One fridge for fermentation, kegging and storage.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jay3847, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. jay3847

    jay3847 Member

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    I have one fridge that I would like to keep at 42 F but still want to ferment at 64 or so in there too. Too hot where I live to have fermentation in the house. Will the heat wrap work well enough, especially for a Belgian? Suggestions?
     
  2. Johnwk

    Johnwk Member

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    #2 Johnwk, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    My son lives in Texas where it's often too warm for fermenting. He uses a fermwrap around his carboy while placed in the fridge. A temperature controller and a temperature gauge is used to maintain a constant temperature. I believe he also wrapped the carboy + fermwrap with a blanket.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Unless you insulate the heck out of the heat wrap, it'll heat up the inside of the fridge and make it difficult to hold temp for the kegs. I don't think I'd bother trying. Except for the hottest part of the year (not an insignificant part of it, here in Texas), I've had success using a water bath to hold fermentation temps at a reasonable level.
     
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  4. Johnwk

    Johnwk Member

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    Because of the significantly lower temperature differential, the fridge/fermwrap set-up works far more effectively for a lager than an ale. I'm waiting to hear back from my son on more details of his set-up and experience with this set-up (he also lives in Austin).
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    What part of town? If he's south, he should meet up with our club.
    I know...thread drift. :mad:
     
  6. Johnwk

    Johnwk Member

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    Northwest, near Highways 45 and 183. What's the name and location of the club?
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Inkbird two-stage temperature controller. You plug your refrigerator and a heat source into the controller, put the probe in the fridge (or preferably the beer), set and walk away. The controller will keep the fridge at the temperature it needs to be.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    the heat belt will heat up the whole fridge so I wouldn't use it with other things in the fridge, its fine on its own but I like the inkbird idea my self better the fridge would be fighting the heat belt and running all the time
     
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  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's why I like the Inkbird - two stage control. Using the heat and the refrigeration, I hold my beer to the set temperature +/- 0.3 degrees C. Yep, I'm using squirrel because the Inkbird is more accurate in Celsius than Fahrenheit.
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Right, but you’re not trying to keep other things cold at the same time. I do the same thing as you with my STC-1000, also squirrel. All I have in mine is a single carboy, no keg. I’m wondering what the effect of a heat belt in a fridge where you’re trying to keep something else cold would be.

    And ya gotta wonder what the new members think about the squirrel references!
     
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  11. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I would use the fridge for keg storage and maybe lagering and get a small chest freezer and Inkbird controller for fermenting.
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You and I both know he’ll get there. It has to be at his speed, though. ;)
     
  13. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    For sure... this can get costly and space comes at a premium.
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #14 J A, Jan 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    We're South Austin Area Zymurgists - SAAZ...he's way off up in Carboys and Zealots territory. He's welcome to make the drive south any time he wants, though. ;)
     
  15. Johnwk

    Johnwk Member

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    Thanks! I'll pass this on to him!
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Not just new members. o_O
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think I can find the original thread. Search term squirrel pulls up a bunch of references. At one point we were discussing the metric vs. the system Americans use. Someone mentioned sizes are easier in metric, and mentioned a metric nut. Then it was suggested that’s what metric squirrels prefer. That’s the birth story as best as I can recall.
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A heat belt in a fridge you're trying to keep cold would warm up the other stuff as well - you have a huge heat sink at 65 degrees and you're trying to keep your milk at 38 degrees? Good luck with that. It's a food safety issue. Now what MIGHT work is to keep the fridge at fermentation temperatures - say 65 degrees - and use the freezer compartment for stuff to be kept cold. It could still freeze, though.

    Experimentally: Run a carboy full of water, use the heat belt on it, take the temperature at other points in the fridge to see what the effect is but my experience with refrigerators is they tend to be pretty well insulated. Your compressor would be trying to overcome the heat from the heat belt.... I don't see a good way to do that without using the freezer compartment and you'll have to test that as well. Put the fridge on a temperature controller and see what the temperature in the freezer compartment stabilizes to.

    Best compromise is two refrigerators. You could probably find two workable used ones for about $150 on Craigslist.
     
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  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Preaching to the choir, nosy. I wouldn’t put a heat belt in a fridge and try to keep other things cold. I was just wondering what the effect would be.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A very warm refrigerator and a high electricity bill as the two systems compete with each other.
     
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