The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

compact refrigerator

AZ Chuck's picture
AZ Chuck

compact refrigerator

Can a compact refrigerator be turn up to 60 deg? None of then tell me in the spec.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

put a thermometer inside and put the plug into a timer switch to turn on and off regularly to establish your desired temp.  Will take some trial and error.  :)

emkay's picture

When you say compact, do you mean something like a dormitory refrigerator? If yes, then according to some of my beer geek friends, the warmest they seem to get without modification is in the high-40s(F).

mcs's picture

emkay is correct about the temperature setting that compact refrigerators have.  However depending on what you're using it for a wine cooler might work out for you as they can be set to that temperature range.


adri's picture

In our local electronic store they sell powersockets with a temperature sensor on a cable.

You can program them like a time switch but instead of times you give them temperature levels at which they should start/stop to give power to the plug.

As long as the desired temperature is between room temperature and the usual working temperature of a heating or cooling device, this could be a cheap and simple solution.


dabrownman's picture

cables came from chimerical ffood storage warehouses.  We had temperature cables running all through the freezers and coolers  to make sure that the exact temperature we wanted was being maintained.  These were wired to the electronic controls for refrigeration evaporator coils and compressors.  Each coil could be programmed to a temperature zone - a huge breakthrough.  We had 4  freezer temperatures and 8 cooler temperatures for the various foods we had in storage.  I had them add a human idiot light to the cable to show that the power was on to the cable after a few cables went bad from no power and nearly causing a a huge loss of food.

Same thing for the fire heat sensors - they don't help if the cable loses power and an idiot light fixed that too. 

MichaelH's picture

Mini is right that a timer or remote sensor to cycle the unit on and off should work, but these small refrigerators are very inexpensive and not made to the standards of full size. Constant cycling on and off would significantly shorten the life, as compressors like to be on all the time. I have a dorm refer from Walmart that cost $105 about 3 years ago that I use exclusively for bread. I leave it on all the time, open it infrequently, and it uses about $2 of electricity a month. The highest temperature it will maintain is 46*F.

AZ Chuck's picture
AZ Chuck

The trouble I have with the photoelectric cooling is it works by droping the room temperature. In AZ It is warm in the evening and cool in the morning. Sometimes a 40 deg difference. A wine cooler with a compressor should do the trick but they don't tell me the high temperature I can set it at.

Thanks for you help!

BetsyMePoocho's picture

AZ Chuck,

In Baja California I struggle with very hot and humid ambient temperatures during the Summer.  Here is what I am using to deal the heat:

I have an inexpensive compact refrigerator that is controlled by a digital 'Temp Controller' which is in line with the fridge's power cord.  The controller's sensor is inserted and sealed through the side of the fridge.

It has a controlling range from -30f up to 220f.  It works great…. no hassles or worries.

I set the controller to about 60f to do preferments and long rises.

Now, I did not come up with this, a beer brewer friend of mine turned me on to it.  I have attached a very good article that applies to not only brewing, but is good for our applications.

And I store 5lb bags of very hard to get bread flours in it to keep the little critters form taking over and having babes in it….. 

Check it out, it serves me well…..

Have fun……….

AZ Chuck's picture
AZ Chuck


I think the Johnson A19AAT-2C freezer temperature controller might fork work me.

BetsyMePoocho's picture

AZ Chuck,

Happy to be able to help you out!

I was incorrect about my fridge…. it is not a 'compact', it what I think is called an 'apartment' size.  That is why I can store 50lbs of flour in 1 gallon freezer bags in it and still have room for my preferments (poolish, biga, etc.)

And I generally keep it set around 68f.

Just keep in mind that your ambient temps have to be warmer (higher) than the setting on your controller.  It will not 'heat' the fridge if you ever get down to very cold nights.  But where we live, AZ and Baja, I don't think that it is much of a worry.

Have fun…….