So there I was, minding my own business, when I get an e-mail from NewAir asking if I’d be interested in reviewing a beverage fridge (in this case, the AB-1200). Well, if you’re a homebrewer, you probably have more refrigerators than the average county morgue, so…yeah, sure, what’s one more (my wife is very tolerant, especially since all this extra refrigeration gives us a lot of party/catering flexibility)? They gave me a fridge - you should know that. I hope I’ve built up enough credibility by saying not-nice things to convince you I’m not someone who will say nice things for no reason, but feel free to reject this review out-of-hand since I was compensated for it. Your call. All I can say is it’s an honest review.
It’s good looking, I’ll give it that, and you can verify it yourself in the photo above: gloss black and glass, and simple/clean.
It’s not as quiet as I expected based on some other reviews, but it’s certainly no louder than any other dorm-plus-sized fridge, so I’m fine with it.
No, the REAL advantage here is that it will hold a single Corny keg with airlock, and I ferment in Corny kegs, so this thing is now my best friend and fit neatly in my home brewery - no more hauling kegs to the basement chest freezer for fermentation! It’ll also hold my three-gallon glass carboy instead (if I put the bottom shelf in), so that’s a plus, too. If you’re fermenting in a 5-6 gallon carboy, though, you’re going to have issues with the hump for the condenser - again, not much to be done about it, but at least the three gallon is an option!
And one other thing you’ll like: the temperature range is WIIIIIDE. At its coldest setting it’s 34F/2C. No surprise there. But at its warmest it’s 65F/18C, which means I don't need my temperature controller: most of my fermentations are lagers, hybrids, or low-temp ales (my German Ale yeast is quite happy at 64), and if I need warmer than that I can pop it out to room temperature.
Can’t speak to reliability yet, but the shelves are sturdy and the glass is thick, and I don’t have any real concerns.
Overall? An interesting alternative for a fermentation chamber in a small home brewery. It’s great as a stand-alone beverage fridge, too, with the adjustability on the shelves and attractive appearance, but I honestly think many home brewers will like it for fermenting. One reason I know that is that (this is 100% true) ONE WEEK before NewAir contacted me I had purchased a similar fridge (though not as fancy) for this EXACT PURPOSE. Sooooo……now I have two. Anyone need a fridge?
Hit me up for mine, or use code SIMPLE20 for 20% off at https://www.newair.com/products/ab-1200b-126-can-beverage-fridge?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=SimpleBeer&utm_campaign=AB1200B. I don’t think I get any kind of kickback from this, but who knows?
Keep it simple.
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