The Brellis House

 

Converting A Chest Freezer

Posted on August 6th, 2013 by Dan

Susanna and I have been brewing for about a year now. We’ve been having a great time with it, and have made about 14 different batches. Some better than others, but so far, all drinkable (and some have been really good). A few months ago we got a chest freezer from Susanna’s parents’ neighbor. Originally we have wanted one to store summer’s harvest, which we still plan to do, but we realized we could use it as a temperature control for lagers over the summer.

The problem is a freezer’s max temperature is something like 20°F and we needed to keep it at around 40°F. You can buy temperature controls which cycle the power on and off to maintain a higher temperature, but we thought we could do it for free. One website showed us that there are two screws which control temperature, a coarse adjustment screw and a fine adjustment. The fine adjustment is the obvious one with numbers on it 1-10 for instance.

chest-freezer-temperature-control

Chest freezer temperature control.

But, if you take apart some of the housing, you can see a tiny coarse adjustment screw. Tightening the coarse adjustment screw will allow the freezer to get to a higher temperature. The physics are explained here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/guide-set-internal-chest-freezer-thermostat-32f-eliminate-external-control-249612/

chest-freezer-coarse-adjustment

Chest freezer coarse adjustment screw

With a good amount of trail and error, I’ve gotten the freezer at a consistent 39-42°F. This is perfect for lagers and, as it turns out a keg.

chest-freezer-keg-carboy

Homemade beer!

Posted on August 26th, 2012 by Susanna

We love everything homemade, so we just FINALLY got into homebrewing. We completed our first homemade beer!  It is a hefeweizen with coriander (from our garden) and lemon peel. Thanks to help from Dan’s uncle, Dave, the brewing process went well, it fermented for 1 week (not quite long enough), we managed to bottle it up without too many things going wrong, and brought it on vacation with us to Chincoteague to share with the fam. Vixen's Weizen

We think it turned out pretty decent for our first beer. Our second beer is already fermenting. It’s going to be a lambic and we’re adding figs from Dan’s sister’s fig tree. It actually needs to ferment with the figs for quite a while and will be done a year from now! So..not such a great beer for someone with no patience such as myself but it’s pretty exciting.

Mary Beth's figs