Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Get advice on making beer from raw ingredients (malt, hops, water and yeast)
Post Reply
Tomp
Steady Drinker
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 8:01 pm

Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by Tomp » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:30 pm

I'm after some advice. I want to build a beer fridge to be multi function. I want it to act as a heater / cooling chamber for secondary conditioning and then to allow me to cold crash. Also to primary ferment during the summer months. So with the cooling on the unit and then a tube heater all tied up to an ink bird, what would folk suggest.

Ideally a beer fridge or wine cooler, but as 3c is my target I can't seem to find anything that gets that low..... They seem to stop at about 8c.

A undercounter fridge might suit, but would a freezer be better?

Is there a nice economical chiller unit I can fit in a fermentor that works consistently?

Love to get your thoughts.
It started with kits to save money and now look........!!!

All grain only
Grainfather
SS conical fermenter
Temperature controlled kegerator
Cold crashing and cooling in development

A patient wife.... who loves my beer.....

jaroporter
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 983
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:12 pm
Location: Garden of England

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by jaroporter » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:23 pm

whatever you can get free/cheap. if you want economical stay away from old units. with a bit of tweaking the thermostats on most units can effectively be bypassed allowing them to get down to whatever temp you want. most fridges/freezers don't need that. can you fit an FV in a wine cooler then, sounds small?
dazzled, doused in gin..

big yogi
Tippler
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:55 pm

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by big yogi » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:47 pm

it's whatever suits you mate, i have 2 under counter fridges and both go under 1 degree without a problem.
i can only get 1 23ltr fermenting bucket in 1 and 2 cornies in the other.
the larder fridge freezer would be better i would of thought.
If you know a joiner , ask him if he does a kitchen have a look for a fridge/freezer for you.

North Wales Brewer

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by North Wales Brewer » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:03 pm

Freezer is bigger, allows for expansion in the future tec.

User avatar
Wonkydonkey
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:37 am
Location: In the Stables

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by Wonkydonkey » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:19 pm

I'll link this link, and in the link you can see my posts and the link I linked to. That was a mouth full #-o :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=80249

Cheers :wink: :wink:
To Busy To Add,

User avatar
MashTim
Piss Artist
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by MashTim » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:35 am

Larder fridge is good I have two, both purchased used, £50 was the most i paid a few years ago. One will go to zero the other won’t get much below 4.

Shelves can be height positioned to accommodate 30 litre and 60 litre speidel HDPE fermentors. I have cut plywood shelves to use rather than the glass that came with them.

Brew belts and tube heaters attached to temp controllers maintain heat but I haven’t drilled holes for cables so need to ensure door stays shut with a bit of gaffa and keg wedged against door. Fridge temp is always set to max as controller does all the temp work.

Simple as simple gets.

mickstanger

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by mickstanger » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:45 pm

get a larder fridge. I got one off freecycle, so didn't cost me anything - there's often an undercounter fridge going spare if you ask about. then get an inkbird and stick a 40W tube heater in the bottom. I managed to run the lead for the heater out through the drain hole on the back of the fridge so I didn't even have to drill any holes.

User avatar
gr_baker
Piss Artist
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 1:52 pm

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by gr_baker » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:11 pm

Hi,

I've been having exactly the same thoughts as you for a while. I bought one of these last week https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household ... 2-pdt.html, I'm controlling it with an Inkbird 308 and my first proper lager is sitting in it right now :-)

I went for the freezer as it's capable of hitting the right temperatures without modification and was readily available. I'm using a couple of heating belts on the fermentation bin as the heat source and it's all working really well at the moment.

R

Meatymc
Hollow Legs
Posts: 434
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Location: Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by Meatymc » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:43 pm

mickstanger wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:45 pm
get a larder fridge. I got one off freecycle, so didn't cost me anything - there's often an undercounter fridge going spare if you ask about. then get an inkbird and stick a 40W tube heater in the bottom. I managed to run the lead for the heater out through the drain hole on the back of the fridge so I didn't even have to drill any holes.
As Mick says - no need to drill anything - just run your cables (heater cable and sensor) through the drain point.

I've a 12 year old free standing BEKO fridge, STC controller and 40W greenhouse heater - quite happily sat at 2C with a Kolsch in there at the moment having dropped from an 18C DR overnight. You don't need anything fancy and wiring it all up is simple - just search on here for step-by-step instructions!

User avatar
orlando
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6494
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:22 pm
Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by orlando » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:26 am

Meatymc wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:43 pm

As Mick says - no need to drill anything - just run your cables (heater cable and sensor) through the drain point.
You can even run them through the door seal just jamming them against the case, lose nothing in temperature, done it for years. :)
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Kernel Bogey (Reprise)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS) White On Blonde
Drinking: Mild In The Country, Summer Son, Duke Of Jarl
Up Next: Peaches (Peach IPA)
Planning: Summer drinking beer.

McMullan
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:48 pm
Location: Here

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by McMullan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:37 am

I don't recommend feeding an electrical cable through the drain, unless the cable is water proof and there is no risk of blocking the drain. The drain is required when cooling, when moisture can build up. A small hole (lined with tubing to protect the cable) in the side opposite any light, at fermenter height is my preferred option.

Meatymc
Hollow Legs
Posts: 434
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Location: Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Re: Cold crashing / secondary fridge advice

Post by Meatymc » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:34 pm

Fair point Mc but I made sure there was still some 'breathing space' in the drain hole after pushing the cables through - the hole was actually blocked with crap so wasn't 'venting' in any case.

Had also checked the sheathing on the cable and of course the drain hole itself is the cables lowest point so no risk of any moisture getting to the electrics.

Post Reply