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mknechtle

Refrigerator recs for Little Brown Keg?

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I want to experiment with some of the lower temperature fermenting recipes.  So I will need some way to refrigerate my Little Brown Keg.

 

I've been looking at small chest refrigerators, cube refrigerators, dorm refrigerators, powered coolers, wine chillers, etc. for near on 3 days, and still have not found any particular unit that looks like it will fit my fermentation keg.

 

Has anyone else gone through this search process and found a good little refrigerator that's just big enough for a single LBK?

If so, could you make a product recommendation please?

 

Thanks,

mknechtle

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Go onto Craigslist and search 'fridge' or 'refrigerator'. Your search may take days or weeks, however, patience will eventually pay off with a fridge that is just the right size and price. The best time to search is at the end of the school year when college students are moving out and wanting to get rid of their stuff. If you find something on Craigslist, be certain to meet in a public area and bring a friend with you to make the transaction. Bring only the agreed amount of cash. Caution is your friend. Good luck.

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If you don't mind spending some money, the 4.4 cubic foot Magic Chef from Home Depot will hold 2 LBKs. I use it with a temp. controller for my regular batches.post-66531-0-94703900-1442075851_thumb.j

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On some you remove the inner door shelves, replacing them with a piece of plastic. Many small refrigerators work including one we bought in 2015. Make sure you bring your LBKs WITH SPIGOT ATTACHED to dry fit. Also,

if you incline your LBKs they fit different than sitting flat.

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northwest pale On top, belgian spice In bottom cooler

I use these coolers which happen to be Omaha steaks coolers that they're shipped, they're about an inch and half thick, and hold temps very well. if I need cooler temps I just put one or two 20oz. ice bottles every 8 hrs

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But seriously, my cooler-and-ice-bottle setup works well, I just can only make one beer at a time, and with a small fridge, I could possibly make two. I only have enough space where I live for the Igloo cooler, and I am not stacking one atop the other. I probably wouldn't be allowed.

 

A little fridge with a temp controller... :wub:

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I use these coolers which happen to be Omaha steaks coolers that they're shipped, they're about an inch and half thick, and hold temps very well. if I need cooler temps I just put one or two 20oz. ice bottles every 8 hrs

 

Cool!  We have several of these around the house, and I have not previously thought of using them in this way.

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I bought a Danby 4.4cu in. compact fridge, specifically because it didn't have a freezer component wasting space at the top. I fit 3 LBK's in it unmodified. I trimmed the plastic off of the door and now fit my 6.5 gallon fermenter in it.

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I just finished building a fridge that holds two lbks and has thermo-electric coolers. Got the TECs and controllers off of eBay. Ended up costing a little more than I expected but under 100. If it works I'll put up pics

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That's really....COOL

 

I'll see myself out.

Seriously though, that's awesome.

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I kind of made it with some half-assed sketches but I saved all the receipts and could put a BOM together. I'll tidy things up if anyone really wants.

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What do I do I am unable change ice every 8 hours as I work 12 hour shifts 3 days on 3 days off.  What else can I do to maintain temps during fermentation? Without breaking the bank!

 

Joe

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Put in bigger / more ice bottles...  Or get a nice girlfriend to do it for you.  Train your dog?

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Yep - bigger and/or more ice bottles.

 

Is your ice really disappearing that fast? Here in NC as the weather cools (and the house does as well), I have noticed my ice-bottles lasting longer. I was rotating them every 12 hours before, now it's closer to 18, and I am using the exact same bottles that I started with.

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What do I do I am unable change ice every 8 hours as I work 12 hour shifts 3 days on 3 days off.  What else can I do to maintain temps during fermentation? Without breaking the bank!

 

   Brew at the beginning of the 3 days off.  Your schedule is what it is, I wouldn't stress out about it to much.

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Use the freezer icepacks you get from supermarket. They will absorb a lot more heat for their size than frozen water. I use those in Coleman cooler.

cooler20150209 102355

Yeah, at the beginning the heat production will be much greater and you change the ice more often. After 3 days you should have to change it much less.

 

 the  freezer icepacks you can get from supermarket  will take up less room in the cooler.

My new cooler for fermenting lagers,with Mr B Sticker !

 

 

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pretty nice!  give us a status report once you find out how well those TECs work!

 

I've made three batches now. During the Summer it had a hard time keeping below 68F, fermenting kegs were about 72F. That is with one TEC per chamber. The cheap-ass fans that came with it (China) were pretty noisy. I replaced them with 90mm computer fans from Noctua (NF-B9) and you can hardly hear them now. I am going to upgrade to two TEC's per chamber before next summer. I haven't tried to run it real cold yet, but I will see if I can get a cold crash out of it next week.

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Hmm. Not sure on TECs. They are sure convenient, but the one in my wine fridge died on me after only a couple years. Maybe I did not let it cool enough. You need LOTS of ventilation for the fans..

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Hmm. Not sure on TECs. They are sure convenient, but the one in my wine fridge died on me after only a couple years. Maybe I did not let it cool enough. You need LOTS of ventilation for the fans..

 

They cost $25. $50 get you the TEC, power supply, and temp controller with thermocouple. You could hack it into a styrofoam cooler and call it a day for $60

 

They are also a lot quieter than any fridge I have ever owned.

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I got another LBK on the Veterans day deal so I'm going to put TEC's in this cooler.

Cooler Project

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Finished the new cooler  :)

IMAG0680

IMAG0679

IMAG0678

 
Looks like it is good for 20 degrees below ambient
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On 9/22/2015 at 11:14 PM, MnMBeer said:

I started using the Omaha steak coolers for fermenting here in Florida since spring.

 

I use them for conditioning as well.

 

Srung for one of these, It holds 2 LBK perfect

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-150-CAN-Beverage-Refrigerator-Mini-Wine-Fridge-Soda-Drinks-Bar-Cooler-/231495952411?hash=item35e63be81b

 

Cheers

 

Can you post a pic of the two LBK in the mini-fridge just to get a better visual? 

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On 11/26/2015 at 5:40 PM, Bhob said:

Finished the new cooler  :)

IMAG0680

IMAG0679

IMAG0678

 
Looks like it is good for 20 degrees below ambient

 

Bhob,

How has it worked so far? Can you give me a break down of the parts you bought so i can make one too and where you bought them at so I can construct one too? Nice work!

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Works fine. As Rickbeer pointed out, you can't cold crash with it, but it is fine for fermenting.

 

I posted the schematic and links to all the parts on my profile page. If you can't see the info let me know and I'll try to figure out somewhere else to put it.

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4 hours ago, Bhob said:

Works fine. As Rickbeer pointed out, you can't cold crash with it, but it is fine for fermenting.

 

I posted the schematic and links to all the parts on my profile page. If you can't see the info let me know and I'll try to figure out somewhere else to put it.

 Thanks! Just came from your page and found it all. 

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2lbk.jpg.39afa697bab4604499cd7cb2fdb5fc2

 

I had an overflow with T-58 brewing Imperial red ale, Winter dark ale. Now Brewing Belgian spice Christmas Ale and Oktoberfest With Notty.

 

Started fabbing a chiller for folks with less space. It is still ready for testing. I used copper coils inside the LBK and a PC Cooler. I am still lacking some interface cabling for the ribbon control cables though. The above retro fitted Coleman looks favorable for some but more space can be saved. Will git er dun soon though, I want to try a hacked root beer this summer.

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