Chest Freezer Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by nflamedrash, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. nflamedrash

    nflamedrash Member

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    My old (1980s) fermentation refrigerator passed on this week. I am going to invest in a new Chest Freezer fermentation chamber and I am looking for recommendations. While my old refrigerator could precariously balance two 6.5 gallon fermenters I am hoping the new freezer will handle (3) 6.5 gallon fermenters.

    Dose anyone have a recommendation? I am currently looking at the Sears freezers but open to suggestion on size. Should I purchase two 7 cubic foot units or one 16 cubic foot unit. I have lots of room and power circuits will not be a problem.

    Pictures welcome (I have seen a couple of nice units on this forum already).
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you looking for the cheapest or best??
     
  3. nflamedrash

    nflamedrash Member

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    Would it help if I said the 'right' solution? I don't want to regret my purchase in a year but I don't want to pay for features I will not use (external temperature display, auto defrost, extra baskets, stainless steel...).

    Good freezer, easy to clean and solid mechanical parts.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  5. SmokeyMcB

    SmokeyMcB New Member

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    If you're looking for something that's gonna last you forever, maybe look into a slightly used industrial unit. Even used, it'll probably twice outlast any residential unit. Just my 2c!
     
  6. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    Mine is the same as Ozarks, same controler too. I have had it for around 3 years and yes, the 4 kegs are tight, but you can still get them in.
     
  7. newmanwell

    newmanwell Active Member

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    I have two 7 cubic foot freezers. I like having two freezers over one large one because I can ferment at ale temps in one and lagers in the other. I can also use one to force carbonate kegs while the other had some fermentation going on. Versatility is pretty nice.
     
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  8. eds

    eds New Member

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    For fermentation control how many carboys can you get in a 7 cubic foot freezer? I am looking to buy one as well.
     
  9. newmanwell

    newmanwell Active Member

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    I can fit two 6 gallons or one 6 gallon and one 6.5 gallon. I also have a three gallon that can fit on the shelf part but a blow off tube is needed since the air lock would make it to tall to close the lid.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if you use a freezer to ferment with a carboy crack it just a hair to let the co2 out, a nail works good
     
  11. eds

    eds New Member

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    Thanks guys, just getting tired of swapping around the ice containers in my broken cooler. Want to buy something the right size, not sure if I can get away with a 10 cubic foot freezer with the wife!
     
  12. lilyalvin

    lilyalvin New Member

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    Find Chest Freezer for Sale and I just can't stop getting this deal. It's a 190 Ltr glass lid keezer at reasonable price.
     
  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure my wife would fit into a 10 cubic foot one very well, either. :D
     
  14. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    speaking of SHE.... anyone want to recommend a good freezer that'll house a 5 gallon batch?? SHE wants to upgrade to a freezer that'll fit a 5 gal fermenter in the near future.
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    any 5.2 freezer will work for 1 carboy but for the price you can get a 7.2 for not much more and it will hold 2 carboys and 4 kegs and even a bunch of bottles
     
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  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    ^^^What he said... I was given a small chest freezer (probably about the smallest you can get, I suppose) and it works great for one carboy. I can just squeeze a 5-gallon bucket in if I put it up on the raised area that accommodates the compressor, etc. If I want to put a collar on it, I could put 2 carboys. For kegs it'll handle 2 and I can use the extra, raised area for bottles, but it would take a really tall collar to be able to put any more kegs in.
    If I were buying one, I'd definitely find one that's a size bigger.
     
  17. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    So, if we wanted to use a 7.2 cubic freezer. We could only do primary, secondary, and crashing in it. But i'd have to modify it if we wanted to use it as a kegerator also. And i'm just clarifying that it can't be a kegerator AND a ferm fridge?
     
  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to modify the freezer to make it a keezer. You take the lid off and place a wooden collar on top of the base. Then you attach the freezer lid hinges to your collar. That way the lid closes on top of the collar. I keep my keezer at 36° for serving. That's a suitable temperature for lagering, but not for fermenting.
     
  19. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    We're planning on going real slow with bigger batches, so start it with an ale at 60º, change the ink bird to 36º to crash it, rack it, age it, keg it, put keg back in at same 36º temp, and then just open the lid to pour from. I think i get it, i'm definitely confused though, and will be having a conversation with the LHBS guy this weekend.
     
  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    My experience is that if you only have one appliance available for everything, you won't be making beer very often. ;)
    It's best to have a controllable freezer or fridge for fermenting/crashing and a separate fridge (no need for extra temp control) for kegs. I use my small freezer (unmodified except for digital temp controller) for fermenting primarily. I have a modified dorm fridge that holds two kegs for serving. I can use the freezer for cold-crash and when I need to carbonate/lager extra kegs I can do that there, too. If I get desperate to brew when the freezer is being used for lagering, I can run a batch or two through fermentation in a water-bath that will hold (warm) ale temps very well.
    I think my set up is about as minimal as you can get.
     
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