We get regular requests for jacketed or solid-state cooling devised for our line of conicals. While our competition offers these, they are very expensive and have limited performance. At Blichmann Engineering, we believe simple is better. While we would make more money selling you complicated equipment, our philosophy is to provide value. We would never recommend a product we wouldn't use in our own brewery.
That said, we have designed the Fermenator™ to easily fit into an upright freezer, which offers the following significant advantages over thermo-electric cooling and glycol jacked conicals:It's a much lower cost than jacketing the conical. You can buy a brand-new upright freezer for $375 to $550. Our competitors' cooling options cost $850 to $1,275.Adding a simple Ranco or Love controller to this freezer will allow you to get significantly more cooling power – easily down to 28°F or less! Eisbock? No problem! Solid state coolers can do about 25 to 30°F off of ambient MAX. So if you're in a garage in the summer, you'll be lucky to reach ale temps, much less lager temps. Using a lightbulb or pad heater will also allow you to heat the freezer in the winter.It's much quieter, more economical, and reliable to operate. For typical use, these will cost about $25 per year In operation costs.It can be used for beer storage when not fermenting.It takes little more floor space than the conical itself.There is no foam insulation or clumsy wiring to mess with for cleaning the conical and no condensation dripping on the floor.In the Frigidaire (or the Kenmore equivalent), the 13.7 cu. ft. model FFU1464FW (28W X 28.5D X 59H) works well for the 7 and 14.5 gal Fermenators™. The 20.3 cu. ft. model FFU21F5HW and GLFH21F8HW (32W X 28.5D X 70H) both work well with the 27 and 42 gal models. These are all frost-free units. We have no control over the design of these freezers, so it is best that you measure the actual unit before purchasing it to ensure the Fermenator™ will fit. They will require the removal of the door panel as instructed below.Converting a freezer to a lagering freezer
This is very easy to do with basic tools (jig saw and drill). You will need to remove the door-shelf panel and replace it with a flat panel to gain access to the full depth of the freezer. You can either cut the shelving off and leave the foam insulation exposed, but a more attractive option is shown in the pictures below. The fiberglass sheet, Ranco controller, and plywood shelf will cost you about $100 to $125 total.