Instructions and advice for first fermentation fridge build please

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Bootcutboy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
74
Reaction score
11
Hi all, I am a beginner brewer in UK and have Previously brewed a few batches of kit beers/lagers and once made my own cider from fresh apples and I have got the bug so I have decided to go down the fermentation fridge route, I believe I have all the components bought for this but I would like to make sure I do this properly and as well as I can do so as to get the best results.
I have bought a virtually new undercounter Beko fridge, Inkbird, greenhouse heater, which all came to about £50 total.

I am sure there are loads of instructional videos and sites about building a fridge but can anyone recommend any specific vids or reading that has worked well for you? Any advice you would give someone just starting down the fridge route please? I am excited to get started but warey that I don’t rush it and ruin the fridge.

many thanks in advance everyone
Dave
 

Pete9586

Active Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
14
Wire the heater through the drain hole at the back of you fridge. Change the bottom glass shelf for sturdy wooden shelf to hold weight of your FV. Take other shelves out. Plug in heater and fridge to ink bird and put sensor into fridge.
Simple, you don't need vids.
 

WierdFish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
103
Reaction score
29
Location
Northampton
If you can't get the heater cable through the drain hole, it may be OK just closing the door on the cable, or worst case trim a little of the door seal away to allow the cable through (reseal it with silicone if you wish).
 

Clint

Hammered.....
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
7,938
Reaction score
3,911
Location
North Wales
If you need to drill... pierce the outer skin only to start,pick through the inner material carefully, avoiding any pipes if you find any,then punch through the inner skin.
 

Hengoedbrewer

Regular.
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
223
Reaction score
43
Location
Caerphilly, Wales
I have a Citra / Cascade ipa on the go at the moment which is the first time for me using my brew fridge. These are my thoughts on my experience of using it (so far- five days into fermenting).

1. My heater cable (45w tube heater) would not go through the drain hole, and it is a brand new fridge, so I didn't drill. The cable for the heater comes out the bottom of the fridge and still maintains most of the seal. The inkbird probe fits through the seal with no problem. Mainly to keep my daughter out of the fridge, (hopefully), I have used bungee cords to hold the door a little bit more tightly shut. Seems fine and fridge is keeping brew at 19c or so easily. It doesn't seem to do much at all in terms of heating or cooling at the moment, which you'd expect I guess once a target temp is reached, as it's an insulated box basically you shouldn't get much temp variation. I set my inkbird with a heating differential of 0.5c and a cooling the same, with a compressor delay of 3.

2. I didn't bother with a wooden shelf as I am crap at DIY; and something I bought to stand the FV on was too wide so I just went with the supplied glass shelf. However- I am only doing small batch BIAB (this one 11L) so I would not advise doing this for a full FV- and probably would go for standard suggestion of a supporting shelf if I was, as other people do.

3. I have put the inkbird probe in a bubble wrap "pocket" and taped the pocket containing probe to the FV. This should then measure your wort temperature and not the temp inside the fridge itself.

It's really easy honestly- I had a few teething problems with mine due to poor prep on my part- mainly finding out the planned shelf for FV wouldn't actually fit- but it's not hard honestly. There's a quite short but reasonably informative vid I saw on Youtube from Rusty Homebrew showing his in use; if you really want to look, or one on the Malt Miller with some basic instructions- https://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/blog/controlling-fermentation-temperature/ but it really is as easy as it sounds.

Good luck.
 

MrL73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
108
Reaction score
57
Location
Reading
My setup is pretty much the same as Hengoedbrewer, including still using the glass shelf with my full size (23l) batches. I keep meaning to knock up a small wooden shelf, but y'know... time and all that.
 

jjsh

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
2,165
Reaction score
990
Location
East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
Usually, the whole for the drain isn't insulated - its in the bit of the fridge that is just plastic / PVC or whatever. Have a feel around to see what I mean. On both mine, to enlarge it was just a case of turning a slightly larger drill bit, with my hands, until it was enlarged.
 

pilgrimhudd

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
508
Reaction score
168
Location
Cornwall
If you can't get the heater cable through the drain hole, it may be OK just closing the door on the cable, or worst case trim a little of the door seal away to allow the cable through (reseal it with silicone if you wish).
This is what I did with mine, I'm terrible with anything electrical having almost killed myself a few years ago, if I can get away with avoiding wiring I will.
 
Group Builder
Top