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Build a Fermentation Fridge or Freezer


Controlling your fermentation temperature is probably one of the most important aspects of brewing, but it is often one of the most overlooked for new homebrewers.  I don't think nearly enough emphasis is put on fermentation temperature and how to keep your beer at the right temperature for the style you're brewing.  Fermentation creates heat, which is often not told to new brewers, so if they put their fermenter in a 68 degree room, they think it's fermenting at 68 degrees.  That is most definitely not the case!  Average beers will create between 6-10 degrees of additional heat over the heaviest portions of fermentation, so your beer should ideally be placed in an area that is around 58-60 degrees if you want to ferment at 68 degrees.  This is where a fermentation fridge or freezer comes in.  Overall, they're both easy to build and all you need is a new or used fridge/freezer, a temperature controller to override the internal thermostat (se links below), and the space to store it.  If you really want to have control of your beer and produce the best possible product, I would highly recommend building a temperature controlled fridge or freezer.


Digital Temperature Controller - LINK


Fermentation Fridge




I found this fridge on Craigslist for $50, and it served me well for a few years until our basement flooded and shorted it out.  I had to drill a small hole in the side of the fridge to insert the temperature probe.  I used some silicone caulk to fill in the hole around the probe wire.  Luckily I didn't hit a coolant line in the process.  If you drill into the side of a fridge, be very careful not to hit a line containing refrigerant!  If that happens, you've just created a large doorstop for yourself instead of a fermentation chamber.



Fermentation Freezer


After my fermentation fridge died after our basement flooded, I needed something else to ferment in.  Luckily, I noticed my local Lowes had a chest freezer on sale for $160, so I cut out two pieces of cardboard the same size as my fermenters and went to take a look.  I was able to fit the two blanks into the bottom of the freezer with room to spare, so I bought the freezer and took it home.  After running the temperature controller probe through the back of the freezer between the freezer and lid, I was good to go.  This didn't require any modification, so this freezer can be repurposed if I decided to change things up down the line.  Maybe when my Fridge Kegerator dies out, I'll build another Chest Freezer Kegerator.


Contact Information:  MikeYoungHB at gmail.com

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