What would you do?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by skleice, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. skleice

    skleice Aspirant (247) Aug 6, 2015 Connecticut

    Looking to change my fermentation set up and begin kegging.

    I have been using an old standard Fridge/Freezer combo to control fermentation temps. However, I'd like start kegging my beers. Looking for best options going forward.

    I was thinking the best thing would be to use the current fridge to store kegs and bottles and use the freezer to hold hops/yeast/enzymes. I would probably have 3 kegs at a time (some of which would be 3 gallon). Then I could get a new fermentation set up. I figure that's better than just using the fridge for fermentation since it's kind of overkill and it renders the freezer/bottle space kind of useless since my temps will fluctuate so much. Agreed?

    What's my best option for fermentation? I'd like to be able to ferment a couple beers at once (not necessarily different temps).

    Mini Fridge, Chest freezer?
    This is kind of where I'm leaning. I have some space and could probably find something cheap. I already have an inkbird and heating elements. Would need to hold two 7 gallon Fermonsters.

    BrewJacket Immersion Pro
    I like this due to the space saving and the fact I cold possibly ferment at different temps if I wanted. The price and concerns over longevity are a turn off. I've also read that it takes a long time for temps to adjust.

    Other ideas?

  2. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (435) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    I have both an upright fridge/freezer combo and a chest freezer. My thoughts:

    Do not recommend using the freezer section of fridge to store hops or yeast when fermenting in the other compartment. Hops should definitely be stored sub-zero and yeast in the 35-40 range. The temp in this sections varys a lot depending on ferm temp you have set (in fridge section) and outside air temp. I leave buckets of water in the freezer section and sometimes they freezer solid (really bad for yeast) and sometimes they are merely cool (bad for hops).

    Depending on footprint of your primaries, you probably can get two of them in an upright fridge (good). I can add a corny also (typically for conditioning). My chest freezer fits two primaries and a corny. But all layouts are different. Trace your primary onto a piece of cardboard, cut this out, and carry it when you inspect different units. This will let you know exactly what will fit (same with corny cutout). I don't see a mini holding more than one primary . . . also, measure carefully the vertical height and compare with your primary (with air lock) and a corny, it could be tight.

    I tend to rescue old units from the landfill (usually free) and use 'em till they croak. Expense is almost nothing but some aggravation involved. Only my keezer is a new unit. Welcome to kegging . . . you'll love it, plus your plumbing skills will sky-rocket. Also check our Home Bar for tips.
  3. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (97) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I would honestly look for a chest freezer. For the same price, or less, than two brewjackets you can get one that can hold three buckets. Sure you won't have 2 different temperatures, but you might be able to rig up a heating pad or blanket to keep one slightly warmer.
  4. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (250) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I would make the regular fridge freezer combo my kegerator since I like my beer served cold. I would store hops in the freezer section.

    For fermentation I’d buy a used chest freezer on Craig’s list. I got mine for 50 dollars and have been using it for 2-3 years. It’s ugly but she works. slap an external therm controller on and ur done.
  5. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (187) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    If you aren't seriously space-constrained and have no intention of moving in the foreseeable future, I think a chest freezer makes a lot of sense. The BrewJacket's advantages really come into play if you don't have a lot of space or expect to move. But depending on how expensive your electricity is, you might look into the efficiency difference too.
  6. skleice

    skleice Aspirant (247) Aug 6, 2015 Connecticut

    Tx for the replies. Seems like the chest freezer will be best for fermentation. I just didnt want to overlook something.

    Now on to the hunt for a cheapo freezer...
    Prep8611 likes this.
  7. MMP126

    MMP126 Initiate (105) May 11, 2016 Ohio

    Here are a few more options:

    1. Get a SUPER cheap mini fridge off of Craiglist, stick it in the end of a wooden, insulated box, and boom, fermentation chamber. This is what I did, and it works really well. I spent $25 on the fridge, and about $75 on the chamber. $30 for an Inkbird. $130 for a ferm chamber that will hold (3) 5 gallon Speidels. If you need heat, $7 mini desk heater from amazon is great.

    2. Crazy idea. You could use the cold of the fridge to cool water, and use a pump to get cold water to your fermentors. I am not sure how this would work, but I thought on it a lot for my use in the past. Probably too extravagant, but a thought.
  8. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    Like this crazy idea?
    donspublic likes this.
  9. MMP126

    MMP126 Initiate (105) May 11, 2016 Ohio

    Haha. Yeah, thats about it.
  10. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (250) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    My chest freeZer was 50 bucks I don’t see the need to get crazy
  11. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    I built a small keezer to cool my beer and that was the first thing i tried and it didn't work. The water actually got warmer which was weird and i had it set for 35 degs. Now i freeze gallon jugs then fill it with water and run that with a sump pump. Homebrewers think a like.:sweat_smile: