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Lager Freezer

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1 Lager Freezer on Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:50 pm

Just got my hands on a lager freezer. Its a full size, Frigidaire front opening freezer. I'm going to see if I can build a platform so I can for more buckets/carboys in it. It will sit right next to my old fridge which currently serves as my kegerator in my beer room.

I bought New Brewing Lager Beer, which some consider the best Lager book out there, to get me started. I'm hoping to have something in there in the next few weeks.

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2 Re: Lager Freezer on Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:35 pm

Uh oh... spoke too soon it looks like. I went to check out the freezer and the shelves were part of the freezing system, meaning there was no way to fit kegs, carboys or buckets in there. I gave it to another family member instead.

Im going to pick up the Holiday 5.0 CF Chest Freezer from Lowe's instead. It's slightly smaller, and should use less power anyway.

Does anyone use a top-loading chest freezer for lagering? Any problems getting fermentors in and out?

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3 Lagering freezer on Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:07 pm

John Palmer just said the same thing on a recent Brew Strong show, that he bought a freezer and when he got home he noticed that the shelves were the cooling elements and could not be removed! He said he gave it to his wife.

I have a chest freezer at home, It's similar to this one

http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/DCFM289WDD.html

But I think it's only 40 inches long.

I am a 5'4" woman but pretty strong. I bought a carboy harness at brooklyn Homebrew, to help me left my carboys out of the freezer. with the harness you have more places to grab and hold and it's much easier. I have not done a full 6.5 gallon carboy yet but I am doing fine with my 5 gallon carboy. I also hold onto the carboy handle since it did slip out of the harness once when I did not put it on correctly.

in my freezer one issue is the compressor takes up about 30 percent of the width, creating a shelf. I can fit a regular 6.5 gallon carboy in there, and then maybe a 3 gallon carboy on the shelf and that's it.

I have not brewed a lager yet but I am looking forward to it someday soon.

The photos online don't show you how much of the space is taken by the compressor.
Otherwise I am happy with it, I use it to keep ferment temps low, to cold crash a beer, and for beer storage when I am not fermenting.

One interesting thing is that when the beer is fermenting strong, and i open the freezer and stick my head in to check the fermometer, my eyes water and sting. I guess it's from all the trapped CO2.





Last edited by chrismcnally on Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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4 Re: Lager Freezer on Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:34 pm

That's a nice sized freezer! I definitely don't have room for that, but to make up for the smaller size, I was going to use my cornies to ferment/lager. According to a cool thread on homebrewtalk.com where someone actually took pictures of every (yes, EVERY), commonly available freezer with kegs in them, I should be able to fit 3 in the one from Lowe's.

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5 Re: Lager Freezer on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:36 pm

I agree, the Size thread over at HBT is a killer resource.

I got a zip car and went to jersey to get my Magic Chef 7.2 freezer. I have a Love temp controller on it set to 38. I know that's a bit low for ales, but once I start doing lagers, it should serve me well.

If you haven't bought a freezer, you might want to try and find a MC 7.2 I can fit 6 corny kegs inside. Much better than 3 in the freezer from Lowes -(which is about the same outside dimensions.)

B

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6 Re: Lager Freezer on Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:02 pm

I'm actually going to see a freezer that my father's friend is trying to sell. Supposedly she paid $1000 for it and wants $200. I have my fingers crossed but I'm not getting excited yet. It's a stand up freezer, which is actually good because of the space I have to put it in. We'll see what happens...

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I already have my freezer. but still I'd like to see what i should have got instead. Can you post that link documenting all the freezers?

I might try cornies too if i have a need to brew a couple of batches at once. I have heard something about fermentation being different in a corny, due to it being tall and narrow vs a carboy which is fatter. And you will not be able to ferment a full five gallons though this might not be an issue, it wouldn't be for me. I usually make about a 4 gallon size myself.

Chris

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8 Re: Lager Freezer on Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:33 pm

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9 Re: Lager Freezer on Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:43 pm

I ferment in cornies. I do about a 5 gallon batch with fermcap and a blowoff tube. After trub loss, there's about 4.5. Sure, I'd like that extra half gallon, but for the work, it's not worth it. If I want to do a big batch, I'll use two cornies. I was given a mini-fridge, and I can fit two cornies in it at at time, with a growler as a blowoff container.

There's a bit of change in the beer fermenting in cornies. I don't usually get the same attenuation as a carboy, but it's only a point or two on the refractometer. If I was entering a beer in a big comp, I'd probably use one of my carboys. (I have two left for cider.)

I'm sure there's a lot of research out there about fermenter geometery. One of these days I'll read some of it and see how to make my beer better.

B

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