Old freezer dilema

The forum for discussing all kinds of brewing paraphernalia.
Post Reply
dbg400
Steady Drinker
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:21 pm
Location: Wetherby
Contact:

Old freezer dilema

Post by dbg400 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:24 pm

We've got a 24 year old freezer that's on the way out, not managing to keep stuff cold enough**. A replacement is on way, but I'm torn between uses of the old one. I can either use it just as malt & hop storage - at 220 litres it will hold a lot in vermin proof conditions (this is in my garage), or as a conditioning store.

It still works, and will manage conditioning temps fine. I have recently acquired an under-counter fridge that was intended for conditioning (though is currently doing brew-fridge duties for a Saison), but I could use as a proper fridge to hold liquid yeasts,

Up to now I've only used dried yeasts, but some recent beer samples & purchases from a local brewery (Treboom, near York) have convinced me that I'm missing out on what liquid yeast has to offer. SWMBO is unlikely to give up space in 'her' fridges (one in the kitchen & an overflow one in 'my' garage) for yeast flasks, so a dedicated fridge may be required.

I also keep going through Greg Hughes' Home Brew Beer book, and reading how long to condition some of the really interesting beers. At present I just do beers at the 2 + 2 + 2 schedule, spending two weeks in the fermenter and another two in bottles for secondary (in my big brew fridge) then going to the small fridge for two weeks conditioning. I can only fit around 50 bottles in the small fridge, but the old freezer could accommodate several hundred, allowing long conditioning times for some batches. The Baltic porter looks very interesting, and that wants 11+ weeks!

I'm storing all my malt in buckets and boxes in the shed, but it would be useful to store in bigger quantities (25Kg sacks are much cheaper bought in bulk - thanks coffeeuk) and the freezer would hold all I need making it much easier to sort through, plus give a lot more capacity.

So, what would you do?





** -8C max, until I jury-rigged extra cooling for the compressor with a shallow tray of water, a heat-proof absorbent cloth and an extractor fan which has got it back down to -14C. It should manage +12C fine.

lord groan
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 506
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:34 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: Old freezer dilema

Post by lord groan » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:56 pm

If it's chilling but not freezing reliably then either the thermostat is faulty or the refridgerant is starting to leak. If it's the first then you could replace the stat using an stc1000, fit a heater too and bingo you've got a multipurpose fermentation \chiller\ temp controlled cabinet. That's a very very useful thing, I did this with a fridge and I think it's the best thing for improving my brewing I've ever done.
If you're losing coolant then I'd stick to using it as a mouse proof storage cabinet.
If you can still get it down to -14 then I'd be hopeful that it's just a faulty stat and I'd go the stc route.
Hth

User avatar
vacant
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2052
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:39 pm

Re: Old freezer dilema

Post by vacant » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:22 pm

dbg400 wrote:SWMBO is unlikely to give up space in 'her' fridges (one in the kitchen & an overflow one in 'my' garage) for yeast flasks, so a dedicated fridge may be required
I don't use flasks. I have an old yogurt maker and use a couple of those 250ml jars to store liquid yeast recovered from the fermenter. I also store six slants and a few packs of dried yeast. All in all that takes up about the same space as a box of eggs .... So I don't get any complaints ☺
I brew therefore I ... I .... forget

dbg400
Steady Drinker
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:21 pm
Location: Wetherby
Contact:

Re: Old freezer dilema

Post by dbg400 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:33 pm

lord groan wrote:If it's chilling but not freezing reliably then either the thermostat is faulty or the refridgerant is starting to leak. If it's the first then you could replace the stat using an stc1000, fit a heater too and bingo you've got a multipurpose fermentation \chiller\ temp controlled cabinet. That's a very very useful thing, I did this with a fridge and I think it's the best thing for improving my brewing I've ever done.
If you're losing coolant then I'd stick to using it as a mouse proof storage cabinet.
If you can still get it down to -14 then I'd be hopeful that it's just a faulty stat and I'd go the stc route.
Hth
I think it's the compressor that's on the way out. It runs for 30 seconds or so then cuts out, and is too hot to touch. By cooling it I can get it to run for a minute or so, and it runs without the warning light staying on. I don't suppose it will last too much longer, but only having to maintaining 12C should give it an extended life! I can't really complain as it's lasted so long already - just poor timing as we've just had to replace the cooker and my PC server is on its last legs too!

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7701
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Old freezer dilema

Post by Kev888 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:27 pm

If the compressor gets that hot that quickly, I really wouldn't invest too much in this; may have a bit of life left but really it sounds krackered. Also some freezers don't cope well with less than freezing temperatures (water instead of ice can cause rusting). Thats not to say it has no use, as an insulated vermin resistant box for example, but as a cooler you could perhaps do better on freecycle.
Kev

Post Reply