200 bottles ... help! Gonna buy a standup freezer and temp controller

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by evilc, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

  2. 4kbrianb

    4kbrianb Jan 2, 2013 California

    I'll endorse purely on the fact that it is exactly what I need and want. I was looking at that model as well, so let me know how it all works out.

    I really just want a display fridge with glass doors from craigslist. My garage doesn't get sunlight so no worries there, and then I can just sit in there and smile like a creep while I look at my beer.

    But seriously, I have heard good things....
     
  3. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    The only terrifying thing is if the temp unit fails and leaves the unit on - all beer is fucked. Some models I read can be fridges too, maybe I should check those out. At least if fridge controls fail - you just get cold beer.
     
  4. 4kbrianb

    4kbrianb Jan 2, 2013 California

    I read somewhere on here that the right temp controller will essential cut the circuit and shut it off if it fails. So it would just slowly warm your beer up.
     
    gklover1 likes this.
  5. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    I'll look into that, thanks.

    GE sells some more expensive uprights that can be either a fridge or a freezer.
     
    cw577enfield likes this.
  6. Andygirl

    Andygirl Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    I have that controller on a 1950's fridge I got off Craigslist. Very cool beer storage <$100.
     
    4kbrianb likes this.
  7. jp7161

    jp7161 Dec 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

  8. drgonzo2k2

    drgonzo2k2 Aug 24, 2012 California

  9. TomClem

    TomClem Mar 7, 2012 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    The JC A419 is what I have and i love it. I bought the cheaper version and wired and extension cord into it on my own. That was not hard. If I recall correctly there is a jumper than can be adjusted so that if it fails to get a temperature reading you can set the circuit to be open or closed to your preference. I think that leaves you to only worry about user error and a false temperature reading. On the user error TAPE the probe line into the freezer and then have it in a small plastic container filled with water. I used a small playdough container and made a hole for the probe in the lid. The reason you tape the line into the freezer is so that you NEVER set the probe outside of the freezer while moving bottles around for fear of forgetting to put it back in to the freezer. Doing that would leave you with many bottles of ice beer.
     
  10. aslamm75

    aslamm75 Nov 6, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I went with a Kenmore freezerless refrigerator from Sears.
    http://www.sears.com/kenmore-16.7-cu-ft-freezerless-refrigerator/p-04660722000P

    And a Johnson Control Digitial Thermostat.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00368D6JA/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

    So even if the thermostat fails, all I get is cold beer instead of frozen beer. I keep it around 52 degrees. The Kenmore is good, but only the top shelf can hold bombers, unless I remove a shelf and the bottom shelf on the door holds champagne size bottles like my Speedway Stout, Marshal Zhukov.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    claaark13 likes this.
  11. koopa

    koopa Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I couldn't suggest why my gut feels this way, but might it be easier on a refrigerator compressor to run at cellar temperatures than it would be for a cold freezer compressor to run at cellar temperatures?
     
  12. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    Finally settled on this, $200 on Craiglist. Boss even let me put it in my office, this makes the wife happy! Brought half the bottles in today, the 750's tomorrow!

    Love it. It's a Kenmore, and a fridge. No temp controller needed. Minimum setting is around 52. Going to keep a 50 bottle wine fridge at home and as many bottles, so I don't get stuck on a Friday night thinking "shit, I didn't bring anything home".

    [​IMG]
     
  13. bramsdell

    bramsdell May 27, 2011 North Carolina

    You boss lets you keep that in your office? That's pretty cool.
    That's pretty cool. What do you do that your boss lets you keep it in your office?
     
  14. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    I.T. He's the owner and I have worked here 13 years.... benefits!
     
    bramsdell likes this.
  15. 4kbrianb

    4kbrianb Jan 2, 2013 California

    Can your boss hire me, and is there room for a 2nd fridge next to yours? that is an awesome set up. I keep some of my bottles here at work also, but not nearly as many or as large of a set up as that... I am jealous!
     
    evilc likes this.
  16. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    Nicely fit in the corner, was made for it!

