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Need advice...What should I do next?

First, I’m a complete noob and I give a big thanks to this forum and Northern Brewer…w/o it I would have been lost. This place and the host are first-class in all respects.

Anyway, I have a spare frig in the garage that keeps my cokes, commercial brews, etc. I need the freezer part of the spare b/c I have a POS side-by-side inside.

I’m also cognizant of the fact that as spring comes the outside temps will soar, and there is really no way for me to ferment good beers at the proper temps, low to mid 60s. I live in the South.

I plan to continue brewing at least 2 5gal batches per month.

So what do I do next?

Is it more important to make the spare frig a fermentation chamber or should I just go find a couple kegs and turn the fridge into kegerator?

Does a temp controller control just the fridge part?

It’s my understanding that the “temp control” on a fridge just opens dampers from the freezer to allow cold air into the fridge portion.

So if you put an external controller on it the freezer will not stay frozen.

So you plug those holes between the freezer and fridge,
Put a thermometer in there and see what it reads.
Who knows, maybe you’ll get 65* lucky.

I have an external temp controller on my fridge, when I am using it the freezer doesn’t stay frozen. If you need to choose between a kegerator vs temp control. I would go with temp comtrol any day of the week. Kegerators are nice to have but fermentation is the most important part of beer making. Rather have great beer that I have to bottle then ok beer coming from a keg. Just my two cents. Good luck!!!

+1. I would agree completely. Use it as a fermentation fridge if for no other reason than all you have to do is get a temp controller and your set. To make a kegerator you’re talking about hundreds of dollars of equipment. Use it as a fementation fridge then start searching craig’s list for a used fridge to turn into a kegerator!

Why not find a cheap fridge on craigslist. I found one for $40.00. It is now my kegerator. And I use a chest freezer for fermentation. Luckily when I purchased my house it had one already. SCORE. But I am sure you can find one cheap on craiglists as well.

I officially have too many fridges/freezers in my garage. The kegerator, the chest freezer for fermentation, and finally a college fridge for bottled beers. But I would kill to have one more small chest freezer to do lagers only in.

Not an ideal situation but for temp control on the cheap, I got started brewing in August of last year in Middle TN and used the swamp cooler method for temp control.

Ambient temps in the shed where I fermented were on average 80 - 85 f and using 1/2 gal. juice jugs of ice, I had no problems keeping the fermenter in the 62-63 range. I’d say on average I switched out a jug of ice in the morning and then in the early evening.

Once you get 15-20 gallons of water down to temp plus the 5 or so in the fermenter it creates a pretty good buffer to temp fluctuations.

take a peek at this, if you dont mind some wiring and reading of diagrams, this will be a beautiful thing.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/side-si ... ld-105054/

also, is it side by side? or a top and bottom?
if it’s a side by side, you could have a kegerator on one side, fermentation on the other.
If it’s top and bottom, you could have your fermentation on the bottom and grain/yeast/hops etc. storage up top.

good luck!

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