Using a refrigerator for the 1st time


I just acquired a full size refrigerator for free, yeah me! I am super stoked!

The fridge has been cleaned up and I’ve picked up a temp. control device from my local brew store. I have a 6 gal. fermentor.
My questions are these; Were you all concerned about the weight of the full vessel on top of a glass shelf? And if so, how did support the shelf to be able to handle the weight of 5 gallons of wort?
I am trying to figure out if I need to engineer something, or not.
Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

I removed the lower shelves and used a piece of plywood and a 2x4 to make a shelf.

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I’ve broken glass shelves with less than the weight of 5 gallons. Look at making the bottom of the frig flat with plywood and 2× lumber. Keep the upper shelves for chilling bottles when you aren’t fermenting.

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That totally makes scene. How do you attach the 2"x 4"s to the plastic shell? Glue?

The shelf would not need to be fixed in place if you can stabilize it. Less to remove if you remodel.

Thank you, Sir!

I made a plywood base that rested on the back compressor hump. Although I never ended up using the fridge it was sturdy enough for multiple carboys/buckets

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Thank you for visualization! Great idea!

I did remove the plastic shelves. Did weld at work alu frames so my kegs are not standing. On the floor and alumium does conduct cold. So they do become cold as well. And easy to clean. I do not use my fridge as a fermenting area. But a kegulator. And storage for hops and yeast dme lme

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Unless you have one of these dinosaurs and have A smaller hump!


My garage fridge is so old it still has the metal shelf racking in the back each shelf hangs from. I have already broken out the glass on the bottom one so I just replaced it with plywood.

Glass is nice to clean but not a good option with heavy stuff.

I’m sorry to say it is starting to run warm. Last time it was just the evaporator fan was seized. A little WD40 fixed that.


I use an old refrigerator as well. I used redwood fence boards (1"x6") for my shelf. The wood is cut in short enough lengths that it is strong, but the style of wood is light. Also, fence boards are easier to work with and transport and they are a lot cheaper than a large piece of plywood. I’m not sure of the construction of the fridge you have, but the wood should rest on top of the lips for the drawers or shelf.

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