    [​IMG]
     
    gklover1, lokieman and 4kbrianb like this.
  17. stupac2

    stupac2 Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I know this is old and you've gone ahead with your setup, but I wanted to reiterate that, with all the PIDs I've worked with, if it fails electronically it will just shut off. The danger comes from the temperature probe (don't know what you're using, I just have a thermocouple) coming out of the system, so that it always reads "hot" and the thing stays on.

    The way to rectify that is to set your system to its lowest setting, or to make damn sure that your probe won't move. The system I built is actually at work and for heating, it's putting out like 600W and if it were constantly on could really screw some shit up. But we haven't had any issues so far.
     
  18. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California


    That was one of my fears with using a freezer. Decided a freezerless fridge would be ideal. In the worst case, I wonder how cold it could possibly get if something got screwed up?
     
  19. stupac2

    stupac2 Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    It really depends on how far you're willing to go with the "if something got screwed up". I think that the compressor on a fridge is more than capable of chilling the whole thing down to freezing if it were told to, but you'd need a whole bunch of different things to fail for that to happen (your PID, the fridge's built-in PID, probably some other parts of the system too). I mean, have you ever even heard of someone's fridge going bonkers and freezing their milk? I haven't. Your system (provided I'm understanding it correctly) basically needs that to happen TWICE, so the odds are infinitesimal squared. I wouldn't worry about it.

    One nice thing about my wine fridge is that the cooling unit is a Peltier cooler and it actually can't get cold enough to freeze anything (unless, of course, the ambient temperature is close to freezing, in which case I've got bigger problems). The downside is that if it gets too hot in my apartment it can't get down to 55.
     
    evilc likes this.
  20. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Is there a good keyword to reduce the listings to just freezerless fridges? That things is suhweet!
     
    Pelican5 likes this.
  21. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Feb 4, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Fuck me. Thats exactly what Im looking for. Around $600 brand new I think? Nice score evilc!
     
  22. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    She's gonna require a controller =) After 4 days door closed on minimum ( warmest ) setting, 40F. Oh well, another $75 - blah!
     
    oldp0rt likes this.
  23. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    Well worth the extra cost.
     
  24. claaark13

    claaark13 Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I bet you get a ton of work done.
     
    evilc, queens1130 and GrumpyOldTroll like this.
  25. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Feb 28, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I haven't found one yet. Kind of surprising, actually, how few of these there are out there on the second hand market. Ive been pretty diligent about checking Craigslist (Denver and Northern Colorado) the past month and haven't come across a single one.
     
  26. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader


    Yeah I have not found a single freezerless fridge on CL yet either. That thing is perfect though and as soon as I do......
     
  27. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Feb 25, 2008 California

    After searching on San Diego CL for weeks, I got lucky. A local brewery, Latitude 33 had an old cooler that they didn't want anymore and gave it to me for FREE. This will do nicely.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

  29. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Feb 28, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Wow, that is a nice find there.
     
  30. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Feb 25, 2008 California

    Now I need to sort the beer.

    [​IMG]
     
    frankthetank86 and JustXBeer like this.
  31. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    And get a second one.....
     
    VonZipper likes this.
  32. queens1130

    queens1130 Nov 21, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    I work in a lab so every time I walk into our cold room (2x the size of most walk in closets) I imagine that's what my future beer cellar will look like when we've saved enough to get a house

    awesome craigslist score & lucky that you get to save space at home, cheers!
     
    evilc likes this.
  33. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    HopsintheSack likes this.
  34. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    I couldn't ever find one. I just used "refrigerator" and sorted grid view with pics....can scan through very fast that way.
     
    HopsintheSack likes this.
  35. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I respect your percentage of Goose Island beers.
     
    evilc likes this.
  36. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    I love them, I've gone pretty nuts after them. Alesmith BA releases for trade and a few awesome partners have really hooked me up! I don't even trade to "cellar" them. I want to drink them - a lot - so would just trade my ass off to have a good stock! Got ahead of myself....
     
  37. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Feb 4, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Looks like you might be short on space, I can help make some more by sending a UPS label ;)

    Im still on the lookout for that exact setup, scanning CL weekly. Impressive cellar and contents! Enjoy
     
    Cubatobaco likes this.
  38. Wilb

    Wilb Oct 18, 2011 Michigan

    I'm paranoid about that as well so I check daily. If someone can invent a temp controller than can email me if it goes over 45 degrees, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!