If you remember back, I had some trouble with my fermentation temperatures. Due to the ambient summer temperature in my apartment, I had a few beers ferment at around 80+ degrees. This led to some off-flavoring in my beers, and I actually ended up dumping a few of them.
After getting a few negative reviews and feeling the pain of dumping beer down the drain, I knew I had to step up my game. One of the first things I did was jump on Craigslist and look for a small fridge to help control my fermentation temperatures. With space being an issure, I wanted something I could keep tucked in a closet, but big enough to hold a primary fermentor.
After a few days of research, I came across the wine fridge pictured above. It was exactly what I was looking for – it’s 48 bottle capacity can hold a primary fermentor, airlock, and have enough room for a blow off tube. Plus, I could easily slide it into a closet to keep it out of the way.
What put this fridge over the top was its external temperature control. It has buttons and an LED readout that let me keep the fridge at a constant temperature between 60 and 45 degrees. It’s the control I was looking for and was sorely lacking before. While 60 degrees seems low for an ale, it’s better than 80 degrees, and I’ve found that the temperature inside the primary during fermentation is usually a few degrees higher than the temperature around it. Plus, this gives me the ability to lager beer as well.
So far I haven’t had to use it, as the temperatures lately have been fermentation-friendly. Come summer or my first lager, I look forward to giving it a spin!