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My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 23:34
by rpt
This isn't a proper how to but I thought I'd share a few photos of my brew fridge, made in early 2013 and at the time fermenting a Festival Landlord's Finest Bitter.

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It's not the neatest job but it was cheap and easy.
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Instead of expecting the glass shelf to support 25kg of beer it's resting at the back of the fridge plus a Wilkinson cheapo emulsion paint tin that I cleaned out.
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Taking a sample of the Landlord. I could probably have fitted the trial jar under the tap but the jug guarantees I won't spill any.
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Components and costs:
Fridge - free thanks to my in-laws having a new kitchen.
Heater - £12.50 eBay
STC-1000 - £18 eBay. You can get them cheaper but I chose a UK seller to get it quicker and guarantee no extra VAT.
5m 16A cable - £3.50 Local electrical store.
3m 6A heat resistant cable - £3 Local electrical store. I needed this as the flex supplied with the heater was too short
Terminal block - 59p (and I only used half) Local electrical store
Sockets - £1.75 each Wilkinson
Box - £1 Wilkinson
Mains plug - free as I already had one
RCD - free as I already have one. The consumer unit also has RCDs but it keeps SWMBO happy.

So that's about £42 plus fridge.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 04:10
by kev
My ferment fridges (I have 3!!) are awesome. I definitely make better beer now.

You can use them for keeping bottles warm to carbonate and all sorts.

Very handy

K

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 07:19
by 31bb3
I acquired a 6 foot larder fridge for a quid off flea bay and he delivered lol its a lot better for fermenting as I ferment in the brewshed I can have 2 fvs in mine

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 07:37
by krazypara3165
I'm gutted that i dont have enough space at my place. However, if I tell my dad I can make lager i might be able to squeeze one in his garage!

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 00:13
by GaryG
krazypara3165 wrote:I'm gutted that i dont have enough space at my place. However, if I tell my dad I can make lager i might be able to squeeze one in his garage!


If you tell me your going to brew lager, you can squeeze one in mine (or 2 or 3 or 4). Only problem, I'm in Glasgow. :hat:

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 17:58
by GrahamT
Be careful plugging brewfridges into RCDs. We had a power cut once which tripped the RCD on my pre-brewfridge aquarium heaters. I came back to find a cold FV, though luckily hadn't been away too long to wreck the brew.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 13:39
by tim_n
Good guide - going to do something similar on my Brewpi build.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 14:06
by EvansTheSteam
My fermenter won't fit in a domestic fridge or freezer, so had to go down the Maxwell tube route.
I use my HERMS and a "Maxi chiller" to drive it.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 14:31
by krazypara3165
GaryG wrote:
krazypara3165 wrote:I'm gutted that i dont have enough space at my place. However, if I tell my dad I can make lager i might be able to squeeze one in his garage!


If you tell me your going to brew lager, you can squeeze one in mine (or 2 or 3 or 4). Only problem, I'm in Glasgow. :hat:


I can live with that, got family that live in Greenock so it would give me an excuse to visit them more often haha

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 21:21
by rpt
Graham wrote:Be careful plugging brewfridges into RCDs. We had a power cut once which tripped the RCD on my pre-brewfridge aquarium heaters. I came back to find a cold FV, though luckily hadn't been away too long to wreck the brew.

I don't plug the fridge into the plug-top RCD any more for exactly that reason. The whole house is protected by RCDs in the consumer unit so it's overkill anyway.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 21:54
by EvansTheSteam
I use the auxiliary sensors on my weather station to monitor all my ferment temps, it's saved the day on several occasions.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 21:18
by HoppyG
I've got a fridge with a top compartment as a freezer which I want to convert to a FV fridge. I understand the wiring for the Stc 1000 but I'd like to know where does it get the heat from ,what do you wire it into?

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 21:40
by stan
buy a small greenhouse heater ( you can just see one in the picture ) about £10 _ £15 from amazon

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:57
by HoppyG
Is that it behind the paint tin?
Is the cold feed straight into the fridge/thermostat?

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:05
by HoppyG
I actually have a heatpad so I suppose this would be ok in place of a greenhouse heater :thumb:

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:44
by rpt
HoppyG wrote:Is that it behind the paint tin?
Is the cold feed straight into the fridge/thermostat?
Yes and yes. No mods to fridge.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 17:23
by EvansTheSteam
HoppyG wrote:I actually have a heatpad so I suppose this would be ok in place of a greenhouse heater :thumb:

No it wont, you need a "radiator" to warm your fridge!

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:16
by rpt
EvansTheSteam wrote:
HoppyG wrote:I actually have a heatpad so I suppose this would be ok in place of a greenhouse heater :thumb:

No it wont, you need a "radiator" to warm your fridge!

The heatpad will warm the fridge. If you attach the probe to the FV then you are measuring the wort temperature.

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:59
by EvansTheSteam
rpt wrote:The heatpad will warm the fridge

At about the same rate you can fill a DJ with a teaspoon!

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 06:46
by TidalPete
Here's an old pic of my 30-year-old bar fridge I converted into a 2nd fermenting fridge about 6 years ago & also used for getting starters going at the correct temp (great for Belgians :D ) as well as lagering kegs if need be.

Freezer has been folded back, door shelving discarded & the original thermostat has been shifted to the rear.
Cooling/heating is controlled by a TempMate controller on top of the fridge & those red thingos underneath the shelf protect the (electricity) connections from the damp. One for the heating pad & one for the stir plate.
Ply shelf has since been replaced with aluminium checker-plate & am in the process of converting a corny keg dip tube into 2 x thermowells so that the controller probes in both fermentation fridges can be placed in the centre of the wort to give a more accurate reading.

Ferm Fridge Heater.JPG
Ferm Fridge Heater.JPG (144.79 KiB) Viewed 8643 times

Re: My brewing fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 07:15
by GaryG
EvansTheSteam wrote:
rpt wrote:The heatpad will warm the fridge

At about the same rate you can fill a DJ with a teaspoon!



I went to a mental hospital and asked the doctor how they decide who they keep in. He took me to the bathroom and filled the bath, he then gave me a bucket, a mug and a spoon. He told me that they give the person the 3 items and ask them to empty the bath the fastest. I said "I see, the one that uses the bucket gets to go home", he said "no the one that pulls the plug out goes home, I've got your room ready". :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Sorry for that, I'll just go home now :whistle: