Monday, July 16, 2012

A New, Colder Chapter

I live in a condo, luckily I have a large 2 car garage on the 1st level that I can brew in and store my Fermentation Chamber.  I also grew upstairs to an extra bedroom that I kept my bottles, sours, flasks and other brewing equipment.  After a talk with my wife about the use of that room we decided that I should revamp the garage in a effort to keep the brewing supplies in one location.

This is my starting location.  Measuring out my needs for storage I figured that I needed 1, 36" wide x 6" tall shelving structure.  Next to that I am putting in 1, 36" wide x 2" tall shelving structure.  Below this, I am going to store my new Chest Freezer.  

My new GE Chest Freezer from Home Depot is really popular on Home Brew Talk. This chest freezer will be set at 50 degrees and also act as a cellar of sorts.  I already moved most of my aged beer (stouts, finished sours, barley wines, meads, etc) into the unit.  

Clean Open Walls

This is the teardown result.  After about an hour of unscrewing and cleaning.  I have a blank canvas.  I chose to use white plastic coated boards from Home Depot that I can cut to spec.  I'll let the pictures do the talking for the build.

All cut and screwed together

Ready to hang on the wall
Testing the spacing for bottles, etc
I love my clear bins for storage of airlock, etc

A look with the left side cabinet

The temp control installed

All (mostly) done with the chest freezer in place

A better look of the clear labeled bins
Chilling the Carboy....

24 Hours later, full fermentation

Over the years of brewing I've never felt so organized.  My equipment is labeled, clean and easy to see.  I still need to add a couple of shelves here and there.  I also want to label the boxes better.  (Some are clean, some are filled with aging sours)  Once I finalize the shelf spacing, I will take a final picture.


  1. Looks great. I'm jealous of your brewing space, can't wait to get a garage.

    I have been reading Farmhouse Ales again and I'm really wanting to brew a Biere de Garde, but I don't have the proper equipment. Are you interested in brewing a collab batch this Fall?

    1. Jeff, Lets do it. Of all the brewing I've done with friends the collab batches have been the most fun. They seem to add a lot of excitement to the tastings.

    2. Great. Have you read the Farmhouse Ales book before? If not, I can lend it to you. It is a quick read and does a great job telling history and explaining the brewing process.

  2. Looks fantastic, Lewy. I sort of just throw all my shit in a couple of drawers, and now I feel like a slob. I think that chest freezer's going to change your world.

    1. Thanks Danny, Yeah I'm fired up about it. I am just now thinking about how to create shelves inside the unit. I think I might use PVC pipes to create 3 different levels for storage.

  3. What a killer set-up! I'm on the same track as Danny, but use one storage bin for all the hardware and a smaller bin for more delicate hardware like the hydrometer. The next upgrade on my wish list is a chest freezer like yours, but more so I can ferment 10 gallons at a time.

    1. The model I have would be great for that. It can fit 4 ball lock kegs, I have one carboy in it now and a bunch of bottles. I might add a collar down the road. My fermentation cabinet across the garage can get to about 60 in this heat, but the compressor is always on. Compared to this new chest freezer that barely cycles even at 48 degrees.

      Erik, now that you have some awards I think you deserve to get something special for your brewing...

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