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Old 09-05-2007, 04:40 AM   #1
CodeRage
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Default Fermenting Box

Started putting together the refridgerated fermenting box. Gutted a small Hiaer fridge succesfuly. That was fun... Next time I will be sure to check for an external condensor. Found some 2" foam board and Home Depot had a great sale on 3/4 Birch ply so I picked up a few sheets of that. The ebay PID controller came in the mail the other day and instead of using a K type thermalcouple I had some high precision LM34s laying around, work with the PID controller but I doubt the additional accuracy will make a dif.

Anyways enough jawin. The fermenting chamber is 17x17x31. I based it from the SOF chiller dimensions but expanded it out a bit to accept a few corny kegs should I ever move that direction. It will all be placed in a 36" tall carcass to match the future bar height. It is top loading so there is no door, there will be a removable counter top.

We'll see how it goes.



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Old 09-06-2007, 05:35 AM   #2
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Thanks for the pics, cant wait to see more. I am thinking about doing something very similar to this.

Do you ferment in a carboy? Top loading sounds a little painful, but im not sure what the alternative would be.

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Old 09-07-2007, 02:35 AM   #3
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I'll be fermenting in an ale pail. I made it big enough to hold 4 cornys.
The two exposed sides will be covered in birch plywood and I'll probably put a Maple veneer on it. The reason I decided to a top load is because A I dont know if there will be enough room for a door to swing out when I finish the bar, B It will look real clean and C I think it will seal better.
I am olny going to be putting them in full but I will rack them out to the bottling bucket or the secondary. Plus it is only 5 gal so it shouldnt be too bad.

I tried framing up the two unexposed side with some 1x3 red oak I had laying around but that stuff is just too hard for my finish nailer. Ill go get some pine tomorrow.

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Old 09-08-2007, 11:13 PM   #4
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Framed up the carcass today. After framing up the two sides I decided to do all 4 the same way. Ill skin it with some oak lauan. about 4 sticks of 1"x4"x12' at $5 a pop. plus have enough left over to frame the stand for the compressor.

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Old 09-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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That's some nice woodwork.

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Old 09-10-2007, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
That's some nice woodwork.
Thanks Orfy. Its a shame it will all be skinned up and no way to see it.

Well I got the compressor and all the elctronical stuff in. I believe the compressor is a bit small cause it doesnt like going much below 65* with an ambient of 84*. Trying to see if it will go down to 55* but right now its at 62 after a half hour. I tried putting a fan on the condensor to help shed some heat but it isnt helping too much. Any ways here are some pics.



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Old 09-10-2007, 04:32 AM   #7
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That framing looks awesome.

I can't wait to see the finished product!

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Old 09-11-2007, 06:41 AM   #8
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She's been christened with a cream stout, cookin away at 67*!


I think I am going to build a false floor and raise it up a bit inside... Lots of wasted space which kills efficiency. Overall putting the bucket in wasnt that bad at all.

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:03 AM   #9
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I put a small 12V PC fan in there tonight. The compressor was just running non stop and iced up really bad. The little 12V fan made a profound difference! Now the compressor turns on for 3 minutes and then off for about 13. The controller is set to 65.0*F with a 1.5* Hysteriesis.

I really reccomend using those LM34 temperature probes. You will need a DC type wall wort power supply of at least 5 volts. These guys handle up to 32 VDC so you dont need to regulate the voltage. In fact the LM34 is a linear temperature biased voltage regulator. For every 1*F it puts out 0.01V. Put the PID controller in 0-5V mode and set the Low to 0 and High to 5000 with a decimal point of 1 and you have 1/10* degree resolution. Its nice to watch the temp climb or drop without having to wait for whole degree changes. especially you are trying to tune it up. You can order them from Digikey and I think they are around $7 in qty of 1. I think they offer some slightly cheaper versions as well.

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