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Old 05-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
tripkings
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Default How simple of a box can I build?

I was looking at a few Son of instructions and I don't understand the baffles or how the flow works.

What would happen if I built a simple box with something like a ledge on top for ice blocks? Like an old school pre electricity "ice box" concept. Would cold from the ice blocks migrate "down" into the rest of the box?

Obviously it's not very automated but I'm wondering if it would work with a temp probe in the fermentation chamber and altering the amount of ice blocks for a general temp control. I figure many people have ~74 - ~78 degree rooms in the summer so a simple cooled box to get to a target of approx 60 degrees... is that doable with a simple ice box idea?

I've decided I'm not going to bother building a son of just because it would be easier to get a small freezer and a temp control and call it done but before I spend $250 on that stuff I can't help but wonder if I could get away with $40 worth of foam board and stuff to make something as simple as this idea and forget about the computer fan, baffles, and so on.



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Old 05-10-2012, 12:01 AM   #2
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You jump in talking about a "Box" Are you talking about a fermentation chamber? Look up Ghetto Chiller if you want a cheap alternitive, remember you will have to keep paying for ice almost every day...



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Old 05-10-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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I just built a very simple box using foamboard I bought at lowes. The foamboard is 1 inch thick and fastened with little nails and liquid nail. I think the whole thing cost about 12 bucks and took maybe an hour to build. I have some Gatorade bottles with water that I freeze and place in there. It's holding 68 degrees easily which is my target. I could get it colder of I added more ice.





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Old 05-10-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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This is exactly what I'm thinking...

I could freeze a few milk jugs and rotate them out as needed. I'd like to be a little bit cooler than 68 but it's incredibly low tech and straightforward.

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Old 05-10-2012, 01:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripkings
This is exactly what I'm thinking...

I could freeze a few milk jugs and rotate them out as needed. I'd like to be a little bit cooler than 68 but it's incredibly low tech and straightforward.
I'm swapping out my ice every 24 hours or so. With more ice and more frequent changes you could hit 60. Tonight I had to open the top for a while because it was getting down too low. I'm trying to keep it at 68 +- 1 or 2 degrees.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:43 AM   #6
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Only swapping every 24 hours and you had to open the lid because it was getting too cold.....I'm building it tomorrow.


I'll test it with a carboy full of water and take temps in the chamber as well as on a strip.

Thanks!

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Old 05-10-2012, 02:19 AM   #7
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Once you get the temp of the liquid in the carboy down to where you want it, it's fairly easy to maintain. You might need to ice more at first

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Old 05-10-2012, 03:09 AM   #8
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don't forget that fermenting beer will create its own heat

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Old 05-10-2012, 03:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddad View Post
don't forget that fermenting beer will create its own heat
I use a lot of US-05. I'm thinking of making the box about 62-64. I've had this yeast ferment in the mid 70's and not get fruity so hopefully at `63 ambient the heat it generates on it's own won't be an issue.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:59 AM   #10
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If you're looking to maintain temperature, the method I use works pretty well.

I place the whole fermenter in a water bath. It doesn't have to be deep....maybe 5-6 inches deep. Then I place a tshirt over the fermenter so that it's dipping down into the water. This wicks the water up around the fermenter, and effectively "sweats" the fermenter. I turn on a fan in the room so that the air circulates nicely around the fermenter.

My room temperature ranges from 70-73 F or so, and the fermenter has not gone above 66 F. This method is super cheap and very easy.

I also add 2-3 frozen deer park water bottles (small ones) every day or two.



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