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Martin

Brewing fridge

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Has any one converted a fridge to a brewing fridge here?

 

I don't have a problem warming the fridge when outside temperatures are low, but keeping it cool when the weater is warm.

 

The fridge is in a tin garage, so it gets pretty hot in there in summer.

 

 

 

Iv'e made up a thermostaticly controlled fan forced heating device to keep the fermenter/bottles warm.

 

It's quite simple really. I got a thermostat from a waterbed and attached a light bulb to the heating pad cord. The fan is an old computer fan (12volt) which runs of an old power adaptor (like a phone charger).

 

The fan sits behind the light bulb mounted on a piece of wood. The fan runs continueously and the light goes on when things get below the set temp.

 

This all sits in the freezer compartment so as the brew is not exposed to light. The fan also stops the light bulb from over heating in the confined space.

 

 

 

The cooling parts of the fridge still work but would bring the temp too low.

 

I'm thinking of a thermostat from an airconditioner fitted to replace the original thermostat.

 

I guess their temp range would be 26 - 16deg for cooling?

 

"one day" I'll see a refrigeration mechanic for advice.

 

Any help or hints I would appreciate.

 

 

 

Cheers - Martin

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I know a bloke who uses a modified fridge for cheese storage. He's installed a thermostat into the system that cuts out the refrigeration system when the temperature drops below twelve, and starts it back up again when the temperature goes above. Perhaps the same could be done for higher temperatures for beer, but I'm not very technically-minded, so I don't know how it can be done or if the fridge would survive.

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Martin,

 

if you go to Grumpys and type in" fridge conversion" you should find all the info you are looking for, if not please feel free to pm email me,(see profile), cheers.

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Thanks a lot.

 

It does look very simple.

 

If you look at how much $ you save by brewing your own beer, $175 is't too expensive (I think).

 

I'll still look into making my own, just for the satisfaction.

 

I'll email that site & enquire about specs.

 

 

 

Cheers - Martin

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Martin,

 

the cheese thermostat would be fine if you lived in a hot area and all it had to do was turn the fridge off or on to keep the temp down to the desired setting, however if you lived in a place where the temp can fluctuate anywhere from minus to 30, you will need a thermostat that can switch the power from cooling to heating. This way it is possible to brew at a constant temperature no matter what mother nature likes to throw at you. You can also control the actual fermentation temp as well if the probe is inserted inside the brew.

 

Global Components at Melb and Syd sell such a thermostat for $35. It is called EGO model EF55.13204.010 range =0-40c

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Thanks for them details C41171.

 

Keeping the temp in the fridge warm enough when Mother Nature chooses to be cold is not a problem. It's taken care of with a sepperate thermostat & heating unit, run independantly from any of the fridges standard componants.

 

 

 

This thermostat you talk of "EGO........." could that be wired in to the fridge as to switch on the cooling when the fridge / brew temp gets above a set temp, say 23deg?

 

My tin garage gets rather warm in summer. And I'd like to make my unit "set & forget".

 

 

 

Cheers - Martin

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Martin,

 

yes it can, it is wired into the fridge power cord, then the original fridge thermostat switch is turned to it's coldest position and the new switch will take over from it maintaining what ever temp is dialed. I am certainly not trying to push Grumpys web site on to anybody ( there are certainly a lot of raw prawns there)( as well as some decent chaps) but there is a mountain of info on this subject by quite a few different brewers, just type in fridge conversion and you will find a lot to ponder. If you read the post by a chap called Graeme to a chap called Arthur it goes into good detail about the switch in question.

 

cheers.

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Get a water bed heater/thermostat/control then get a light bulb holder with bulb and cord you take the flat bed heater away and connect the light bulb to the control you then disconnect the power cord and put through the fridge door drill a hole then connect again so the hole unit is in side the fridge and that\x92s it make shore the light is on and work out your temperature with the control works well in cold areas I used a old fridge and put this all inside the door and you have a brewing fridge. :lol:

 

 

 

and I agree the more home brew you drink the more you save

 

 

 

RegRobo

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Hello all tacking on old thread here so does anyone know where these light fittings/sockets are. Can i buy one with a cord from bunnings or somewhere probably a lighting shop? lol sorry im not very handy with things. Found this reptile globe on ebay if i buy this and a stc 1000 could i somehow rig it up in my brew fridge?

