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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Help me build a fermentation chamber!
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
rycov
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Default Help me build a fermentation chamber!

please.

i have a mini fridge. (magic chef if that helps) i was wanting to build a chamber and have this stuck to the side of it with the door off to cool it. how can i tell if it has the power to cool something large enough for two carboys? i guess, what number am i looking for or something. i get the idea of how people have turned these into what im looking for i just dont know very much about electronics

thanks everyone!

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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There is anecdotal evidence (as DIY build threads) that you can create a chamber 2, 3, even 4 times the volume of the existing fridge and still be okay. The fact of the matter is that the compressor WILL need to run more often than under factory conditions. One can justify that this will result in less lifespan of the fridge.

I personally made my underbar kegerator about 2x the volume, and it has been working fine for close to a year now at 36 deg F. Who knows, it may blow out tomorrow, or in 10 years.

I think the key to this type of build is to make sure you are completely air-tight, add as much insulation as you reasonably can, and try not to overload it at any particular time (don't put 5 gallons of near boiling wort in it to chill, etc).

If you are running the fridge at ale fermentation temps with a temp controller it will probably be running less often than factory, so you will be fine.

Be sure to look up all the builds on here (search for coolbox or dorm chamber), and also make a thread when you begin construction!

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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I build a ferment/fridge in my basement brewery. Here is the link

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/modi...-beast-218288/

It's not all complete yet but I am using the ferment chamber as we speak to maintain a temp of 68F. Its fully insulated, all i need is the last door and paint. My basement is running around 64F. I have a hair dryer hanging from a nail. My outlet is run through my dual zone Love controller.

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
I think the key to this type of build is to make sure you are completely air-tight, add as much insulation as you reasonably can, and try not to overload it at any particular time (don't put 5 gallons of near boiling wort in it to chill, etc).

If you are running the fridge at ale fermentation temps with a temp controller it will probably be running less often than factory, so you will be fine.
thats what i was thinking. i have a wort chiller so i won't need to use it to chill that. just wanna keeps my temps more regulated. thank you both!
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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
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i'm guessing the hair dryer is for heating, are you taking that apart as well? or just plugging it in?

also i think i understand. i plug the fridge and whatever i'm using for heat into an outlet that is hooked to a thermostat and this controls which one goes on and off to keep the temperature inside right?

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Originally Posted by mrk00k View Post
I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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Originally Posted by jsweet View Post
I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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There is a link in my sig to a thread that discusses ferm chambers, R-values, mini-fridges, etc.. It lays out some average numbers for mini fridge outputs. Might have some info for you.

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Old 03-02-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
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i'm guessing the hair dryer is for heating, are you taking that apart as well? or just plugging it in?
Yes correct. No i'm not taking it apart. I had another heater that I wanted to use but its in out 11 month olds room. Not sure what I'll use for the primary source. But the hair dryer stays up high away from any blow out that might spill out.

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also i think i understand. i plug the fridge and whatever i'm using for heat into an outlet that is hooked to a thermostat and this controls which one goes on and off to keep the temperature inside right?
Yes. I had to do some tweeking on my controls so that the two zones stayed independent of each other. But yes you are right. For my ferment chamber I hooked up an outlet to the controller and for the fridge I connected the guts from a fridge directly to the controller. I have two computer fans and an exhaust fan blowing on the chilling plates to keep down the frost.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:53 AM   #8
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I have an ancient fridge, like 1.5 ft^3 or something, at least 25 years old. It runs a chamber that holds 6 carboys easily. Chamber goes down to 12*C right now (53.6 F), although I run it at 61 F so the fridge isn't always on. It's running the fridge hard, but it was a free fridge, and when it dies there are many more on CL for free.

This thing is literally taped together. With 2 hrs and some plywood I could make it WAY more efficient, easily, (it leaks like a sieve)...but I'm too lazy. It was about $10 for the 1.5" styrofoam, $1 for the box to hold the temp controller, an old laptop power supply to run my air circulation fans (free), 2 computer fans (free), and about 20 miles of tape, ($0.25....I love working for 3M).

The wooden platform the carboys sit on is on castors, but I never even wheel it out, just easier to reach in and grab carboys.

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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hey. sorry to ask more stupid questions. but here goes

i get the concept: the thermostat has a temperature probe and the outlet to plug the heating unit and cooling unit are run through the thermostat. then when the temperature gets to hot or too cold it cuts on or off the cooling or heating.

i can't find a diagram for how i need to wire my thermostat and everything. i've done a lot of searches and i cant figure out which one will work for mine. (i got a thermostat). mine has two sides for plugging stuff in, one says heat pump and one says conventional. the conventional side reads in order: Rh, Rc, Y, G, W, then has 3 blank spaces and then, W2, Y2,C,A,W3,H. everything after the w is blocked off with little tabs that i guess i would break if i needed to use the slot. it is a hunter model #44905

please help. i want to get this thing goin but i don't know what the hell im doin

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Originally Posted by mrk00k View Post
I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsweet View Post
I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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its not a thermostat that controls the temperature its a temperature control box that regulates power to the fridge or power to the heating device.

check out the ebay temperature controller thread.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-build-163849/

-=Jason=-

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