Recommendations for a Beer Fridge?

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by SummitFan, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. SummitFan

    SummitFan Initiate (106) Mar 14, 2008 Minnesota

    Just started searching for a beer fridge to clear out some space in my kitchen refrigerator. I don't want a dorm fridge but don't have the budget to get anything too high-end. Does anyone have thoughts on where to search for something with a reasonable price tag? Thanks.
     
  2. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (1,560) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader


    What is your budget?
     
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  3. SummitFan

    SummitFan Initiate (106) Mar 14, 2008 Minnesota

    $150... maybe $200?
     
  4. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,260) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    Search online at the major retailers. There are a lot of nice ones for around 200-300 bucks and they are not the old school college junk. If you have the room you can get a smaller size regular style, the big box guys have some nice ones for around 400-600. Not sure on your budget but there are tons of choices these days.
     
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  5. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,226) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium

    I don't think you'll find anything new with that budget, so think about second hand shops, classified ads, CraigsList, etc. If you don't have a truck and some helpful friends, do your best to arrange delivery and placement to the spot where you want it.
     
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  6. Junior

    Junior Aspirant (294) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Trader

    I found a good one at Sams Club for less than $200. You could try there or Costco.
     
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  7. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I just got a nice fridgedaire for 125 on letgo app. That would be my recommendation.
     
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  8. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,898) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium

    OP - where are you planning to put it? If the garage or basement for instance, then you can look for a good deal on a full-size used one. If kitchen or some other finished space, how tall/wide will fit in the space you have?
     
  9. SummitFan

    SummitFan Initiate (106) Mar 14, 2008 Minnesota

    Appreciated. I think this is going in the basement so maybe I should look for a good deal on a full-size used one.
     
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  10. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,898) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium

    Also appeals to others in the house as overflow from main fridge during holidays when there is too much for the main fridge. Could buy a new main fridge and put your current one downstairs. Delivery guys might even move it for you for a twenty, not much harder than them hauling it out to the truck.
     
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  11. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    I'm looking for a used full size fridge for my beer to put in the garage. Problem is I want it at cellar temp and most fridges don't get that warm. I hear they make external thermostats that will override the built-in thermostat. Has anyone done this? How well does this work, does it keep the temp pretty constant, and is it easy to install?
     
  12. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Ya but u are better off using a small chest freezer. Use an inkbird external thermometer.
     
  13. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    Why am I better off using a chest freezer?
     
  14. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    If you want it at cellar temps then that is too warm for a standard fridgerator and fridge freezer combos work by the freezer turning on and cooling down the bottom from the top . Basically your compressor will burn out quicker and it is inefficient. A chest freezer only has one compartment to worry about. It can be warmed in the cold months with a small space heater and an inkbird external thermometer. It's the same reasons why a lot of people use chest freezers instead of fridges for a kegerator.
     
  15. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    To be fair both should work but chest freezers are better insulated and therefore are more efficient with energy. One downside of a chestfreezer is condensation.
     
  16. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (414) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    A lot of us keg'ers/homebrewers do exactly this. Here are a couple of external controllers that work well:
    https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-All-...srs=10796996011&ie=UTF8&qid=1518563114&sr=8-5

    https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Pre-...srs=10796996011&ie=UTF8&qid=1518563114&sr=8-4

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ranco-ETC-...erature-Control-120-208-240-VAC-/381356199806

    I have used all of these with good results. I ferment beer in stand-up fridge (typically mid-60s) and keep a keezer (kegerator-freezer) at 39°. Been doing this for years, once dailed in it is mostly maintenance free. Installation is a breeze . . . mostly plug and play (except for entry level model you have to wire). Expect a small learning curve, but it's easy to nail the temp.

    I would have no qualms over either fridge/freezer, although a stand-up fridge will he a little easier to access your beers (i.e. shelves versus everything stacked on floor). The only caveat is extreme temps can be unhealthy for any cooling appliance in garage. If you have 100° summers it can suffer to keep up . . . sub-freezing temps are almost as bad, your lubricants do poorly in very low temps. Personally I wouldn't pay a dime for a used fridge, keep your eyes open and you'll be surprised what pops up (just don't expect a beauty queen).
    [​IMG]
     
  17. ROXONE

    ROXONE Initiate (56) Jun 23, 2016 New York
    Trader

  18. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    I think that's the exact one I have. It's worked very well for me (I covered the front to keep out light), but unfortunately quickly got too small. Also I want a full size fridge for all my beer, because I have a stash in the closet that I'd rather refrigerate and I'd like to get everything out of the kitchen fridge.
     
  19. effyouyelper

    effyouyelper Initiate (39) Apr 2, 2015 California
    Trader


    What did you use to cover the front? I have the same fridge and have been considering buying tint for it.
     
  20. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    I cut a poster to fit. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album cover.
     
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  21. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    What happens when using an external controller with a fridge/freezer combo? Like, when I put the thermometer in the fridge and set the controller for 55, will the freezer run ~15 degrees warmer than where it's set (since that's approximately what the fridge would be doing)? I'd like to use the freezer portion to store frozen food while storing my beer in the fridge at 55.
     
  22. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (414) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    It will be difficult (impossible?) to use your freezer section the way you describe.

    The freezer temp will be dependent on how you set your dampers (and a few other variables). Somewhere you have controls for freezer & fridge settings, usually something like 1 - 10 or A - F (warmer to colder). This actually measures how much cold air is released into the cold food compartment (series of dampers). Typically you'll set your freezer to warmest setting and fridge to coldest . . . but there's a little fine tuning involved. You want to dial in the fridge section (best temp for beer) and the freezer temp ends up being largely uncontrolled.

    Remember, all the cold air from evaporator coil is produced in the freezer section*. A healthy unit will spit out something like -20°, some of this cold air is diverted to the fridge section. If you put buckets of water in your freezer it will be more efficient (less air to leak out, better cold retention). A lot of this depends on how good your seals are. I find in very hot weather the water freezes in my freezer (unit runs more often). Once the outside air temp drops there's little to no ice in freezer. This is while keeping the fridge section in the mid-60s.

    *Some new-fangled refrigerators have a more complex series of controls/air distribution . . . unlikely to see this in run-of-the-mill fridges.