What to do about the beer fridge

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What to do about the beer fridge

Postby bashworth » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:08 am

I know that really I shouldn't have a beer fridge but I do like to keep a good selection of beers ready to drink.

Now the solar panels are up and running I would like to save power during the day and was wondering about just running the fridge at night.

Anyone else tried this......How did it go?

Brian
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby karlajensen » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:25 pm

Yep that should work.
Only problem is beer will be cold in the morning, not too many of us need a cold beer then.

I spent $650 on a camping fridge and $650 on a 120W panel to run it, with a tiny old 7AH SLA battery
it only runs during the day
Beer is always cold when I want one -at the end of the day.

A similar setup could be done with panel, battery inverter for a normal fridge but i'm guessing by the time you buy all of that the camping fridge is starting to look good value.

I have played with insulating fridges with great results, start by flipping it over and insulating between the pump and fridge where it gets quite hot, second some foil on the back between cooling fins and back of fridge.

Add some 1" thick recycled foam (too expensive from Clark rubber) and if it's in the garage wont look too terrible.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby lantern » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:19 pm

There was a thread on Whirlpool where a guy has cut a rectangular hole in his wooden floor under his fridge motor. Fitted fly mesh over it, and reckoned his fridge now uses lots less power to do the same job due to the extra ventilation.

Sadly if you are on Concrete or renting I guess it's not an option.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby karlajensen » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:28 pm

And a little fan would do wonders BUT you never see it or look at it and mice get chopped up in them
hence for the long term not viable for the manufacturers of domestic fridges.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:59 pm

As Karl mentioned, adding insulation is the go. As they say in America, if some is good then more is better! If it doesn't have the coils embedded in the walls (really, really stupid idea used on many modern fridges), then insulating the sides, door and top will make a huge difference to power consumption. Bar fridges generally have pathetically thin insulation, and most of the power used by a fridge is due to heat gained through the insulation, not from brief door openings.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby karlajensen » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:20 pm

We had an old upright freezer and I reduced its use by 2/3. Now i've reduced its use by 100% -turned it off!

Now I use it to keep Bi-Carb Dry -we use Bi-carb and vinegar for lots of cleaning purposes and 20KG bag from farm supplies is about $25 and that lasts 18months -2 years. All I need now is a more reasonably priced supply of the vinegar :roll:
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby bashworth » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:40 am

Thanks for the feedback Guys

I will try it with off peak power and see how I goes.

Also I think I will try the extra insulation as I have some polystrene panels left over from another job. The fridge is is in the (insulated) garage so the underfloor vent won't work for me.

We currently use the broken upright freezer as our wine celler, and if we are drinking white put that in the fridge a couple of hours before we want it.

Regards

Brian
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby karlajensen » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:05 pm

Polystyrene panels are perfect!
1" thick is a great start.
My next suggetion!

Place the fridge door down on the floor
place the panels on the sides and top -wrap the lot with Plastic film, the type you wrap pallets with.

Why? even a small air gap between the panels and the fridge will sweat and mould will grow, nothing will stick to the sides to hold the panels in place as the moisture will over time cause things like double sided tape to fail.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby GeoffHammond » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:11 pm

What sort of beer?

If you drink stuff from large breweries such as Lion Nathan or Fosters, letting the temperature swing by a few degrees is not so bad. This stuff is stabilised/pasteurised before leaving the factory/brewery to allow for this sort of treatment.

If you drink stuff from any of the smaller breweries (Coopers/Little Creatures on down), the best thing you can do for it (and your taste buds) is to store it as you would a bottle of milk. It has almost certainly been bottle conditioned and not stabilised at the brewery, so is effectively a living product that will deteriorate markedly if you treat it like Big Brewery Beer.

A chest freezer with either a replacement thermostat or an outboard temperature controller makes a great beer fridge as the compressor and insulation are designed for sub-zero temperatures and so don't raise a sweat trying to keep things at 2-4degC.
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Re: What to do about the beer fridge

Postby mick_queensland » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:35 am

Great topic, as beer fridges live in so many of our homes.

I like the idea about the chest freezer as a fridge, will look into it further.

Some thoughts on the hole in the floor idea. If you are on concrete, you could simply raise the fridge up on some small chocks to improve airflow. The other idea of using a fan is great and you could use a fly mesh screen to keep rodents and lizards out of the spinning blades.

I can see the problems with sticking insulation onto the outside of the fridge using tape etc. I would think that using "contact adhesive" (the yellow sticky stuff that is applied to both surfaces and let dry) would work, has anyone tried that? If contact adhesive doesnt work then silastic for wet areas must work, surely.

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