Fridge Cellar, can I use the freezer for anything??

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by walterfredo, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    My wife bought me a refrigerator and a Johnson thermostat control for xmas. The fridge portion is already maxed out, and the freezer is completely unused. I wish there was some way to adjust the temp in the freezer space so that I could utilize that as well. Has anyone every been able to use the freezer space in a similar setup? Or could I just use it as an additional freezer? I just have no idea how the temp will maintain in the freezer area when I have the fridge set to 55. Any thoughts?
  2. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh Aspirant (294) Nov 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I will be doing the same thing in a few weeks, and I had the same question...
  3. StarRaptor

    StarRaptor Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2010 California

    I'd set the fridge to its coldest setting and the freezer to its warmest. Plug in the controller and set it up to measure the fridge at the temp you want, then measure the temp in the fridge. who knows, it might be in the 30s or 40s
  4. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Exactly what I did, assuming you meant "then measure the temp in the freezer" (been experimenting with this for a while) initially it was above freezing, but as the temps where I live have been steadily rising (even more so in my garage), the freezer rapidly approached freezing, was at about 40 yesterday after just 2 days of warm temps, so I have every reason to believe even when setting it up like this the freezer will be well below freezing temps.
  5. skycracksopen

    skycracksopen Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 Colorado

    Put the temperature detector in the freezer, not the fridge. That way the whole thing shuts off without the risk of freezing your beer.

    The beer in the fridge portion may be a little warmer than in the freezer, but that's better than putting the temp detector in the fridge and risking everything in the freezer freezing.

    I'm guessing if you set the temp control for the freezer at 40, that might put the fridge in the 50-60 range.
  6. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    thought about that as well, and am still willing to give it a shot. Here's my theory, though, why I don't think it would be a great move (at least in my situation). My fridge is in my garage which will get extremely hot during the summer months (in excess of 110 degrees on a regular basis). The majority of the beer will always be in my fridge because that's where most of the storage space is. Every time I open the fridge to take beer in/out the temp in the fridge will rise significantly and will not be adjusted by the temp control, and there would be a large temp fluctuation in the fridge. At least that's my theory. I'm definitely willing to experiment and give it a shot though.
  7. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Drill a few big holes between the freezer and the fridge then set the freezer to the temp you want.
  8. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I like your style! I wish I knew more about appliances, and how they operate. If mine was old I'd be willing to try it, but my wife bought it brand new for xmas and I'm hesitant to start fucking with it, at least just yet. If anyone has actually done this I'm all ears though.
  9. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh Aspirant (294) Nov 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    That is a great idea! Has anyone actually done this??
  10. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I would think that if there was some way to pull this off you'd also have to disable to condenser for the freezer so that the freezer wouldn't kick on every time the fridge kicked on. Is there an appliance expert in the house?
  11. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh Aspirant (294) Nov 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Yeah good point...
  12. bird22

    bird22 Disciple (358) Jan 2, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Return it and get a freezerless refrigerator. :wink:
  13. corkncage

    corkncage Initiate (0) Mar 12, 2013 Virginia

    I have a johnson controls external thermostat set at 53 degrees.I put all my hoppy beers that i want to stay fresh for as long as possible in a soft sided cooler in the freezer compartment.I keep about a case of ipa's and such in a box in the cooler with a thin blanket wrapped around the box inside the cooler.Be careful about drilling holes into places where electricity runs.
  14. sdm9465

    sdm9465 Disciple (393) Dec 23, 2011 Nova Scotia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Unless you wrap it with something that generates heat or put something that generates heat inside the cooler / box, all you are doing is slowing down the cooling. Eventually it will be exactly the same temperature inside and outside the cooler / box.
  15. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (262) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I've had it since xmas, not sure if Lowes would take it back. That would have been the smart thing to do from the get-go.
  16. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    When I drilled the holes in my beer fridge for the tower & co2 line I just crossed my fingers and went for it. That's what Tyler Durden would do.
    MasterCraft likes this.
  17. Danielbt

    Danielbt Initiate (0) May 4, 2012 Texas

    I can tell you from personal experience that you may as well just use the freezer as a freezer. Being in Texas with a cellar fridge in the garage, even set to 55F, power to the fridge will be on enough to keep the freezer at freezing temps. Your experience will probably be the same.

    If you're worried about the temp fluctuating when you open and close the door, keep your thermo probe in a liter bottle of water in the fridge. That way you're regulating liquid temp and not air temp.
  18. corkncage

    corkncage Initiate (0) Mar 12, 2013 Virginia

    All i know is that after a year nothing has frozen.Before i added the extra insulation the beers on edges were iced.
  19. Dactrius

    Dactrius Meyvn (1,135) Apr 23, 2012 Wisconsin
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'm no appliance expert but do work in HVAC. Drilling holes between the fridge and freezer, if you can do it without hitting any wiring or refrigerant tubing should work. My understanding is that in general refrigerators just have one compressor. The coils serve the freezer and the controls you adjust simply determine how much air gets circulated from the freezer into the refrigerator. If you drill holes you could get enough of an exchange that they'd both be the same temperature.

    Very high end refrigerators (i.e. Subzero) have a two compressors, one for the freezer and one for the fridge, which is more efficient since you're not having to subcool the air for the refigerator.
    jtmartino likes this.
  20. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Bingo. For most fridges, the cooling comes from the freezer anyway. Drilling holes should work, assuming you don't hit anything.

    I'm with bird22 - that's what I did. Traded out my freezer-equipped setup for something freezer-less.
  21. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I very much doubt that there's anything electrical running in the space between the fridge and freezer, it's almost certainly just a bunch of insulation. If you're worried about it e-mail the manufacturer with your model number and ask.

    If it were me (and I had thought of this, I didn't and it's a brilliant idea) I'd do that, and then if they say "it's all insulation, drill away" I'd just drill 4 holes as close to the edges as I can get and then jigsaw out the whole damn thing, so it's one big space (but you still have the front for the door to seal against). That should work fine. If you're truly paranoid about freezing add a fan in there somewhere.
  22. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    You are still within your 90 day return window (some places even extend longer for X-mas purchases), I'd try to take it back and get a large unit without a separate freezer.
  23. djs467

    djs467 Initiate (190) Mar 1, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Use it to keep your mugs nice and cold!
    There is nothing like a Bud Light in a frosted mug
  24. Brownj1288

    Brownj1288 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Do you, your wife, or people you are entertaining drink much in the way of mixed drinks, or cheap liquor? My beer fridge freezer usually has cheap flavored vodka, jaeger, ice, and frozen lemonade and orange juice. I don't drink any of it but it is good to have for summer BBQ time and it keeps it out of the regular freezer.
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