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Kegerator in unheated garage

Just racked my first batch of hefe and is currently being force carbonated in kegerator that is located in unheated garage. Problem is I live in Maine with sub zero temps in winter, right now it’s about 0 degrees F. I’m thinking the beer will freeze but not sure. I have the kegerator on warmest setting, 1 out of 6.
I have a brand new Johnson control, would that work?
I don’t want to put the kegerator in basement because I have a pellet stove that keeps the basement at 75 degrees F.
Thoughts anyone?

Is the garage attached to your house? If it is, your best bet would be to have it on the attached wall. I can not speak for sub zero temperatures though. The kegerator should be fine to hold temps in a 75F basement though.

Pretty D**n cold today wasn’t it?
I was brewing in my garage and had to use a hairdryer to thaw out the drain tube from my MT.
But cooling the wort was quicker than usual, so I guess it all evens out.

I use a Ranco dual stage controller with my freezer plugged into the cooling outlet, and a small germination warming mat plugged into the heating outlet (kept in the freezer). It was 10 - 20 all week here in Chicago and the kegerator stayed right around 31-34.

Thanks for the replies.
I left the beer in the garage and it’s 3 degrees F right now. I will pick up a cheap thermometer and monitor the kegerator inside temp. I doubt the beer has frozen this quickly, at least I hope not :shock:
I have a full size fridge in the garage with food/beer inside and that has not frozen yet, so I’m hoping the kegerator is no different.

Great idea, I will check to see if my Johnson controller is single or dual.

A fridge or freezer will not heat regardless of how it is controlled, so eventually your beer will freeze if left outside like that. In order for the dual control to work, you need to add something that is capable of actively heating. Any resistance heater from a brew belt to a light bulb will work for that, but be careful to make sure everything is working correctly before letting it run out of your sight.

I finally decided I will bring the kegerator inside and not take chances. It will be a lot more convenient to access my brew instead of having to put on boots and jacket and walk out to the garage.
We have very a reasonable k/h electric rate but I just hate the thought of two refrigerators cycling on/off 24/7 because the pellet stove in basement keeps the temp @ 75F.

probably easier, cheaper, and greener to put a low wattage heat source inside the unplugged kegerator and monitor temps then. If you are able, get a digital temp control that can be set to control devices that cool or heat. That’s what I do- runs the kegerator in the garage in the summer and runs a reptile heater in the winter- always have my beer at the temp I like that way.

Thanks for all the tips. I will try to be more prepared next winter and will probably utilize some of your suggestions.
Hello Ellsworth Maine, I’m in Houlton.

I have a refrigerator in my unheated garage and things in it stay cold. That said, the compressor isn’t running, so the freezer part of the fridge isn’t cold enough. It’s a “tuck under” house, so it stays above freezing, but apparently too cold for the compressor to kick in.

Just a bit of anecdote to help you make an informed decision.

Use your controller to run a small lightbulb in the kegerator in the winter.

For what it’s worth, I too keep a chest freezer in my unheated garage, and being in Wisconsin, we’ve been in the sub zero ranges for the past few weeks. I have the Johnson Controls temp regulator on my freezer (not set up to a heat source at the moment) and the internal temp of my chest freezer has been reading around 15 -20 degrees. Oddly, none of the beer in my chest freezer or extra beer fridge has been freezing, while everything else in my garage outside of the two fridges has been. Can’t really explain it, but that’s been the case for the past 3 years. You should be okay in the garage, just don’t plan on fermenting any lagers until it warms up! :cheers:

When I was at my old house I had a fridge that I had converted into a keggerator. Once the temp in the garage was as cold or colder than the fridge I simply unplugged the fridge. Beer in the kegs stayed plenty cold all winter and never froze. I even left a few bottles out there and they didn’t freeze either.

you’re freezer on the fridge will not work. the fridge should be fine. In MN similar weather and never had a beer freeze in over 10 years

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