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Old 05-31-2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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I have a wooden box with foam board insulation on the inside. On the end is a small window air conditioning unit and I have a Johnsons Controls temperature control unit.
I can get the temp down to 60 degrees, but i usually use it at 67.
It's kinda big i can put 4 carboys in it, but it could be made smaller.
I'm not in Texas(but damn close to it) and I have basically the same thing:


With this I can get my internal fermentation temps to the mid 50's even in my 110F garage in the summer
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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Ice, then frozen bottles in ice bucket. That's my laundry closet, in a tiny apartment. I'm not strong enough to put a carboy in a freezer, it's all I can do to lift a full carboy.

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Old 06-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #13
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Ice, then frozen bottles in ice bucket. That's my laundry closet, in a tiny apartment. I'm not strong enough to put a carboy in a freezer, it's all I can do to lift a full carboy.
I like the idea of the copper around the carboys. Do you feel it keeps the carboy cold enough and how often do you have to push new cold water through the pipes? Any write up online?
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by corkybstewart View Post
I'm not in Texas(but damn close to it) and I have basically the same thing:


With this I can get my internal fermentation temps to the mid 50's even in my 110F garage in the summer
You and Klutz have gotten me thinking of going down this route. Do you have a keyword I can search for or a link to some instructions?

Also, how has it affected your electric bill? I'm wondering the difference in cost between a chest freezer and this box...
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #15
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Hi eyeimbibe.

Oh sure I can do anything I want with the temperature. Last night I went from 100+ degrees F to 60 in about twenty minutes. Tapwater is 75° F, so I just went for it. Let’s melt some ice, see about this cold break people talk about.

The thermowell temperature of the beer runs at most 1° F warmer than the water bath. I pitch at 61° F and let it go to 63. I hold it there for 2-3 days and then gradually let it drift up to 68. I hold it there until I’m ready to bottle.

When I had the probe near the bottom of the tub, the pump would run as much as twenty minutes every two hours. I moved the probe between the coils near the top and now it runs 15-20 seconds every two minutes. That’s worst case scenario. Absent high krausen, it runs every twenty minutes or so depending on the temperature difference between the air and the water. I keep my apartment about 80 in the summer, electricity is freakin’ expensive in North Texas.

I have insulated the tubs since the picture was taken, two wraps of R-13 fiberglass. I use 8 half liter bottles and they last about 12 hours. Temperature regulation is within .1° C, as close as I can measure.

I appreciate your interest. Most people don’t get it.

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeimbibe View Post
You and Klutz have gotten me thinking of going down this route. Do you have a keyword I can search for or a link to some instructions?

Also, how has it affected your electric bill? I'm wondering the difference in cost between a chest freezer and this box...
I had everything lying around except the foam board. I think the window A/C unit was about $100 when I got it. It's about $200 worth of stuff with the temp control.
I keep it in the front room of my house and i keep my house at 77-78 degrees so it only has to drop 10 degrees, I don't really notice any change in my power bill, other than it being higher because it's summer and my house A/C is running more.

To build it I made the inside of the frame the exact width of the A/C unit. Made it 6" taller than the 6.5 gallon better bottle with the air lock attached, then made it 4ft long to do less cutting. Lined the inside with foam board and then used a thick plastic drop cloth draped in the bottom for spills. added some wheels and i can move it around.

I saw this design and like it. More compact. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/anot...chamber-71675/

I would use a window A/C and not a mini fridge, the window A/C unit puts out more BTU and will not have to run so hard to keep the temperature. But it is good to have the A/C unit higher than the carboy the cold air will drop. On mine it opens from the top, so opening it doesn't let out as much cold, but this style would be easier as side open.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by eyeimbibe View Post
You and Klutz have gotten me thinking of going down this route. Do you have a keyword I can search for or a link to some instructions?

Also, how has it affected your electric bill? I'm wondering the difference in cost between a chest freezer and this box...
I haven't noticed any significant increase in y electric bill, but then in the summer I have my pool filter and water well running a lot of the time so the bump from this is pretty small. A also built mine out of scraps from other projects so the $100 AC was my only real cost. The better insulated it is the less the AC runs, and I chill my wort to about 5 degrees cooler than I want it to ferment at and let it rise on its own. This way the AC is just maintaining temp instead of actually cooling and it only runs 10-15 minutes per hour.

My conical stand is tall so I had to build something it would fit in, and a chest freezer wouldn't work. If I were to do it again I would probably go to an appliance repair guy and get an old non-running upright freezer shell and modify it. It would have great insulation and a tight fitting door already so all I'd have to do is mount the AC and cut a hole for it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:25 AM   #18
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I bought a $25 temp controller on eBay from China, a $25 dollar Craigslist fridge, and some wiring. You don't have to get as fancy as this thread, but it has some good ideas for temp control. Compressor hooked up to cooling side, and I have a fan and heat lamp set to the heat side. It's a 2 way controller.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-parts-261506/
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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Mine's very similar to PricePeeler's except i found the fridge in my neighborhood w/ a sign that read "free". I have about $50 invested in the whole thing.

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:58 PM   #20
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I have three fermentation chambers....two are Avanti electronic fridges. Found them cheap once and got two and used homemade temp controllers with the STC-1000 units from China....the other is an old mini-fridge. I think I have about $325 in all three. The electronic fridges are great..no compressor so no hump. And they hold 6 gal better bottles perfectly, as long as you cut the door rack off which is really simple to do with a coping saw....cover the insulation with duct tape (I used white and voila!
I also have heating pads in them because I used to be in northwest Louisiana and kept them in the garage and it did get cold sometimes. But now I'm in Mission TX and doubt I will ever need them........

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