Home > Brew gear > Lager fridge / fermentation chiller

Lager fridge / fermentation chiller

Thanks to the indulgent nature of my amazing and beautiful wife, my birthday has come early again this year. For some time I’ve kicked around the idea of getting a lagering fridge to allow me to brew cold fermented beers (primarily bock beers, truth be known), and this year that talk has become a reality. My wife stopped by the Sears “Scratch n’ Dent” outlet near exit 3 off I-95 and found this wonderful 13 cu ft chest freezer waiting for someone to take it home. I jumped at the chance. It was quite an adventure getting it downstairs to its new home – I had to remove the hinges and lid, remove the railing in our stairwell, and then drag the thing down with the help of Donna – but it is now resting comfortably in the “brew room”.

It has more than enough room on the inside to accomodate an arsenal of lagers, such as 2 primary and 2 secondary carboys, a couple primaries and a few kegs, or even my monsterous 12 gallon solution bottle fermenter with room to spare – although the thought of dead lifting that thing full of wort in and out of the chest freezer sends cramps up my back just thinking about it.

Following the model of most of the homebrewing world that uses chest freezers, I ordered a Ranco ETC-111000 from Climate Doctors, bought a Romex connector and an extension cord, and wired up the controller following a tutorial off the internet. It was quick, painless, and took less than 10 minutes to do…. and as best as I can tell, it’s all working beautifully.

The only thing really lagering in there right now is the keg of my Maibock brewed back in January and a couple of six packs of beer from Wagner up in New York, but I hope to change that over the next two months by brewing 10 gallons of Octoberfest and maybe a Bock or two… as well as maybe some light summery lagers for a long, hot vacation at my parent’s NC lake house this summer. My brother-in-laws like beer too, but they’re more of the german lager or pilsner bent than the hoppy english or american pale one, so I will finally be able to really please them as well.


Categories: Brew gear
  1. March 29, 2010 at 9:18 am


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