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Freezer vs Refrigerator

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Roger85, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Roger85

    Roger85 Advocate (695) Illinois Aug 24, 2012 Verified

    I've looked at a lot of these threads over the last few months and have started to cellar some beer. Currently they are in my basement which stays between 60-65 degrees, which I know is warmer than what it should be. Due to that fact, I will be buying either a refrigerator or an upright freezer to cellar in. My question is this: for those of you who cellar in either a refrigerator or freezer, what are the pros and cons of each one? Are they basically the same? And what happens in a freezer if the temperature controller stops working? Do I need to worry about beer slushies? Thanks BA's!!
  2. From what I've heard, if the temperature control stops working, it will shut off, not be permanently "on", so the beer would just gradually raise back up to room temperature.

    But I can't say from experience, since mine still works fine. In addition to the external temperature control, I also keep my freezer at the lowest setting. So hopefully if the temperature control did ever die, the beer wouldn't get too frozen!

    I did once hear a story about somebody's temperature gauge falling out of the freezer without him noticing... now THAT might freeze all your beer :)
  3. HuskyinPDX

    HuskyinPDX Advocate (680) Washington Jan 23, 2011 Verified

    I use a fridge. I have heard o a temp controller being bumped off of a freezer, freezing the beer. If I had a constant 60 degree basement I would just use that. My fridge is set to 55 degrees, so I can't imagine the 5 degrees having to much impact over 1-3 years. If you want to go longer than that, go fridge.
  4. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Correct, provided you're using any kind of sane PID. They're basically just an electronic switch hooked to a thermometer, when the thermometer goes above (or below, if you're heating) a certain temperature it turns the system on, and when it then cools sufficiently it turns back off. (When it decides to flip the switch is very complicated and there are lots of parameters involved, but is fortunately irrelevant for us now.) You could conceivably wire it backward, I think, but that would be stupid. Anyway, the result is that if something fails it'll just turn off. Unless, of course, your thermometer falls out of the freezer, as everyone else mentioned.

    It's possible that on the freezer's warmest setting it won't be able to freeze beer, so you always have that as a safety too, but that'll depend on the environment it's in (as well as the beer you've got in there, it'll take a lot more to freeze Black Tuesday than it would to freeze bud lite).

    I think the answer to this is to basically use whatever's easiest/cheapest. I'd get a fridge with easily modifiable shelves. Actually, what I would do (and am doing) is just building some racks in the basement.