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Choosing a Chest Freezer

I’m looking to buy a chest freezer to use for fermenting. I would like to be able to use it with 2 - 6.5 gallon Big Mouth Bubblers. I have measured the BMB’s at 12" diameter and between 26"-28.5" tall, depending if I use a 3 piece airlock or a bubbler airlock. Looking at some chest freezer dimensions and taking into consideration the size of hump in the freezer, it doesn’t appear that 7 cu/ft freezers will be quite large enough, so I’ll most likely want to bump up to the 9 cu/ft range. Internal height also could be a concern with the airlocks, but it looks like Frigidaire typically has taller freezers. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on a freezer model or brand to fit 2 BMB’s?

If you’re married to those fermenters, you are married to their dimensions.

I have a 7cu’, and can fit 2 of the thinner 6.5G carboys in the ‘deeper’ section, and an ale pail on the hump, but I just use a blowoff tube instead of an airlock to deal with the height issue.

Another thing to keep in mind, if you are primarily making ales, is that active exothermic fermentation is only really going on for the first few days. So for example, if you brewed one weekend and wanted to brew the next, remove the first fermenter from the ferment chest, and put it in a place that keeps around 68-72 to make room for the second weekend’s beer.

Finally, remember you are monitoring FERMENTATION temperature, not ambient temperature of the freezer/chamber. So you would only really need to control the temp of 3 different fermenters if they were the same beer at the same stage of fermentation.

Good luck with your selection!

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I have a 7 cubic feet freezer and I cannot fit 2 6.5 gallong BMB on it, when I did try it, the fit was so tight that I broke one of the bubblers. Yeah not my best moment, especially since I had a lager in it for the last 2 months.

So I would certainly go the 9 cubic foot range so you can have plenty of room.

Depends on your criteria. If you ONLY want it big enough to fit the 2 BMB then you could cut out some cardboard at the diameter of the fermenters and when at the store see their fit. If it doesn’t matter, get the biggest one you can. That way you could fit your more BMB or a keg etc.

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Maybe an upright freezer would be a better choice. When my chest freezer gave up the ghost I replaced it with a stand up model to make it easier on my old back. There is plenty of room for my tallest fermenter and I have other stuff on the higher shelves.

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That’s my choice for the future @rookie_l_a. The chest freeze is very hard on the back as you have to drop the carboys so low. Then picking up out of the freezer isn’t easy either. An upright to me is a good way to go. Just takes up more room, but my other goal is to get one that could hold a conical fermenter.

I have an up coming brew, and I want to tinker with corny kegs and fermenting, moving with CO2… Just gotta give er a try… Sneezles61

If using an upright freezer instead of a chest freezer, is there anything special that needs to be done for the shelf to support the weight of the fermentors? Or will most factory shelves support that much load by default?

It’s an old thread I know, but figured I would ask anyway: if I am just looking for something to put my 6.5 gal bubbler in for summer fermenting, is a modified refrigerator ok? Seems like many people are talking about freezers. Just curious and assume I am prob missing a key point here.

Thanks!

Tom

Old fridges work as well. I think people typically go with chest freezers because you can fit more than one carboy in it.

As @loopie_beer said, they can work, if the compressor hump is small enough

Oh just the right size ! thank you.

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