Temperature Control - ( I got a new beer fridge!)?

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Temperature Control - ( I got a new beer fridge!)?

Postby stumpwater » Sun Jul 07, 2002 6:54 am

Hey wowie zowie, I just added a 20 cubic foot glass door beer fridge with temperature control to my arsenal. What are my first steps in temperature controlled fermentation? I have 5 corny kegs now, the fridge, and I feel ready for Lager. Any ideas.
Oh, by the way, thanks to all who have led me to this point. All of you who have responded to my posts, I thank you deeply. I am now enjoying beer on a level almost equal to any I have bought. The next step for me will be filtration, so get ready to answer a slew of questions on the topic.

Deepest Regards,

Stefan
stumpwater
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Rant de frig.

Postby Freon12 » Sun Jul 07, 2002 10:57 am

Is your frig in outdoor tempreture? If so, here's the scoop. Cold tempreture presents two problems that must be addressed. The first, is the tempreture control- it must compensate for low tempretures. Mine had a knob and a long sensor bulb that went inside the Evaporator coil. When it got below 20f the frig would not come on at all! I removed the control and installed a commercial control I bought at Johnstone Supply for $34.29 U.S.(part# B10-821). The two wires from the OEM control go to common and the open on fall terminals of this control. I put the bulb thru the wall of the frig and mounted it away from the air discharge with the supplied clip. The bulb needs to be horizontal to work right. Since the control has a range of -30 to 90f you can crash ales! and lager at the right temp for that strain of yeast! Cool.
get it cool.

The second problem is refrigeration head pressure. The compressor needs to have a highside pressure between 120# psig and 200#psig to keep the system cooling your beer. When the air tempreture coming into the condenser goes below 10f you will lose pressure. I assume the frig has a fan to cool the external coil, if so you can install a switch to turn on and off the fan to keep the pressure at the operating range.
This switch is called a "fan cycling control" and hooks to the highside of the system.(the pipes that get warm.) I used a 1/4" tap valve that bolts to the line and punctures it without losing any gas. I first attached the flare nut of the control to the valve before installing. (Part# B11-386)
Now you can wire the control to the fan by cutting one of the wires to the fan.(cut only one wire!) the ends of the cut you made connect to the two terminals for the control. Set the control at 150#psi with a 35# range. Some units come ready for outdoor. Hope your is one.

The above modifications can be done without any special tools or gauges or refrigerant or brazing or etc.
In the event that you have no fan cooling the condenser coil, it gets ugly. A headmaster can be installed to bypass the condenser until the pressure is good. This would involve recovery of the gas in the system and a little piping and brazing. It is good to know what gas is in your frig also e.g (134A or R12).
If you want info on this proceedure let me know.

Cheers
S.
Freon12
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