Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Almost Just Isn't Good Enough

I have been preoccupied with obtaining a few brewery related items for cheap.  This means perusing craigslist.  I bought a small pallet rack with two shelves for $90 that serves as storage in my garage and will also serve as a sturdy platform to brew and gravity feed the wort through the brewery.  This was a great purchase, and much needed (for storage alone), but it wasn't an outstanding deal.  A similar but less industrial shelving unit new from Costco runs $175.

Today, I thought I hit the mother lode.  I have been looking for a freezer to convert into a precision temperature controlled fermentation chamber.  I found a small upright freezer that I traded for a six pack.  It wasn't perfect, as I would have preferred a medium sized chest freezer (the kind that you can store a body know what I am talking about), and I found out that the condenser coils served as the freezer shelves (which I wanted to remove to fit my fermenters or future kegs), but hell, it was free.  It also worked when I obtained possession of it.  I loaded it, drove it home, muscled it into position (by myself, no less), and opened the door to look to see if there was any possible way to reconfigure the shelves.  I moved the first shelf.  I heard a pop and then a slow hiss from a hole I created in the evaporation coil.

This was the free freezer's death knell.  Apparently, fixing the hole isn't a problem (nor is reconfiguring the coils now that they are empty), but recharging the refrigerant can only be done by a qualified technician.  I will not pay to fix a free freezer.  Now I need to figure out how to get rid of it.  I think I can just schedule a large item pick up with the City (my tax dollars at work...and try that in your unincorporated covenant controlled enclave).  Too bad it cost me six good beers.

Next time, I will get the chest freezer I need, even if I have to pay for it.  With a $50-$125 chest freezer off of Craig's List and a $50 controller I will have temperature controlled fermentation chamber/ (I feel like Dr. Frankenstein) beer fridge/future kegerator.

I could also just buy a kegerator for $150 and add the controller to that.  But a chest freezer will work better for the fermentation....and I am not ready to go with kegging.

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