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oldpathwhiteclouds

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I am moving to using a keg and want to buy a fridge and stick a tap on the door.

Just about to buy a fridge and it says can't be kept in outbuilding. This does make sense. In fact I was thinking of leaving it next to the shed under a lean to.

Any suggestions about how I get around the fact that regular fridges don't work in outbuildings or outside? Like could I use an ink bird to turn off the fridge when the temperature drops below a particular degree? Or should I just give it a go and see how it does. Sounds like fridges fail in those conditions??
 

Buffers brewery

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Depending on how much you want to spend, you could use an electric fan/oil filled heater in your insulated lean-to thermostatically controlled at the low end of the fridges temperature range?
 

Leon103

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Mine works in my garage which does get very cold. Had an issue a few weeks back when the temp was consistently below zero, I turned it off and it wouldn't power back up. When it got warmer it worked again. next time I won't turn it off.

Will it be out of the rain?
 

oldpathwhiteclouds

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Mine works in my garage which does get very cold. Had an issue a few weeks back when the temp was consistently below zero, I turned it off and it wouldn't power back up. When it got warmer it worked again. next time I won't turn it off.

Will it be out of the rain?
Yes out of the rain
 

oldpathwhiteclouds

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Is it ok to use a freezer instead. Seems there are more freezers available. I guess more people keep freezers in garages. Just wonder if they are ok at keeping beer temperature. Still haven't worked out what that is.

I was hoping to use the same fridge for fermentation and then as a kegerator for the moment.
 

Leon103

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Is it ok to use a freezer instead. Seems there are more freezers available. I guess more people keep freezers in garages. Just wonder if they are ok at keeping beer temperature. Still haven't worked out what that is.

I was hoping to use the same fridge for fermentation and then as a kegerator for the moment.
Yes and work good at lower temps. You will need an inkbird and heater. But there are issues with condensation.
 

BrewMeHappy

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I've had a fridge in my garage for years (not a keezer though) and my parents used to do the same when I was a lad too, and have never had any problems.

I guess the temp is maybe 1 or 2 degrees above the outside temp in the winter, so could be well below 0 degrees at times.

I'm sure it would be fine.
 

the baron

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advice on Fridge/Freezers used in outside cold rooms such as a garage
it is usually only an issue in fridge freezers that have a single thermostat or sensor located in the fridge compartment. This thermostat will shut off if the temperature gets in the region of freezing as the inside of the fridge is already cold enough, if the temperature remains low then the fridge thermostat will not come back on.

As a consequence of the fridge thermostat shutting off, it will also cause the compressor to stop and the freezer will warm up to around the temperature of the room – which although low, is unlikely to be cold enough for storing frozen food.

If you are planning to store a fridge freezer in an outside environment, then the best advice is to check that it is suitable for the garage or that it has independent thermostats for the fridge and freezer compartments.
This may help
 

oldpathwhiteclouds

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I hadn't thought of a fridge freezer. Was thinking one or the other.

Thing is, as ever, if I look for a fridge that is ok in an outbuilding then the price goes up and I can't get a local second hand one.

Can anyone with experience help me with whether I'd be better off with a fridge or a freezer? Probably overthinking it.
 

the_quick

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I have a small chest freezer in my shed (not insulated) works fine, no problems at all, despite few freezing cold nights. Bough mine second hand from Facebook marketplace for £20. Small modification to add timber collar and I have kegerator. Very easy to turn back to regular freezer. Total cost <£30
 

the baron

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Freezers are ok because they operate at a lower temp than your garage /outbuildings will get to. Its fridges that cause the issue as they generally operate at @ 4degrees and it can get below that in the same buildings so they will stop working
 

the baron

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I personally in your situation would opt for a Keezer i.e using a freezer. If you search the forum or look on youtube you will get some really good ideas and advice on how best to convert these to yours needs. Good Luck
 

the baron

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This may be a stupid question but won't a freezer be too cold?
No because you can control them with a inkbird or temperature controller - do look at the Youtube builds or search and read the forum as quite a few members have documented their builds which will help you tremendously
 

Gerryjo

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I have 2 fridges one of which is a fermentation chamber and a fridge freezer all 3 of which are in my garage and all for brewing and it's pretty cold at the moment but have never had an issue yet.
 

Bill_g

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Having set up a couple of fridges like this I thought perhaps it might help to summarise:
  1. Both fridges & freesers are essentially the same but freezers are designed to sustain lower temperatures in operation. However all that is needed in this application is something that will reduce temperature to say 10C or 12C. Either will do the job.
  2. in a cheap fridge & freezer there is only 1 thermostat. It senses the temperature of the fridge section not the freezer. Consequently if the outhouse ambient temperature drops below the fridge target temperature (say 6C or so) then the fridge thinks it's work is done but this means that the ice box will not stay frozen but will rise to the same temp as the fridge section where the thermostat is located. (i.e. this means that the fridge freezer is not achieving its intended function of keeping food simultaneously cold in the main compartment and frozen in the ice box, It does not mean that the fridge freezer will be damaged)
  3. The answer is to just set the thermostat of the fridge, fridge/freezer or freezer to its lowest setting because your target temperature will always be well above this. Temperature control is then achieved with an external temperature controller such as the Inkbird with the temperature sensor taped or very close) to a keg or the fermenter or whatever is being temperature controlled. The temperature controller only turns the fridge on when temperature is being reduced so note that internal lights etc will only operate when the fridge is powered up by the external controller.
  4. Note that if this is operating in an outhouse where temperature is below your target temperature then a heater will be needed inside the enclosure to sustain the target temperature of the keg or fermenter.
I hope that helps to bring it all together and clarify what's needed. I have modified a couple of fridges, one for use as a kegerator and one as a fermentation chamber. They both are kept in the garage and work as described above. I re-wired the fridge for the kegerator so that I could remove the thermostat & light to give me more room inside the fridge. This is fine because the fridge thermostat is actually redundant if an external controller is used.
 

oldpathwhiteclouds

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Thanks That’s really helpful.

I wonder if you could use an ink bird to protect a fridge by having it turn off when it reaches temperatures so low it can't cope? (if in an outbuilding) if it’s too cold for the fridge to cope it’s probably a good temp for the beer keg anyway.
 
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