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Old 04-05-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Input on Fermentation "closet"

I'm looking for some input on my next big project, a fermentation closet. Currently I brew in my garage, then carry the full fermentor into the house to a spare room and put it in the closet. I would like to frement in the garage. The garage doesn't seem to get to cold in the winter (low 50's) but it gets real hot in the summers (90+). Hince the need for a fermanation closet. I'm looking at about 6' long, 2' wide, and 6' tall. I can keep fermentors, cornies, etc in it. I will use a temp control for both heat and cooling. Heating is easy, a simple small ceramic heater will do, but for cooling I was thinking of a small window unit. But, will there be an issue with the window unit being used inside (in the closed garage)?

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Old 04-05-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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Even the smallest window unit will cool that sized area down in a few seconds. It would rarely be on, so I think it would be fine in a garage. This guys has a sweat setup., but it is an ice bath for cooling which can be a pain. Do you have a frig/freezer near by. You could port a duct over a rob some of the cool air.

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Old 04-05-2007, 05:43 PM   #3
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The problem is that the Garage is going to get really hot because the AC unit is going to cooling the frementation closet, and then the A/C unit is going to have to work harder, generating more heat, so on and so on.

I have seen people build heat exchangers using a refrigerator. you would have a reservoir of water in the refrigerator and connect this to a radiator inside the closet, and use an aquarium pump to circulate to cold water through the radiator. I don't know how efficient this setup is, but it might work if you built a smaller closet.

Here is this guys fermentation Box.

My boss has a shed in his back yard with an A/C unit and a heater for fermenting wine. When I get a backyard, thats the way i'm going. Fermentation Shed.

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Old 04-05-2007, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I am worried about it (ac unit) overheating the garage. I just don't know how big of a concern it is really. It would be cooling a small space.
I do have an old freezer we use in the garage, not sure how to duct cold air from it. I'm afraid I would cut a line or something. I wanted a closet so I could put it on wheels and move it. May be I just build it against an exterior garage wall and use the ac unit through that. I just hate not being able to move it. I do not want to use ice. Any more ideas?

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Old 04-05-2007, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared
The problem is that the Garage is going to get really hot because the AC unit is going to cooling the frementation closet, and then the A/C unit is going to have to work harder, generating more heat, so on and so on.
I could be wrong, but as long as his closet is well insulated the A/C unit would not run much and therefore not make much heat. Can't be much worse than having a chest freeze in your garage.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnJ
I do have an old freezer we use in the garage, . Any more ideas?
use the freezer and a thermostat to maintain the temp you want.

I agree with Bsquared a window unit not vented to the outside is a bad idea.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #7
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You could just take the door off your old freezer (no lines there) and cool the space (maybe not as big is you wanted).

Also, the AC will spit out some water from the humidity from the closet, plan for this. I don't think you will overheat the garage that much especially if you can leave a door or window open near by.

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Old 04-05-2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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We like to keep the garage closed because of my tools and stuff. May be some vents in the garage door or a wall would help?

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Old 04-05-2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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Can't you just use the freezer as your fermentation closet? Connect it to a Ranco or Johnson temperature controller to maintain the temp.

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Old 04-05-2007, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Can't you just use the freezer as your fermentation closet? Connect it to a Ranco or Johnson temperature controller to maintain the temp.
That's what I'm trying to say Yuri did a much better job wording it.

A window unit is inefficient to begin with couple that with the hot air in your garage and then the A/c will heat that air up even higher making it more inefficient. You'll be wasting a ton of money and getting very little cooling. If you could vent the A/C condenser air to the outside that would work. Or put a powered vent in you garage. I don't think a passive vent would be all that helpful but it's better that nothing.
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Last edited by abracadabra; 04-05-2007 at 07:20 PM.
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