced to the steel cooling pipes, that weren’t designed to have water in them, rusting through, so I went the whole hog and bought a second Maxi 100 specifically to cool the beer store through the grid of copper pipes that can be seen in the photo below.

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This shows the temperature controller and Maxi unit. The thing at top right is an expansion tank, and below it is the most important item - the Brewery Tap!
 

Galena

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Quite some setup you have there, 25 years is good going and its great to see the pictures, I can only hope my fridge will last a fraction of the time :)
 

Worf

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Started brewing in a house (Indiana) that had a perfect, dark room with constant temp. Then moved to the Mexican border in west Texas & experimented with 'wet blanket & fan' cooling. Then to Central CA, and could finally user my old (1987) fridge because the rental had it's own. Now, living in the Arizona desert and having to use that old fridge with it outside (been 108F /43c) for a week. Not sure if the ol' fridge is gonna make it through the summer.

Might hafta go to 'seasonal brewing' 😟
 

Banbeer

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Might hafta go to 'seasonal brewing'
Hi Worf, have you thought about Kveik yeast? some of the strains go upto 40degrees C or 104degrees F in old money.
 
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