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Old 10-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
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I've recognized that, where I currently ferment, I have very poor temperature control. The consensus seems to be that proper control of fermentation temp is one of the best things I can do to improve the quality of my beer. So, I decided to start this build.

I have a 7.5 gallon Stout Tank SS fermenter, and wanted to make a chamber large enough for this, as well as leaving additional room for bottle-conditioning beer or adding a second fermenter at some point. So far, I've made only ales, but am hopeful I'll be able to hit lager temps, or cold crash in this chamber.

To keep weight down, I framed this out with some 3/4" pine, ripped to 2" wide. This creates the space for 2" of R-Max foil-face foam insulation.



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I left an opening on one end to attach the dorm-sized fridge. I opted to do this so that, in the event the fridge fails, I can easily replace it.

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The large door is where my SS fermenter will go. I'll install a pull-out shelf here so that I can slide the fermenter out to harvest yeast, add hops, etc.


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I'm going to clad the whole thing in 1/4" plywood, gluing the R-Max to it as I go. Then I'll install a second layer of 1" R-Max (local HD is out of stock right now...) on the inside to cover all the seams and add additional insulation value.

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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I got all the plywood on the outside yesterday and wired up my controller to test. I'll have an outlet mounted on the outside on the fridge end for cooling, and two outlets mounted inside; one for heat and one always on (for a fan, light, etc.).


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Old 10-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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I am interested to see how this turns out, whether you can hit lager temps or not with how big this is. It's what something like 4x4x3' so ~48 CF without the mini fridge? With a mini fridge you are talking 52 CF, so you are increasing it by 13x. I thought I was pushing it when I built mine by taking it up to 10 CF with a 4.5 CF mini fridge.

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Old 10-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Yep, that'll be a stretch, I know. Outside dimensions are 48" H x 42" L x 32" W; subtract 6" each way for inside dimensions (3" insulation) and add a 4.4 cu. ft. fridge. That's one reason I'm going overboard with extra insulation. Hopefully, I'll finish insulating this week and take it on a test run with a fermenter full of water.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Got the doors temporarily hung. HD finally got the 1" R-Max board in stock, so I'll try to get the inside layer installed today.



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Old 10-31-2012, 09:12 AM   #6
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Hurricane Sandy kept me home for a couple days, so I got all but the last piece of the inner layer of R-Max installed, and got the glides and shelf made for my fermenter. Not pictured, but I also fashioned a couple of door latches. Hope to get this finished this weekend.


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Old 10-31-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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It is looking great! Very nice work. Keep the pics coming!

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Old 10-31-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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That slide out tray is the bomb. Great idea.

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainSafe
That slide out tray is the bomb. Great idea.
Thanks. When i was designing this, I was struggling with how to access the lid of my SS conical to dry-hop, etc. Saw these slides at HD for $16, rated for 100 lbs. seemed like a good idea. I'll see how it works next week when I get it all together and test.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsr123

Thanks. When i was designing this, I was struggling with how to access the lid of my SS conical to dry-hop, etc. Saw these slides at HD for $16, rated for 100 lbs. seemed like a good idea. I'll see how it works next week when I get it all together and test.
Keenly interested in your results. I'm planning a similar mechanism on my chamber to allow for 2 vessels lined up. My concern has been the whole chamber tipping forward when it's pulled out. Securing it to the wall would be an easy fix though, I guess.
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