Check out the upgrade

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by Foster82, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Just picked up a used fridge for free, that will become my ferment chamber. Let the evolution begin!



    The picture is after a good cleaning, and the only issue that I could find is the gasket of the freeze side is the wrong one but some tape fixed that up. I am not entirely sure what happened in there, however I think it involved and cat, Doritos and coke zero (part of a box was still stuck the shelves). Luckily it appears the cat escaped through the Ice dispenser (you should see the claw looking marks on the thing). :lol:

    Any suggestions on design?
     

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  2. -MG-

    -MG- New Member

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    Very cool!

    Are you looking to use both sides to ferment? I have a similar sized fridge I use for my lager chamber, however, I left the freezer side still a freezer to store my hops (and meat).

    To accomplish this, I disconnected the fridge side thermostat on the top (well just removed it). Left the freezer side in. I used the STC-1000 controller that you can google or find a ton of info on HBT. I cut a hole at the top where there was already a dampener and hole to cool the fridge side and installed a computer fan (AC), and hooked it up to the cooling side, and found a small space heater and put it at the bottom of the fridge to control it precisely.

    The fridge uses the freezer side to cool the fridge. I wanted to maintain that freezer temperature. I built a small platform for the bottom since the compress shelf was slanted. I can fit a full sanke keg on the bottom shelf I made. I also reinforced the top shelf with some supports as well.

    Here is a picture:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    MG, Nice setup.

    The goal for mine is to be able to keep my brew at serving temp on the freezer side, and ferment on the fridge side. However I want to keep the unit as fully functional as possible, and not drill a bunch of holes in it. I bottle my beer and kegs are not in the near future, so I don't have to worry about tap lines. Also I have removed the fresh water cooler and was able to run my temp prob through the resulting holes in the back. Next step is to take some measurements to see if I can get 2 fermenters in the fridge side. Also I am going to figure out how to apply power to the air exchange flap, and add a 4 inch fan to circulate air between the two sides, but I will need to get another controller for that. I am thinking with 2 dual stage controllers (I already have one), I can make two climate control chambers for year round use in the garage. I will say the Control Products TC-9102D-HV that I have works perfectly; it is wired up with 14 AWG wire and an outlet box connected to the bottom. Between the 30 amp relays and 14 AWG wire it should be able to take anything I can throw at it.

    However for right now its cold conditioning 4 cases of current brew that is on hand.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's a great idea if you can independently control the temperature on both sides. Mine's a good old fashioned conventional refrigerator-freezer. I really wanted a bottom freezer but they were a bit too expensive. Good luck with it: Any way you can stack the fermenters in the refrigerator half (I doubt the shelves are strong enough but if so you can fit two fermenters at once in there)?
     
  5. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    I use a side by side for a keggerator using both sides. I have two temperature controllers (STC 1000).

    The main controller sets the refrigerator side for cooling and I have cut two holes in the separator wall and installed a fan in each, blowing in opposite directions.

    You can see one of the fans top right of the above picture. The second controller has its sensor on the freezer side and has one fan hooked to the heating relay. The other fan is set to run whenever the compressor is running.
    This way the compressor runs until the refrigerator side is at the desired temperature, but the freezer side will naturally tend to be colder so when it drops below the desired temp, the second controller heat relay closes and runs the second fan until both sides are equal.

    Works great and I can hold 8 kegs (four each side) with four serving, two carbing up, and two lagering/cold conditioning. There is enough room left over for about three cases of bottled beer.

    I used angle iron on the freezer side to hold the kegs, and the bottom kegs are on different levels to accommodate for the hump at the back. I think the side by side is the best setup for a kegerator, and you could conceivably put four more kegs on the refrigerator side, but there would be little room for anything else.
     

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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant!
     
  7. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    Chessking, you are a god.
     
  8. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Foster82, here are a couple of threads on what you are planing.

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/fridgenstein-side-side-kegerator-fermentation-chamber-289241/

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/side-side-kegerator-fermentation-chamber-161176/

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sibe-side-kegerator-fermenting-chamber-conversion-243671/

    I have a separate fermentation chamber so i had no need for the kegerator/fermentation combo, but they are a good read and will help you understand what you need to do. The wiring seems a bit tricky, or at least it was for me, but after some study its fairly straight forward.
     
  9. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Current plans right is to install a fan and temp controller to regulate the fridge side, and then use a second controller to control the freezer side, also some custom shelves to hold my carboys. It has been running for the past week with just a controller on the fridge side and its working great. Fridge is at 42 and freezer is at 32 (I have all the air from the main fan directed into the fridge side).
     
  10. sanatar

    sanatar New Member

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    -MG- Freezer on one side and fermentation on one side is exactly what I am looking to do. Do you have any specifics you can show me on the fan you used, or pictures of how it is installed? Much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    John

     
  11. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Well the evolution of my free fridge is about 80% complete, and is fully operational as a ferment chamber on one side and fridge for serving on the other side :D . I have dual temp controllers and fans installed so that I can control temps on both sides. My first 10 gallon batch is on deck for this Sunday, to fill the empty carboys in the picture. A nice Black Lager that I brewed about this same time last year.
     

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  12. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Nice job. Make sure that shelf will hold a full fermenter. You can free up some interior space by removing the inside door panels. There are some screws under the rubber seal. Remove them all and the panel will fall off. Then you can cover the surface with contact paper and replace the rubber seal and screws.
     
  13. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I though about taking the door panels off, but for right now they are not getting in the way. As for the shelf; it should more that strong enough as each leg is rated for 190 lbs, and I have four supporting the wire rack. I will be placing some wood supports across the top of the wire rack as it does flex a lot with a full carboy.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  14. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Just got my vintage made in the USA bottle capper in the mail today. Works 100% better than the Agata capper that everyone seems to sell. It actually fully crimps the caps and there is really not much that can break. Plus it was only about 2/3 the cost, and doubles as decoration in the brew room :D .
     

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  15. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    I got one simmilar to that somewhere in the garage. It still works as well. Same rust patterns. Cant beat that old technology.
     
  16. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I like em! I have 2. 1that my dad had (purchased in the 50's) and 1 from a friend that retired from brewing long ago that was his fathers. If they could only tell stories...
     
  17. marke08

    marke08 New Member

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    Hi everyone - I'm new to the board. I have been doing a lot of research on this set-up. I have a side by side and want to get a temp controller for just the Fridge side. I want the freezer to stay perfectly intact as i don't plan to use it.

    Can i get just the STC-1000, remove manufacturer fridge side thermostat and control temperature? I want the fridge to be between 55-60 degrees. Do i need some sort of heating element to accomplish this? I guess what i'm most confused about is, doesn't the fridge side keep its temperature by using cold air from the freezer side? do i need to alter that in anyway to reach 55 degrees?

    Thanks
     
  18. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    yes, what you will need to do is get a plug outlet box with an outlet, follow the directions on the controller to switch the plug in box you just made on and off, plug your fridge into the plug in and set the ST-1000 to your temp hi or low and your set , I can help further, Ive done this several times. Built a keezer and a fridge fermentation vessel both using a ST-1000
     
  19. marke08

    marke08 New Member

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    can i just replace the fridge thermostat without needing an outlet box? My fridge has two thermostats. I was thinking i could just unhook the thermostat for the fridge side and wire in the ST-1000.
     
  20. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    no its not compatible, just set the fridge to the highest setting and bypass any fridge wiring all together
     

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