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Old 07-23-2008, 05:21 AM   #11
pen25
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how thick is that foam? and remember the air gap behind the foam to give it max r rating. i need to take the box i made for mine as a test and make it smaller to see what size is the best size. right now i made a little 17" extension that allowed the 6.5 carboy in the bottom of the fridge and then one of the cornies in the foam box. was down to 38* today with it closed up for 3 straight days. have a 4inch fan to circulate the air but didnt think about a heat sink. interesting. BTW lowes carries 1.5" foam board least i found it here in tulsa.

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Old 07-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #12
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pen25, I'm using 1.5" foam in between the 2x2 frame members, plus a layer of .5" foam lining the interior of the chamber. So, 2" total in most places. Oh, and the bottom/floor is two layers of 1.5". Hopefully it's adequate. I don't have an air gap behind the foam, though, just thin paneling.

Hopefully the fan will create enough of a current through the chamber, but i may add a second fan to a lower part of the chamber if necessary. Interior volume of the chamber, including the volume in the fridge, is maybe 14 - 16 cu. ft. If I can get it to hold steady temps down into the mid 40s I'll be pleased as punch. I believe the cooling power is there, it's just up to me to seal everything up adequately.

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Old 07-23-2008, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SporkD2 View Post
I am loving these ideas, I cant wait for you to get this done and see how well you can hold the temps. I am wanting to do something similar to this so I can ferment more then 5g at a time in my small fridge
I would recommend this project to anyone who enjoys designing and building stuff with their spare time. However, I certainly would not recommend this to anyone looking to obtain a fermentation chamber for cheap. I already had the fridge and paid next to nothing for the watlow controller I'm using, but even so I have spent more than $150 on materials to build this thing--I could have gotten a great used chest freezer for that price. It's amazing how the cost can add up for: screws, panel adhesive, caulk, wood glue, lumber (six 2x2s, two 2x4s, two sheets of paneling, two sheets of melomine board), two sheets of 1.5" insulation, two sheets of .5" insulation, weather stripping, and other hardware.

It's become a vicious cycle: The more I time and money I spend on this project, the more I feel like I have to make it as nice and well-made as possible b/c that's the only way to justify all the time and money I'm putting into it...which means putting even more time and money into it!

Anyway, I'm not trying to discourage anybody and there are certainly less expensive ways to build a chamber. I'm having a good time with this because I enjoy working with my hands and it had been a while since I built anything. this will quench that desire for some time, though...or at least until I attempt a brew sculpture.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:03 PM   #14
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Lay a couple of 1x1's on the bottom to put your carboys on. It allows for more even temps on the bottom.

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:56 PM   #15
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Lay a couple of 1x1's on the bottom to put your carboys on. It allows for more even temps on the bottom.
good idea. I'll have to remember that. I've got plenty of scrap wood laying around at this point.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:23 AM   #16
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waiting to see more

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Old 07-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #17
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No new pics, but I did finish everything except for the wiring over the weekend. I took a bunch of build pictures, but did not get a chance to upload them. I'll get them loaded up and posted this evening. Construction of the door took longer than I thought, but i'm pleased with how it turned out.

Tonight, it will run!

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Old 07-29-2008, 03:36 AM   #18
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Well, finally got it together and running. I still have some odds and ends to deal with, like slapping a poly finish on the outside and tucking some wires away, but I think I'm mostly done making a mess in the basement for a while.

Here is the front of the chamber, complete with spray-on chalk board on the door and controller mounted in a project box on top.


Close-up of controller, and here you can see the one of the cam-action window latches that worked out for closure:


Last, but not least, the interior of the chamber, lit by 5 white LEDs inside the chamber.


I've already placed a couple batches in there. I'm quite sure I can fit 3 fermenters if they are staggered, or up to 8 cornies. Preliminary testing shows the chamber is holding temp pretty well, but I'm only bring it done a few degrees at a time for now.

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Old 07-29-2008, 03:44 AM   #19
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Here are a few random construction pics.

Latch to hold minifridge tight to chamber:


Wiring for LEDs, fan, and control circuit:


This box is going to be mounted near the back of the chamber. The outlet is for the minifridge to plug into (rather than hard-wiring it). This box also contains the 5VDC/12VDC power supply for the LEDs and fan, respectively.

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Old 07-29-2008, 05:29 AM   #20
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looks great. let us know how low it can get to and hold. never would have thought about putting the door on the end. i figured you were going to do a hutch type setup with 3 doors. 2 on bottom one on top.

also what dimensions is the inside end up being? figure the way it looks is 3 foot possibly 4 foot deep 4 foot tall by 20" wide?

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