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Reptile-Heat-Globe-Lamp-Trusted-Reptile-One-Brand-x-2-75w-Screw-Fitting-/251269343090?pt=AU_Pet_Supplies&hash=item3a80d1e772#ht_1871wt_903

 

Any advice would be awesome thanks i realise this place quite dead on weekend.

Cheers all Art.

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Hi Art - I guess a reptile globe would do the job but I have no experience with them.

 

What I have is a regular globe with a terracotta pot over the top to block the light and absorb the heat. I use the newer kind energy saver globes - they're not as warm as the old fashioned ones but they do the job fine. My lamp is just a cheapie from vinnies that I butchered a bit.

 

All hooked up and controlled by my STC-1000.

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Thanks muddy so i should be able to buy the reptile globe and stc 1000 and get a sparkie to hook it up no worries? I thought the red light would be better than white at not skunking the beer.

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Martin,

 

I have one of these... http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DIGITAL-FRIDGE-THERMOSTAT-for-HOME-BREWING-9-to-38-Deg-C-Genuine-Brand-/270837508275?pt=AU_Pet_Supplies&hash=item3f0f2c68b3&_uhb=1#ht_4911wt_1114

 

I plug my fridge into it and set to cool in the warmer months. With my heat mat in the fridge and the controller set to warm I plug my heat mat into it in the cooler months. Maintains constant temp..

 

Keg King do a 16 amp controller for $70. You plug both heating and cooling into it and it's supposed to be 100% auto.. I know a lot of people make up their own with the STC-1000 but when I costed this out it wasn't much dearer (only about $5 from memory) to buy it from Keg King. No issues with faulty electricity was my way of thinking too. It's on my wish list anyway..

 

Regards,

 

Milney

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Hey Milney, unfortunately Martin hasn't visited this site since January 2005 so he may not be listening [biggrin]

 

Is the keg king controller a dual source controller? Ie. it heats and cools?

 

If I was going to invest in a temp controller then I would make sure it did both.

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Hey Milney' date=' unfortunately Martin hasn't visited this site since January 2005 so he may not be listening [biggrin']

 

Is the keg king controller a dual source controller? Ie. it heats and cools?

 

If I was going to invest in a temp controller then I would make sure it did both.

 

Jeepers! Have to watch out for that in future..... [unsure] I think you've caught me out twice now...!

 

Keg King advertise two. A 10 amp - single source; and a 16 amp - dual source. I reckon the 16 amp looks really good. Haven't seen any reviews though. Any feedback on it would be appreciated...

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The only problem with using those ones Benny is that they are not designed for fridges and don't have the delay option (as far as I am aware) and therefore allow your compressor to be switched on a lot more than necessary which will greatly reduce the life of the fridge.

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Hey Guys,

 

I'm in the progress of doing up a fermentation fridge. I've made up a temperature controller, got a nice big fridge that will fit 2 ferment's.

 

My only issue is a heat source, I was consider the globe/paint can setup, then looked at a lot of reptile heating methods (globes, cord and panels).

 

Considering this Heat Mat at the moment. It looks solid, 20w should be heaps and its thin and the setup I'm thinking of it will slide underneath the Ferment shelf. That way when its on all that heat is going up and warming the beer.

 

Has many people used similar mats / panels and had success?

 

Also going to put in two 12v 120mm fans to circulate the air. one can mounted near the base and the other up top.

 

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That heat mat looks like it would do the trick - but, myself, I find the light globe in a terracotta pot works fantastically....the light rarely needs to come on as the pot absorbs the heat and maintains the temp quite well.

 

I think fans would be overkill personally.

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I use a heat pad. It is a Copper Tun homebrew heat pad and it works fine.

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I am with Muddy on this one.

 

I have a globe in a terracotta plant pot with another pot inverted on top.

 

It doesn't take long to warm the pot up then it holds the heat for a fair while. I have a 380 litre "fridge only" brew fridge and I don't need a fan to distribute the heat.

 

My FV sits on a frame I built in the bottom of the fridge, the bottom of the FV is just above the heat source which is in the back corner.

 

I work on the KISS principle ....and a fairly tight budget [cool]

 

 

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Actually, truth be told it's the makeup that I really like [whistling

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So far the thermostat has been brilliant, the fridge hardly ever cuts in and out, so far the temp hasn't moved from 18c, but it will be the summer that tells the story. We'll see what the future holds until then drink up! [biggrin]

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